Online dating, aghhhh. Profiles and pictures, swiping and clicking, messaging and hoping. This has been my life lately. This path has led to many adventures and friendships but so far no love. At first this killed me—all this work with no reward, all this time and no results, all these feelings and no relationship. And yet I have found something incredibly more valuable than a soul mate: I found myself.
I know that sounds corny and super cliche, but it is true. I have learned so much about myself, and I want tell you about it.
I have learned that my internal struggle with self-doubt when it comes to relationships is not noticed by others. My dating experience is very limited, so the uncertainty that comes because I have no practice is very real. But I am learning that my issues are not that bad. Everyone has stuff. The thing that I see as a mountain might not even be an obstacle to others. In fact, it might be a lovely journey. My search to be “enough” for someone else has been turned upside down, because the real question is am I enough for myself?
As I navigate this journey I continue to find that I like me. I like my life. I love my community. And if he does not respond, it should not and will not change my life. I may wallow a bit, maybe eat some Ben and Jerry’s, but I will be OK. I will not lose anything. And neither will you. You will still be you, maybe with a new bruise but stronger once you have healed.
I have been learning that vulnerability sucks. There was one guy who I thought was out of the picture so I began to place the bricks around my heart and emotions. I was building the wall that all strong, independent, and emotionally-flawed girls build. Girls like me do not deal with our feelings—we push them way down, build a fortress, and pretend that nothing is wrong. I have always found this to be the armor that fits my style.
But when he walked in, smiled, and hugged me, every brick crumbled. The armor fell off and my feelings were real. I had to deal with the fact that when we matched, I was excited. When we messaged, I was was elated. When we texted, my heart swelled. But when it ended with no explanation, I was disappointed. Vulnerability is not our enemy. Be real, be honest, and build trust. It is hard and it can suck, but the more you practice the more authentic you will be. And you may find that you have outgrown your armor.
I have learned that I love the community of women in my life! When things have not gone as planned, when I have felt friend-zoned, all of you have encouraged, listened and dispensed wisdom. The overwhelming joy and excitement in matches, and interest in Facebook stalking, and the genuine love of all the possibilities—it leaves me speechless. You have helped me bare the “it was just not meant to be” wounds like a warrior. Find your crew. Seek out the women who lead extraordinary lives and journey with them, praying together, seeking the Kingdom together, and loving each other.
So Ladies, thank you for loving me flaws and all. You are what makes opening the app, the profiles and pictures, swiping and clicking, messaging and hoping all worth the trip. Matches will come and go, but my crew is forever.
Written while listening to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Sound Track