I’m 22, an adventurous type who prefers spontaneity. I’m in College in my home-town where I’ve made a lot of friends from different groups and I love it. I’m surrounded by my peers becoming men and women as they pursue careers through college and for the first time since my first girlfriend in Middle School, I’m REALLY single. I don’t mean that as soon as one girl was gone, I had another lined up and I gave her the call. It’s actually been a few years since I’ve had a Facebook official girlfriend (because that’s a thing now). I mean the kind of single where I’m not even invested in a girl or focused on her.
I’m the kind of guy that needs someone in my life. I’m dependent on the relationship, the girl to always be there and talk to. Even when I wasn’t officially invested in someone, I had my sights centered on the ONE I wanted. If it wasn’t one, it was another. I wouldn’t have a girlfriend but I’d certainly have a girl I wished was my girlfriend. That changed. It changed because of a girl who was different. This isn’t a story about her but she played a beautiful part worth mentioning. We never dated, actually she was the courting type and we never did that either. We spent countless hours talking and becoming best friends until eventually I wanted to pursue her further and she did as well. For a little less than a year this process happened and in the end it didn’t work out but that’s fine. Here’s the key.
She wouldn’t kiss me.
She won’t kiss anyone except her husband actually. Alright dudes, throw up your red flags, I know this is such an important part of a relationship! No one wants to marry a terrible kisser! You start dating someone because you’re attracted to them and you want to find out if they’re the person you want to marry. Along the way you test out married things and some people even live together to see if it would work. Eventually, once you’ve settled in and you think you’ll be with that person forever, you ask them to marry you.
No that’s crap.
To tell you the truth, I was really excited when I found out she wouldn’t kiss me. I actually knew it all along but as it became more of a reality that we were interested in each other, this uncommon thing of hers grew on me. I loved it. Why? Because of the unbelievable freedom I had in this growing relationship between friends towards more. I had the ability to invest in her person, not her intimacy. I could talk to her without other things creeping into my mind. The fact is, I wasn’t willing to try and steal this gift for her husband, it just wasn’t an option. And we’re just talking about a kiss! How many of our relationships involve much more than that?
For the first time, I pursued a girl righteously, with intent, and I left proud of the way I conducted myself. The best part; she’s still my best friend. It wasn’t a perfect end, it was really hard honestly. But here I am, a much better man because of it and I left with a mark. I want that freedom in the next relationship I pursue and the only way I know how is to not do that one thing that inspired it all. Kiss. I know this is so counter-cultural but I’m no saint either when it comes to dating. I wasn’t happy with how things went when I dated to date, when I dated solely because I liked the person or was attracted to her. My views on dating have completely changed, my standards have raised and it has left me free from trying to impress every cute girl, free from dwelling on whether “it could work”. It’s much more serious than that! I only want to invest in someone worthwhile. I’m not playing the Stock Market anymore and instead, I’m investing in a Roth.
And now where does that leave me? Single. And happy. I suppose this is the point that I wanted to get to and we took a little trek to get here. See, I have such a different view on dating now. And I have a different approach to dating called courting. I feel incredible because like I mentioned earlier, I’m not with anyone and I’m not focused on anyone. It’s not intentional, I haven’t taken a vow of temporary (or permanent) celibacy. I’m certainly open to considering a girl as a potential wife but that’s my standard now. Future WIFE, not future fun. I don’t take that lightly. At the same time, I’m able to have fun and make new friends including girls without wondering what my plan is to get a girlfriend.
So last stop, here’s my proposition to guys and girls. If you’re in a relationship that you enjoy, awesome! Treat them with respect and be intentional! If you’re single like me, embrace it. It’s a rare opportunity to pursue dreams, make friends, find a hobby, do life as YOU. Make yourself happy, don’t make someone else do it for you. When you can be content with yourself, imagine the overflow of joy you’ll bring to a relationship when you’re intentional with him/her. When you’re REALLY single, you stop doing things to impress others. Make yourself proud! Don’t be lazy, do something! Be adventurous.
In a Letter from Paul to the Christians in Colossae-
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
Complete yourself in Christ.