The One with the Good Ones

For all the bizarre stories and crazy moments I have had dating, I think the more memorable things that stand out to me are the good guys.

Now mind you, I have certainly not run out of funny stories of my encounters with guys that were less than the best- plenty more of that to come.

But there is something about a date with a good guy, a good man, that sets me back in my dating adventures. Now maybe its my own messy family history, or just the sheer volume of bad dates that I have had in the last two years that have made me a bit skeptical, but half of my courage in going on dates is the knowledge that it probably won’t work out but that I will come away with an entertaining memory and story to tell.

If you want a breakdown of what online dating actually looks like:
– If there are 300 profiles you might have to scroll through
– 100 guys you might swipe right on (meaning you like them) IF YOU ARE NOT PICKY
– 35 of those guys might keep up the conversation for a couple hours
– 20 of those guys might keep up the conversation long enough to make plans for a date or ask for your phone number in order to keep the pointless small talk going for an extra day or two
– 10 of those guys will get to the point of actually making plans for a date
– 3 of those guys will not stand you up on said dates
– 2 of those guys will show up less than a half hour late for the date
– 0.5 of those guys will not ask you to pay for your half of the date when you turn him down for a second date….
(don’t quote me on the numbers)

So maybe, just maybe, you can understand why I go into dates often not expecting much more than a funny story. I have even joked around about having my bad date bingo card- trying to predict what it is that is going to go wrong on a given date.

Expecting bad or mediocre dates more than anything means that I don’t have to worry about the vulnerability that comes with sharing something deep in my heart with someone.

The good dates, the good men are the ones that trip me up. I remember dating a guy, who we will call Kevin. Now, I went into my first date with Kevin with the same high expectations for a ridiculous story as I usually do. But Kevin turned out to be this incredibly sweet, thoughtful, kind, handsome guy who took me on what, to this day, was the best date of my life. Met him downtown for coffee only to find out that he had put together “coffee tasting”, which actually consisted of a little typed up document he had put together for us to try coffee at three different locations, make our “notes” and choose a winner. Imagine walking down the streets of Midtown with someone and trying to say that a mocha has “hints of chocolate” with a straight face.

Simple and silly

Laughter was certainly a big part of what made the date such a winner. But also there is something so freeing about being on a date with someone who you enjoy talking to and who stirs up dreams in you. Talking about vision for life, theology, passions, calling- that kind of dreaming. Its contagious and live-giving.

I went on a few more dates with Kevin and we had deep conversations about faith and messy families and so much more. And for the first time in recent years of my weird dating history, I started thinking there might be something good and real in all the mess for me.

I recently went on a date with another good guy. He probably had no idea how much I needed it, but then again neither did I. There was nothing remarkable or exceptional about the date other than the fact that he was kind, funny, charming and a gentleman.

You would think that walking away from dates like those would be inspiring. But instead, I walk away from those dates a little discouraged. The good ones tend to be few and far between. The good ones remind me that there are men out there I can trust with my heart. Men who will treasure me and support me in my dreams and in my calling. Men who share my faith and will push and challenge me in good ways. Men who will hear the things I have been through and won’t reject me but will admire me for my resilience and pray with me for the miracles I am still believing for. Men who can be my partner and companion in laughter, ministry, and life (the good, bad, and ugly) But that little reminder can hurt when the good ones move on.

Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4 all state “Do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases”

The good ones stir up desires and longings and reminders of prayers prayed. The good ones give a little picture of how the things I pray for might actually turn out. But dealing with the possibilities of what can be is much more frightening than dealing with the realities of what more likely will be.

Ultimately, I am so thankful for the good ones. I am thankful for the men who have crossed my path whether through dating or friendship who have reminded me that I don’t have to settle for someone just slightly better than the worst.

It takes me longer to get over the good ones. But I don’t entirely mind that. I hope, and know deep down, that one day one of the good ones is the good one for me. But in the meantime, I don’t mind being sad about the good ones that weren’t for me. While it’s scary to think that my heart can accept and believe in being treated in such a way, its a beautiful, treacherous, courageous kind of scary.

That beatiful treacherous courageous kind of scary is exactly what keeps me trying and adventuring through this tangled mess.

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