Tag Archive: dating


honeymoon

when you’re dating someone, you only see them at specific times and so generally you are able to always look good for them, for the most part you will be putting in extra effort and they will more than often see you at your best.

it is also generally a time where you are often carried along by the emotion and the ‘feelings’ and the fresh raw excitement of the idea that this person of the opposite gender seems to want to keep hanging out with you and keeps returning those goofy no-you-hang-up type of smiles you’re giving out…

then you get married and that person is around all the time and they get to see the good, the bad and the ugly of you in terms of looks and attitude and behaviour and suddenly there is work and effort and intentionality involved because marriage is hard work. well it is if you want to do it well. for most people anyways. for me and Val at least.

it is amazing! hear that for sure. don’t get lost in the ‘marriage is work’ and hear ‘marriage is no fun’ or anything like that – i will continue to shout from the rooftops [slash my bed] that “Marriage to the right person is the most incredible thing!” [for those wanting to be married at least – if you’re single and loving that, then that is also the best]

and because it is incredible it is worth putting a monumental amount of work and effort into…

because it is amazing it is worth inviting the wisdom and advice of others who have walked and are walking this journey well…

because it is a good thing it is worth sharing your successes with others…

so watch this space as i share a few and invite some good friends to add their thoughts as well…

Dalene Reyburn shares with us about doing the next right thing

Robert Martin shares a touching story encompassing the theme of self sacrifice

Sheralyn Cloete encourages us to assume, but well

Brett Fish shares about the importance of being present

Rich Erasmus shares a short but incredibly profound exercise he felt so helpful in really listening to and hearing his wife…

Brett Fish talks about Loving your person in a way that they can best receive it

[if you’ve been married for a bit and think you have a ‘one way’ to share worth sharing, please email it to me at brettfish@hotmail.com and i will definitely consider sharing it – name, how long you’ve been married and your piece of experienced wisdom]

i have posted some different series recently on the topic of relationships, ranging from dating to marriage, which have been very popular and so i thort i would stick all the links on one page to make them all more easily accessible, so choose what is for you and feel free to share and pass around:

‘i kissed dating’ series looking at different aspects of dating but also where are all the good christian men/women?

How to Love your Woman better

How to save a marriage [before you need to]

i have recently been collating some of my archived blogs on various aspects of relationship and so here are a bunch of different thorts and ideas related to DATING largely by me but also from a friend or two of mine – hope they give you a fresh and inspiring picture of some different aspects when it comes to DATING:

i kissed dating, part number one thing

dating Q & A: where have all the good (christian) men gone? [the email]

dating Q & A: where have all the good (christian) men gone? [the reply]

dating Q & A: where have all the good (christian) men gone? [more reply]

get to know the person first

vision/values essential, passion helpful

marriagewards

good, positive, successful break-ups [WHAT?]

how far is too far? [part I]

how far is too far? [part II]

how far is too far? [part III]

Sex before Marriage

Step up! [Both of you!] – for the Ladies!

Step up! [Both of you!] – for the Men?

i kissed dating part revirgining yourself

i kissed dating part Joy and Serving one another in Love

i kissed dating – guest post – the dog whisperer

i kissed dating part Eliminate the Klingon

i kissed dating part “the ONE”

my beautiful wife’s story [READ THIS!]

Terran Williams kissed dating…

these are a series of posts i am sharing that i have taken from a series called ‘How to Love your Woman/Man better’ from a while back and also a series titled ‘One way to Love your spouse better’ that i ran more recently [with the input of some friends] – there are many incredible gems here that can help you as you look to contribute to a healthy and thriving marriage and i hope you will find them useful and if so, please feel free to share and pass on…

Arguing Well

The Defining of Love

Small Intentional Sacrifices

Verbal Blessing

Halting the Movement of the Sun

Amnesia

Choosing This Day

Saying It

When my “yes” sounds like a “NO!”

doing the next right thing [Dalene Reyburn]

my beautiful wife Valerie [tbV] wrote a couple of thoughts on how to love your man better and so i thought these would be good to include here as they have a distinctly different flavour:

How to love your man better – “Just love him…”

How to love your man better – “Respond to his character”

How to love your man better – “Be Nice”

So I’ve been putting off writing this for a while ever since Brett asked a few weeks…ok maybe months ago now. For many reasons I didn’t feel ready to write this and to be honest it’s still something I don’t feel quite equipped to write. Not because I know nothing about singleness…ha! But because the emotions and stages and experience changes daily and is sometimes hard to pin down and describe.

I have been single most of my life and I’ve just turned 40 early this year. I have never been married and do not have any children of my own. I live on my own with 2 cats that I feel quite comfortable with posting pictures of on Facebook as often as some people post pictures of their kids…well maybe not that often! But I can quite easily be described as the archetypal old maid cat lady.

But that is not who I am. I am not defined by my marital status. I refuse to be. It annoys me when the first thing people ask when they meet me is “so are you married? Kids?” as if that is a woman’s only purpose in life. And then proceed to tell me that I shouldn’t worry about it as they know so and so and they recently got married after being single for a few years and now they have 2 beautiful children and you never know, anything can happen and lots of people are having kids now in their 40’s…ho hum. Do I sound a little jaded or cynical? I don’t mean to.

I appreciate my friends who care about my happiness enough to know that I would love to meet the right person and share my life with someone. Because that is a truth I will not deny. Even harder than being a single woman in your 40’s is being a single woman in your 40’s when you don’t want to be.
A friend was telling me recently about an article that described how a non-event in someone’s life can have as much impact if not more than an event. For example a person gets married and that is a defining event. From then on you are married and you learn to process and grow in that relationship status. However someone who doesn’t get married doesn’t experience that “event” and so it’s not something that you can pin point to a date on a calendar. It just slowly develops until you realize that relationship status.

Most of us don’t consciously make a decision to be single. But over time and through relationships that don’t work out as hoped for or choosing at different stages to prioritize work or studies we find ourselves on our own doing life slightly differently to our married friends.
In this journey we have to slowly let go of some of our hopes and dreams. We let go of the dream of being a young mother. We let go of the hope of falling pregnant easily without the help of medical technology. And finally we let go of the hope of having children at all. We start to hope that we’ll maybe meet someone who already has kids. Or maybe we’ll adopt.

For me the question of children has been a difficult one since I was 24 and told I would most likely not be able to have children due to severe Endometriosis. So those dreams and hopes were let go of a long time ago. And then resurrected after having related surgery in my early 30’s and being given hope by my doctors only to have to go through the process of letting go of that hope again when life didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped.
During the last two years I had to let go of the dream most daughters have of dancing with my father at my wedding and seeing him holding my children because he lost his battle with cancer before I met the right person.

And then you start to let go of the hope of meeting anyone at all.

It is a slow process of letting go of your dreams and your hope.

And in the process there is hurt, pain, loneliness, anger, disappointment and if you nurture it even resentment, bitterness and envy. In the process it’s easy to get drawn into unhealthy friendships and damaging relationships, and when these don’t work out we start to protect our hearts to the point that we may stop letting people in if we are not careful.

There is a very clear message in the Bible that tells us that neither singleness nor marriage is more desirable; that the one is not better than the other. It is our society that has exalted being married and having kids above singleness. We design our church programs around families. It is subtly implied when we as singles are not included in “couple” events or disenfranchised from church leadership because we don’t have a spouse.

We teach our children through fairy tales about the handsome prince who will rescue the princess and everyone lives happily ever after and we all want to be the princess, but no one mentions that we may end up being the spinster Godmother or ugly Stepsister!

But life is not a fairytale and there are all types of families that make up the world. Mine includes my mother and brother, my two cats and a crazy group of friends, married and single who make my life fun, interesting and joyful.

There is a difference between the patronizing attitude of so many and the support and understanding of people who love you. And to the marrieds out there who have single friends my advice is simply:

Don’t treat my time as less valuable than yours. Don’t treat me like my life and attitude is selfish because I haven’t had children. Don’t expect me to always be available when it suits you. I have my own priorities, demands and responsibilities. They are no less important to me than yours are to you. They are just different. You don’t have to “fix” me or my life.

In the midst of the struggles and journey of being single there is life. My life. And it is valuable, good and blessed. It has a purpose beyond marriage and children. A purpose that I’m constantly working at uncovering and developing and some days I “get” it and some days I don’t. And it’s still strangely hopeful.

[to read my friend and housemate Sueihn Lee’s story of singleness click here]

[For an inspirational post titled ‘I don’t wait anymore’ click here]

SINGLENESS is a topic that usually does not get addressed well, if at all.

There was a time when particularly within the catholic church the focus was on singleness as the way to have reached it – nuns and monks and the gift of celibacy were the way to go and being single meant you were seen as more spiritual and closer to God and there were bible passages that could be used to ‘back this up’.

Then the protestant church swung the pendulum completely the other way and being married and then being married with children [must be biological children!] was the way to have arrived and so this unspoken goal of life seemed to be what was put on the pedestal and held higher than anything else.

i believe, as with most things, that both extremes are problematic and now that i have had five years of marriage [and having had a good run of 35 years of largely singleness] i believe that i can speak with some measure of authority to both of them.

Neither being single nor being married is ‘the better way’ – Paul, in his letter to the church in Phillipi [and us by extension] says this, specifically speaking into the aspect of financial well-being, but i believe it carries over into every area of life: ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ [Philippians 4.12-13]

Contentment is the key – be where you are and enjoy where you are at – if you are single then embrace your singleness and make the most of it in every way possible – and if/when you get married then live that to the full. Don’t sit in the place of one desperately wishing that you were in the other. BUT, that doesn’t mean that if you are single and do want to be married that you should not keep on gently presenting that desire before God:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ [Philippians 4.4-7]

As much as God already knows your heart and your desires, it is by presenting them to Him that you invite relationship, that you invite Him in to minister to aspects of loneliness or rejection or bruised dreams or hopes that may be in you.

i LOVED my singleness and when i look back i don’t desire that i had gotten married ten years earlier and missed out on all the opportunities and possibilities of adventure that happened because it was just me. and so i really learnt [for the most part, i had my bad days… weeks… months…] to just really make the most of the situation i found myself in… but at the same time i really believed that i had too much love for one person and so i wanted to be married [especially around singles table time at weddings] and i took that to God regularly and sometimes with gentle request and other times more with ‘C’mon God, don’t you like me or what?’ less graceful questioning, but for the most part, the overall was a sense of let me be content where i am while i am here and keep my prayers, requests and longings before God.

i got to a place where i had largely resigned myself to the fact that i was going to be single for life [and somewhat largely, with much intermittent sighing, okay with that] and then the beautiful Val came along and the rest is history… or presentcy or something.

one of the hardest things in my life, especially since i got married, is seeing a bunch of really incredible friends of mine who are around my age [which is approaching old] and who are desiring to be married, but yet are still single, because i get it. to a large extent i really do. [which is possibly why a huge part of my 51 minute wedding speech was focusing on single people] it doesn’t feel right or fair and you get to a point when it doesn’t feel hopeful any more. people who view marriage as the end point make you feel stupid and sad and unfulfilled and your friends who are dating and getting married and having kids [again, if this is what you wanted] make it really hard to be around them sometimes [often through no fault of their own]. and the thing is a bunch of them are incredible amazing people who, it feels like to me, deserve to find their life partner a lot more than other people [if there is such a thing]. so i will keep praying, and hoping, and trying to be as encouraging as i can to them and challenging them to live singleness well while it is a reality. but don’t stop laying that desire before God if you are wanting something more.

And to anyone who EVER says to a single woman, “let Jesus be your boyfriend”, you honestly deserve a punch on the nose.

There are some brave people who are going to be sharing their stories in this regard and i honour you for doing so:

to read the story of my good friend Sammi Taylor – ‘The emotions and stages and experience changes daily and is sometimes hard to pin down and describe.’

to read the story of my friend and housemate Sueihn Lee – ‘I’ve been boy crazy since the age of five.’

to read the story of Kate Hurley aka ‘The Sexy Celibate’ – ‘I just needed to let go, insinuating it was my own fault i was single.’

to read the story of my friend Kate Sherry – content with being single right now

to read the story of my friend Cilnette Pienaar – ‘The whispered hope that a shared adventure could actually be in the will of God for my life.’

to read the story of Dani Scoville [and a look at Deconstructing Boundaries]

to read the story of my friend Beverley Rufener – ‘I wish I could say that being single was easy but at times it is outright overwhelming.’

to read the story of my new friend Alexa O S Russell – ‘Is there space for Bridget Jones at church?’

to read the story of my Island style friend Deborah Dowlath – ‘I realise that being single in my 30s is a whole different dynamic from being single in my 20s.’

to read the story of 26 year old Angela Saint-Truth – ‘I didn’t want the sacrifice that love demands or the growth it requires… I just wanted the emotions that relationships produce…’

to read the story of Amanda Kuehn – ‘His banner over me is single.’

to read the story of Lynley Pillay – ‘I was engaged once. So technically I’m disengaged now.’

to read the story of Phil Barlow – ‘I’m single and I love it! Sometimes… sometimes not so much.’

to read the story of my friend and possibly brother-in-law Dale Nunes [his brother married my sister]

some other blog posts i was directed to that contain some great stuff on the topic are:

‘Singleness is not a Prelude’ [on a blog called ‘broken cameras and gustav klimt’ guest posted by Jennie Pollock]

‘I don’t wait anymore’ [on a blog called Grace for the Road]

Singles and the Church: Why it Sucks to be Unintentionally Overlooked [Kate Hurley

What my Married Friends would like their Single Friends to know

Also a series on What my Married Friends would like their Single Friends to know

so i have just posted the last [for now at least] post in the marriage series which ended up being a great 18 blog posts written by a whole bunch of my friends who are married well and passed along some really great marriage-enhancing advice and tips and wisdom. the beautiful Valerie ad myself might add some thorts of our own later but we’re about to head for Texas to visit my sister and her family…

anyways, looking at blog stats, this has been the second hugest blog visitation i have had with the largest being the series i did on dating and so i thort it would be good to repost links to some of those that were really popular in case you missed them and want to check out some insights on that area of life:

i think this was the intro blog to the series and links to future blogs…


followed by ‘i kissed dating, part Step up! [Both of you!] – for the Ladies!’ which was muchly visited and discussed and forwarded

a two parter written by the beautiful Val which is a must read as with most of what she writes…

and of course for the men – ‘i kissed dating, part Step up! [Both of you!] – for the Men?’

and then if you find any of those really helpful, there was a whole series of them that you could discover on my blogsite but just thort these would touch a different group than those who the marriage ones have been for… hope you find them helpful and if so please pass on…

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