I’ve been rather challenged by my year off dating, and maybe not because of the reason you think. I am very surprised at the number of strong opinions AND the depth at which people care about my personal life. Because people are people and they aren’t afraid to voice their opinion, I have had to really think through my decision and firm up my commitment.
So let me just state clearly – I am CERTAIN I am doing the right thing, for the right reasons and for the right people.
My close circle of friends who’ve provided helpful feedback have expressed two main concerns : What will I do if the “perfect guy” comes along and what if I’m using this as an excuse to hide?
Concern number one : What if the perfect guy might come along in the next year, what will I do then? To put all of your minds at ease, I don’t exactly have armies of men knocking down my door or blowing up my phone to get a date with me. I’m not too concerned that I will be breaking major numbers of hearts this year. But with that said, I see it as a great opportunity to practice patience and to practice self-control through very clear boundaries. I have established a list of guidelines just in case:
- No texting. Phone conversations only
- I am not allowed in his home alone and he is not allowed in my home alone
- No conversations with any kind of sexual content
- No physical contact, including hand holding, kissing etc. Hugging is okay
- Dinner and coffee are okay
A friend of mine has a teenage daughter whom is starting to venture into the dating world. As I was telling her about what I thought were my brilliant and original guidelines, she started to laugh! These are the same exact rules they have established for her daughter. It then occurred to me that somewhere along the way, my emotional maturity in dating has been stunted. This leads me to the second concern of my advisors: What if this is just an excuse to hide and never date again. I have even questioned myself on this issue. I have been hurt, I’ve made mistakes I don’t want to repeat, I don’t really like dating. The truth is, I have a lot to learn. So instead of calling it “time off”, I will choose to put an active name on it; “Becoming”. It implies to me and to all of you who are concerned that I am spending the next 11 months actively seeking out wisdom and maturity.
It’s a broken heart that doesn’t allow God to protect it, makes errors in judgment, allows oneself to be treated like a commodity, etc . Somewhere in my lifetime I have given myself the impression that I am less than and not worth fighting for. I have released myself from dating; I have no expectations that I will meet the “perfect guy” in the next year. I don’t have to worry that if I don’t give a man what he wants, or if I make my needs known he might run away. When a man actually picks up the phone and calls instead of a text I am reminded little by little that I am worth a phone call.
Do find yourself single at 40 and dating has become difficult? Are you considering taking some time to become the woman who the man you are looking for is looking for? Stay encouraged that a year is only a short time in the scope of your whole life. Pray about who you envision marrying someday, what story of your single life would you like to tell him? Are you living that story now? I want to hear from you!
I stay encourage by wanting to hold my head up high and tell a glorious story of Becoming!