Lest I be struck by lightening, I’ll not give too many details about Dates 28 and 29, since I met both on a Christian dating website, but I just wanted to give a quick recap on my experience thus far with men of faith, since it’s been both exactly what I expected and completely surprising.
First off, the expected: Date 29.1.
I’ve mentioned I go to a somewhat charismatic church, right? Well, Date 29 happened to attend my church, which was kind of convenient but also kind of a concern for two reasons: (1) if we didn’t wind up hitting it off, we’d probably want to avoid each other in the future, and (2) although my church is full of wonderful, spirit-filled people, it’s also a haven for the spiritually eccentric, who tend to be eccentric in general.
The other thing I see a lot of in my church is folks who are in recovery of one sort or another. So when I activated my Christian dating profile, I was more than aware there was a good chance I’d be in for some wine-less dinners, and perhaps some mention of “meetings” and bygone errant behavior. Because some of my best friends are in recovery and I love them dearly, I figured this wasn’t a dealbreaker. But you know what? In a romantic relationship, it’s kind of tough to deal with.
I hope this doesn’t make me sound like an awful person (even though I probably am in a lot of ways–we all need Jesus!), but I want to be open and honest here, and I just can’t help the way I feel. More than the inconvenience of not being able to enjoy a drink together or whatever is the lingering fear that I might somehow eventually derail my date’s sobriety by letting my vigilance regarding his recovery status slip. Like, what if we’re out to eat and I automatically start perusing the drink menu? What if we’re guests at a wedding, and without even thinking, I accept a glass of champagne for the toast?
Granted, I know these are issues people in recovery are accustomed to dealing with, which is why it’s so important to keep up with meeting attendance and such, but I think I’d still feel obligated to join my partner in sharing their sober lifestyle, which would kind of be a drag. Date 17 was gluten-free, and I felt the same type of reticence about getting serious with him, silly as it may sound. Same goes with how Dates 5 and 20 are allergic to cats. These are serious issues when considering someone as a potential eventual spouse. If there’s anything I’ve learned from the experience of being married to my ex-husband, it’s that issues like these (in his case, bad breath and a reluctance to leave the house) don’t go away–they only get bigger and more problematic. Basically, I know this is common sense, but what you see is what you get, and I’ve learned that I’m not in the business of changing people, so it’s better to call it before things really have a chance to get started.
Anyway, Date 29 was one of those recovery guys. Before he even dropped a word about his testimony, I could see it from the zeal in his eyes. I liked him as a friend, but that was it, and I told him so. Luckily, our church is large, so hopefully it won’t be awkward running into each other, but that’s life, and I’m not switching churches.
Now, for the unexpected:
Date 28 was a Christian woman’s dream come true. Handsome and fit, with a well-established career and a friendly but seemingly temperate disposition, I could tell he was a natural-born leader. Before we ate lunch together at a local restaurant, he even said grace! Conversation between us seemed to hum right along, so I thought I’d be hearing from him again, but here’s the thing: I didn’t.
My guess? This guy is cleaning up in the Christian dating arena–he has his pick of Christian women across the county, so someone with as messy an ex-husband and kid situation as mine goes straight to the bottom of his list. Bummer. Because I really liked Date 28, and even though all we did physically was hug, I was definitely attracted to him, suspecting the eventual sex could be stellar.
Looking on the bright side of meeting (and subsequently being rejected by) Date 28, I learned that guys like him actually exist. I was starting to think they were simply a rumor, a rare breed of guy seldom met with in the wilds of the dating world. So even though I wasn’t a match for him, going out with him gave me hope for the future.
Not to mention a nice lunch.