Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dating Lessons

Today I went to get my hair done by my sissy-in-law and while giving me a rad 'do we talked and talked, like all girls do. About all the important things in life: fashion, tv shows, upcoming family vacation, etc ;-) Just kidding....that's normal conversation.

But like always the conversation turns towards relationships and in my case, dating or lack thereof. Obviously she's my sister-in-law, I don't have to ask her how her dating life is going. As soon as my brother gets permission from her father to ask for her hand in marriage they will be engaged. My guess is they will be engaged within the next six months and married around next summer. That would be my personal guess. We KNOW they are going to get's just a question of when.

However for me, the lines aren't so black and white to say the least. I'm not currently dating anyone and in all honesty, am so incredibly scared to be in a relationship.

Truth #1: I am absolutely petrified of being romantically vulnerable to someone. I'm petrified of letting down my guard and allowing someone to hold my heart in their hands. I've never allowed anyone full access to my heart outside of family and even then I have what Diana Hummell calls "Do Not Disturb" signs on part of my heart to others. There is nothing scarier to me than loving someone so much and trusting them enough to hold the key to my heart. That's a huge and scary step. One of the huge reasons I don't see myself getting married any time soon. I lack the theoretical balls to trust someone that much.

Truth #2: I want nothing more than for somene to pursue me and romance me and convince me that I can finally be vulnerable and they will take good care of my heart. Persay, I want my own "fairytale".

I've been praying fervently over many desires and fears in my heart. God knows them all. He knew them all before I ever felt them. He wants me to give control of all areas of my life over to Him. But I've been too scared with dating to give control with Him. It's easier for me to put up walls than it is to be vulnerable and let God romance my heart and then allow Him to put someone else into my life to romance my heart. Easy right?! Well I'd love to say so but to me sometimes that petrification is just such a huge wall I don't even know where to start making chips in it. So that's where I've been praying a lot. The only person who can chip away at that wall I've put up is God. And I've been working on putting it all in His hands and letting Him do His work. It's scary to say the least. Giving over control isn't easy for me. I don't have much faith in men romantically. As friends yes, as brothers yes, as boyfriends/dating partners not-so-much. I've also been praying that He will help to soften my heart so that He can come in and qualm my fears. I have a great many. And I know they hold me back.

Jenni said it this way: If you don't take a risk, you won't receive God's amazing rewards. He can't reward you big if you don't take big risks.

I have to allow myself to be very vulnerable to someone in order to be loved immensely by an earthly human. With that being said, I'm allowing myself to be allowed as much as humanly possible by my father and brothers, the men in my life that I hold the most trust in. And I know that before any earthly romance, I need to allow a romance between my Saviour and I to blossom whole-heartedly first.

A recent dating situation in my life came to a blinding and sudden halt just a short while ago. Jenni asked if I thought I was over and done with it all. Honestly, I'm not. There will be parts of him there always as we did date for almost a year. But she comforted me and reminded me that it's normal that thoughts of him will be there for awhile to come. It's easy to remember the good but I also need to keep in mind what happened as a whole. She told me that's normal and to take comfort in knowing that people can't just switch feelings on and off, even though people like to tell themselves that they can. I know it's impossible. But it did comfort me knowing that Jenni can understand where I've been and where I'm going.

I confided in her that while I remind myself of how awful it was to get jerked around, there are things I miss about him and about our relationship. Above others I miss the friendship. Despite how much he jerked me around in terms of my heart, we did have a good friendship while it was there. We had a lot of the same interests and found enjoyment in the same activities. I do miss bike rides and days in the park with him. That's something we both enjoyed. Our love of new music and movies and summer days was there. Jenni asked if that would sway me to think that I'm not over him. And honestly, I will miss those things.

I confided that one thing that I worry about with someone else is whether we have the same interests or enjoy the same activities. Her and the guy she dated before Marsh were both musicians and had a lot in common that way. Marshall isn't a musician but rather enjoys sports and different tv shows than her. But they both take enjoyment in getting to learn each other's interests and share those differences with each other. I recognize that this is true. Opposites do attract and I LOVE being exposed to new things. I know it's hard for me to willingly share things with others that may not enjoy them, however, which is part of the reason I'm so independent. I'd rather do it on my own than take the risk of someone else not enjoying time spent with me.

But she reminded me, and this has been circling through my mind so much lately, is how important it is to be pursued and someone to be willing to share new experiences with you. I do have a specific person in mind through this all. And I will admit that I would rather share love with someone who is willing to pursue me and me to know all the time that he loves me for me than it is to have a ton of things in common. Like Jenni and I both said, you can learn about each other and come to enjoy each other's interests. But nothing can replace the importance of knowing that the person you give your heart to loves you for who you are. I don't want to be guessing as to what someone feels about me all the time. I'd rather know and then get to fall even deeper in love with someone as we learn to bond over each other's new experiences.

I don't want rebound. That's not at all what I want. Are you kidding me?! It's just so not good for me or the other person. Which is why I'm taking every precaution to go forward with caution and let myself heal. I started healing before we were done. I knew that our dating would come to an end. I'm just mad it happened as it did, especially with how understanding I was towards him with all of his fear of commitments or labels, etc. He could have honored the one thing I asked of him, but he didn't, so yes I'm sore over that. But I also know I will be ok. My heart is in God's hands and I know if I can only fully relinquish control God has something amazing in store for me. He has something amazing in store for everyone but I have my own form of amazing relationship awaiting. I just have to fearful and trusting enough to allow God to actually work. And I also have to go forward and allow God to be in all relationships in my life.

So what I have figured out this past month is it's more important for me to be secure in how I feel about and from another person than it is to share a lot of common interests (obviously there are some that have to be there....first one being a common belief and faith in God & our Saviour Jesus Christ as well as honesty, communication, a sense of humour, and a love for life and people). It's also important to me that I learn to listen to those around me. And to not be so afraid to let others love me and pursue me. Part of being loved is being vulnerable. Eric didn't understand that and because of it I built a lot of walls. Now I need to work on letting God destroy some of those walls, and break them down....slowly but surely. AND the next person I date is going to have to prove to me that I'm worth loving....otherwise dating just isn't worth it.

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