When I was single, there were seasons when I spent a lot of time hanging out with guys I wasn’t interested in. These were nice men—friends even—but I couldn’t ever see myself developing a long-term relationship with any of them.
Why did I do this, especially when it was such an unproductive move for my dating life?
Sometimes it was because I was bored; sometimes it was because there weren’t any other men around that I was interested in, and sometimes it was—honestly—because I wasn’t sure a relationship was going to happen for me. Over the years I had started to lose hope.
So, what wasn’t happening when I was hanging out with these men who would never become my Mister?
I wasn’t meeting new men. And, I wonder if there were men who didn’t notice me because I was with a guy.
If I was out and about with one of my guy friends, another man may not have spoken with me because I was with another man.
If I was at church with one of my guy friends, and a new man showed up, maybe he would assume I had a boyfriend and so he would not pursue the opportunity to get to know me.
I hung out with men now and then into my early thirties.
Then, in my forties I decided to get more serious about my dating life because I really wanted to marry. At this time, I met a man at church who asked me out to lunch one Sunday. I said “Sure.” But I immediately knew that developing a relationship with him was not going to happen.
He had recently divorced, was living in his sister’s basement, and he had some other things to work out in his life before he would be ready to have another relationship.
And, because I wanted to be more purposeful and live my single life with the intention of looking toward the wedding altar, it was a no-go.
He asked me out again, and I told him that it just wasn’t going to work out between us. He said, “Well, we can just be friends.” In that moment, I really started living my single life with more intention.
I responded, “Thank you, but I really don’t want to hang out with men and just be friends. I’d like to get married.”
Granted, there is a season when a man and woman should be friends—especially if they are newly acquainted. But I wasn’t interested in "friendlationships" anymore with men. (Those are those situations in which you’re not in a relationship but you’re not really just friends either. It's in the relational grey zone.) I was done with non-productive dating patterns.
I started thinking, “If I’m spending time with this person, who might I not be available for?”
I knew that if I did not live my single life more intentionally with the goal of eventually tying the knot, I knew I could ruin my opportunities to meet men and marry.
I’ve seen lots of women make the same mistake I made. They get hung up in relationships or what I call “friendlationships” that really aren’t going anywhere and they will never go anywhere.
So why do we do this?
One reason is because we start to believe it’s not possible to find a relationship; as the years pass we start to lose hope. We start to believe that it really isn’t possible to find the kind of man we are looking for. . . A man who will love us, honor us, and cherish us. So we settle for companionship instead of seeking out a mate.
But there is one thing for certain: if you do not think it’s possible, and you act out of that unbelief, it could very well be that the thing that you do not want, which is to remain unmarried, could actually happen. You will get what you don’t want. It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now, I don’t believe that we can control everything in our single lives. We cannot control who we meet. We cannot ultimately control if we marry. But we can steward our single lives well so we improve our opportunities to say “I do.”
So, I encourage you. Take a look at your relationships, and how you are spending your time. Are you spending time with men who you know you could potentially marry? Are you spending time with men who are interested in marriage? Or are you spending time in friendlationships or situations that will not end up at the wedding altar?
Remember, the decisions you make today in your single life become your life tomorrow. Date with intentionality. Live your single life on purpose with the goal of marrying if that is your heart’s desire.
Remember, the dream you have to love and be loved is possible.
With this in mind, if you haven’t yet, I invite you to check out my free video class, “5 Stages that Lead to the Wedding Altar.” In it, I talk more about being intentional in your dating life.
I also talk about how this intentionality can help you. . .
Important note: This free video class is only going to be available for a few more days, so check it out.
I hope it encourages you! Remember the dream you have to love—and be loved—is possible!
Your dating and relationship coach,
P.S. After you’ve watched, please scroll to the bottom of the page and leave a comment for me so I know what you need, and how to serve you better. Please let me know what part of the video spoke to you most.
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