“You’re dating the wrong guy.”
She was the second person to say that to me within a month. Both times the comment came from women I loved and trusted and who knew me well.
“Every guy you date is the same type of guy and it never works out. Maybe they never work out, because you’re going after the wrong type of guy.”
She had a point. I had a long list of men I had dated–all very similar–all of which ended the same way: a break up.
My ideal guy was an alpha male: someone who was a strong leader, opinionated, and firm. Being a strong, opinionated, firm woman– I assumed I needed someone who was just like me but more dominant. Then came the rest of my list.
1. Funny- but a clever kind of humor
2. Keeps me on my toes
3. Intelligent- someone who reads and loves to learn
4. Adventurous- someone who takes risks and will force me to do the same
5. And finally, someone who took their faith in Christ seriously, who cared about reading the Bible and knowing God more
But according to two trusted women, that list wasn’t working out for a reason: he was wrong for me.
There’s nothing wrong with the attributes I listed above, but if you look at them closely they are mostly about entertainment– my entertainment. Except for #5, my list was short-sighted. I was looking for a guy who would give me the type of dating relationship I wanted.
We want our dating relationships to be fun, entertaining and adventurous.
We choose men who we think will fit that description and then we expect a chick-flick type romance with all the laughs, twists and turns. Then when the fun and excitement begins to die out, or things get hard, we bail.
I’m not saying dating shouldn’t be fun and exciting. It should be! My mom used to say,
“If it’s not easy now, it never will be!”
If a dating relationship is way more work than it is fun and easy, well, it’s only going to get harder within the context of marriage. But the problem is that when you ask women about their “list” or the type of guy they like, most of the attributes we’re looking for only feed into the kind of dating relationship we want.
My list fed into the immediate. I wanted a guy who would make a fun, exciting, adventurous dating relationship. But what if our list fed into the long term.
Instead of fun and entertaining, what if we looked for a man who will stay committed to us over the next 50 years?
What if I changed my list to look for a guy who would–not give me the life I want, because no one can do that for you, but instead–stay committed to me and our family through the hardest times over the next 50 years?
How would our “list” or type change if we looked for a man who would stay faithful, loyal, and committed to loving us through the worst times. I don’t know about you, but my list would look a lot different.
Patient. Kind. Servant-hearted. Compassionate. Wise.
We need to date with the long road in mind.
The irony is, had you told me that at 25 I would have thought, “that sounds so boring.” But what that shows is that I was a) in it for the “entertain me” factor and b) not actually ready to put my big-girl pants on and find a relationship that was worth committing to forever.
So my single gals, what does your “list” look like?
Do you keep dating the same type of guy over and over with the same results? Are you looking for a guy who will give you the type of dating relationship you want, or are you looking for the long term?
Life is hard. We will all face major disappointments, grief, sickness, and more. Are you looking for a guy who will create fun in the immediate or a man who will bravely weather the storm with you through the long haul?