A great date does not make a great mate

When you’re single, you have the opportunity to go on tons of dates. When you first begin dating, which usually coincides when you’re young and overly prone to overly romantic notions, it’s easy to take things too seriously. You over share on a date and savor each ”lol” text because it’s all so new and exciting and special.

After about 5 .. or 10… or let’s be honest.. 15 years of dating around casually, intermixed with a few serious adventures that ultimately failed, you get good. At dating. You know what to say to get someone to agree to go in a first date (spoiler alert- it’s usually to suggest something ambiguous so they don’t have to overthink it). You know just how flirty and interesting to be on a first date. You learned to impulse control so you don’t text your potential boo 30x a day while they’re at work. And let’s be perfectly honest, you learned how to not care so much. You learned how to pull back and keep your expectations at bay and not try so hard that you lose your dignity if they’re not interested.

And for some people, this is where they stay. They master the art of catch and release, but at the end of the day they wouldn’t even know how to prepare a fish even if it was perfect and they were starving. Gross analogy but you get it.

But to be good at healthy relationships, being good at dating is a major detriment. You need to invest, put yourself out there, and care an embarrassing amount.

I share this because when I was dating, I went on some amazing dates. But some of those amazing dates were with people that were the most ill fit for me. When I started hanging out with my now husband, we didn’t always go on amazing dates. He didn’t always take me to the fanciest of dinners or most elaborately romantic outings. His conversation topics were often funny but quite strange. He didn’t try to artificially push romance into every moment. We did normal stuff. I helped him paint his garage. He helped me put together my new dining room table. We made doggy cupcakes for his dog’s birthday and he spontaneously wiped some frosting off my face with the perfect amount of tenderness. That was the romance. And yes sometimes we went to an art museum or a play or something cool, but those moments weren’t artificially propping up our relationship, hiding our lack of true connection with grandiose moments and sticky sweetness. They were real.

So, if you’re dating right now, don’t get too good at dating or limit yourself to other people who are too good at dating. Try to make space for real connection that can’t be forced or rushed.

Mawwiage, is what brings us apawt today

Hellur! Tis I, your deadbeat blogger emerging from the silent ashes as a gabby, married Phoenix. Completely re-charged and in charge! *brushes off cereal crumbs with quiet dignity*

I have a few musings on marriage. Or, more precisely, on the decision to get married.

Everyone has a range of time in their own minds in which they think is a reasonable time to get engaged or married after the “start” of your relationship. For some, anything serious before 1 year of good ol’ fashioned dating is irresponsible and impulsive. For others, there’s no reason to keep dating after you’ve had 2-3 grueling dates in which you both outline your worldviews, faith, life plans, and toilet-paper-on-the-roll orientation preferences. The 1+ year crowd likes to wait and see how people and relationships play out over time. The intense interview crowd sees dating like skirmishes. Get in and get out – either through fading back into the forest of singleness or diving straight into the pool of eternal promises.

From my perspective, each person can take their own relationship at whatever pace they want, as long as the other party (or parties, for you polygamists out there ! jk jk) is fine with it. I think what rubs me is that most people – and ALL female relatives – think the appropriate range of time for dating they have conjured in their own minds should be the appropriate range of time for all couples, in all situations, of all backgrounds. So if any couple “rushes” according to the Cautious Connor’s, or dawdles, according to the Rushing Reginald’s, their relationship is doomed. DOOMED!

To me, it just completely depends on the couple. I have friends and acquaintances who made a short work out of dating, and their marriages seem to be just as stable and happy as any others. For certain personalities, age groups, etc. this is perfectly acceptable.

Although, of course there are the couples that rush into things and realize they don’t know each other and have made a terrible mistake. At best, they can sometimes turn the boat around and sail into a wonderful marriage, but often they sink as soon as they realize the other is a bit of a dud when they’re not in active woo mode.

My husband and I probably took a longer-than-average time to get to the point of engagement, and I’m actually very grateful we dated as long as we did. I can’t speak for my hubbadubs, but I needed the time. I needed to know how we reacted to each other when one or both of us was going through a hard time. I needed to know that it was love I had, not a love-y feeling. I needed to know I still loved him when he wasn’t showering me with attention. To me it was great, and I don’t think I would have been able to say “si” to marriage without that knowledge and experience.

For some though, the stretches of time just reflect true dawdling, or a reservation with the relationship itself. Can’t commit, but don’t want to quit. I’m sure some people thought that was the case with my hubs and I, and to them I emphatically flick my hair in defiance.

So my avid reader, I present the case that there are many reasons to take a short or long time to get to the point of engagement, and a relatively fast or slow journey is not necessarily a “warning sign, ” or cause for worry among loving friends and relatives. This is especially hard when you or someone close to you has experienced the “bad” form of fast or slow – you are hypervigilant and ready to warn someone you think may be heading in the same direction. I’m here to tell you to take a deep breath, relax, and let each couple be the pace setters for their own relationship.

Red White And Blue Wow GIF by Bomb Pop - Find & Share on GIPHY

Baby Boomers: Get off your arse and harass a millennial

Something happened to me this week that blew my mind, and then it blew my mind that it blew my mind– totes meta.

The background: I met this hilarious, encouraging, Spirit-filled lady at my church who’s probably 30ish years my senior. We had similar life passions so we decided to get coffee and chat a few times before church. The last time we met, it was ambiguous if we would meet up again, and I thought “well, she’s probably busy. Maybe we’ll see each other around.”

barney
Actual picture of us chatting. Jk. FROM THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE

This week, I get an email from her titled “WHERE ARE YOU.” Apparently I had missed an email from her inviting me to hang last Sunday.

Here’s the outrageous part- she followed up! THEN when I explained that I had missed her email, she invited me to something else!

💥💥💥

^my brains

If you are underwhelmed right now, let me ‘splain.

It is incredibly easy to ghost people. I don’t like to brag, but I’ve done some hardcore ghosting through the years. Even MORE easy is to ghost Christian community. There’s nothing brag-worthy about this- most churches are so concerned with attracting new people they forget to care about keeping them there. Many a time your little Gallo has slinked her way out of Christian community like a spiritually dry ninja. 🙅🏻 So when this lady was like “Yo yo! where you at, boo?”* it meant a lot to me that she 1) noticed 2) cared an 3) wasn’t putting up with any passive-rebellious nonsense.**

Even more fundamental though, is just that this lady has taken the time to Make Concrete Plans! Stick to Them! Meet Me Face to Face! Follow up!

Even MORE fundamental- at risk of sounding pathetic – it actually warms the cockles of my lil heart that she simply … took an interest in me.

But wait, there’s more!

When we meet, somehow without condescending or dismissing my struggle bus rides, she encourages me. I always feel optimistic and positive about life when we’re done meeting. For realzzzz, how many people can you say that about??

I say all this not *only* because she’s my #WomanCrushWednesday, but because I want you old fogies ( 😉) to know how little you have to do to be a huge source of light and encouragement to a millennial.

I Love You Hearts GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski - Find & Share on GIPHY

Instead of sharing articles with each other bemoaning how the Youths are always staring at their phones, you could rock their world by busting out those social skills you grieve that we don’t have and 1) initiate a conversation 2) make a concrete plan 3) be a consistent, stable force of good in their lives.***

What an opportunity! Show us how it’s done, baby boomers!

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*that was the gist 😉

**even though this time was a mistake, she didn’t know that!

***sorry for all the enumerations. I just 1) have a lot of points and 2) I don’t really care so 3) I’m really not sorry