I cannot believe I just titled a blog post Stay Single. I have been praying for the exact opposite for years.
But hear me out (I am preaching to myself here, just so you know.)
Yesterday I wrote about the importance of emotional health. After navigating dating for 16 years as an adult with children, I am not sure I have a deeper conviction than how imperative it is that we are fully healed before bringing someone else into our open wounds. After I wrote the post yesterday, I heard from several readers (who knew, there's more than 3 - thank you, thank you, thank you!!) who shared their stories of experiencing broken people while dating - seems we singles all share that in common.
I'm a girl, so I can only write from that experience. Men, I am sure you have similar stories and someday, I may have one of you guest blog to share with us women what you go through while perusing dating sites, but this one is from my recent experience.
After spending some time this summer online and dating, I realized I was a different dater and that I was looking at profiles and the purpose of dating from an entirely new lens than I had before. If I could summarize it, I didn't waste my time. If a man showed he had no idea what the word "pursue' meant I was out and I was out fast. I've been on the receiving end of pursuit - men who want something leave no doubt they want it. I am fully aware now (thank you God) that as encouraging as my heart is and as much as I want to speak life into the broken, I am not a rehab center for the dating wounded. It is not our jobs as singles to fix them, change them, parent them, or raise them. We want a partner, not a project!
I want to share a real life example of what I received. But first, in all fairness, my profile first.
The separated smoker
Ok, a couple things here. He's separated which you can read in my profile clearly, I am not entertaining that status. And he's a smoker, again deal breaker. SO at that point - why send this to me? Who knows, but that's not my point,
My point is that although we are clearly not looking for the same thing (I would actually say we are on two different planets not looking for the same thing but I digress) he felt it necessary to react. React enough to type out a long message and tell me why I'm wrong. Perhaps I am. Perhaps that's why I'm still single but I am ok with that. I am ok with knowing what I want and knowing what I've experienced and that I have very defined, labeled, flashing neon sign posted boundaries!! They're my boundaries. And this post isn't about me justifying them but only to point out that I have them - and so should you. Why? So as to not get lost in the dysfunction of someone who is a mess. He's separated (still married), he points out sex as a must have, he's been married and divorced multiple times (yet he knows women, eye roll) and I can't stress enough the glaring red flags FOR ME that are so blatantly apparent here.
Look, this is my perspective and it's my experience. Again, I am not a doctor, therapist or dating expert but the brokenness here in this man is evident. What could he possibly add to my life from an emotional viewpoint that would bring value? How could he enhance what I have on my own? How does he make me better? How, in the name of Pete, do I explain him to my daughter's as being ok dating material????
I could go on and on and on with this example from multiple perspectives but this is my point. He can't be alone. And my blog yesterday touched on the importance of that skill. You have to be able to find from yourself, that which you require from someone else. A great partner may only be able to give you 80% of what you need and if you go elsewhere, other than yourself to find the remaining 20%, you're in trouble. Only one person can give you everything, look to Jesus.
Stay single until you love yourself enough that another person's love only enhances your joyful, happy and full self.
Stay single until your own self love is enough for you.
Stay single until you learn how to be proud of yourself when you accomplish something and how to be gentle with yourself when you fail.
Stay single and learn what you value and have boundaries that match those values.
Become someone who knows how to love their own company, so that you can still find joy and fullness without a significant other without ever depending on them for completeness or wholeness. You are enough all by yourself.