Girl: Hi (smile)
Guy: What’s your name?
Girl: (insert name). Yours?
Guy: My name is Hunter (this would be the given alias). How does a guy like me get to know a girl like you?
And then the dance begins. Hunter starts sniffing around assessing the situation. Scoping out the scene trying to decide if this is worth the hunt. Girl, is cautiously allowing hunter to do so while trying to determine whether or not this is a chase she wants to be a part of. Both parties circle around trying to determine if this is a pursuit that can be won. This game, a game that is played by many and won by few is exciting and intoxicating in the beginning. Not knowing what is around the corner is an adreneline rush. The initial passion for the adventure to unfold, always wondering what is lurking around the corner with anticipation that this is the one thing that we are seeking. The desire for the hunt to end and for the hunted to be taken by surprise with an unquestionable certainty that this is forever.
The hope and possibility is there. Both hunter and hunted see what they want and desire in the other because the glow of the chase has not yet worn off. Slowly distractions come into play. Former hunters begin to resurface. New hunters begin to make their way into the game and suddenly it is not such a clear picture. Things begin to get muddied and the excitement, the high, the adrenaline rush becomes greater, but it is at this moment that the hunted begins to feel a little uncertain. The internal questions begin. What is this? What are the hunters intentions? Does the hunter see this as just a game? Does the hunter value the hunted or does the hunter just want to brag about his hunting successs? What satisfaction is the hunted getting out of this? Is the hunted addicted to the uncertainty of the chase? What is it that the hunted is interested in and do any of these hunters posesss the qualities desired by the hunted or is the hunted just seeing what they want to see? Maybe the hunted is afraid of being captured and out of the game forever. Maybe it is the instincts giving the hunted an opportunity to retreat to a cave until a suitable hunter arrives without his chest puffed up and his guns blazing. Maybe the hunted actually desires to be coaxed out of the safety of the cave, knowing that harm will not come as opposed to being hunted without any indication that the hunter has the best interest of the hunted in mind.
The dating game… Ugh! It is daunting at best. I don’t know about you, but meeting new people is challenging. There is a surface conversation that happens because it would be weird to say “Hi, I am so and so, let me tell you my deepest darkest secrets” so you go through the formalities of surface conversation until you can decide if the person you are meeting with is someone that you want to invest time in and begin the trust building process. Slowly, little bits of you begin to come out and eventually a relationship is born. Some of these relationships are deeper than others, but all of that is necessary to begin a relationship. Knowing this, it makes me curious as to why I would choose to date. I want to get married and it seems like dating is the way to do that, but as most people do, we begin to take things personally and we try to force things. Our instinct may be telling us something, but we justify it by telling ourselves that we are being too picky or that our standards are too high. Maybe we think that we have an overactive imagination and are putting the experience of past relationships on the person in front of us. Maybe we know that there is no future, but we didn’t have a bad time with the person so when they ask us to go out again, we think why not, what’s another date and we hear ourselves saying yes. Another date is another investment. Investment of time, conversation, money and let’s face it, it is an opportunity to get wrapped up in what is all wrong.
I can honestly say that I do not know one person who is looking for a real, true, honest relationship that enjoys dating. It is a prerequisite to get where you are trying to go. I have found myself asking what I can do to change this in my life. How do I meet my husband without wasting anybody’s time, money or emotions? I don’t completely have an answer, but I do know that time filler dating is definietely not the way to go. Let’s take comfortable pants for instance. At one time we had something good. I knew when we reconnected that there was an opportunity for a friendship, but that there was not going to be a future for anything else. I allowed myself to drift off into the possibility of something more simply because being around him was comfortable. We had a good time when we hung out, but he didn’t take my words serious. I would say there was no possibility of a future and he would still go in for the kiss. Eventually it became a burden and when my words did not make a difference I stopped replying to him. This created anger on his part and, well… He was not very nice. So, our lives go on… Was there any value in those moments? Probably not. A false hope and time I can’t get back is all that it accomplished.
Distraction. Oh my goodness. What in the world was that. I have known him for 3 years. He has been my phone go to guy, but that is it. Never did I see him outside of work until… Christmas time. The typical sarcastic banter was going on between us as I was upgrading my phone. Any interraction we have had has included witty banter and teasing. As enjoyable as it was, that is how it should have stayed, but it didn’t. We started talking outside of work, met for lunch once, continued our witty banter over text messaging, saw each other here and there at random moments breifly during his lunch break or in between meetings or errands for me. Why did we do this? Who knows. There was not benefit for either one of us except to be a distraction. Something to think about and something to keep us distracted from life.
What am I learning from all of these moments? I am learning that life is full of people. Some that you will connect with and some that you won’t. I am learning to begin to trust my instincts. It is okay that not everyone wants to try to get to know me and it is okay for me to say no to another date, or maybe even a first date. I am learning that it is wise to be cautious and to not even entertain the thought of spending time with someone if we do not have like goals or do not place the same importance on the big issues. I am not perfect and I don’t expect someone else to be. I do know that I love Jesus and if that common ground is not there, the only thing that comes of entertaining a relationship with that person is wasted time.