Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dating Adventures-Online Edition

I have been actively back on the dating scene via a couple of online dating sites recently. I have only had a few dates despite opening communication via emails and phone calls with several potential suitors. I thought the beauty of this forum is the idea that you get to somewhat "weed out" or screen for the people whom you don't think you would be compatible with. In my opinion, the whole essay about yourself and the questions and answers displayed are an opportunity to present who you really are so that both parties can determine the possibilities of compatibility. See for me, compatibility is what I look at FIRST and foremost in some core areas, then my next expectation relates to chemistry which I don't really think can be determined until you meet in person. One of the guys I met about a month ago, I will call him Mr. Marathon. We chatted a couple of times by phone before meeting at a coffee shop. We spent about 2 hours getting to know one another. He is former military, extremely fit & somewhat handsome. Even though its not the usual type of handsome that I am attracted to, I am trying to break out of my box & broaden my dating pool, so I am trying to consider guys who don't normally look like my "type". We had some things in common like running road races and a love of travel. He seems like a pretty straight laced guy, pretty even-keeled. One thing I noticed was he seems to be pretty self-made & confident in his career and accomplishments and overall place in life. The only thing he feels he is missing is a good wife. He is divorced at 45 with two children in their 20's. His answer to the question of whether he wants more kids on his profile was "not sure". In person during our discussion the answer seemed more like "probably not". The other issue that came up was the fact that he is not an active member of any church despite professing to be a Christian, nor does he attend church other than sporadically. I try to tread lightly in this area when discussing with folks, but I am always interested in why able bodied Christians don't attend worship services. His answer was that 3-4 yrs ago he was a member of a church but that they wanted too much of his time. There was always some event or function that required his service ( time or talent) and it just got to be too much so he quit going to church.
I guess I was wondering why he didn't just find another church and become a "less active" participant and maybe my thoughts were showing on my face, because he then came back with the statement that ".... well, you know, I know some really bad people, living really foul lives that go to church every Sunday...." and " Everybody that goes to church is not a Christian, etc."
***double crickets***
This has to be my all time worst excuse that people give for not going to church ! I mean in all of Houston, you can't find a church to attend that's not full of heathens ? LOL ! Furthermore, how is it that you let the person standing next to you in worship & what they do in their day to day life, dictate whether or not you want to be in the service to receive food for your own spirit ? I guess I was hoping he would just admit to backsliding and indicate that he planned to get back involved but just needed to make the commitment or something along those lines, but to put it on the other people in church ?! I don't get it.

Anyway this was a huge red flag for me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I expect any man with real potential to be my husband to be in position spiritually to lead our household in this area. I am dating men in their late 30's & early 40's so I expect a certain amount of spiritual maturity at this point in their life, or at least the quest for it. I mean if you call yourself a Christian, what could you be waiting on at this point in life ? Also, I have a really close firsthand example of this issue because I have a very close friend who has been married for about 8 years now. Her husband did not go to church when they met. He was Baptist but hadn't been active since childhood. She is Catholic attends every Sunday, sings in the Choir too. While dating he attended sporadically with her but even then, it was not regular attendance on his part. She has admitted to me that even to this day, it is something that she really resents about him, especially on Sundays when she gets up, cooks breakfast, gets their child ready for church, and they go alone, leaving her husband to sleep in and watch sports, or whatever he has deemed more important than attending church with his family. I know as a Christian, you are supposed to witness and bring others into the body of Christ, but in my friends situation, he claims to be a Christian and to be saved, just makes excuses for not going to church. Every now & then, he will sense her anger about this, go with them for a Sunday or two, until she is not obviously angry about it, but then he just slips back into his normal pattern of not going. In the end, other things just have priority in his mind, in my opinion. That is why I would hope to meet someone who is already committed to their own spiritual position & practicing it in their life. I really don't want someone, specifically a man, to start going to church, just because he is dating me, because then I would think its about me and not his own personal spiritual growth. I really try to live a life of balance, spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally & financially. I have standards and expectations for myself in all of these areas & I look for potential mates that are compatible with ME in these same areas. After being married for 10 years and observing many other marriages, I just don't see how it can last long term when you are not compatible in some key areas.

How important is spirituality to you in dating ? Do you consider attending worship service regularly a part of spiritual growth ?

What are some of your most important areas or of compatibility ?

Have you ever compromised in any of these areas in a relationship ?

How did that work out ?

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