Dating After Divorce

In 20 days, it will have been one full year since my divorce. This is the date I promised my pastor three years ago that I’d wait until before I started courting and it’s almost here! In celebration of this special day, this entry is dedicated to the strange and weird world of dating after divorce.

I’m feeling a mixture of both intense excitement and a little trepidation because lately I have been bombarded with well-meaning love advice left and right, much of which is conflicting and confusing. “You should play hard to get” and “You should just be your friendly, fun-loving self.” I should be honest and forthright about my feelings but also mysterious and aloof. I should open up and freely share who I am but also make him earn the intimacy. It’s enough to give me a headache!

I decided to do a little investigation before I put myself out there. I learned that researchers have conducted social experiments and scientifically proven that playing “hard to get” actually does increase attraction and desire but only with people that are already slightly interested in you. This theory is based on the idea that when someone is denied something they want, they want it even more. (That’s probably the reason why people you don’t want to date keep pursuing you even after you’ve told them you’re not interested.)

The best ad2c87f10d0346c0055189ca7885b1fc60vice I’ve been given is to just be direct and straightforward because it develops trust. I’m not going to play games because that’s being deceitful and I’d rather just begin my relationship on a foundation of honesty.

I still don’t know how often to initiate contact… I guess if I’ve already been “friendzoned” it doesn’t really matter how often I shoot him a message. I feel like there must be some secret formula I’m not privy to that tells me how often to communicate with a love interest that is just the right balance of not seeming overeager but still showing him that I was thinking of him. It’s a fine line I must walk between letting him know how much I care about him and unintentionally smothering him.

There is someone in particular I am thinking of as I write this and I want to dedicate the rest of this entry to this someone special who has caught my heart’s attention. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the person I marry has a lot to live up to because I already promised myself I would not settle for anything less than this amazing man I have had the incredible privilege to meet and even greater privilege to get to know.

When I actually stop and think about why I like him it’s so many reasons beginning with faithfulness. He is faithful to God, a faithful friend, faithful and diligent in his work and studies, and the Bible says “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones” (Luke 16:10).

He intelligently contributes to stimulating conversation. After I talk to him, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated rather than drained which is how I feel after I talk to most people. I feel like he’s on my intellectual level and is my spiritual equal as well and that is a rare thing to find indeed. I stated in my last entry that I had yet to find a flaw in him and as cheesy as it sounds, he’s nearly perfect as far as I can tell. He has somehow found that perfect balance between speaking the truth gently and sensitively without compromising honesty and integrity. He is the perfect combination between talkative and a great listener. He’s perfectly in-between laid back and easy-going and logical and analytical.  He can tickle my funny bone but also be serious and profound.  It saves so much time that we think similarly so we’re usually on the same page and can skip explanations because we simply get each other. He’s a deep thinker who wears his heart on his sleeve, just like me. He’s creative and has high ambitions. He has a strong relationship with God and with his family and friends. The way he speaks so highly of his family I can tell he respects them greatly and that’s very attractive to me. He is emotionally stable and feels totally comfortable being his genuine self. He knows himself and what he needs. Even though he sometimes complains about how long and tedious it’s taking, he is confident in his abilities and knows exactly where he’s going and how he’s going to get there. I love that he delays self gratification because he knows that God’s best is around the corner. It only makes me love him more that he knows good things come to those who patiently wait for the right timing. He’s kind-hearted and generous and from what I gather, has Christ-like character. I feel beyond blessed to even know such a wonderful person… and I am so grateful for the fact that he takes time out of his busy schedule to spend a few hours with me now and then. It kills me every time he smiles, oh my goodness I can barely handle that gorgeous smile. And there is something so perfectly comforting and therapeutic about his hugs. I still don’t know him well enough to know if he fits everything I’m looking for on “my list,” but I LOVE what I have gleaned so far from our conversations and I can definitely tell that he is someone who is pure with good intentions and a focus on what is truly important in life.

Yes, he has truly set the bar high for anyone I might meet in the future and I am thankful the Lord brought him into my life. He is living, breathing proof that such a person is not only here on Earth but close by.

As per request of more than a few friends, I give you: THE FUTURE HUSBAND LIST!

  • God-Fearing: A man utterly, passionately, head-over-heels intoxicated by his Heavenly Father with an insatiable desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and continue in holiness. He doesn’t want to break God’s heart but desires to serve Him, obey Him, and glorify Him. His faith inspires others and is an example to me. He challenges me in my walk with God and has a deep, reverential awe for God’s Word. He believes that Truth is absolute, knowable, and that God is the author of it. He is a godly spiritual leader… a doer of the Word who entrusts his worries and burdens to the Father’s capable hands. He hides scripture in his heart and is prepared for spiritual battle with the Sword of the Spirit. Our core beliefs and values line up in harmony. He seeks the Lord’s will in his life with all his being and follows the LORD with reckless abandon.
  • He has a vision for his life. He has a ministry I can come alongside him in to lend my support and assistance. He has goals and dreams that are in step with mine that he is relentless at chasing after.
  • LOVING. Love is patient and kind. It is selfless, gentle, humble, respectful, understanding, compassionate, not easily-angered, forgiving, truthful, heroic, protective, trusting, trustworthy, hopeful, persevering, faithful, encouraging, supportive, attentive, and nurturing.
  • Affectionate/Romantic. It really makes me feel special to cuddle and kiss for hours. After marriage only, I desire to be intimate often. (As in, more than once a day.) I would love it if he wrote me love notes, was not timid with PDA, gave each other massages, and made big deals out of birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Attractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; That being said, I don’t have a “type” although there are a few features I find especially attractive:
    • Hypnotizing, soulful, dreamy eyes with a gleam and sparkle in them
    • A drop-dead-gorgeous smile with a hearty, infectious laugh to go with it and kissable lips (*MUAH*)
    • Muscles are an added bonus because strength in motion is a beauty like no other
    • I like dark coloring best but I’m open to any race/ethnicity
      Non-Negotiables:
    • Has clean, neat fingernails
    • Smells good
  • Wise. Prudent in affairs with finances.
  • Intellectual compatibility is important to me. A deep, insightful thinker with an intuitive, creative mind will get along with me better than someone who is more linear. Not to be too picky, but poor spelling and grammar is unattractive to me as well as a foul mouth (Ephesians 5:4).
  • NOT ADDICTED to anything. This is extremely important. He cannot be addicted to masturbation, drinking, gambling, gaming, sports, TV, or anything else that isn’t healthy. Three things are a deal breaker: Smoking, pornography, and drugs.
  • Self-Assurance is so sexy! He’s confident in His God-given abilities but not conceited. He’s broken and contrite over his sins yet embraces grace with thankfulness and loves the man God made him to be. He knows what his talents and gifts are and uses them to advance the kingdom and build up other believers. He has the potential to someday be an elder in the church.
  • Totally open and honest with me. He says what he means clearly and concisely and never “beats it around the bush.” He replies to texts and phone calls in a timely manner and is punctual.
  • Disciplined. Lord, I pray he is motivated, determined, hard-working, responsible, and takes initiative to do what needs to be done with a servant’s heart.
  • Great sense of humor. I can’t stand crass words and prefer good, clean wit. I pray he appreciates silliness and knows when to be goofy and when to be serious and can do both well. Playfulness is a must… like speaking in funky accents and dressing up in funny couple Halloween costumes with me. Added bonus if he’s fun, energetic, and can be both well-grounded yet surprisingly spontaneous at times. I imagine him as the type of dad who one minute is giving piggy back rides and then the next minute is leading family devotions.
  • Sings and dances with me. (Even if he’s tone deaf with two left feet, God forbid.) I hope he has good taste in music and movies that we can enjoy together. I would love it if we could randomly treat life like a musical and break out in song and dance now and then.
  • Has good, healthy relationships with his friends and family. His friends are genuine people who I get along with well and his family is like a second family to me.
  • Imaginative. Maybe he keeps a journal and likes to write? Maybe he plays an instrument? Maybe he has a poet’s heart and notices beauty in the smallest of things? Maybe he builds things with wood or enjoys painting? Whatever he does, he expresses himself in some creative outlet… even if it’s just going out into nature and meditating.
  • LOVES children and wants to be the best father to both our biological children and adopted children. Foster care is dear to my heart and I’d like him to be on board with me in this calling.
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