“I have a lot of things to work out. Once I’ve sorted it all out, then I’ll be ready to date.” – Me
Will I ever be ready to date?
What if that’s not the case?
What if things never get all the way sorted out?
God forbid I remain a guilty sinner and find another guilty sinner to work through life with (please note the sarcasm).
Because isn’t this how it’s supposed to be?
I used to believe in the lie that the reason I was single and my excuse for not taking a risk in dating was because I just had a lot to work on in my life. I couldn’t possibly be ready to add anyone else into such a messy picture.
Sometime last year, I was at the gym with a good friend of mine, and the absurdity of the above statement made itself plain to see. We had just finished doing the cardio portion of our exercise and were stretching in preparation for the next set of reps. At the time my, now-engaged, friend and I were talking about the new guy (her now fiancé) in her life and my own love life, or lack thereof. She filled me in on how things were going and her hopes and fears about the relationship while I listened on with slight jealousy.
Okay, a lot of jealousy – I’m only human!
Reality check, please
Then the time came for me to share about what was new in my life, and I came out with a big, fat NADA. There wasn’t much movement in the dating arena as of late, at least not for me. I’d tried online dating, even using some popular apps on my phone and I wasn’t a part of any community (at this stage in my life, I wasn’t attending a church regularly), so prospects were slim to none.
“But, you’re great. Like, I’m so surprised you’re not dating anyone.” What a friend! We all need that little assurance every now and again.
Knowing how pitiful I must have sounded to her – me complaining that there were no decent guys, or if there were, none of them wanted to date me – I probably came up with some lame excuse as to why my love life was more of a desert than an oasis, and said something nonchalantly like, “Oh, yeah. But it’s fine. I have a lot of things to work on personally, so…”
My friend stood up from her mat where she was stretching out her quads and looked at me with sincerity in her eyes and said, “I mean, well yeah, sure. We all do, though.”
But no one is perfect.
Oh, I guess I’d never thought of it that way.
What a simple, but real reminder.
We’re all working on things – whatever that means or looks like is different to everyone – and no one is perfect. My excuse for not being out there in the dating world was ultimately – Oh, I’m just not perfect enough yet.
I wasn’t knowingly trying to reach perfection, but the way I was thinking was completely wrong. I don’t need to have everything figured out to go out there and date.
Sure, there are things from the past that might require some heart work on my part, but I’ve taken those things up with God and am working it through with Him. I think for so long, I thought that to be in a relationship with another person, you both had to be completely complete. But everyone carries baggage. Some lighter than others, some with big, ole HEAVY labels attached.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Nor will we ever be. The truth is, that if I waited until I got everything sorted out I would never be in a relationship, or even get married, for that matter. Dating, relationships, marriage – all involve two people. Two, imperfect people. And together, they imperfectly work on loving God, serving others, serving each other, and ultimately striving together to make things work.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
No one is perfect, especially me. But the good news is, I have a perfect Father in heaven who is. Have you ever wrestled with something similar? What lies have you told yourself about dating? Think through them. Talk to God about them. Let Him reveal to you what He thinks about your current dating (or non-dating) situation.