I might be the world’s worst dater. If dating were a sport, I wouldn’t make the junior varsity team. My dating record would be like 1-24. And the "1" would be one of those philanthropic points someone gives you because you’re really bad at something, and they don’t want you to get depressed and jump off a building.
If pity parties fell like rain, I would be in Seattle. This party, that no one was invited to, began several months ago after I was dumped … again.
I admit: I’m not very good at dating. I am selfish, private and maintain a pessimistic view of marriage because I grew up in the home of a horrible one. It’s frustrating, though, because I do try.
Actually, I tried really hard this time. Everything I knew I needed to work on, I worked on. Whatever she didn’t like, I tried to correct. Nothing seems to work, though.
The worst thing about getting dumped is all the advice you receive afterwards. One is guaranteed to hear, “You need to just give your dating to God, because once you do, He will bless you with a wife like He did me.”
Politely, I always tell give-up-dating-guy to go fly a kite. Then I inform him I did kiss dating goodbye for 18 months and the next relationship is the one that just ended like an unexpected train wreck. He’ll instruct me to try waiting again, and I’ll tell him to try speaking when spoken to, and that I liked him better before he got married and still whined about being single.
Un-friend number two will say, “It’ll happen. And when it does, it will be in God’s perfect timing and then you will enjoy it more.”
“When is God’s perfect timing?” I ask.
“Only God knows that.”
“Do you think God will fill me on His perfect timing before I die? What if I hide in the bushes and steal a wife like the Benjamite men did in Judges 21? If I fly to Vegas tonight and marry some woman in one of those drive-through Elvis chapels, is that God’s perfect timing?”
Un-friend number two will shake his head in disgust and give up on me because I’m pretty clueless.
Because I am 1-24 at dating, I, like most men, have always had a difficult time discerning what women want from a man and a relationship. I am envious of my friend Lisa because in college she told me she had men figured out.
“If we just let you play video games and watch sports, feed you something besides Doritos and Egos, and sleep with you every other day,” she said with a coy smile, “we’ll have you in the palm of our hands the rest of your life.”
I had to admit I would marry her on the spot if she could promise that. Unfortunately, she didn’t, and I am still single and clueless.
It might be a little easier for a woman to please a man than vice versa, but if someone ever uncovered that unsolvable mystery they would have more money than Bill Gates. They could create a five-step process, write a book titled, I did IT! and sell millions of copies.
In my last relationship, the one I waited 18 months for by praying and going on one of those dating fasts, I thought everything was going well until one night she dropped the we-need-to-talk bomb. She proceeded to tell me her heart had changed over the course of the last few days. She dumped me after a short three months.
Since I had been naively complacent, I was curious and asked what had brought on the sudden change. She started crying and lying by telling me I was a great guy and would make someone real happy someday. I stopped listening after that because all I heard was, “Blah, blah, blah.”
That’s when the internal torture began. Thoughts of self-doubt ran wild. I repeatedly wondered if women struggle with knowing what they want in a relationship like I do, or if I really am the world’s worst dater.
It’s not like I’m a church-hopping player, either. I met God at 26 and have only dated two women in the three and a half years of my walk, but I have found dating within the church to be more difficult and confusing than outside of it and it is taking time to adjust.
A touch of bitterness may also be detected on my part, but I’m actually not. Even though I was a little frustrated after hearing the news, I’m doing okay. I still love God and don’t mind being single or waiting.
It’s just that I got dumped by someone I cared for and even started thinking about a potential future with. Nobody enjoys being dumped, so my pride was probably bruised like a two-week old banana, too.
In many ways, I also agree with the advice of my friends from above. I just don’t like hearing it when I am the intended audience. And sometimes, waiting on God’s perfect timing is about as fun as watching The Little Mermaid over-and-over again with a four-year-old cousin.
In Revelation, Jesus says God only disciplines and breaks those He loves. I have found being broken to be as enjoyable as having chicken pox, especially when it comes to dating. Maybe when I’m 50 and married I will look back at this season of singleness and laugh.
However, when you’re 1-24 at dating, you also have to admit you need to trust God more, pray for changes and be willing to try again.
I know I have a lot to work on before marriage, but if God can part the Red Sea with a staff, speak through a donkey and raise my Savior from the dead, I’m sure He can prepare me for marriage and help me win just once.
This time for real.