3rd Time’s the Charm??

25 Apr

It’s about to get real.

I tend to keep things bottled up, especially when it comes to certain topics.  I am as honest as the day is long if you ask my opinion about something or about topics that don’t bring about real discussion.  Or even if I know that the person I am talking to has the same opinions that I do.  But there are a lot of things I am uncomfortable talking about.  I don’t like to talk about politics.  I know what I believe and I hate having to defend myself.  What if I am wrong about certain facts?  What if my information is not the most up to date or I got it from an (unbeknownst to me) unreliable source?  I don’t like when I walk into a store and the sales staff ask me if I need help.  I LOATHE when people who work the little kiosks in the mall try to get me to try their product just because I didn’t avert my eyes soon enough.  I don’t like talking about my body issues to anyone, even my sister.  I never talked to my parents about boys that I liked growing up.  I was embarrassed when I started to need a bra and when I started my period.  The only reason I told my mom was because, although I knew what products I needed, I wasn’t sure if there were any in the house.  Basically, I don’t like to show weakness.   So, all that being said, you can imagine how difficult it is to share the following information with you.

I joined eHarmony.

Just typing those three words scares the crap out of me.  I know a lot of you are probably thinking, “why is that shocking or weird in any way?”  And I guess for most people it isn’t.  It wasn’t for my sister.  She met her husband on eharmony, so clearly it worked out for her.  I know other people who have met and married because of online dating.  So why the disconnect?

Let me back up a bit.  I am going to try AS HARD AS I CAN to not veer off on rabbit trails, but seriously, the inside of my head looks more complicated than a 1990’s Bev Hills, 90210 hook-up chart.  Everything is connected.  I barely even know where to begin.  There are 3 prongs on this eHarmony fork.

Ok, so if you had asked me 15 years ago when I graduated from college where I would be at age 37 I definitely would have said that I would be married.  Like, without a doubt.  And yet, despite some near misses, here I am, still painfully single.  Brutal Honesty- I feel most alone when I am at church.  Yep.  Church.  I think that’s really what prompted this whole post idea.  Last Sunday night I was at a meeting at church for the new building project.  One of the elders got up to speak (I should note that he is about my age) and said that when he and his wife started coming, family was a big reason that they stayed at BridgePoint.  It doesn’t matter where you go, you are going to be greeted by people and shown to the appropriate Sunday School class and hooked up with men’s or women’s or kids’ groups.  He’s right.  However, if you are single, a lot of that goes out the window.  Fact- I really don’t fit in with the Single’s class.  Not going to go into detail, just…. it isn’t a good fit.  Fact- I don’t fit into the classes that host people my age because they are all married.  I just can’t tell you how heart-breaking it is to feel like you don’t fit in at church. I can’t tell you how many times I have left church in tears.  Yes, there are other churches.  I tried it.  I didn’t like it.  Spring Branch/BridgePoint is my HOME!  What many people- even my close friends- don’t know about me is that in every other way, I am a mid-30’s married person.  I just don’t have the husband.  I don’t go out partying (much) and when I do, it’s awkward.  We’ll get to that more in my second fork prong.  I like to be at home on the weekends.  I like having dinner over at a friend’s house and being home by 9:00 PM.  I like sitting with my friends while their kids are at swim practice. I am very fortunate that I have made a LOT of really close married girl friends.  They are very good to me and for me.  And you know, maybe everyone feels like this a little bit.  But I feel SO awkward around people at church sometimes.  I feel like people are saying to themselves, “I wonder what’s wrong with Elizabeth that she can’t get a man!  I wonder why Elizabeth hangs out with married people when she isn’t married!”  Oh, goodness, my imagination is a gift from the Lord, but sometimes it gets carried away.  I have always wanted to meet my future husband at church.  I mean, what better place?  But it just isn’t working that way.  I HATE the idea of online dating, but I don’t know what else to do!!

Prong number 2- When I  see people in casual situations, like at the gym, with their make-up totally done I usually think that they look like they try to hard.  But what if that is what *I* should be doing?  I’m just a grown-up tomboy at heart.  If I didn’t have bad knees I would still climb trees and jump off of swings at the park.  I am most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt with my hair in a ponytail and minimal, if any, make-up on.  So I’m left to question how much of that I just need to grow up and change and how much of that is just who I am, so I shouldn’t change at all.  I guess it’s that old question of balancing when “doesn’t put much effort in” become “doesn’t give a crap”, and when does “tries really hard” become “desperation”?  And where do I fall on that scale?  And more importantly,  where do I *WANT* to fall on that scale?

Prong 3- I’ve tried this eHarmony thing before.  When I was 28 I was on for about a month or so.  I really wasn’t all that into it and honestly I feel like they have changed it some, so I actually like it better.  I tried it the second time when I was 32.  In the three months I was on, I did not get a single person who was even remotely interested in me.  Not one.  So I quit to go lick my emotional wounds and vowed that online dating wasn’t for me.  But ever since the Charlotte situation I have been wondering if maybe it was me.  I know that I wasn’t completely honest with myself about that personality survey in the past.  Maybe I wasn’t getting any nibbles because I wasn’t putting the real me out there.  So about 2 weeks ago I came home and filled out information (for free) on eHarmony, match.com and Christianmingle.com.  I was brutally honest both with myself and about myself.  I looked to see who I was getting.  This is not an easy feat since there is a lot they won’t let you see unless you give them money :(.  I noticed that on both match and christianmingle, the “Christians” they were matching me with didn’t really seem to care if their mate was a Bible-believing Christian.  They would say, I’m a Christian/Protestant.  I want my match to be Christian/Protestant, Christian/Catholic, Christian/LDS, Christian/Other, Athiest, Muslim.  WHAT THEY HECK?? I decided I didn’t want anything to do with that,  However, after thinking very carefully about it and shaking my head at what I was about to do more times than I can count, I joined the most expensive of the three (doesn’t it always seem to work that way???).  So here’s where I am at:  Everyday eHarmony sends me “matches”.  Some of them I archive-which is a fancy way of saying, “please get out of my potential husband pool”, but most of them I look at and then wait.  And wait.  And FREAKING wait!!!  Why?  Why don’t I contact them?  Not so much out of fear.  More because of this:  Anyone I am matched with has me a potential match too.  Most of them have not archived me.  So they are just sitting there waiting for ME to make the first move?  Why on earth would I want a guy who can’t take initiative???  It’s frustrating as all get out, because some of them seem really nice and like guys I would love to get to know.  I just wish SOMEONE would start that conversation.  So then I start wondering if I SHOULD start the conversation.  But then Julie Ortiz would kill me because she knows that isn’t want I need.  I NEED a man who will take charge.  So do it already!!!

I know this is long, and if you have stuck with me, I love you for it.  I swear to you that this is not something I take lightly.  One of my biggest fears is that I will never get married.  It scares the CRAP out of me to think that.  As far as kids- I am a solid maybe on that, but I have NEVER wavered in my desire to be a wife.  To support someone as they support me.  To grow old with.  To worship with. To sit with in church!  To share all those fabulous road trips.  Heck, I want someone I can cook for!!

I may never get this real again on this blog.  I hope so, but this was hard, ya’ll.  For reals!!

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8 Responses to “3rd Time’s the Charm??”

  1. almondslices April 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    hey, sweet friend.
    i actually know and feel where you’re coming from. i was single long enough that all of those thoughts crossed my mind. and i think about those same questions regarding katie. you two are some of the best people i know. why aren’t guys asking you and katie out? i had gone through almost two years of not being asked out and having heard through the grape vine that there might be interest, but nothing ever coming from it. then all of the sudden, there was brian. he loves katie and thinks of her as a sister. he’s always trying to come up with someone to match her with. she, too, is thinking of e-harmony. i’m sorry if you feel lonely (i still feel lonely — even though i’m NEVER alone.) or “not enough” or whatever you feel. try not to let those thoughts dig deep. they’re not true, and you know who whispers them in your ear. i love you, friend, and miss you more than you know. yet another reason for me to look forward to heaven.=)

  2. almondslices April 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    my sweet friend,
    i know and have felt those things that you talk about. i was single long enough that i had those same thoughts. i have often had those same thoughts regarding katie. you and she are some of the best people i know. why aren’t guys asking you out? i hadn’t had anyone ask me out for two years just before and after i left houston. i had heard through the grape vine that there might be interest, but nothing ever came from those. and suddenly, there was brian. he loves, katie, too. he thinks of her like a sister and is always trying to come up with people to match her with. she, too, is thinking of e-harmony. i’m sorry if you feel lonely (i still feel lonely — even thought i’m NEVER alone.) or not enough or whatever negative things you feel. try not to let those thoughts dig too deep. they’re not true, and you know who whispers them in your ear. i love you, lady, and miss you more than you know. yet another reason for me to look forward to heaven.
    monica

  3. Lisa April 26, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    I am so proud of you.
    Not because you signed up for online dating, but just for being this honest and transparent. And for knowing yourself this well. And for sharing yourself so well.

  4. Lindsey April 26, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    I had a professor in college tell me that the best writing comes from that place which is uncomfortable in you. It’s true here. You’re fantastic for being brutally honest – I completely applaud you for being such.

    I doubt you were looking for your fans to all say, “I understand and empathize” in union, so I’ll skip that part.

    Instead, I wanted to suggest that you’re over thinking this. I cannot overstate how wonderful you are. I don’t want to say stop looking, because it couldn’t hurt. However, don’t take it to heart that no one has contacted you, yet. Who knows? Maybe your ideal man is iDating shy, but quite the opposite in real life.

    Take the eHarmony thing as a casual, for kicks situation and just have fun with it. Message anyone you might want to have a conversation with – for the purpose of conversation. Don’t take anything too seriously. Just have fun and let what relationships form grow into what they will be. You may end up with some good friends from the experience, if nothing else.

    Bottom line, don’t stress, have fun, keep being wonderful you – things will work out the way they’re supposed to work out. ❤

  5. artsyfartsytiredone April 26, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    You are amazing. You know that, and you know that I think that about you already. I have no doubt that there is someone special for you–on eharmony or not. I think you are so right in your thoughts to stick with what you truly believe in and that the person who you want to be with is the one that will sit next to you in church…. what a great way to see your future together, no matter who it is! All I can say about the online dating aspect is “maybe they are scared of online dating!” You NEVER know who REALLY is on the other side of the computer. Maybe they are nervous about doing it as well! Trust your instincts, and like Lindsey said, don’t take anything too seriously…. yet. You could end up with great friends in the process who have similar beliefs in you and you just might find someone to mingle with you in a singles class at YOUR church…. 🙂
    I believe in you!

  6. Kara Maddox April 26, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    1. I wrote this post last summer: http://karabess.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/im-an-eharmony-reject/

    2. I just met the man I’m going to marry 3 months ago on match.com

    3. Enjoy the online thing but always wear lipgloss and a smile to the grocery store. 🙂

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