I love love.
Romantic comedies, Disney movies, life chats about relationships, engagement stories, wedding pictures.
My soul sister is Anna from Frozen because of her jump-in-head-first love mentality. (spoiler, that doesn’t end well for her.)
So it may come as a shock that the idea of a dating fast has been on my mind quite a lot recently. And that this semester I’m going to begin a search for authentic love.
And that doesn’t just mean no dating. It actually entails a lot.
Whoa. Giving up going out? Flirting? Stalking a guy emotionally (and on Facebook)? Giving up planning out your future children’s names and how they will look so cute in baby blazers and chuck taylors? Deleting that secret Pinterest wedding board?
|What will I even do with all my time now?|
I spent my last two years of high school anxiously waiting for college to finally get here just so that things could be different. I spent freshman year with my fingers crossed that if I could get the right friends, do the right activities and be at the right places at the right times, things would change for the better.
A.K.A., I’d get a date. Let’s be real here.
Family gatherings or life chats with friends quickly turn to a potential relationship discussion, followed by questions about when I was finally going to go out on date.
|“Don’t worry, you’ll find someone someday sometime”|
I was living in a little world where I was looking for just the right guy, and in the mean time, I was an incomplete person, waiting for my better half. I felt as if something was missing – something from my life was not there, and when I found that one piece of the life puzzle, it would all fall into place.
And I was right.
But it wasn’t a guy who was going to turn things around and lead to sunset-gazing, hand-holding, long-walks-together wonderfulness.
It was the guy.
Or specifically, this guy.
Because I had quickly forgotten in the span of my freshman-sophomore years that I am a daughter of God who is beautiful, unique, and worthy of love. I had forgotten that I was worth more than I could ever imagine. “More than how many girls wish they were me or how many guys wish they had me. Regardless of who I thought I was, the reality was is that I deserved someone who would give up their life for me.” (And if you ever need a pep talk this is the one.)
And I had Him. But I’d just brushed Him off into the corner to pull out when I felt like it.
I had let my “God journal” become my “Guy journal.” I had so many talks with God on the walks back from class about if He could just work this one out than I would for sure make my daily Bible reading a priority again. And I just needed a spiritual guy leader in my life to help me out.
The one day, I heard a question that shook me.
“If the guy of your dreams were to walk into your life right now, would you even be the kind of girl that he would be looking for?”
And I honestly had to say no. I had spent so much time creating a list of characteristics that I was looking for that it had skipped my mind that I should be working on those virtues too.
Enter the dating fast.
No dating for this Spring 2015 semester. No mentally stalking guys. No pinterest binge nights and rants on how I had everything ready for my future wedding but the guy (which, it turns out, is a pretty important part).
I’m giving God this semester not because I’ve given up on being found by a great guy. Not because I’ve dated guys a lot during high school and college and have been burnt by it. Not because I’ve broken up with the concept of love.
|Nope, not the reason|
But because I want to first fall in love with the man who died to get to know me. Because I’m tired of walking into Mass and scoping it out for potential guys of interest. Because I want to know what an authentic God filled relationship would look like.
Because my life needs some silent time to find out what the voice of God even sounds like…so that when He says “There’s the one” I know who is talking. Or that if He says that and points to His son, I can respond without hesitation.
I am in no way saying that dating is a bad thing. In fact, it’s very good. You usually can’t end up with a great person unless you go on some dates with ’em.
But I don’t believe I’m going to be looking back on this fast in five months and saying “Darn it, growing closer to the Lord and treating people like brothers and sisters in Christ was such a waste of time. Wouldn’t do that again.”
Is it going to be tough? Heck yes. But one of my favorite women of God, Saint Catherine of Sienna, once said, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”
No one one their death bed looks back and wishes they hadn’t gotten to know God and His children better.
So, what are your thoughts? Have you, too, struggled with emotional chastity and dating obsessions? Let me know in the comments below!