And, seven months later. . .

. . . she returns to find her blog unattended. So, she decides to write a blog post. Then, she gets distracted with redesigning the blog and updating her “About” page. Then, she has no fodder for a blog post. Or does she?

Advertisements

Done.

I didn’t renew my subscription to the online dating site. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime, but for now I’m just done.

It is a bit time consuming (probably just because I’m one of those people who like to get my money’s worth, so I make full ((too much?)) use of it). Mostly, though, three months was more than enough for me. I actually did meet several quality guys and we emailed or chatted online. One of them I met in person, twice. He is fantastic, but I’m not sure we’re going to go anywhere. Time will tell. Maybe I’ll tell the whole story sometime. :) I have lots of tips for anyone thinking they want to try online dating, but I won’t pontificate about them here (I’ve used that word entirely too much today). For now, a few things that bug me about online dating:

  • Winking smilies. I now seem to use them in e-mails all the time, whereas before they were reserved for only very sarcastic lines. Ugh. It’s so girly of me. ;)
  • Guys who don’t fill out the short answer questions. The site I was using gives you a seven-day trial. How hard is it to tell at least a few sentences about yourself, even if you’re not going to pay for the service?
  • People who don’t post photos. Duh. It’s a DATING site! How can you not post a photo of yourself?

And, since I don’t want to be negative Nancy–a few things I really liked about online dating:

  • The people who were really real on their profiles. They honestly and frankly described themselves, even some of their negative traits.
  • The many types of people I came across. Some of them were a bit quirky, which made me laugh; others were very successful and driven, which made me think, “How in the world is this person not married yet?”; still, others had come from very different cultures and backgrounds. I guess, since I love people anyway, I find this type of thing very interesting.
  • The shared element of Christian faith (I used a distinctly Christian-owned site) encouraged me quite a bit. I haven’t encountered a whole lot of single men around my age who actually care about going to church, serving others, and loving God.

I think I’ve learned a few things about myself through this experience, too. It has been good. As I said before, I don’t know why I didn’t try this out sooner! :)

Online Dating

Online dating isn’t something I thought I’d ever try, but after three months of trying it out, I’m wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. I’ve always lived in a small town with small populations of males my age, and I have rarely gone “out” to meet people (whatever that means–I guess I’m picturing the stereotypical twenty-something crowd that goes bar-hopping looking for people of the opposite sex to date). That was never me, and it never will be me. So, for the last six years, online dating might have been really good for me, even if I was a little busy with my Master’s and the process of learning how to teach. But, for whatever reason, I only just started to try it.

It’s interesting to think about those reasons. For one, I was mortified at the thought of someone finding out I was clicking away on people’s profiles in search for a date. It seemed desperate, a little creepy, and more like something for people much older than me. Another reason I avoided it is that I convinced myself I didn’t need online dating to help find somebody. It was a little prideful, actually, thinking, “I’m above God making that my story.” There was an blog post from Boundless that really confirmed how wrong this thinking was.  http://www.boundlessline.org/2011/10/engagement-stories-aurora-kenneth.html  Yet another (and probably the biggest) reason for not trying online dating was that I was a little embarrassed to admit I had a “problem” (i.e. not having a boyfriend/fiancee/husband at my age). Speaking of age, the median age for women to get married now is 26. I’m 28. So, it just confirms what we always knew, right? I’m above average. :) Anyway, up until this year, I have been very quiet about my desire to get married and have a family. Maybe I felt like I needed to put up a more independent front. Maybe I felt like people would feel sorry for me if I talked about it.This summer, during a family prayer time when everyone was home, I asked my family to pray that I would find a husband soon. Of course, mom has been praying for this for years, as I have, but it was affirming and healthy for me to tell it to my family. There is nothing wrong with letting people know you want to get married.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, thinking, “Oh, poor girl. She’s desperate to be married.” I’ve grown up around many people older than me who didn’t get married until after 30 (and even 40), so it wasn’t like I didn’t think it wasn’t going to happen eventually. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) hit the panic button. (Ummm…..actually I won’t ever hit the panic button because I have faith that God knows what is best for me at any given moment, and right now that’s being single). I’m so content and blessed in my life as it is right now. Still, I definitely recognize the ways in which life would be so much better married and starting a family. Being alone is boring!

So, why online dating? Basically, I believe God can and will use whatever means (even technological) currently available to move us along in His will. Does that mean I’m going to meet someone online? Not necessarily. Even if I don’t, I already know I will have been blessed by the experience and learned a little about myself in the process. Just in three months, I’ve been both blessed and, it would seem, a bit cursed, as I learn how to go about this process. That’s probably all you need to know about that. ;) More about the details later.

This all plays into the end of the year really well. I am finishing up yet another year after high school of being single. On some days, when I am free to wander around Barnes & Noble at my leisure, pick up and leave at the drop of a hat, or spend inordinate amounts of time reading or working on the latest project as school, the single life is a wonderful gift. On other days, when I come home from a big event to an empty apartment, sit and eat alone at a restaurant (worst thing ever!), or get asked (for the billionth time) why a “young, pretty thing” like me isn’t married, being single is a depressing and difficult experience.

Still, regardless of what happens, I always know that God is right there, and He truly provides me with comfort on the tough days. One of the best was this past Valentine’s Day, an experience I have been a bit too self-conscious to share up until now. I had walked back up to the school to get something, and when I walked out of the building and headed west, I was blessed by this gorgeous sunset. It seemed that God was speaking directly to me, saying, “I Love You.” He knows His children intimately and speaks to them in ways that are perfect just for them. That was the best Valentine’s Day gift ever!

So, I’m soon headed into another year of the single life. I hope it is full of adventure and love!

25 Random Things About Me

1. I am a master at Microsoft Word.
2. I do not have a business mind at all (WHY did I run the concession stand for two years?)
3. I’m becoming more of a techie every day. (My principal told me I was in charge of the laptop carts…YIKES!)
4. I LOVE traveling.
5. If I could go back to college, I would major in communications.
6. The best thing about teaching English is teaching kids to write.
7. I wish I had dear friends within closer distances.
8. I MISS MY FAMILY!
9. I love dress socks, and I love showing them off (it helps when your pants aren’t long enough in the first place.)
10. I enjoy typing in proper MLA Format.
11. I wish I could make a career out of writing.
12. I’ve thought about being a reader for audiobooks.
13. I want to chop my hair off sometime (think: Sharon Stone)
14. One of my greatest passions is PEOPLE.
15. Students can make me cry…when they think I don’t believe in them.
16. I’ve only owned a cell phone for three years.
17. I do not own a TV.
18. I despise horror flicks.
19. I love discussions about how faith interacts with, clashes with, and complements culture and society.
20. I am addicted to reading blogs of people I’m sort of acquainted with but not really.
21. I cannot play basketball to save my life.
22. I blush easily.
23. I have heard multiple stories about the men who are dating me in this small town. (There have been four different ones so far. I just went walking with one of them this weekend! In the 10 degree weather. WOW. I have a great life!)
24. My older brother and I used to be considered twins….then parents of our younger sister…and now boyfriend and girlfriend.
25. I will go anywhere to live in the future, but my heart will always be in North Central KS, preferably in Northern Ottawa Co., on Windmill Rd.

The Third Year

After reading the blogs of acquaintances for several months, I’ve finally decided to jump into the blogosphere. I don’t feel like I have as many cool stories to share about my children or my marriage (both of which do not yet exist), but I LOVE to write. So, what better place to write than at a place called wordpress? I’ll try not to bore you with the mundane details of my life, but then again, what seems mundane to you just might be very important to me. For intstance, my messy desk at school. That’s mundane. But right now, it’s a big deal to me. The conglameration of papers, pens, leftover copies of assignments, and students’ late work suck me into a whirlwind of anxiety and confusion every time I sit down at my desk. My goal for this weekend is to clean it off completely and organize the mess!

This year at school has been my worst so far. Andrea told me her third year was the worst, too. So, I hope this is the worst for me. If not, I’m not so sure High School education is the thing for me. I’m feeling inept, intolerant, and inadequate for the job these days. I hope it’s just the third year thing. Because I really love the opportunity to have a positive impact on students’ lives. Very few jobs provide this opportunity to help shape the minds of those who influence and contribute to our culture and economy every day. Somewhere under all this frustration, I know I hold the belief that I am doing something that is worthwhile. It’s just the third year. Right, God?