I've Never Dated: Episode 282

I've Never Dated: Episode 282

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Listen to this week's show!

Roundtable: Dating Delay

Sure, Boundless gives plenty of guidance for dating biblically and intentionally, but what if you can’t get a date in the first place? We’ve received a bunch of emails to this effect in the past few months, so we decided to tackle the topic in a roundtable. Are you in the same boat? If so, how do you handle the “dateless doldrums,” and is there anything you’re doing (if you can) to change your situation?

Culture: Love, Respect and Unicorns

It’s always encouraging when we find folks who are fighting for marriage and relationships alongside of Boundless. Joy Eggerichs is doing just that. As the director of Love and Respect Now, she helps young adults navigate the big questions associated with the opposite sex, regardless of their current relationship status. And as a fellow singleton, she’s learning about dating and marriage prep, too. She’s also into unicorns, which is weird. Not that we’re judging her or anything.

Inbox: Nothing's Working

Have you ever felt that nothing in your life is working out right? That’s where this week’s listener is, and his question reflects his frustration about what to do in the midst of seeming chaos. Fortunately, counselor Glenn Lutjens has some advice for staying encouraged and getting back on track.

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  • --But Voldemort eats unicorns.

  • --I'm looking forward to listening to this podcast tonight after work, as it's a topic close to my heart.  Unless you count going to prom and winter formal dates (with guy friends) in high school, I'm still waiting for my first date at 33 years old!

  • --Loved a comment by one of the girls on the round table "when you are looking to Christ its not possible to wallow in self pity" because some of us wallow in our self pity so much that we become bitter and complain and soon all we can do is complain and its not fun to hear people go on and on about what has not happened.

  • --I have never been on a date before. And not many girls has actually ever been interested in me. But I'm so thankful and happy that I haven't been in a committed relationship yet because I know God has a plan for me. Right now I'm prayerfully focusing on being about to create a community where I can grow and share with others. Even though it's online. Please pray that happens by Gods will and not mine.

  • --I was about 17, and I first thought that I would find some options within church groups. But at the time, I was not particularly interested in any of the girls I knew at the time. A few years later, I had a crush or two, but in the end, I was not personally ready for a female companion. But that was years ago. I am almost 30, and I do not want to get married anymore. Marriage for me would be a major disaster. I am disgusted by sex, I don't even like to hold hands, I may be unable to procreate, and I seem to get thrown out in all other areas on my life. I sure hope that God does not call me to marriage, because I hardly see myself as marriage material. I already have enough on my plate as it is. It's just like that one guy in the inbox: Nothing is working.

  • --Dreamer Guy: I woke up this morning with these words from the song in my heart, "the God of Angel Armies is always on my side." And, this story in my head: 2 Kings 6:8-23. God gave them for my situation, I believe, but when I read your comment, I thought that you need to see too. Although most of your comments strongly mention no interest in marriage/sex, it seems like that's not the issue at all. Whether you want to get married or not, either is ok, both are valid and good choices in God's eyes. However, I feel more like the "no marriage" is a red herring to the real issue deep in your spirit. Your bondage pains me, and I wish you could see how much God loves you even in your desperation, and how much he wants to set you free. I prayed this morning that you would see that, and see that God honors our cries of desperation when we cry out to him. I know this very personally, both the darkness and the light.

  • --I enjoyed the podcast. I feel like in some cases, there is a reason why someone hasn't gotten a date. I feel like, sometimes, these people don't have people in their life to give them straight advice to help them to fix the problem. For a guy friend of mine, he came on WAY too intense when he first met a girl, and when he asked her out she always said no because he came off as overbearing and creepily into her. I met a man at a party, and after talking for 30 minutes he said, "Well, I want to ask you out to dinner, but I think you should know that my first wife divorced me because I cheated on her." umm... not a good first impression! Nevermind the fact he had been married at 19, got divorced at 21, became a Christian at 23, and is now 28. The divorce didn't make him ineligible, but the way he present the information did. On a different note, I feel like on college campuses (specifically small, christian college campuses) people can be very shallow. Guys and girls get a reputation or hang out with a certain group and it's hard to break out of it. I also felt like there was a lot of pressure if a guy and girl started dating. If a guy singled me out to talk to me after class, everyone noticed at talked about it. If a guy and girl were talking alone at lunch, everyone talked about it. It adds a different type of pressure when half the school is watching every move you make.

  • --It's important that we don't fall into the, "God will bring you a spouse once you show him that you're ready, so obviously you must not be ready, or God would have brought you a spouse already," line of thinking. Marriage isn't about two completing each other, but it also isn't about two whole people coming together. Marriage is two sinners saved by grace coming together under grace.

    That said, marriage is a big deal. Everyone has their shortcomings and their issues, but @abbyjensen is right. Sometimes your behaviors are going to sabotage your dating no matter how strong of a Christian you are. Just because someone has a close relationship with God doesn't mean that they're going to understand themselves or other people.

    One of the most important things I ever discovered was that just because I looked good on paper didn't mean that I would make a good boyfriend, much less a good husband. I started working through my issues/baggage, and it was really only after I started addressing those that I started to be able to connect with and attract women.

    As one of my female friends so kindly put it, "You don't stink anymore."

  • --Re: abbyjensen

    Interesting observation. I guess the question, then, is how can people be intentional about relationships without scaring away members of the opposite sex due to appearing "too intense"?

  • --@infjamc

    Hint: Don't drop $70 on a blind date, and don't ask a girl out via handwritten letter.

  • --"Hint: Don't drop $70 on a blind date, and don't ask a girl out via handwritten letter."

    Fair point-- but I think most people would know that these ideas are obviously bad. I was mostly thinking about cases where the border between being intentional and over-communicating is less clear. For example:

    1. When people meet and naturally become friends through group settings (such as church), it is possible to already know a lot about the other person long before there is any interest. In those situations, the question becomes whether it would be going too far to "personalize" the initial pursuit by suggesting an activity you know that the other person would like, etc.

    2. Let's revisit abbyjensen's "divroced man" example-- How can people be honest about long-term plans and/or possible deal-breakers without over-sharing? (Common sense would suggest not mentioning them before or during the first date... but the hard part is figuring out how long to wait.)

  • --1) There's a big difference between a date personalized with information you're "supposed to know" and one personalized with information that you "aren't supposed to know." For example, if you've talked to her and know that she really likes a certain genre of music, suggesting that the two of you go to a concert in that genre probably won't come off as creepy. If you get the information on what she likes by going through one of her social media pages (especially Pinterest) or by overhearing a private conversation, that's pretty creepy.

    Also, you've never been on dates with this woman, so you have no idea how the two of you would be as a couple yet. There are some who will disagree with me, but I've talked to enough women about this that I can confidently say not to tell a girl you want to make her your girlfriend right out of the gate. Be ok with taking things slowly, even if you know from the first conversation that you're smitten. You don't want to come on too intense too quickly and make her uncomfortable.

    At the same time, being intentional involves being specific. "Hey, we should hang out sometime," is not being intentional. "Hey, let's go to this concert on this day," is much more intentional. "Would you ever want to get coffee?" is not specific. "I love this coffee shop. Could you go tomorrow?" is specific. You also need the time you spend together to match your level of relationship. If you've just started dating, and you ask her to get together five days a week, there's a serious mismatch there. In the beginning, you should only see her once every week or two. With time comes attachment, so you need to lead in that manner as well.

    2) There's no real hard and fast rule here. You shouldn't deceive, but you should also wait to share personal details like that until you two have gotten to know each other better. When that is really depends on how the relationship is progressing. Have you two started to share more personal details about yourselves? You don't want to keep everything to yourself and never open up, but you also don't want to gush personal details over your first cup of coffee if she was just talking about her new dog.

  • --If you've never been on a date:

    (1) Sign up for online dating.  That will give you some practice and get it over and done with.  Sure, it will likely be a not-so-fun experience, but you'll LEARN.

    (2) I didn't go on a date until about age 23 (and even then, it was portrayed as 'friends going out to dinner' rather than an actual date).   Looking back, I know the reason I didn't get asked until then was because I was far too intense.

    I'd decided, as a teenager, that I only ever wanted to date the man who'd be my husband.  So I was absolutely terrified of talking to boys\men, and as a result, came across as very cold and unapproachable.  I eventually let my guard down and realised it was okay to date someone without expectations of marriage.  

    The more I lowered my expectations (but not standards!), the more dates I got.  The more practice I had, the easier it was to get dates.  

  • "--If you've never been on a date: (1) Sign up for online dating.  That will give you some practice and get it over and done with.  Sure, it will likely be a not-so-fun experience, but you'll LEARN."

    Eh ... I agree in theory. But I also know that I signed up for online dating last year, and not one single person said so much as "hello" to me, nor did anyone respond to my hellos. After several months I decided that I didn't really need to spend money to *not* go on dates - I can accomplish that well enough for free. ;-)

    I know timing is everthing, so I'm sure I'll give the online dating world another whirl sometime soon here ... but online dating in and of itself still doesn't guarantee you'll be asked out.

  • --I agree with AmyCO, "After several months I decided that I didn't really need to spend money to *not* go on dates - I can accomplish that well enough for free. ;-)" very well said.

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