09 September 2013

on why i'm quitting dating


I've broken up with people before, and I've been broken up with before, but this is a new one for me. Today, I'm officially breaking up with dating. 

The fact is, somewhere along the line, I've become consumed with - obsessed with - dating.

I've spent a lot of time in the last few months pursuing my relationship with God, but I've remained a little frustrated. For months, I've felt like I've been hitting a glass ceiling - getting so close, yet something was still keeping me from Him. 

And last night in church, reality hit me: dating is keeping me from Him, because I'm idolizing it. And not just dating, but relationships. I have always been forward thinking; planning my next step, my next phase. However, I also consider myself (mostly) able to live in the moment, and, unfortunately, my obsession with having a serious relationship, building a future, working toward marriage, has started stealing my joy for the right now. It has made me feel stuck in a phase of life that I'm not so sure I should be rushing through. I want to slow down and enjoy this season; learn from it and live it fully. 

I once heard idols described as dangerous because, when you begin to idolize something, you are a dog and it is your tail. But eventually, they can be so all-consuming that the idol becomes the dog, and you're simply the tail, following it around.

I am the tail. And last night I realized I needed to give this idol up. 


I feel fortunate that, for a lot of my life, if I've wanted something enough, I've been able to find a way to get it. But a relationship - my husband - that next phase - is not something I can get on my own. While I know this cognitively, I unfortunately don't fully believe it. As with so many single-20-something-girls, I calculate. I go to certain places on weekends with the hope of meeting someone. I make plans to go places when I really want to stay at home. Because you never know. And I know I'm not alone. So many of us are out there in the world, hoping to meet someone. I can't tell you the number of times someone has said to me: You can meet someone anywhere. Even the grocery store!

Yes. You can meet someone anywhere. That's so true. But it isn't the reason we're at the grocery store. And it isn't the reason we're living. 

However, lately it seems to be the reason I'm doing a lot of things. 

And, in addition to that, I've been on a wild amount of no-so-good dates. Total misses, called Brittany instead of Whitney, type dates. I've also had a frustratingly high number of unavailable guys make moves lately and I'd noticed the two things combined were starting to weigh on me. And it's really important to me that I don't become jaded. Because I believe in love deeply and I believe in the good in people with all of my heart. And I don't want a funny season of life to challenge those beliefs. I want to hold onto them. 


So, I'm officially on sabbatical. I'm not just taking a break from dating, but also one from calculating. I'm not doing things with the hope of meeting someone and I'm not weighing it into my decision making. I'm just doing me. For five weeks. Which takes me right until I leave for Africa

I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if I'll have a mind-shift or stop brushing my hair or do something crazy. But I hope it reminds me to live in the present. To embrace the in between and see the beauty in the mess. To see the beauty in the little things and break through my glass ceiling with vengeance.

Wish me luck, y'all! :) 

9 comments:

  1. I see so many people do this and it always makes me sad. So many people measure their worth by whether or not their in a relationship. That's always baffled me. Thank goodness you are cognizant enough to recognize this and take steps to avoid falling into that mindset. It's something that can make a person very unhappy with themselves. Nobody "finds" love, LOVE "finds" you. It's always worked that way, from the beginning of time. I only found the love of my life when I stopped looking :)

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  2. I agree with you, Keith! I love the inspiration - thank you!

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  3. I absolutely could not agree with you more on this ENTIRE post.

    You have a way of speaking to me daily - love that.

    I mean, the last date I went on was in February but I could do another 5 weeks, no problem. ;)

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  4. oh i love you so much. you are amazing. watch out world...whit might have dreads in 5 weeks! :) beautiful post. xoxo

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  5. Thought you'd appreciate this
    http://convergemagazine.com/26-unmarried-and-childless-8736/

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    Replies
    1. sinead! i saw this. i loved it - it's so good!

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  6. OMG this is exactly what I needed to hear today...I stumbled across your blog from another one and first read your "what I know about your husband" post. These posts are literally what I've been feeling and going through in words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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i'd loooove to hear from you! you make my day! <3