The One with the Setup

Well sorry for the brief hiatus in posts. Had a friend tell me a few months ago that my boyfriend is grad school and that that is all I have time for. And he wasn’t entirely wrong. The last month of my semester was so full, that writing, and especially dating, were a little out of the question.

I mean I’m all for distractions and procrastination, but I’ve learned that it tends to be a turn off when I show up to first dates with day-3 hair, no makeup, and blood shot eyes. That is for SURE at least 3rd date material.

But taking a break from dating was a little necessary even apart from school. Like many things in life there seems to be a necessary rhythm that helps me to date well. I mean the verdict is still out on on whether or not I am dating well or not but I’m at the very least trying.

For me that cycle tends to look like:
1. Get on bumble (or other dating app)
2. Talk exhaustively about favorite foods, sports teams, and first date ideas with guys online
3. A few of them don’t ghost or perv out and get to the point where they ask for my number
4. Go on a date (or a couple) with a guy or a few different guys
5. Quit all the apps and focus on other things because the terrible dates scarred me for life. Or my unrequited love for the guy in the coffee shop finally got to me. At least for a few weeks.
6. Re-download bumble and start the cycle all over again.

At least thats what it looks like on the outside

Really on the inside its a little more like this:
1. Hope filled, I get on a dating app- Anticipating that these dating experiences can’t possibly be worse than the last ones and that there are some quality guys left out there.
2. Use the optimism to fuel the dating mania- talk to this guy, text that guy, agree to a date with a cool guy. Wait haven’t I seen you before?
3. Go on a couple winner, winner dates- peg leg, eye patch, third wheel, etc.
4. Get discouraged by the reality that dating sucks sometimes
5. Start having motivations for dating that aren’t the best
6. Get all up in my feelings and insecurities right before a date.
7. Quit all the apps and spend some concentrated time with Jesus, reminding myself about my worth, my purpose, and the prayers I’ve prayed.
8. Feel refreshed, hopeful, and ready to take another crack at this

Now I am very much an extrovert so the possibility of meeting new people is appealing and invigorates me when I’m at my best. I often think that meeting people is not always going to result in my perfect match, but maybe it will bring a new friend or someone who inspires me in some way. But at other unhealthy times in my own heart and mind, I’ve learned that I begin to date seeking satisfaction and identity and purpose from those I am encountering. About as ideal as showing up to work and telling your new boss to make you a coffee. Ok… Maybe not the perfect analogy but you get it.

So here I am. Finally ready to go again. Ready to mingle like a pringle. Or something like that. Have all my best cheesy pickup lines rehearsed. Embarrassing stories preloaded in my memory to share during awkward moments. First date outfits prepped in my mind.

Rejection is rough

I was thinking about this the other day as I dealt with an all new dating first. I really thought there would be no more dating firsts after the guy that sent me pictures of himself wearing only an apron… talk about a sight you cannot unsee…. Obviously I sent screenshots to a good friend so he could also never unsee it. You’re welcome Michael.

But noooooo…. I still have a whole dating world of firsts to discover apparently. I was trying out an app that I hadn’t used much and noticed a message from a guy. Now on this app you can see the message before you decide whether or not to swipe right and let fate have its very awkward way.

So I see a message from someone that caught my eye…. “You would be perfect for my brother!”

Now I actually think that set-ups in theory are a great thing! I do not have time to meet all the awesome people of the world but maybe you have met someone awesome that I should know or that should get to know my awesome self. Great. Although most often, the set up consists of “Hey you are a single person. Meet another single and alone person I know”.

Cool. Thanks….

I think other people are typically more uncomfortable with single people than single people are. The number of times I’ve been questioned at church by well-meaning people who want to know why I’m single (I tell them its because of my inability to grow millennial worthy facial hair) or if I’ve considered dating so-and-so (the answer is probably yes and there is probably a good reason why its a no- like they grow toe fungus in their backyard or something). I just want to respond to their judgy eyes in the grocery store and say, “I’M FINE. JUST LET ME ENJOY MY BERTOLLI’S DINNER FOR 2 ALONE!”

But back to the set up….since we were both on a dating site I knew that the likelihood of me being the “only single friend” of Owen was greatly reduced. I was at least intrigued enough to respond and ask why he thought i was perfect for his brother.

Turns out his brother was actually a good friend. And his good friend was a sweet, tall, Jesus-loving med student who I actually had alot in common with. You know, all the usual stuff. Likes food, long walks on the beach, and a passion for folding origami.

Who I never got to meet.

After asking me if he could buy me dinner and my agreement, we talked on and off for a couple of days before I get the dreaded text message.

“So I just have to be blunt with you. I’m not interested in you. There’s someone else”

Ugh. Even in times when you see it coming (which I swear I did), there’s not a way around that gut punch. Of course being the petty but saved person that I am I kept my comments of “ITS FINE I DIDN’T WANT TO DATE YOU ANYWAYS” to myself. Honestly though, rejection always stings, even when you know its coming, even if you aren’t interested either. The urge to say things like “You can’t fire me, I QUIT” ran through my head and often do when I am faced with these uncomfortable moments.

Its so easy to get in my feelings and sort through and categorize my insecurities in those moments even though I know its nothing personal. In fact I have been the dealer of rejection many times and I don’t actually know which side of that equation I like LESS but even if I can pinpoint a reason it doesn’t work out with someone it doesn’t reflect on my worth, my purpose, and identity.

I haven’t quite decided if online dating is going to work in my favor this time or if I would be better off trolling for dates in the grocery store or waiting for another set up.

Stay tuned- next week comes my second favorite dating story of all time!

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