I have the joy of living with two single women. Some of my favorite moments with them are when we commiserate about singleness and the woes of dating. The other night one of my roomies shared a profile she’d come across on a dating site. As she read this man’s profile it quickly became clear that his life revolved around turtles. Yes, you heard/read me correctly. Turtles. He talked about them in his introduction. He had pictures of them. He even listed them as one of the six things he couldn’t live without. Wow, what do you even say to that?
We had a good laugh. My roommate mentioned a statement she’d read recently that “every pot has its lid.” That got me thinking, who would be a good fit for our turtley friend? I pulled out my chalk board and started writing down some unusual hobbies. Then, my roommates and I entered into some deep hypothesizing and began to match up our fictional people based on their interests.
How about a Civil War reenacter with a Renaissance Faire groupie?
Or perhaps an anime lover with a fantasy writer?
Maybe a Goth paired up with a Steam Punker?
These explorations are a bit of a hobby of mine. Perhaps even an unusual one. I find that the world of dating is a strange one. The rules in normal life do not apply and I often feel woefully behind on how this all works. Do I text after a date? How do I act interested, but not too interested? Does he really mean he’ll call back if he says he will? In these moments, creating charts and graphs, or even just talking about how strange dating is, feels somewhat grounding. For years I was scared to ask these questions. Now, I’m starting to dip my toe in the stream. I find that the more I ask these questions, whether with my friends, or here on the blog, the more I find that no one knows what they’re doing. And that is comforting to me.
Still. Some days I get frustrated. I feel hopeless about finding my lid…Or is it my pot? The older I get, the more secure I feel in who I am and in my character, and this reality seems to complicate dating even more. I mean, when I was in my early twenties, I was still figuring out myself. I was a lot less picky than I am today. I think it will take a miracle of God for me to get married (although, I think anyone getting together is some sort of miraculous act).
I was at dinner with a friend last night and we were talking about how much easier it would be if God would just let us know if we’re going to be single for life or if we’re getting married. Frustratingly, he hasn’t answered that question for either of us. And part of me gets it. There is something good about this process of growth that comes through unknowing. I have to trust in God. Not that he will undoubtedly provide a husband, but rather that whether it be a single or married life, it is good and offered in loving care to me.
As I wait, I’m grateful for moments when I can laugh with friends over the oddness that is a dating life.