This post is about dating.

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** note this was going to be an Instagram caption and then I realized it was too long so alas, here's a blog post.

Can I talk to my single ladies for a minute?

Or even single dudes too if you care to tap into this conversation.

I recently watched a video by Jamie Grace about why she doesn't date and if you haven't seen it I highly suggest you check it out, I laughed, I hid my face because of so much truth and I snapped because DANG the points she made just tugged on a part of me that I think I ignored. Now note: I didn't say she doesn't go on dates, she's just very particular with who she spends her time with/ says yes to. And I realized how much of this was me but to some extent lately I just ignored it, I thought I needed to take my love story into my own hands. I was reminded of that episode of New Girl where Jess freaked out because she thought she was getting old and loosing eggs and I had a similar moment where I thought I was behind on something.

I would go to gigs and meet people who asked me a few questions about who I was and how often I do that poetry thing and then shortly after, "So are you married?" would slip into the conversation. I had like two "boyfriends" in High school but I mean unless you marry them after, those don't count for much do they? I still am friends with them too, and they were great but we were young and at that age we really didn't know what we needed to look for in a significant other. Now I'm a twenty-five year old trying to navigate through dating culture and have ZERO idea what I'm doing --BECAUSE WE NEVER TALK ABOUT IT. That's somewhat of a trend with our Christian  community sometimes... if we don't talk about it then maybe we can pretend it doesn't exist? We have to change something....so here I am, talking about it. And yeah it's kind of uncomfortable, quite vulnerable and weird because it's unfamiliar but we're all out here trying to figure it out on our own and well we're just going to perpetually suck at this if we keep going at it that way.

So as some of you know..  I tried out the whole dating app situation. My mentor helped me realized it was mostly because I was bored and overall interested as to what this whole "dating" thing was about. Also because most of the guys I was around didn't really ask to go on dates, they just asked to "hang out" and I'm sorry but I'm too grown to "hang out" unless we're legitimately friends. 

And please don't get me wrong,

I'm not even saying the fault is all on one gender because that would be foolish, it's both of us, its all of us. We have been raised in this weirdness, starting with every summer camp that never talked about it, just separated the boys and the girls and only told us to keep our legs closed. It's every youth event where we were just told not to "lust" with no explanation on what the heck that even means in the first place. The focus is always on teaching us how to be husband and wives before we ever learn what it even means to be women and men first.  We were never taught how to navigate through these awkward waters, we're just supposed to "know" --- whatever that even means. So now...we go from opposite extremes of let's get married yesterday to claiming that dating is a sin. We don't know balance, we don't know the in between and the all we really know is that the bible suggests staying single anyway and maybe that's what's in store for some of us but how do we find that out? And let's be honest, we're getting older, more awkward, less in person social and more closed off from genuine and honest conversations. Though I came into this year declaring #noapps2017, I learned from those experiences, the moments when I group text my friends, shared my location and the name of whoever I was meeting but though the free appetizer was nice, the conversations and overall interactions left me feeling dense and unfulfilled.

What was I looking for ?Did I even know ?? Because TBH I still hide from attractive guys or have a tendency to walk away when they compliment me. So how was meeting a bunch of strangers going to tell me anything but so much of what I didn't want?

I don't want to be compared to someones black coffee order at Starbucks.

I don't want to hear about ex-girlfriends.

I don't want to have to explain why my body does not belong to anyone but myself after one drink.

I didn't want my faith or being a christian to be this cool thing because "good girls are your thing."

It's getting more complicated, more messy and we're exhausted by it all.

I also realized that even though I try to deny the fact that I am a complete and total hopeless romantic (I mean come on---I write poetry for a living), I do still dream that I would meet him while writing in a coffee shop window or stumbling into him after a performance, something where the story would always be our favorite to tell. Is it silly? Maybe. But I know it's what my heart desires and I know though a little bit silly, to some extent is something that God considers precious and worth cherishing.

But--- for a moment I doubted that he cared about these minuscule things, the little heart whispers that I kept to myself because they were unimportant and ridiculous and I just *kanye shurgged* and let myself slip into settling until I realized how much it affected this heart of mine. You know the things you tell yourself, "I mean he's sweet, he listens and he's understanding" but my heart knew fully and completely that he wasn't "mine", he wasn't for me and I wasn't for him. In fact when we first hung out, I felt as though I was "cheating" on someone-- (when your discernment is on way more fleek than you want it to be *eye roll*). I got anxious for a minute there, doubtful and pretty restless and in return I lost sight of who I was and what I deserved.

Okay, so what was supposed to be an Instagram caption turned into this....

Do I have a point to this post? it's mostly just about the conversation, to actually have the conversation. We need a post college, how-to-date-outside of your private christian school workshop type of deal or something that would just encourage us that we aren't loosing our minds, we aren't crazy. We want to talk about the waiting---not about the waiting being worth it because we aren't there yet. Just a space to be okay with sitting and talking about the waiting, that the waiting is hard and at the end of it we all go to happy hour to keep us from texting people we shouldn't be texting ya know?

So I have no profound take away except well this: yes, the waiting is hard, and if you need help setting up your dating app profile - i got you (because even though it didn't work for me, I have heard so many beautiful love stories that started with a swipe) or  if you need a happy hour partner then call ya girl. We'll talk about all the ways our hearts have been broken (or haven't been) and yet we still are crazy enough to dive back in and try again. God sees your hopeless romantic, or just longing heart okay? Don't settle, know what you want and be okay with waiting for that.