Thirty + Dating = :/

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I was 22 when I started dating my now ex-boyfriend. And 1 year later (less a month) I moved into his place. I felt very “grown-up”. When I look back I realize how young I was, how young we both were. Wow! I didn’t go on a lot of dates prior to my ex, my early twenties or my teen years. And that was ok, because it wasn’t something I really gave too much thought too. I had been in a couple relationships that ended up lasting only a few months but most of my past relationships were with guys I already knew. At 30, most of the guys I know are either in a relationship, engaged or already married. Which is funny because at 30, I feel like I know more people than I did at 20 but the “prospects” field is smaller. Ha! How’s that for irony. So what options does that leave for meeting guys…blind dates and speed dating…”Uhhhh, Yeeaahhhh…” I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and wait for my ‘future husband’ to magically find me, I want to be involved in the process. And chances are my ‘future husband’ is not someone I know, so that leaves meeting new people through friends (ideal!) or {gulp} online dating. While I fully believe God is writing my beautiful romance and He wants to give me the desires of my heart, I don’t know how He intends to bring my ‘future husband’ into the picture and I want to stay open to all options. So I joined eHarmony…I’m trying to have an open mind about the process and maybe grow and learn about myself at the same time. Win-win!

Did I mention that dating kind of terrifies me?! Lol. I’m generally really good and like meeting new people but for some reason, add the word date and it just becomes a whole other story. (I may or may not have had an actually panic attack when I was asked out about a year ago! :O ) However that was a year ago, fresh out of my previous relationship and I now feel a lot less stressed about going on a date. (I’ll get back to you when I actually get asked out and let you know if that still holds true 😉

I don’t know if I’ll meet my ‘future husband’ online dating (or if God has other plans to bring him into my life) but I’m going to meet some new people, go on some dates (some good, some not so good I’m sure), have some fun stories to share, learn some things about myself and enjoy this time of being single!

In the meantime a few revelations on dating at 30…

  1. At 30+ years old, everyone has ‘baggage’! At 20, people have baggage too, but 10+ years of relationships and life experiences adds a lot more!
  2. With that ‘baggage’ though, can come more clarity into what you’re looking for in a relationship, what you’re willing to accept or what’s a “deal breaker”.
  3. “Deal breakers” may change. While at 20 the thought of dating someone who has children or possibly divorced is not generally a thought. At 30, there is a better chance that the great guy you just met, has kids, is divorced or both! While I look at this as the exception rather than the rule, I’m not willing to write someone off just because of that. I know a couple great ‘men of God’ that were in that boat and their (now) wives would have been crazy to pass on them solely based on those facts.
  4. Probably the most important one I’ve learned, is to involve community in my relationships! It sounds kind of crazy, a lot of people wait until the relationship is on a more ‘serious’ tract before introducing their boyfriend to their friends. But I think involving a few chosen friends and mentors early on is not only wise but essential to a great relationship. Early on in a relationship, it’s easy to get swept up in emotions and your heart rather than determining if this relationship is best for both people. It’s more challenging to keep discernment and wisdom in the face of emotions and desires. (Of course this does not only apply to people in their 30’s, I wish I had known this at 20).
  5. Prayer. As a Christian, praying and my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. We pray about many things in our lives, why not pray about and for your future husband. I’m not just talking praying about getting a husband that’s “tall, dark and handsome” but praying for him to be a man of God, have patience, understanding, trust, loyalty and so on. I’m co-leading a women’s connect group through my church and we’re reading a book by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer called “Praying for Your Future Husband; Preparing Your Heart for His” And while the focus of the prayers in this book are about your future husband, the main theme of the book is really how powerful prayer can be in your life! Prayer isn’t about telling God what you want and hoping He will give it to you, it’s about building a stronger and deeper relationship with God. Think about it, we build deeper, more connected relationships with people in the downtimes! When you can go to someone at your most vulnerable and ‘weakest’ and still know that you will be loved and accepted. That they won’t judge you or criticise you. That they will listen to you and speak truth into your life even when you can’t see it for yourself. God already knows the deepest desires of your heart, He already knows the deepest hurts of your heart. He already knows your thoughts and feelings (even the ones you think you keep guarded). But every time you come to to Him in prayer, you are exposing a little more of your heart and soul, coming to Him at your most vulnerable.
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).
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So, how are you putting yourself out there? If you’re married, how did you meet your spouse? And what are some revelations you have had through dating at different ages? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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