Rekindling an old flame

handsSo I’ve posted a few blogs about my trip to Missouri. If you missed them, check a couple of them out here and here. This one, though, is diving into a deeper and more private part of my life…something I don’t do very often. It has to do with dating and relationships. I guess when I post something, I try to keep it somewhat light and entertaining so I’m a bit nervous about what this post could reveal to you about me. Maybe it’s something you don’t know? Maybe it’s something I should keep to myself? Hmm, anyway I’ll just keep typing and see what happens.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 3.09.59 PMOn our 15 hr trip from Tallahassee, Florida to Branson, Missouri my brother and I covered a lot of topics, my dating life was one of them. Being single at 38 offers a decent topic to waste time talking about, right? 🙂 To catch you up, and this is something my brother already knew, I’ve dated on and off over the years but had 2 relationships that I’d call “serious,” meaning they each had the potential of progressing to marriage. We talked about the ins and outs of each one, the reasons the relationships ended, my thoughts on that, his thoughts on that, where those 2 women are now, etc. We talked deal breakers, compatibility, likes/dislikes, faith, personalities, core values, and more.

By the end of the conversation, he was pretty much sold on me pursuing one of them again. Maybe the reasons it ended were characteristics that I’ve grown out of, ya know? Like, I’ve matured and grown into a different place than I was back then, and perhaps she has, too.

The conversation turned to something else and we didn’t really get back into again before arriving in Branson. But, of course, there was still a 15-hour drive back to Florida.

This part of the trip included one of my sisters, who also knows these relationship details of my life. So she and my brother encouraged me to write down what I’d say to this woman if given another chance. Then they took it a step further and said whatever it is I write, send it to her however I can. Such a paralyzing thought, but also I felt a flicker of life there. As if there could be something rekindled. A faint sign of life, even if it is completely one-sided. I have no idea how it would be received, how she’s feeling about relationships overall, and all that. We haven’t spoken in a long time.

I haven’t written anything down yet, and I don’t know if I will. It’s something I think about and consider doing, but I have fear of hurting her in some way and to me, that makes the whole idea extremely high risk.

So here I sit at my computer, writing to you instead. Hopefully you’ll read this and accept it as a piece of my heart, without judgement but with compassion.

-Out of the Wilderness

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10 more signs a Christian guy is into you

via-quickmeme.com_A while back I published my first lighthearted and completely unreliable post for how to tell a Christian guy is into you (click here for that list). Well, it’s time for another. Just as lighthearted. Just as unreliable. Enjoy!

10. You comment that his man-bun reminds you of Samson from the Bible. He responds by flexing for you.

9. He invites you on a coffee date… to the coffeeshop in the east quadrant of your mega church.

8. He uses this lame-o line: I’d be pretty bad at mission work, ’cause you’re the only “miss” I’d have my “i on”.

7. He says he’d totally “leave and cleave” for you.

6. He doesn’t want you to be a MISSionary. He wants you to be a MRSionary.

5. He brings two sets of ear plugs when the two of you attend the contemporary worship service.

4. He loves that you’re learning Greek but he still wants to French with you.

3. He wants to stomp grapes with you just so he can wash your feet.

2. He tells you he has a sensitive side, which includes being seeker-sensitive.

1. He says you put the ‘angel‘ in evangelical.

Bonus! If you’re itching for a beach vacation, here are 10 signs you’re ready for one.

 

20 reasons I was single in my 20s, plus a few more

During my senior year of high school, I started compiling a list of things I’d love to have in a mate. The list started with broad characteristics that were must-haves. Things like Christian, patient, good listener, thoughtful. Had the list stopped there, that would’ve been great. It’s smart to have some sort of criteria when seeking a friend for the end of the world. More specifically, a best friend to spend the rest of my life with. But the list didn’t end there. It went on. And on. And on. A total of 45 things I wrote down that defined who it was I was looking for. No prob. No prob? Yeah right… no wonder I’ve been single for so long!

I don’t think there’s ever been a woman on earth that could measure up to that list.

I might as well have created her from a computer, like these guys did. But Kelly LeBrock aside, this “perfect girl” isn’t out there. A girl I was dating years ago surmised that (and this is as we were breaking up) I’m looking for someone just like me. Mostly because of how and when it was presented, I became defensive. But she was right. Now comparing her comments to the list from high school, I’m about to blow your mind, so make sure you’re sitting down for this.

The list isn’t who I was looking for, the list is who I wanted to be.

Booya. Mic drop. You’ve been served. Insert any other overused phrase here. Even as I sit here typing I’m looking at this decades-old list and it’s blowing my mind. All these things I wrote down are either characteristics I already have, or ones I’m striving towards. If there were a girl out there that had all these qualities, I don’t think I’d fall in love with her. I think I’d be super jealous of her!

Then it makes sense that what I’m looking for in a mate now, now that I’m in my 30s and so much wiser and so much more mature, are much less specific. Less specific and not about me!

I look forward to finding this person. That is, if God’s ideas for me include a woman that can put up with a guy who made a list in high school of 45 things about her that’s really about him but at least he didn’t try to make her on a computer but maybe that was only because he didn’t know how because he was more into playing sports than computer programming.

-Out of the Wilderness

The Reawakening: Part 2

tuxedoPlease consider this a formal invitation to come along with me as I move forward, perhaps out of the wilderness, into the next chapter of my life. The focus of this adventurous writing is what I do for work, but really, it includes so much more… because I don’t have a limit on where I can go or what I can do. I may be inspired by my friends, time with my dogs, during normal business hours, or something I hear on the radio or see on TV. I’m very excited to find out how this stirring in my heart will be fulfilled. My goal is to post every Thursday around 1pm Central.

To have a more full understanding of where I’m coming from, you should probably know as a 30-year-old I was inspired to make a pledge and that’s sort of what’s going on now, 6 years later. Or at least, it’s a continuation of that pledge that I desperately need to live out.

The pledge was to never live a regular life. That can mean many things, but to me, it means not settling. Living an adventure in my work, in my relationships. I’ve heard it’s every 5 years or so one goes through some kind of phase in life questioning their significance, maybe with the itch to hit reset and start over, whether it’s in a job, relationships, moving to a new city, or some other aspect of life that feels stale. It happened to me in 2008 (as I mentioned, when I was 30 years old). During this uncomfortable phase a friend of mine, one who’s more experienced and further along in years and in wisdom gave me a book called No More Mondays by Dan Miller. It’s about being satisfied at work, whether that means changing jobs, or just changing perspectives in my current job. Now, I’m reading it again. It’s an inspiration to know feeling claustrophobic at a desk is an OK feeling to have. It doesn’t mean I’m lazy or ungrateful. Because I’m neither. But it was at this very desk where I sat for 8 hours that work became routine. I traded passion for a paycheck. I convinced myself comfort was more important than connecting with deeper needs. But a combination of events at work shook me out of the status quo. The timing couldn’t have been better because just as I was beginning to question my goals at work, I had time off to think through my desires, my skills, and I was about to spend a week in a small town north of Cincinatti.

The ideas, lists, brainstorms, plans, rants, and wild thoughts that follow are not a journey to the next goal in my life, they are the adventure my heart longs for. I certainly hope you’ll accept my invitation to come along!

-Out of the Wilderness
black shoes

The Problem with Being Yourself on a Date

Whether you’re a guy or girl, it’s normal to get nervous before a date. We’ve all been there. In fact, even the dates I didn’t put must stock in, I still found myself being nervous (see “This Was Not A Date” and “After The Final Tulip”). More often than any advice I get is the encouragement to “be yourself!” But isn’t that kind of the problem? Because myself is nervous! Might I suggest two other solutions for the nerves, neither are to “be yourself.” First, you can try acting. Pretend you’re a character in a movie but the character is the “normal you.” So on the one hand you’re nervous, but on the other, you’re playing the part of you when you’re not nervous. The second option is pretty much out of your hands, actually. The responsibility rests in the other person on the date (and if this ends up working, it’s a very good sign for the relationship). Like I said earlier, it’s normal to be nervous before a date, however if you find yourself so comfortable around them that you forget to be nervous, that’s an ideal environment to be in. Because then, and only then, will you realize that you truly can “be yourself!” How about you? Have you found any methods that help calm your nerves before a big date? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Top Ten Signs You’re Single This Christmas

10. When you get to your company Christmas party, you hear someone announce, “The fruitcake has arrived!” but you brought cookies.

9. Your most recent Facebook status: “my chesnuts havent roasted on an open fire in months. lol”

8. You haven’t shaved your legs since October because, “Hey, it’s winter, I’ll just wear jeans.”

7. At every white elephant party you attend, you launch into a lengthy diatribe about the plight of the albino elephant. Then you storm out.

Full House

6. Christmas morning consists of waking up, eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes, and watching the Christmas episode of Full House, the one where the Tanners get stuck in an airport terminal. Everyone’s worried Santa won’t find them but then a man shows up who looks like Santa. They all think it’s Uncle Joey but then it turns out it was the real Santa.

5. Christmas lights in your yard have no recognizable pattern, until you see them from the air. It reads “Got A Spouse?”

4. You aren’t currently dating anyone.

3. You volunteer to be Santa at the mall and after kids tell you their wish, you tell them your wish is to meet their mom.

2. Your name is Kobe Bryant.

1. You get fired as Santa at the mall when you walk into Victoria’s Secret confessing to the women it’s not a candy cane in your pocket, and yes, you’re happy to see them.

The Middlefinger Flu

Friendships are like a man on his death bed, it takes work to keep them alive. I came across this reality in 2011 when I heard of a friendship suffering from the middlefinger flu.

You know what the middlefinger flu is: your attempts to maintain the relationship are met with a harshly careless attitude. So without the proper attention, the flu quickly turned into a nasty bout with pooponya. This is when that friend you try to be friends with only makes an effort to poop on you. Just like the man on his death bed, the relationship is in need of some serious attention! Otherwise, it will die from pooponya. If both people don’t recognize that, one friend will be disappointed while the pooponya friend will just be full of crap. If you have a friendship you suspect might be dying, you’re faced with a choice.

Sometimes it’s worth the effort of both people trying to bring it back to health, and sometimes it’s just better to flush the toilet and move on.