I've broken up with people before, and I've been broken up with before, but this is a new one for me. Today, I'm officially breaking up with dating.
The fact is, somewhere along the line, I've become consumed with - obsessed with - dating.
I've spent a lot of time in the last few months pursuing my relationship with God, but I've remained a little frustrated. For months, I've felt like I've been hitting a glass ceiling - getting so close, yet something was still keeping me from Him.
And last night in church, reality hit me: dating is keeping me from Him, because I'm idolizing it. And not just dating, but relationships. I have always been forward thinking; planning my next step, my next phase. However, I also consider myself (mostly) able to live in the moment, and, unfortunately, my obsession with having a serious relationship, building a future, working toward marriage, has started stealing my joy for the right now. It has made me feel stuck in a phase of life that I'm not so sure I should be rushing through. I want to slow down and enjoy this season; learn from it and live it fully.
I once heard idols described as dangerous because, when you begin to idolize something, you are a dog and it is your tail. But eventually, they can be so all-consuming that the idol becomes the dog, and you're simply the tail, following it around.
I am the tail. And last night I realized I needed to give this idol up.
I feel fortunate that, for a lot of my life, if I've wanted something enough, I've been able to find a way to get it. But a relationship - my husband - that next phase - is not something I can get on my own. While I know this cognitively, I unfortunately don't fully believe it. As with so many single-20-something-girls, I calculate. I go to certain places on weekends with the hope of meeting someone. I make plans to go places when I really want to stay at home.
Because you never know.
And I know I'm not alone. So many of us are out there in the world, hoping to meet someone. I can't tell you the number of times someone has said to me:
You can meet someone anywhere. Even the grocery store!
Yes. You can meet someone anywhere. That's so true. But it isn't the reason we're at the grocery store. And it isn't the reason we're living.
However, lately it seems to be the reason I'm doing a lot of things.
And, in addition to that, I've been on a wild amount of no-so-good dates. Total misses, called Brittany instead of Whitney, type dates. I've also had a frustratingly high number of unavailable guys make moves lately and I'd noticed the two things combined were starting to weigh on me. And it's really important to me that I don't become jaded. Because I believe in love deeply and I believe in the good in people with all of my heart. And I don't want a funny season of life to challenge those beliefs. I want to hold onto them.
So, I'm officially on sabbatical. I'm not just taking a break from dating, but also one from calculating. I'm not doing things with the hope of meeting someone and I'm not weighing it into my decision making. I'm just doing me. For five weeks. Which takes me right until I leave for Africa.
I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if I'll have a mind-shift or stop brushing my hair or do something crazy. But I hope it reminds me to live in the present. To embrace the in between and see the beauty in the mess. To see the beauty in the little things and break through my glass ceiling with vengeance.
Wish me luck, y'all! :)