Online Dating Help for Men…

So, I guess with this post I have to finally admit to more than just a few people that I am online dating… Or rather, I’m “online looking” since I have unfortunately been on very few actual dates.

Let me start by saying, obviously not all men need help… but, from what I have experienced, so. many. do need help. To be clear, I also cannot comment on whether women need similar help (or the same advice) since I am looking at only men’s profiles.

This post is meant to be humorous… However, every. single. point. made. comes from one (or a plethora) of men, and therefore everything below is factual.

Let’s start with, you do need to actually be single.

If you are separated, seeing someone, married or anything of the sort…
Then, hell no, I am not talking to you. No, we are not going to be friends because I won’t be the one helping you to be a cheating husband… Move along.

Safety First.

If you ask me on a date that is  me taking the metro to a far away stop, where you will pick me up for our fabulous date…
Then, I’m left to assume you are the Craigslist killer and I can’t let myself go and get into your car… That’s how people die.

Eyes. Men, eyes are important.

If in every single one of your pictures, you have sunglasses on or they are from behind or far away…
Then, I’m left to assume you have crazy serial killer eyes.

Abs are so great. Face is better.

If you have a plethora of pictures of your fantastically sculpted body, but none of your face…
Then, while I love me some great abs, unfortunately I’m left to assume your face it is horribly disfigured or your compensating. Your face matters.

Please, for the love, take photography lessons.

If your best angle is to put your phone in your lap, thus creating a triple chin and a clear look up your nose…
Then, you are definitely not catching my attention for the good. Maybe google selfie angles.

No one wants to be that close.

If your phone is so close that I can see the pores on your nose and your eyes are slightly crossed…
Then, maybe you have nugget arms or your phone should back up an inch or 15.

Everyone has a type they are attracted to…

If I decline to go out with you…
Then, maybe I’m just not attracted or interested in you, everyone has a type (or types) they find attractive, it’s not personal if you are not that type…

Please don’t make me explain why I’m not interested.

If I declined to go out with you…
Then, I’m probably not interested, don’t ask me why, and make me tell you potentially hurtful things because I won’t lie to you.

Height does matter.

If you get offended by my questions inquiring about your height…
Then, you are probably too short for me to feel comfortable with you… Don’t worry, another woman won’t care like I do. I’m a heightist, it’s a real thing for me I’ve stopped apologizing.

Which one are you?

If every single one of your pictures is a group picture…
Then, I’m hoping you are the attractive one. You are never the attractive one.

You do actually need to have friends though.

If every single one of your pictures was taken from a weird angle in your car, the bathroom, or the gym…
Then, I must assume you have no friends, which makes you either socially awkward or a narcissist. Neither of which am I interested in.

Let’s be clear, just don’t with the stupid confusing opening lines. Just. Don’t.

If your opening line is even remotely similar to (real openers):

“You’re a marvelous chocolate chip pancake in a sea of burnt waffles.”
“Hey, I feel you appear attractive and consequently would like to explore the possibility of exposing you to my awesomeness.”
“I’ve never gone out with a virgin before, but I’d be up for that experience.”
“Boo!”
“Beautiful! And they said I couldn’t find beauty and class online!”
“What is love to you?”

Then, you are certainly not getting any sort of response. Figure your life out.

I didn’t ask for a picture.

If I didn’t ask for a picture of you half-dressed (or less) and your two little chicken nugget abs…
Then, stop embarrassing yourself by sending them. There isn’t going to be a return picture.

You can figure out how to see what I look like currently…

If you ask for an updated picture and I say no..
Then, maybe try asking me on a date to see what I look like currently. I look way better in person than in one of my ridiculous selfies I send to friends… Trust.

But for real, it’s called “online dating”, let’s actually try going on dates.

If you message and text me for days and I’m responding well…
Then, let’s actually try a date, laugh, talk, flirt, and enjoy getting to know someone new. I don’t want a digital pen-pal.

And because I feel like I have done enough directed at the men, I will leave you with this hilarious meme sent to me by a girlfriend. (sorry for the swear word)

(sorry for the swear word, but this is hilariously appropriate for this post)

(sorry for the swear word, but this is hilariously appropriate for this post)

The Single’s FOMO…

I was talking with a couple other girls not long ago, and we were discussing the difficulty in being single in Christian circles…

In many instances, and in many churches, getting married quickly becomes the goal or at least the thing that girls (and guys I suppose) should aim towards. Getting married young is common, and in some cases being married is seen as automatically having more maturity than single counterparts.

Quick side note before I plunge deeper into this thought; I am still firmly in the I think it would be great to find someone one day, but this post is not at all a reflection of feeling lonely or jealous of my married friends.

I know from personal experience, it is pretty frustrating to have someone who got married much younger than I am currently, try to offer encouragement in the form of “just be patient”. And, not so much because what they are saying is not true, but because they have not experienced the additional years of patience, and it can feel like they are entirely missing the feelings of desiring to find someone and being unable.

However, while we were talking the other night, we stumbled upon what I believe is the real (ok, maybe just a huge portion of the) struggle for girls (and maybe guys) as they get older and find themselves still single: The fear of missing out (fomo).

“What if I don’t get married until my mid-thirties and miss so many of the things my friends are getting to do now?”
“What if I am too old to have kids when I get married?”
“… I don’t want to miss the possible ten or more years that we could’ve spent together!”

It can definitely be hard at times to watch so many people get married young and have amazing love stories, being so happy and thankful for the person God has brought into their life… While you are still single, and in some cases single for many more years to come. Watching others have these experiences of building lives together, someone to adventure with, someone to support and encourage, families, children.. and of course someone to help you through difficult times… all while being told to be patient just feels like an insult at times. There is a very real fear of missing out on years of love, laughter, and support…

“IF I end up getting married, will I regret the years we didn’t have together?”
“IF I get married, will we be young enough to also have years and energy to enjoy each other’s company?”
“IF I do get married, will we be young enough to have the number of children I’ve always wanted?”

But, the fear goes deeper than just fear of missing out on being a 20-something with a spouse.. What if, by the time you do end up getting married, you still regret and mourn the lost years that you were single?

I do not know of many pastors or churches that even touch on these fears.

But, the reality is, both faith and hope in not just who God is, but how much He loves us, and how much our singleness (for however long we have it) bring Him glory.

I am by nature a more adventurous person, I enjoy seeing what could happen, traveling to far away places, or just sitting and talking with friends laughing until way too late into the night. And while one day, I would love to find a man, fall in love, and get married, that time is not now, and I do not regret my life so far. There have certainly been difficult seasons, and they would have been easier for sure with a partner, at the same time, I realize there are elements of things that I likely would not have learned… and would not be able to use to help someone else later.

So, in my experience, if you have a “young but older young single” person in your life, be gentle and wise in the way you encourage. For the love, do not quote Jeremiah 29:11 to them, instead take time to wade through the complicated maze that is their heart. Understand where the fears come from, and instead of offering trite quick bits of advice, take the time to share their journey with them… I have discovered that my struggle to traverse my singleness (alone) is much more satisfying when I feel like my situation is understood by someone else, I feel less alone when I am not given a quick “you just need to..” and instead, my heartaches, thoughts, fears, wondering, and desires are listened to and responded to with wisdom and insight.

Being single and fearing the potential loss of years of building a life together are real, but put in the right perspective that our God is a good God, He tenderly loves us, and looking back we will have the satisfaction that even Job experienced at the end of his (much more traumatic) journey.

Single v. Married…

I have been watching an interesting debate discussion lately about the benefits of being Single or being Married.. Or getting married young.. Or staying single longer.. whatever.

It has felt recently as though there are two teams and they are at odds with each other. I think it is a little odd that we seem to be “fighting” or trying to convince others that our current state is the best or correct one.

Here are a few of the articles in the discussion so you can follow along with why I am writing this post:
23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23
The Results of a Closed-Minded 23 Year Old
I Got Married at 23. What Are the Rest of You Waiting For?
Marriage Isn’t For You
Why I Did I Get Married so Young

(There are more, and you possibly have read different ones)

The “conversation” as a whole really just interests me quite a bit. Obviously some of the blog posts are in direct response to one another, whereas others seem to be oblivious to the conversation at large, and are merely adding their thoughts to the world.

I also think it’s interesting that 23 is the number that keeps getting brought up.

Let me start out by saying, I am not loving on or hating on one side of this conversation or the other, merely responding to the conversation as a whole. I think it would be helpful to highlight some things.

Some background on myself so you can be more aware of where I am coming from:
I am a turning 29 years old, still single, never married or engaged woman.
I am not at all against marriage, and not only did I think early on in my life that I would be married by this point in life, I still would like to get married to the right man someday… But, I am content single, actually love aspects of it, and I am willing to wait for the right man because I have seen the destruction of divorce in too many people (of all ages).
I also have done quite a bit of reading of research on Millennials (those born between 1980-2000) because I find people and culture fascinating (especially my own).

Now that my vantage point is known, here is my personal perspective and thoughts on the Single v. Married conversation:

Not everyone who is single loves it.
Not everyone who is married loves it.

Not everyone who is single thinks they have made a better choice than getting married.
Not everyone who is married thinks they have made a better choice than to stay single.

Being single has some major pros and cons.
Being married has some major pros and cons.

Singleness can be hard.
Marriage can be hard.

Selfishness is pervasive among single people.
Selfishness is pervasive among married people.

Some people “do” single better than being married.
Some people “do” married better than being single.

In some cases staying single was the wise choice.
In some cases getting married was the wise choice.

Grace, compassion, and selflessness is common among an astounding number of single people I know.
Grace, compassion, and selflessness is common among an astounding number of married people I know.

Life is an adventure when you are single.
Life is an adventure when you are married.

Staying single is better/healthier than getting divorced.
Getting married is better/healthier than sleeping with someone you’re not married to.

Remaining single “late” into your adult life does not automatically mean you are wiser than a young married couple.
Getting married young does not automatically mean you are unwise or pathetic.

Being single “late” into your adult life does not mean you are against those married young (or older).
Being married young (or older) does not mean you are against those still single “late” into adult life.

Being single does not mean you have purposefully chosen to be so to “get your life together”.
Being married does not mean you have purposefully chosen to be so because you’ve “gotten you life together”.

Etc..etc.. See?

For me, there are days that singleness is just straight up hard, and other times I love the advantages of flying solo. But, from my plethora of friends (married at all ages), there are days that they remind me that being married is just hard too or they love every little bit of the married life…

From where I sit, both have the same qualities, it just depends on the person or couple.

My perspective is that regardless of if you are married or single, you should have goals.. Good goals ones, fun ones, hard ones, solid ones, frivolous ones, and seemingly impossible ones, I think that is how you help yourself grow, and a way to help measure success as a single or married person/couple.

So, please, let’s stop justifying why one is better than the other as if our choice was the right one for everyone… or the perfect decision forever.

If you are single and loving it or wish to be married, that is awesome and good things can and will happen during this season.
If you are married and loving it or wish you had waited, good things can and will happen during this stage of life.

The Worst of Singleness…

For the most part, and for the majority of the time, I really enjoy being single.. Not because I am a “single independent woman,” and certainly not because I always want to be single, just that I am not itching to get married. I have this very welcome, very contented feeling of being fine exactly where I am in life. While I realize I am 28 and have no prospects, I am happy with where I have been, what I have done, and look forward to doing more things and going more places as a single.

With that said.. There are some really crappy things that come with being single, and I have encountered a lot of them the last few weeks…

After traveling out of the country for a couple of weeks, returning with the worlds worst head cold, and having a couple of weeks worth of work and school work to catch up on… Being single is difficult simply because you have to touch base with all of your bills, go food shopping, clean, do laundry, put away clothes, (in my case) pick up the puppy.. AND catch up on school work and regular work. And, forget giving space and time for jet lag to be present, it simply has to be pushed through.

Or, as another example, in the last two weeks I have dealt with a ridiculous amount of diarrhea from my puppy, crazy hours of work (no really, I didn’t leave until 11pm last night, and then worked at home until 1am), homework… homework.. and more homework.. then, there are the dishes and laundry that has to get done…. Followed by the sick puppy’s bowel problems transformed in the middle of the night to explosive, (which after working until 1am), and being up at 5am cleaning out a puppy crate and doing laundry to remove the absolutely horrendous smell… leaves (me) totally patience-less (let’s be honest, I was struggling before today with my patience AND filter) and an overwhelming desire to just stick the puppy on the deck and sleep for a day. But, instead, I got up, worked, cleaned him up, worked, cleaned up again, worked, took him to the vet, and worked some more…

So, with that said, the absolute worst part about being single, is having to do everything yourself. There is no one to split work with or take care of things when you are gone.

Everything is you.

Now, do not misunderstand me, I am not even pretending that a single parent’s job is easier or even comparable to mine, but I would submit that the worst thing about their situation is the same, they must do everything themselves… And, while I have not personally experienced being married, I am sure there are a lot of difficult things about it… But, given the last couple weeks that I have had, and the level of stress it has all brought on, I can confidently say it would have been easier to have someone to do the dishes or take out the trash or go grocery shopping.

The worst part of singleness is having to do literally everything yourself no matter what is going on or how sick or tired you are.