I want to encourage the young, unmarried women in my life to feel free to step out and make it clear you're looking for a romantic relationship, if in fact, you're at an age and maturity level to pursue a marriage-bound relationship. (For now, we won't get into what I think that means.)
I want to tell you a little bit about my thinking and my real-life "love story." If you know me at all, you likely know I've been happily married for nearly 6 years, now, and Jonathan and I have two adorable little boys. That also means that I was single until age 28, though, and I'd likely still be single if I were the type to sit around and wait for God to drop him in my lap! Not that being single for life is necessarily a bad thing, but if that's not what you want, I just want you to realize that it's okay to go after your dreams!
For those of you who don't know, we actually met on a Christian "dating" site called "Christian Cafe" (the link takes you to their site). Despite the constant jokes we make about "not being able to trust anything you find online" and "you get what you pay for" (I was only on a free trial--Jonathan had a paid membership!), I really think that how we met is great for the thinking person, for several reasons:
- You have the chance to find out what the other person believes and to see if you're philosophically compatible before physical attraction and all those related goopy emotions can get in the way.
- You literally have to learn to communicate with one another because basically, that's all you have.
- You don't run as much of a risk of "wasting time" building a relationship with a guy who isn't interested in more than "hanging out" since travel is often required for an in-person meeting.
Like anything else, you need to be cautious because, like my dad mentioned to me, all you know about a person you meet that way is what they tell you. You do need to check up on that.
For those of you set on waiting for a guy to make the first move or waiting for God to literally drop him in your lap, I wonder if you feel the same way about a degree program or career. Did you wait for those to come to you, or did you get out there and pursue what you desired? Just sayin'.
Here's how it worked for me. When I went on Christian Cafe, there were about 3,000 guys. When I narrowed the search to "Baptists" and those who don't drink or smoke and were within a few years of my age (and taller than I am, and maybe a few more qualifiers), the field narrowed to 30. Two of those guys were in the church I was attending at the time (that was a little awkward). I messaged several of them and asked them to tell me what they liked most about their church. (Not very romantic, I know!)
My Jonathan replied to that message in a very thoughtful way, and thus began our first weeks of dialogue (or grilling each other, however you want to term it!). He was a youth pastor in Oregon at the time, and I was teaching at a Christian school in Michigan. We had both attended Bob Jones University for 3 1/2 of the same years, but we'd never met. (We're still finding out about mutual friends and acquaintances--crazy!) Our first phone conversation was in April 2005, he flew out to meet me in June, and I flew to Oregon in August, which is when he officially proposed. We were married in March 2006.
Nearly six years later, I'd consider us one of the many on-line love success stories! God has taken us up and down some windy roads, but we're thankful to have each other and, of course, our two little balls of energy!
I'll tell more of our story in another post, but the main point of this one is to encourage those single Christian girls out there to feel free to make a move, today on Sadie Hawkins Day, or any day!