I have been asked twice this week by merely curious friends whether I’ve tried internet dating and why I am not currently doing that. Honestly? It’s not that I’m against internet dating, several of my friends have got married to partners that they met through internet dating sites. I did years ago join one for a dare (yes, I was that mature!!) and wanting to prove I wasn’t a chicken, I did but two guys from my church found me on the dating site. Oh how my friends who had dared me found that hilarious as I had to navigate that awkward conversation one Sunday…
The truth is, I’ve had two boyfriends that have treated me well, and a relationship that was a complete disaster and I still bear the scars. It took me away from my faith, my passions and I had some quite shocking things said to me that made me realise where the stereotypes of ‘the in-laws’ come from (the former boyfriends’ families were most lovely and welcoming to me). When someone doesn’t respect your boundaries and makes you feel guilty for having them, when someone tells you they don’t want you to do something that will be tough but is your calling, when someone brings the worst out of you…you eventually have to walk away.
I come from a family that has a long history of being crap at relationships (sorry family members who might read this if you’re offended, but it is true). I’m so very, very grateful to have had some good friends over the last decade or so that have set an example of what healthy relationships look like. And that’s what I want to aim for.
I know that I am a whole person and don’t need a boyfriend or husband to complete me. I also know that I never expected to be in this place of limbo in my 30s. I bought into the lie that a university education guaranteed me steady well-paid employment until I could retire. This clearly has never come to fruition! I have no idea what the next years will bring, and to be honest adding another person into any decision making doesn’t seem too sensible. Especially if you’re only doing it to achieve some weird notion of being ‘successful’ or because it would make life financially easier or something!
I’m single, but I know I’m not alone. I have a great family of friends I can count on and that count on me. We weren’t built to be alone, we were built for love and community. To treat people with respect and devotion. And if one day a dude comes along that wants to be part of continuing that building of loving community then great. I’m all for it. But it’s not a huge priority for me. It’s far more important that I’m obedient to my calling, stay true to myself, my beliefs and my God. And if I can do anything to help stop the culture of equating singleness as some kind of failure to thrive….even better!