So I am just recently catching up to the latest dating trend – dating apps on your phone that are free. I don’t think they are really new, but they are becoming more and more popular. And the pro is that I don’t have to pay for it. However, unfortunately that is a con as well. Because not paying for something like that could mean everyone and their brother is on there looking for anything, from a potential spouse to just a night of fun.
I have heard of an app called Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) before, but for some reason stayed solely focused on eharmony and never thought to try it. After talking with a friend about it, at the beginning of the summer, I later decided to sign up. CMB is a pretty neat idea if I do say so myself and seems to have a classier reputation compared to others. You start off by allowing the app access to your Facebook and therefore it begins your profile already with your location, name (first name only after you connect) and age. From there you choose pictures to include, fill in your height and religion as well as blanks to the following sentence starters.
I appreciate when my date…
After that you choose your preferences for your matches. The app tries to find you a match every single day and their profile will appear at noon. From there you have the opportunity to click “PASS” or “LIKE.” In a way, as I am now typing it out, I can see how it seems to be a bit like shopping for dates and that is kinda weird really. But in a digital world where we do most things using technology, meeting people close to where you live that are also single through an app seems a bit brilliant to me. At least when I first started it, it did. I have also recently tried out another app called Bumble after CMB no longer had any matches for me. And now, the longer I have used these apps, the more I am questioning myself for doing so. I also question myself for continuing to blog about my dating adventures and the feelings that come from it because I am nervous that people reading will think my life revolves around dating. And that is not true, although it is what this blog revolves around. Plus, I have to remember I am doing this for myself anyway and it’s refreshing to type out real and honest feelings as I go through the dating adventures. I crave authenticity, so maybe others do as well.
When I first started CMB, I was mostly passing on my matches for the day, a bit afraid of what would come from a simple decision of pressing the like button and wondering how I was going to navigate the waters of trying to figure out what kind of Christian they really were. Finally after a few days, I was bold enough to hit “LIKE” and a message popped up that he liked me back. It was a bit of an exhilarating feeling actually. When that happens, a chat window appears with that match’s name. The chat window remains open for 8 days. Neither one of us started a chat, so our window closed. Hmmm, this is going to be harder than I thought. Why didn’t I just start the chat with him? I am not sure, but it might be because of the innate desire to feel pursued.
My next liked match, did message me first, but after a few days that died off. Finally, my third match seemed a bit more hopeful. After chatting a bit on the app, we switched to texting. I found out he was in the army and lived about an hour west of me. At one point he asked me how I was spending my weekend and I explained that I was in Michigan almost all summer. The soldier’s response was, “How am I supposed to ask you out, if you are all the way in Michigan?!” I thought that was cute and liked that he mentioned early on that he had the desire to ask me out. I told him I would be back in town at the end of July. I went on to explain that if he doesn’t meet anyone else that he is interested in from now until then, we could meet at that time. I apologized for making it complicated and he said, “The first part of any relationship is communication. All that’s different here is that none of it is face-to-face. No big deal.”
I responded, “I’m glad you feel that way. You just let me know if something changes on your end, or I guess if a few days go by without hearing from you, I will get the hint…”
He told me that I should not take that as a hint as he might just be having a busy week but that he would let me know if anything changed. Soldier seemed to be a good communicator as well as very intelligent and soon our texting and phone call conversations increased throughout the next several weeks. One time we decided to Facetime and we talked for over an hour. He would usually contact me in some way at least every other day.
However, the two weeks leading up to me getting back to South Carolina, there became several days in between his texts and calls. One time I didn’t hear from him for about five days and I began to think that he probably met someone else. Which, in all honesty, at this point, it wouldn’t have bothered me. I think I would have almost been happy for him. But then I also remembered that he told me he would let me know if anything changed and that he may just be busy with work or something. I think I broke the silence by texting him and asking if everything was okay. Soldier called me ten minutes after that text and acted like everything was fine, so I went with it. I wasn’t going to ask why he had been silent for five days because it shouldn’t really matter anyway and I didn’t feel that comfortable with him yet. If he wasn’t interested in a date anymore, he would just have to tell me. But in the back of my mind, I knew that a five day silence was not a good indication that he was still interested.
Our date was planned for the Saturday after I returned back south. He called me the evening before and told me that he was excited to finally meet me after a month’s long communication. I agreed with him. He asked what time he should come. I was silent for a bit as I processed that and then he said, “I assume I will eat breakfast at home and then…” He stopped talking and so I picked up. “Oh okay, so you can come for lunch.” The more we conversed it ended up becoming an all day affair, where he would come into town around noon and we would grab lunch out, with the plan of making dinner at my house hours later.
While we were at lunch at a local restaurant, I ran into one of my dearest friends and we stopped and talked with her for a bit. After we ate, we headed out to a few flea markets to walk around, even though it was blazing hot. I glanced at my phone and saw a text from my friend where she told me that I looked gorgeous. That was so sweet of her and she built my confidence up a bit because I wasn’t receiving any words of affirmation from my date. I’ve realized now, that most guys don’t compliment on dates, so I need to stop looking for that.
At the flea market, I began looking through some phone cases and found one I liked and then stupidly remembered I had no cash. Soldier offered to buy it for me, which was incredibly kind, but I declined. It was a bit pricey for a flea market find anyway. Instead, he bought us some dried kiwi and we snacked on that. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some things for dinner and although I pulled out my debit card to pay for that, he told me he would buy it. On top of all of that, he bought us some milkshakes for the ride home.
As our date continued, I began to wonder if this was going to be too long of a date for the both of us. At certain points, I was starting to get a bit bored and I didn’t know how to entertain him to make sure he wasn’t experiencing the same boredom. Soon, I think I just gave up trying and he never complained. We played some cards, made dinner and watched a DVD of my favorite comedian.
Shortly after dinner, he left, but it was still quite late, I think a bit after 9pm. I got up to walk him out and as he was passing through the threshold of my front door, he turned to me and said that he had a great time. I smiled, but he kept talking. “But I don’t see this going anywhere,” he proclaimed. I was taken aback a bit, not because of what he said, but because of the timing of it all. I think my face must have showed that I was a bit shocked, but I managed to smile and thanked him for telling me. He apologized and I reassured him that it was okay and he left.
I remember numbly walking into my living room and dropping into a chair. Again, I wasn’t surprised he had those thoughts. I am sure after I processed our date a bit more, I would have come to the same conclusion. Part of me was relieved that he just came right out and told me and another part of me was still stinging from his words. I began to wonder at what point in the date he realized that and why he waited until the very last minute to tell me. However, I soon realized that I felt more relief than disappointment because he was right, we would not have been a good match. But then I started to cry. Why was I crying? Especially when I really didn’t like the guy in a romantic way anyway?
Hearing Soldier say those words took me back to the place when I had heard similar words several months prior by a guy that I really cared for. I began reliving my break up with David from early March whether I wanted to or not. That phone conversation with David came flooding back to my mind, every little part of it. The way his voice sounded strange when he answered the phone, laced with sadness, and the way my stomach dropped when he told me those simple words of, “I think I am going to have to let you go.” I relived the feeling of fighting back tears as I strained to remain logical in that conversation, not giving into emotion. I remember internally telling myself to not let him know how much he was breaking my heart and that a little part of me even regretted opening it up to him in the first place. I think all of this came back to my mind because I had just spent an entire day with a man that I wished could have been David, but then realized again for the 100th time that David didn’t want to be with me.
“So stop wishing things like that!” I yelled at myself internally. I was actually a bit frustrated with myself.
I was so very tired of being sad about a silly break up. But I also knew it wasn’t silly.
I stayed in this deep sadness for two more days, barely even getting out of bed that Sunday and Monday and crying almost just as much as I did in March. The weekend after that is when I wrote the previous blog post, which is why my dad probably questioned if I was facing depression. I wasn’t. I was just facing sadness and realized that I still needed some healing from my graced-filled Heavenly Father.
I knew I didn’t want any of the outcomes to be different. I wouldn’t have cared to see Solider again and I even knew my break up with David was needed before I fell for him at a deeper level. David couldn’t give me what I needed, so I no longer wished I could still be with him. I just realized, I was still in a place of sadness. A sadness that I thought would have dissipated by now. But you can’t put a time limit on when a heart should heal. I think it was at this time that I actually admitted to having a broken heart. So I continued to pray for healing. Again. Just like I did back in March.
As time went on and school started back up, my time and energy was spent giving to my job and I was distracted from my sadness. I continued to go out on dates, not sure if I was doing the right thing or not. At first, I would come home after dates and cry over missing David. But thankfully there finally came a time where my dates would end and I wouldn’t cry. I’ve had dates these past two Saturday evenings with two different men and both times I actually came home and didn’t feel sad. Actually as I am writing this today, I realize how much I am feeling peace and contentment. Some days I feel it. Some days, I don’t. Which reminded me that my feelings should not determine my truth. Feelings will come and go but my job is to remember truth, no matter what I am feeling that particular day.
I know in the future there may still be times when something will happen and it will feel like my heart is breaking all over again. But I also know there will be times in the future where days will go by and I won’t even think about David anymore. I long for that. I know there will be times in the future where I go out with guys and maybe wish they were more like David, but I also know there will be a time where I will go out with a guy and he will captivate me. My date will capture my attention and we will both be excited to see each other again.
But even if that doesn’t ever happen again, I will be okay. My heart will heal and I will experience peace and I will remain in the constant and unwavering love of Jesus. His love will be the only thing I can count on in this life. And I will not have to worry about hearing the words of “I think I am going to have to let you go” from Him. Because He won’t ever let me go. He will never want to. And for that I am so very grateful. I continue to stand in awe that I can receive this love despite anything I have done or will ever do.
At this rate, I could probably set a new goal for myself – 31 dates while I am 31. So far I have been on 11 dates since turning 31. And I have two dates already set up this coming week. Again, do I know if I am doing the right thing by going out on these dates? I don’t. But all I know how to do is pray about it. And I’ll continue to ask God to open and close doors and to make things clear to me while going on this adventure of dating.
Even if it means a guy telling me that he is not interested as he walks over the threshold of my front door to leave 🙂