Well, my darling friend Crystal has suggested, after the latest fiasco of a 'date' (for I'm not even sure what that was), that I should write about my dating experiences in the past. So I shall. For some reason, the title of this blog seems appropriate. I'm single, and while that is not significant portion of what defines me, it does often define much of my experience in the world. Our world has polluted courtship, romance, love, and everything about what could be good fun or beautiful experiences. I consider myself a radical single person. Let me explain.
I'm 31 and there are somethings you should know about my experience of being single. I've worn more bridesmaid dresses than I care to think about. I've never been kissed (let us pause while you overcome your shock.......). I've only had one guy who ever willingly called himself my 'boyfriend' (note the use of the world "guy" because he does not warrant the label "man." The only good dates I've ever been where I was treated respectfully, kindly and enjoyed myself were with my brothers, dad, or female friends. I love Jesus radically, so as a single woman, I live radically pure, and radically female. I believe in clarity, honesty, authenticity and openness in relational encounters. And to the contrary to the image that sometimes comes from me, I'm - in my heart of hearts - radically romantic, hopeful and wistful.
In this culture, where men are not encouraged to be men and women are encouraged to pursue their lusts and attractions without thought or concern, I believe rather vehemently in the fact that men should be men and women should be women. No, girls should not be chasing after the men they want. Yes, men - pick up the phone and ask a girl out and make it clear that you're doing so. That's what I expect. It's not asking a whole lot, really. But it's a mystery.
In Evangelical Christianity, the church fails single people in the most horrific forms. From pleasant platitudes to patronizing pats on the back, most well-meaning people tell singles in the church "Just wait, when you're ready, God will bring someone into your life." or "Just be happy and content where you are." - both of which are theological disasters. Truth - marriage, relationship and romance are God-created and God-ordained and it is not inherently sinful to want it. It is also not inherently sinful to not desire to be single - unless you are called to singleness - but that's a whole other blog to write. But the Church as a whole treat singles like they're all called to singleness and that's a huge crock of something inedible. As a prolonged single, I'm radical in the belief that I should talk about not wanting to be single, and that I should ask questions of my married friends and Christ followers about relationships and their marriage and learning from those ahead of me. I'm radical because I think the church doesn't offer decent solutions for singles and that is why singles hide in churches or simply just don't go.
Yeah, I'm single. I'm a girl. I'm 31 and have had some ugly experiences, some funny experiences and some sad experiences. And I'm about to let you in on all of them. I hope you're ready for this. While I think it'll be a fun ride, I pray most it'll give you some help in ministering to a single person's heart and perhaps give some tips to some rather clueless dudes in your life....cuz I've discovered more than my share of clueless dudes.