I’m not dating anyone. Let me make that clear. I figured this might be a popular post cause that seems to be the number one burning question people want to ask this widow of 4 years these days.
I can anticipate the question coming every time. They get this curious bend in their eyebrows and as gently as they possibly can ask, “you don’t have to answer this, but are you open to dating again?”
I answer, “Yes. I’m open,” and if I’m feeling particularly bold that day, I’ll laugh and fire back, “Do you have any prospects for me?”
Now please don’t take that as your cue to start match-making. (But if he’s cute, loves Jesus, and lives in Atlanta, I may be interested…ha!) I still reserve the right to stalk any potential dates through social media first. I actually have been on a few dates with a couple of guys…nothing serious, just really sweet guys willing to hang out with a girl who never thought she’d be back on the dating scene ever again. Bless their hearts…they deserve extra cookies in heaven for sure.
So here I am, back on the dating scene. I’ve done some thinking about what I’m doing differently this time around. I feel as if I wasted a lot of time and expended a lot of unnecessary energy in my twenties before I started dating Tony. It was as if my number one purpose in life was to find a mate.
I do desire to be married again, I loved being married, I found great purpose in fulfilling the role of a wife. But regardless of my marital status, my great God has set out great plans for me…now. I don’t want to wish away or waste the time I’ve been given in this season.
So I trust God for marriage again; after all, He already knows my heart’s desires. Still, the road to marriage starts with dating. And if or when a date comes along, I’ve come up with these “Four Dating Affirmations”…
- My identity is rooted deeply in Christ. As such, it matters what God says about me first, always first. What He says far exceeds what any guy says or doesn’t say about me. This affirmation helps combat my greatest fear when it comes to dating again: rejection. I am dearly loved, I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” as it says in Psalm 139. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
- I will seek to leave whoever I go out with better than when I found him. I will see every date as an opportunity to encourage him and speak life into him. I will “not date anyone I wouldn’t be friends with first,” as it lays out in my go-to dating book “Boundaries in Dating.” I will be gracious. I will be honest. I will remain true to who I am and to my values.
- I will have fun, regardless of the circumstances. I won’t take myself too seriously. I will laugh a lot…and make him laugh too. I never thought I’d be dating again…but I do have a choice in the matter. I can either shake my fist at heaven or take a deep breath and go have a good time. I figure it will either result in another date, a new friend, or a good story that starts with my favorite phrase, “You cannot make this stuff up…”
- I will remain open-handed and believe God will connect the dots to my future mate. I will continue to ask the Lord to make clear my steps in dating. But I’m certainly not gonna wait by the phone. In the meantime, I will go about the ministry, the passions, the family and friendships he’s uniquely given to me. I will trust His timing for dating and marriage.
My hope is to make the most of this season of single-again. It’s not forever, it’s for now. And now is the time to enjoy it and make the most of it.
Dearly loved, on the market, um…well…you know what I mean,