The season of Lent is upon us. This is the time of year when Christians around the world commit to a season of repentance and renewal. In the weeks leading up to Jesus's death, we are reminded of the sacrifices Jesus made and are asked to recommit ourselves to following Christ in this season. Many Christians choose to do that by giving up something for Lent. It can be chocolate or soda or caffeine or candy or TV or Facebook or any number of other things. The whole point of giving something up is to help you connect better with God and with your faith. Many people give something up and take something else on, like reading the Bible every day or praying every day or something else entirely.
So, what am I giving up this year? Something that just a year ago, I wouldn't have ever imagined I would want to give up or even need to give up. I'm giving up dating. You see, over the last year, the number of dates I have gone on has skyrocketed. I went on more dates in the last year than I did in the previous 15 years combined. Some of them were great. Some of them were terrible. Some were really mediocre. I learned a lot from each of them and I met a lot of great guys through these dates. However, none of them have led to anything substantial or long lasting. I've ended up alone over and over again and that has really hurt. I'm really tired of the games and the drama and the endless back and forth. I'm tired of going on a great date with a guy only to never hear from him again. I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer looking forward to going on dates. I've become bitter and cynical and keep telling myself that this one won't be any different than all the others. When that starts happening, you know you need to take a break for a while.
So, I'm declaring that for Lent this year, I shall not be going on any dates. I, just this morning, deleted all my online dating apps completely. I'm taking a break and closing things down for a few weeks. I'm hoping to use this time to recharge, refresh and to figure out what is it that I really want in a relationship. What are my deal breakers? What am I willing to compromise on? What do I need from a partner and more importantly, what do I have to give to a partner? I'm not so sure that I actually know the answers to those questions anymore which is why I think I need to take a break for a while. It is even entirely possible that I may stay away from dating for longer than the Lenten season. I may or may not ever come back to it, to be perfectly honest. I enjoy being single and if I have to end up all alone, then so be it. I've made peace with that and I'm not losing sleep over it. For right now, I need a break. A break from drama and games and constant wondering if I should text him first or if I should wait until he texts me. A break from break-ups and bad dates and awkward silences and all that. I think my wallet and my schedule will appreciate the break as well (dating is expensive out here, for the record).
So, here we go. Day 1 of the new adventure known as no dating. I've heard it said that you meet the love of your life when you stop looking. Time to put that theory to the test! Here goes nothing! Wish me luck and hold me accountable to this. I really am determined to keep this Lenten vow and go an entire 40+ days with no dates. It shall be hard, I am sure. But I have found myself developing an unhealthy addiction to dating so I need to cut it off before it gets much worse. I shall let you all know how it goes and what, if anything, I learned from the experience.