Red flags, long hikes, and burritos

[I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about romanticals anymore, but I discussed it with the queen of Galloblog and she extended her scepter. So I think for at least this one time I can get away with it.]

Okay, kids. What I want to talk about today are “red flags,” or as they say in France, drapeaux de rouge. Red flags are those indicators when you’re dating someone that they might be the cheatin’ kind, afraid of commitment, addicted to drugs, a pathological liar, a wearer of pastel colored shorts— anything indicative you should run for your life.

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Red flags are important to talk about, because err’body is going to cause you to throw up a red flag or two, even if they are generally fantasimo. Indeed, people who end up happily married discover things about each other along the way that make them question their character (“you were still dating other people when you met my parents?!)” or sanity (“you face the water when you shower?!”). Despite these unnerving realizations, sometimes the perceived value of the flagged-one is so great that the flagger is still willing to work through their pain and shock. But we all have a red flag threshold that, when exceeded, makes us call the game early and go home.

My threshold used to be too low, (probably) and sensitive to the wrong sort of “problems.” I would be dating someone and think, “Oh Lorttttt, he orders water with lime, because he’s too fancy for a humble lemon? I can’t handle this.”

But in my most recent foray into romanticals, I think I put my threshold too high, for things that were important. I was collecting red flags for this hombre like they were going out of style. None of these red flags indicated he was a psycho or a bad person— he was a good guy, and my decision to date him wasn’t only because he looked like Eric Church when he wore a baseball cap and sunglasses (but for real…). We shared the same faith, had similar political views, liked a lot of the same music, enjoyed eating sushi bowls and fawning over doggos, valued traveling over accumulating stuffz, both intelligent in complementary ways, and were attracted to each other.

BUT!!! If my ex-bf, me, and a rando hobo were asked “Describe your perfect weekend,” I think I’d have more in common with rando hobo.

Par example

Gallo’s perfect weekend

  • Friday night : game night with a lot of friends*
  • Sat morning: wake up early to read or write in a hipster-y coffee shop for a few hours
  • Sat afternoon: go on an outdoor adventure (e.g. rock-climbing) with a bunch of ppl I’ve never met*
  • Sat evening: meet up with a few close friends to do something artsy or cultured, (e.g. see a play)*
  • Sunday morning: meet up with my mentor before church, attend church *
  • Sunday afternoon: lunch with my parents*, then go on a long hike*
  • Sunday evening: read an interesting book

Gallo’s ex-bf’s perfect weekend

  • Friday night: make music in room
  • Saturday morning: Perhaps make a breakfast burrito
  • Saturday afternoon:  gym, sauna, miscellaneous errands
  • Saturday evening: sit on back porch and listen to music *
  • Sunday morning: Maybe church*
  • Sunday afternoon: Nap
  • Sunday evening: Professional massage to unwind from the stress of the day

*Activities that I/he would have been happy to do with each other

What jumps out to you? Differences in the love of hanging out in groups? Differences in outdoorsiness? Differences in how much we wanted the other to share in our activities?

 

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My ideal

 

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His ideal

HOW ABOUT ALL OF THE COTTON PICKIN’ ABOVE??

Do you see how miserable we would have made each other??

His reaction to my weekend plans: stress and anxiety, feeling smothered.

My reaction to his weekend non-plans: frustration and boredom, feeling abandoned.

Now, there is of course a time and place to work through incompatibilities. But 1-2 months into dating is probably not that time. Once you’ve confirmed the person has similar values and doesn’t seem insane or abusive, they still might be a terrible fit for you.

I know this little piece of advice is probably not earth-shattering to any of you, but I think it’s important because it’s a really big deal — but unlike other “tests” of compatibility, it doesn’t take too much time or emotional depth to figure this out. So if you’re date-smart – unlike your favorite blogger – you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache by asking this simple question — “Can we plan a weekend together without one of us needing to pop a Xanax to make it through?” If not, release them back into the dating wilds.

Life is too short to be tortured by your SO’s SOP!

 

This man is offering to sever unwanted soul ties for $500

 

 

 

Brad shares a deep insight into the scripture reading, and your heart leaps within you in affirmation. When you expand on Brad’s idea with a vulnerable example from your own spiritual journey, his eyes lock with yours for an electrifying moment. Before you even realize what’s happening, your very souls are linked together.

 We can all relate to those times in your church small group when you and another member are just really jiving, and whether you like it or not, you just formed a soul tie. 

 knot

Although these experiences can be heady, they are deleterious to our future relationships. Take it from Mary Anne McAllister, a long-suffering victim of an accidental soul tie despite being married for seven years to the man of her dreams. “I try to connect to my husband when we pray together, but all I can think about when I close my eyes is that one time when Jo-Jo McGee said ‘yes Lord’ in response to one of my prayers back in 2006.”

Rex Hood, a self-educated theologian and pastor, is offering freedom from these soul ties. “The best solution is prevention, obviously. I think we would all agree that any sort of connection with anyone who is not your future spouse will lead to devastating emotional and spiritual consequences for the rest of your life. But if the worst happens and you accidentally bond with someone of the opposite sex in your Christian community, there are certain… options.”

 

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From here, the details get a little mysterious. Rex’s professional site does not disclose his particular methods, and his entire business relies on personal recommendations. He does have a 3.5 star rating on yelp, with some customer’s claiming “$500 is worth freeing my soul from over a decade of intimate, mixed-sex small group discussions!” He has, however, been spotted entering the homes of soul-tie victims with essential oils, a 4 ft wooden cross, and Michael W. Smith cds.

Rex remains unfazed by some accusations that charging $500 to sever each soul tie is a bit exploitative. “If you don’t think your soul is worth at least $500, I probably can’t help you anyway.”

 

For those with knotted souls and a little extra cash, it just may be worth it.

 

C. Gallo is a freelance writer in Atlanta, GA. She enjoys writing lies that make her lolz. Some of the characters in this story may be fictional, then again they may be real. Any resemblance to real persons or businesses might be on purpose, to cause controversy and drive up her blog views. 

 

 

 

 

the 6 stages of post-break-up grief, in gifs

#1 – Nothing but pure, unadulterated despair

Sad Diane Keaton GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#2 – when you realize it’s really over and most of the great men in the world got married when they were 19

Feels Breaking Dawn GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#3 – you let all the positive affirmations from friends and family sink in.. maybe goes to your head

I Am World Tour GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#4 – you decide you hate men and resign yourself to be a cat lady forevs

Adopts Cat Lady GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#5 – but then your hormones make a strong case for staying in the game

How You Doin Flirting GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#6 – hope for the future

Claude Rains GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

The End of an Era: Gallo’s final words on romanticals

Dear ones,

I have greatly enjoyed opening up my heart to foreign internet bots, passionate masculinazis, and my exes (recent market research indicated these three groups comprise 96.8% of Galloblog readers). But, the over-sharing sun has set, and the moon of discretion is rising.

I will no longer use this blog as an outlet to share the good, bad, ugly, and rando details of my dating life.

 

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New year (kinda), so new life strategies, amiright?!

 

But don’t worry – I’m planning to write a lengthy manifesto titled “No Sex and the Kitties: How following Joshua Harris’ model for dating turned me into a lonely cat lady” available 2021.

As another parting gift, I’m leaving final thoughts that I had jotted down and I probably would have tried to pound out into an entire post for all of your reading pleasure. Alas, maybe someone else will stumble upon them and be set aflame with inspiration.

Here they are,  in no particular order —-

  • He’s not that into you, and get over it. It’s not the end of the world if someone you’re dating isn’t swept off their feet by your charms. Sure, it’s always a blow to the ol’ ego, especially if you are a little swept away by them. But by pure statistics, it’s bound to happen – get over it, give it some time, and who knows— you might gain an amazing friend.

 

  • If you expect them, they will come.  I think sometimes presupposing that all men are arse-holes is a self-fulfilling prophecy (maybe bc the good ‘uns are *for some reason* not attracted to our contempt). So yeah — expect to meet amazing men, and you probably will.

 

  • There really are many fish in the sea – don’t give in to the scarcity complex and latch onto people who are grossly incompatible with you.

 

  • We need to be more gracious about people’s pasts. It’s more important how someone has dealt with their past and what their trajectory is now, than that they have lived a perfect life since birth.

 

  • Let’s make dating fun again. It’s okay to get to know someone in a relaxed, casual manner. No need to dissect their worldview and see the last 6 months of their credit card statements on the first few dates.

 

  • A call for exclusive cas. Dating more than one person at a time – even when they all know you’re not being exclusive – sounds easy and breezy, but was a terrible idea for me. I was emotionally spread thin and unnecessarily hurt some really great people. From now on, as much as possible — even if I don’t tell the dude I’m doing so — I’m going to focus on one romancer at a time.

 

  • (That being said), Dating and hurt feels.. like peas and carrots. Listen up people — there’s no secret technique for avoiding hurting your own or someone else’s feelings. That being said, it is worth trying to be as considerate as possible.

 

  • I could be single forever. If so, what a waste to wallow around feeling sorry for myself, or work myself into an emotional frenzy each and every time I go on a few dates with someone I see potential with. Like the secular sage Joel Osteen declares, Live your best life now! Lolzzzzz. But seriously — I feel like keeping the big picture in mind has helped me not wait for an ideal relationship status before I start doing stuff (traveling, trying out new restaurants, etc.). It also makes me want to invest more in really great frands #ovariesbeforebrovaries

 

  • Don’t buy into the relationship prosperity gospel. God does not owe you a perfect spouse because you courted instead of dated, if you’re saving yourself for marriage, or whatever. And if you haven’t followed Joshua Harris’ … or Marshal Segal’s … or Ben Stuart’s relationship books perfectly, God may very well still choose to bless your socks off in the romantic department. Yep.. *squints knowingly in the distance* It’s called grace.

 

I just gave you 9 blog posts in 1. Lucky day, lucky day.

A part of me will miss this greatly. But a wise soul said to me a while ago – “Be careful who you invite to speak into your life.” Posting this pretty personal stuff for the entire world to read is essentially inviting the entire world to speak into my love life. Sorry Charlies, but I don’t want or need that no more.

I FEEL SO MATURE RIGHT NOW!

Okaayyyyyyy, C. Gallo out ❤

Lady may I?

In light of the recent sexual assault accusations against… basically every male in Hollywood … I wanted to say somethin’ very quickly to the (hopefully) majority of men who are not sexual predators and never want to be.

How ’bout you fellers start asking -and pausing an appropriate amount of time – before touching any extra-familial lady in any way that is more intimate than say… a handshake.

Even with something as low-key as a kiss, a simple, sweet, and respectful gesture is to ask first before you just go for it.

If you’re afraid that asking will make you seem timid or weak, or the whole experience will be less sexy or something, I beg to differ. The few times that guys have asked me for a smooch,  it was yowza yowz.*

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So hot 🔥🔥🔥

I bring up this suggestion because I am honestly scared for my heterosexual laddies who have been relying on the tried-and-untrue “read-her-signals” method to figure out when and what to do in a romantical situation. In the current dating climate, relying on your subjective interpretation of a woman’s  — who you probably barely know, I may add — “signals” isn’t just unwise or ungentlemanly— it’s downright assinine.

Anyway, I promised brevity and brev I shall be.

If you read any of this read this: I humbly ask you to humbly ask. You have everything to gain and practically nothing to lose… except a future sexual misconduct allegation. And in the meantime, you might make a few ladies feel valued and respected. Give it a try today!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Of course there was one time when I said no, but it wasn’t as awkward as you might imagine.. and actually it ended up being much less awkward than it would have been if he had just gone for it. So you ask, and worst case scenario she says no and your ego wimpers a bit vs. you don’t ask, and worst case scenario you think everything’s great, then find out later that she told your entire social circle that you pressured her and made her feel icky.

 

 

 

Reflections on one of (the?) best date(s) ever

I wrote this post a while ago and chickened out before I posted it. Now that I have some distance from it, I realized it is still pure gold. Also, I needed to re-read it *laughs nervously*

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I went on a date last night. I realize it’s a terrible idea to tell the entire interwebs about it, but I have so many thoughts and feels about it, I truly don’t care. 

To begin – the date activities were downright classy. In the current “ambiguous hangout” culture, it’s refreshing to be treated like an adult woman with value. Actually, the whole experience made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve felt truly valued and – excuse me for getting vuln here – almost made me want to cry. He picked me up. He used the D word beforehand – but also made it clear he wasn’t necessarily expecting this to be the start of a long relationship – so I wasn’t confused about what he was thinking. He told me how fancy-pants he was going to be, so I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing myself by dressing too down or too up. It may seem small, but it’s really considerate to eliminate so much random stress and angst with clear communication. 

Then the date itself – I don’t think I’m off base to say he was excited to be out with me and thought I looked attractive. I felt attractive. He was flirty and affectionate without assuming a false romanticism (one of my pet peeves). He asked me about myself and seemed genuinely interested in my answers. He wasn’t intimidated by my PhD and research, but he didn’t fetishize it, either (if anyone ever says “talk nerdy to me,” that’s my cue to split and Uber myself back to the hizzle). He was obviously very smart and had a good career going, but he wasn’t arrogant about it. 

Beyond that – we just had a connection. I know that’s cliché, but it’s true. He’s one of the very few people I could imagine having a deep​ convo with but still be able to laugh uproariously about something ridiculous. So many men I meet 1) immediately launch into convincing me we’re perfect for each other and should formalize our relationship as soon as possible, 2) seem like they’re trying to figure out how well I fit into their life, worldview, social scene, etc. but aren’t interested in my life, worldview, social scene, or 3) they treat me like their bro who they’re kinda sorta attracted to. But he didn’t try to point out everything we had in common, or ask probing questions to determine if I would put up with his video game all nighters, and we didn’t meet up at Chipotle. He treated me like.. a(n attractive) person … who he was getting to know. Cray!

You may be thinking, “Congrats! What’s​ the prob?” Well, to my great chagrin, we have deeply incompatible worldviews. One part of me wants to push that to the side and take it day by day. But y’all, this is where I need to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I either have faith or I don’t. As much as my poor little heart is a little ache-y right now, my brain and my heart both remember how miserable it is to date someone who (directly or indirectly) discourages my faith. So I can’t. Or more accurately, I won’t. As the sassy Jane Eyre said – 

“I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”

 

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I doubt Jane Eyre would approve of this shoe choice, but PLANT THOU FOOTSIES! (pixabay image, not an actual gallofoot)

 

 This is probably frustrating to read. If this was a movie I’d be super pissed that this was the ending. “Why even tell us this?!” Because, with all my snarky criticisms and womansplaining related to dating and men, I wanted to spend at least one post not being glib or sarcastic or bossy, but just real.

I also want the world to know that the type of date I described above is **not** out of fashion.

Single Brochachos I strongly​ encourage you: if you don’t get excited about being out with a woman, or if you don’t find yourself wanting to create a date that makes her feel valued, then do yourself both a favor and release her to find someone who does. 

Single Sischachas I strongly encourage you: if your man doesn’t consistently make you feel valued, honored, and special… move it along.

Final point- it’s okay to appreciate something for what it was, even if it didn’t have the perfect rom-com ending. I loved that date, and I’m so thankful for it. 

I’m also thankful to all of you for enduring this embarrassing amount of over-sharing. Promise I’ll go back to being glib and sarcastic very soon. ❤ 

 

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PLEASE NOTE: I wrote a post a while back with some similar elements, and it really ruffled some feathers. Not trying to stir the pot, just sharing my thoughts/feels.. that’s what blogging is for, yo. If you are seriously offended plz message me about it. *smooch*

 

Why I called off my engagement to John Crist

Dearest readers, it has been a tumultuous few weeks. My courtship with John Crist began slowly, like a lovely, delicate rose unfolding in the enchanted glow of the rising sun. He made me think, he made me laugh. He sent notifications to my YouTube account specifically whenever he uploaded a new video. So intentional! ❤ Even from those hauntingly brief video clips, I was getting delicious tastes of his soul. Then I discovered that our childhoods were so similar that we’re essentially one person in two bodies. We both grew up 1) homeschooled 2) christian 3) in the same metro-area in the southern US 4) with political parents. You may not believe this, but we also have 5) a similar shade of brown hair. Coincidence…? Um, sure —- If God’s divine hand is coincidence!

The tender bud of love really evolved into a mature bloom when he traveled all the way across the country to visit my city. When I went to his comedy show, I could tell he was bewitched by my modest beauty because he gazed longingly in my direction whenever he said the punchline to a joke. I sat there with my hands clasped nervously to my bosom, feeling my heart beating wildly. I also took Desiring God’s online quiz to evaluate relationship compatibility, and we were matched as Ruth and Boaz Compatibility. Huzzah! I proposed to him publicly, and publicly accepted my proposal on his behalf. Yowza! Now the petals of love were blowing wildly in the winds of whirly-twirly romance!

 

But then.. those same petals – once so plump and full of life and energy – fell to the ground and were smushed by the heel of sorrowful reality.

 

 

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Smushed. 😥 (pixabay free image)

 

 

What happened? Well for one, he did nothing to guard my heart. He never once clarified our relationship, or let it progress at a healthy speed (many Christian relationship experts recommend one chaperoned date per month for the first two years). Instead, he sent me video after video after video, letting me fall more and more and more in love with him. I was a helpless victim to his romantic advances.

And then, he betrayed me. I discovered this during a lunch date with my friend Amber. We were both happily chatting about our men, and then we discovered “our men” was one man — John Crist. Apparently, this Casanova had been sending her personal YouTube notifications, too – during the exact same time period.

The final smush to our love-rose came when I discovered that he stole from me. Imagine the pain that lacerated my heart when I saw that he took the humor thesis of one of Galloblog’s about nothing posts and made a meme from it… giving me no credit whatsoever. What made this betrayal especially ironic was that the entire joke centered around sharing memes being an expression of love! I can only use reverse logic then, to conclude that stealing a meme is an expression of .. not even hate.. but indifference! Indifference to our engagement! Our love! Our future little Gallocrists!

 

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It hurts me to even look at it. Heartless bastard! *throws a random dinner plate*

 

Needless to say, the engagement is off. I plan to roam around the streets of Atlanta aimlessly for the remainder of my brief time here on earth. I will carry with me a smushed rose always, as a symbol of the Smushed Love Rose of John Crist. Once one has loved so deeply.. so wholly, once cannot simply pick up the cracked pottery of one’s life and create a functional life vase.

 

Forever yours in sorrow,

Gallosad 😥

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

03/12/2018 9:16 AM EST: It has come to my attention that “is John Crist engaged” is my #1 search term, so I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are a hopeful fan girl in a deep interwebz investigation to determine if you have a shot with Christianity’s golden boy of comedy. So please note that I wrote this post as an inside joke between me and my friends, and it was never meant to inform the general public about his relationship status. Is John Crist engaged?! For sure no 😉

… btdubs, while you’re here you should read some of my other stuff — like, comment, follow, share, etc… it’s the Christian thing to do 😉 😉 😉

 Stuffz Gallo Likes Episode 1: How John Crist encouraged me to blog with wild abandon

John Crist info page

John Crist v. Trey Kennedy: A fangirl’s guide

 

 

 

 

It’s not you, it’s Jesus.

Ima be real: I struggle with dating non-Christians. For whatever reason(s), menfolk without the faith love them some Galloswag. And contrary to the dire warnings I heard in my youth, many of them are *not* sleaze bag jerk faces, with “only one thing on their mind.” Au contraire, many men who aren’t Christian have genuinely amazing qualities and seem to sincerely appreciate me.

On the flipside, IT WOULD SEEM many* menfolk with the faith are ‘meh’ or ‘oh holy gosh, no!’ when when it comes to yours truly.** I often get the eerie feeling they are comparing me to some champion-of-the-faith-barbiedoll-yet-somehow-unintimidating-wears-ripped-skinnyjeans-with-artsy-jewelry prototype.***

So yes, I have frequently dated non-Christians. Because.. well.. they saw me. And I liked them.

Even though sometimes I have had tons in common with some of these menz and liked them lotttssss, in the end it never worked out.

When I was in my late teens / early twenties, it didn’t work out because I was ridden with guilt the entire time we dated. I wanted to stay with them, but I shouldn’t.

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^How I’ve often felt (edited pixabay free image)

 

I would break it off regretfully, almost saying “It’s not you, it’s Jesus.” I took my own spiritual and emotional needs out of the equation. I basically conveyed to the spurned pago they were practically perfect, if not for that meanie Apostle Paul. “If only Christianity didn’t have these annoying verses about not being unequally yoked… Otherwise, I would TOTALLY date you.”

More recently, even though parts of me may still want to keep dating an adorbs guy who doesn’t share my faith, a louder, stronger part of me doesn’t wanna.

Why? I believe it has something to do with the ‘transforming your mind’ part of being a Christian. Being a Christian changes the way I view everything — how to handle my own successes and failures, the shortcomings of others, future stressful situations, my purpose on earth, beauty … It’s unsettling when I’m dating a non-Christian who can’t get over some bitterness toward someone who has wronged them, is existentially threatened by a career failure, etc. I know what keeps me out of those pits – praying, reading scripture, the encouragement and exhortation of Christian community, and thoughts like  “Yes, this person hurt me, but my struggle is not against flesh and blood. The more they wrong me, the more of an opportunity it will be to exercise the audacious forgiveness of the cross.” To me, that’s the stuff of freeing truth. To a non-Christian, that’s the stuff of idiotic gibberish.

Plus, I want a certain intimacy in my romantic relationships that involves sharing everything that’s important to me. I’m sure it’s technically possible to never talk about my faith and focus on other shared interests, but that would be … fragmenting. It would be more awkward than dating someone who didn’t think that the disease I research was even a real disease. We might still be able to guffaw over Parks and Rec reruns together, but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have a true partner in life who would encourage and support me in what is most important to me.

 

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Mean ol’ Jesus, always coming coming in-between our hearts and theirs. *snorts* (edited pixabay free image)

But I think it’s worth considering what your decision would be if the bible was completely silent on this subject. If it doesn’t grieve you that they don’t have the same life, joy, peace, purpose that following Jesus has brought you – well then, maybe you aren’t finding life, joy, peace, and purpose in Christianity.

I found it super helpful and enlightening to do a heart investigation / rebellion deconstruction to find the primary source of my struggle. For example, I recently realized I get more joy from flirting/smooching/dating than from my faith. From there, I realized my feels toward God were pretty flat. From there, I read a chapter from Sacred Rhythms that made me realize I wasn’t creating space in my heart and life to find joy in Jesus. At least in my case, my dating strugglez were just as much a symptom of a problem as a problem in of itself.

Focusing on the solution to the root of my probs (feeling ‘meh’ about Jesus) has opened the way to work on “throwing off all that hinders” so I can run in free, obedient joy, instead of planting my feet in dutiful, obedient misery.

I’m not trying to paint myself as some super-Christian, belieeeeeeeeve meeeee. BUT I’ve been encouraged that most recently, the disconnect I had with a non-Christian would-be-boyfriend was genuine, not forced.

So Christian singles – instead of saying “It’s not you, it’s Jesus,” may we all honestly say “It is you, it is me, it is especially you and me together not being particularly helpful in my pursual of Jesus. Peace and grease.”

And then, let us joyfully FIDO.

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* With a few notable exceptions. You know who you are! #awkward

** NOT THAT I AM BITTER 

*** OKAY I’M PRETTY BITTER 

GENERAL COMMENT: The main reason I decided to publish these rambles is because this has been such a huge source of guilt for me for .. 10 years! And there’s practically nothing less Christian than being eaten alive by guilt. So, even if this helps two people, it’s worth the rest of the world rolling their eyes at my over-sharing.

 

The kind of man it feels good to be around 

This is a simple idea, so I apologize if your mind isn’t blown to the same degree that it usually is after reading a Galloblog – but hopefully your mind is at least poofed.

Lately I’ve been falling asleep to one of my favoritest songs in the whole world – Ashley McBryde’s daddy love song, Bible and a .44. (It sounds like a crazed redneck song, but it’s actually heart-achingly sweet.) Anyway, one line of that song that jumps out to me every time I hear it is “[he’s] the kind of man it feels good to be around.”

(These sort of simple, beautiful, strangely profound lyrics are why I love country music, despite recent assaults on its dignity by Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, etc.)

One reason why those lyrics strike me is that I immediately think of the men in my fam – my Dad, my Grandpa, my Grandaddy, brother, uncles, cousins.. They really do feel good to be around, and it hurts my heart sometimes just to think about it.

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My grandpa. That grin! If it doesn’t make you feel good, I can’t help you.

What is this secret element that brings on these good feels? I think it’s kindness. A genuine interest in others and commitment to their well-being.. and a complete lack of self-interest. The Gallomen are confident, so they don’t need to prove themselves by obnoxiously competing with other men or by bringing down women, either overtly or covertly. ❤

But another more somber reason those lyrics strike me is how many men they *don’t* apply to.

(This isn’t a man-basher post, but just a “Ima be real” with a dash of emo.)

I have a lot of guy friends that are fun to pal around with. They can be funny. They can be charming. They can be interesting. But at the end of the day, hardly any of them – romantic or platonic alike – actually make me feel good. And some of them – after hanging out with them – I just feel… bad.

Is that their fault? Is the problem me? Who knows, and who cares. They just do.

My birthday is around the corner, which always intensifies my pensiveness and reflectivity sooooo… the action item I’m going to take away from this beautifically simple ideer is also beautifically simple: I’m going stop friending (and especially dating, amiright?) men* whom — whether or not they’re brilliant, hilarious, devastatingly handsome, Captain of the Tim Keller fan club, etc. — it feels bad to be around.** And if I may get a little dramatic … if I can’t find men who feel good to be around, better to be alone and/or surround myself with sisters from other misters and/or houseplants.

.. Oh, and I encourage you all – especially those tender young blossoms of womenfolk – to do the same *smooch*

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Yes, yes, women too. But the song lyric is about men, so.. just go with it.

**I’m not saying to shun people who you don’t jive with perfectly. I’m referring to people who consistently bring ickiness into your life. You don’t have to hate them, but you definitely don’t have to subject yourself to the bad feels, either.

An immodest proposal for the reinstatement of arranged marriages

I don’t know why so many people pretend like having a dynamo dating life is living the dream. Oh yes, it is an utter delight to either get your heart broken, break someone else’s heart, or both.

“Poppycock!” – Dr. Galloswag

But dating sucks because we moderns have made it suck. Our past few generations have an undue obsession with relationships and romance. I mean, smart, good lookin’, healthy, goodhearted, financially stable people feel legitimately bad  – like, they don’t even enjoy their life – simply because they’re single. And one of the main reasons they are single is *not* because there is no one available. It’s because, with each of the 1,482 different people they met through HarmoniousBagelMatch in the past month, “we didn’t have a romantic connection,” or “our Myers-Briggs types were incompatible,” or “she had man hands.”

In the olden days, they didn’t have time to worry about this nonsense. They were fleeing angry ostriches or trying to resist eating their own toes during the winter. I doubt pre-modern women often looked over at pre-modern Jo-Jo and thought, “I don’t know, he just doesn’t make me laugh.”

Right now we’ve become way too picky because we have too many options. We now rule people out for having unseemly arm hair because— we can. There’s this itch in the back of our heads – “I can do better.

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When you have this many options, you’re bound to 1) take forever to choose 2) be certain you *could* have made a better choice, no matter what you choose (pixabay image)

But what does that mean, exactly – to “do better?” Have we really reduced personal relationships to a game of ego, where we’re all trying to outsmart the system and snag someone who is just a tad out of our league?

This is why we need to return to arranged marriages. It doesn’t have to be quite as parentally-subservient as it was in the past. Each person should construct a 4-6 person “Matrimonial Selection Committee,” between the ages of 18 and 25. Within one year of selecting the MSC, they need to present to the committee their non-negotiables (e.g. “loves Tim Keller) and perhaps a few special preferences (e.g. “uses emojis liberally”). The MSC will then take this information and undergo a 6-12 month search for a suitable mate. At the end of said search, they will present the person with their choice. The person can say yes, or be single for the rest of their life. Simple.

Look, this may seem overly cut-and-dry, but it’s really not. As Lewis Smedes and Tim Keller argue – the promising and commitment is what gives us the security and freedom to truly invest in each other and love without fear of abandonment (in TK’s The Meaning of Marriage). So I’m pretty sure that if we just made a commitment to almost anyone with the same general values (or faith, if you have one), we would flourish like a well-watered begonia.

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Picky singles, this could be you. (pixabay image)

Arranged marriages, FTW!