Saturday, August 29, 2015

Goodbye Dating, You were a Terrible Ride

Written 08/28/2015

The last few months have been treacherous, difficult, hard, and filled with sadness for me, my soul has gone in a tail-spin, the more I have pursued dating the more terrible I have felt, the more I opened myself up to others the more I have despised and grown weary of every rejection, every smug face or pitiful look, every unanswered message of interest in dating or even interest in friendship that was never reciprocated.

Finally, after two years of trying I've decided I am done with dating. No, this is not a blog about how courtship is better. I don't know if our culture can do better, because there are so many rules and poor communication that I don't think we can do dating or courtship in a way that glorifies God, at least not unless both are willing to go the extra mile, be truthful, vulnerable, and honest.

It is just too much, I just cannot do it anymore. Much like when I pursued Youth Ministry for a while and door after door closed, so has this happened in dating; whether online or off, every single advancement, every risk, every emotional step has been filled with rejection, with no real reciprocation.

Sadly, even those women I thought I could be friends with, or wanted to be friends with and see if there was more there, nothing ever happened. This isn't to say I didn't reject anyone. I can think of one right out and another that was mutual, which means in-person I've been rejected in some form about eighteen to twenty times.

At the beginning of the month I was about to get another six-months free on and renew my subscription for ChristianMingle. I cancelled both subscriptions. Just the thought of sending another message, trying to personalize it to "her", trying to sound interesting, hoping that the other person there might see me, the real me, and respond. I just couldn't anymore.

Then a week ago I finally told God I was done, for the next three years I am putting all my effort into paying off my loans and getting to know God. I am even going to stop trying as much to make friends. I will still develop the friendships I have and make ones if they come along - but I just don't have the time or emotional energy to do all this pursuing.

Maybe just maybe, it is time for me to be pursued. Shouldn't other people have to make an effort, any effort to get to know me, friendship or dating.

So, as of this week until October 2018, my 36th Birthday, I am done dating. If God wants to throw someone in my face that may change but I am going to pursue Christ. If I date, I want to remember her name. If I date, I want to be friends. Ideally, I'd like to be friends if it doesn't work out but I've been told that by way to many females in the past. If any female tells me they want to be friends from now on, I am putting the ball in their court. I will let them know they have to make an effort or "they" are choosing to end the friendship.

Do you know, in my opinion, the problem with men and women, guys and girls being friends has nothing to do with attraction (I've been attracted to many friends who are female) and everything to do with reciprocation, and in ones ability to work through any possible awkwardness (and boundary setting) to continue to get to know this great person, instead of nicely (passively) dumping them on the side of your life-road.

I am worth more. Men are worth more. We will pursue you but women have got to put in some effort, some reciprocation.

I just cant anymore and I pray to God that he imbue me with his love and perseverance, that if I am to be single for the rest of my life that he would finally at some point bring me to complete contentment with this, that if I meet someone or not, I will be fine. I pray that God will heal my loneliness, that the bitterness I have felt towards God at times for leaving me alone (while all my friends and family get married and have children) will leave my wounded heart. I pray one day I will be able to see pictures of new relationships, engagements, weddings, and kids without feeling a deep sadness and grief, grief over what I have not had and may never have. Last week I was at a Wendy's and saw a young couple with their little daughter and son. I was two seconds from losing it.

But I am now giving these feelings up to God. So, readers, this is what happens to some at the end of their pursuits - real life - real hurt - hurt that may be healed, hurt that may one day find someone and may not - but sometimes you have to let go, to finally release that control, to refocus, to give up, to focus on other things in life, in areas and places where God has been and is already blessing you.

I am done with dating but I will forever pursue Christ, I will extend and show God's love to others, I will make myself available to the Speaking and presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, and what happens will happen.

~ Single Me

The Weight of Dating as a Man (2/2)

Note: Written 07/03/2015

A few months ago I drew up the courage to re-friend a woman I use to be friends with on Facebook. We only went out on one date but hung-out for about two months. After she rejected me, she replied to a few messages for a while but then just ignored me, no replies to messages or phone calls. Then I saw her in pics with all the other friends in our friend group but me. Why? Because I wasn't invited. That is what hurt the most. I accept not hanging out one on one but to be pushed aside like we never connected, were never friends, like I never mattered or even existed in her life, that's what brought tears to my eyes. So I deleted her number and her as a friend.

When I sent her a message to re-friend her, she simply said she always was up for staying in contact with a friend from grad school. No mention we ever went out. No sorry she just felt too awkward to be friends at the time. Nothing. I let it go. I said nothing, acted like I only ever saw her in class… because what else am I supposed to do? So, I have to act like there was never anything there. Like I was nothing ever, nothing more than a mere class-mate. Like she never told me her favorite food was Chinese. Like we never talked on the phone for hours. Like we never watched movies together. All wiped away. Just gone.

And the sad thing is situations like this still happen to me. I liked a nurse at work, not just because she was physically attractive but she had a wonderful way about her as well. I gave her a note one day, figured if she was interested she would contact me, if not, no big deal. Right? After that she would never look me in the eye. She was no longer happy around me anymore. She avoided me. I played along because what was I supposed to do, call her out? And well, after such instances, to me, a woman becomes much less "wonderful".

It just saddens me because if a woman asked me out and I declined, and then I treated her like she never existed, I would be the rude man but women are free to do this to men all the time. Women can go to other women or men for support; yet who can a single guy go to for such support? For a while I would talk to other friends who were guys but after so long it starts to get depressing, you hear yourself talking in circles, and after so long you get tired of talking about it. I have grown tired of talking about it, thinking about it, writing about it. Being single is so emotionally draining and if you are male, the truth is no one really gives a damn about you being single. Lots of women write blogs and books about being single, they have an audience because men and women both care about how being single affects women. They feel for them, they care for them. Mostly, men only write about being single after they are married. Basically, no one cares about what it is like for a man trying to date, trying to go through the emotions of being the initiator (all the time). Why? Because men are supposed to be the strong ones, the solid ones, the confident ones, and never the ones who feel lonely, unsure, or emotional.

I am tired of the "game" of dating. I feel like giving up but if I don't try, as I did in the past, nothing ever happens - unlike the numerous stories I have heard. No pain, no gain I suppose. But I feel like dating is mostly pain and not very much gain at all. You are told to be yourself and yet the more you date, the more you start to feel that women do not want to see and know you, they want to see and be with their perception of you. They don't want a flawed person but the perfect boyfriend. Meanwhile I really want to know these women I have dated, who are they? How did they get to this point in time? I'm not saying I haven't rejected a few but out of about twenty dates in the last two years; I've rejected two that I remember.

I told a friend that I look at dating as saying yes to someone until I have a reason to say no. Honestly, I now feel that most women tend to date and look at men in the opposite way, to say no unless they have a reason to say yes. I think this is what leaves men in the back-row and women up front wondering: Where are all the good men? Why are they not asking us out?

We want to ask you out. I would ask out many more women if I didn't have to deal with all of the drama that seems to happen after. At work or church, whoever you ask out is very likely to tell others, so if you ask out too many, you come across as a player. Then, not only will you be turned down but you also come across as desperate and everyone knows you have been rejected. Then, no one wants to date you and women look at you like you are a creeper and will start treating you differently, where they once talked to you they will now only say one-word answers or avoid you.

I don't have answers.
I just hate what I see.
I wish things were different.
I wish women were more open to men.
I wish a romantic rejection didn’t mean a rejection as a person.

Still, this is simply how it is…

~ Single Me