Wednesday, April 22, 2009

rules shmules

you know, i really don't want this to become some blog about my dating life, or lack thereof... i mean, that's slightly petty to publish, right? but i'm in the midst of a dilemma, so i'm going to process via writing. forgive me.

let me interrupt my train of thought by saying there is nothing funnier than watching a big dog chase a tennis ball around the house on hard wood floors. thank God for pepper.

anyway, i've had a list of dating rules the past several years. a set of criteria for men to live up to in order for me to consider dating them. really, there are 4 plus 2 rules. like a bonus round.

1. most importantly... the guy has to love God. i've tried it otherwise, and it just never works. i have plenty of friends that this doesn't apply to, but for whatever reason, dating is different.

2. he's got to laugh. at himself, at me, at life... etc.

3. he's got to be intelligent, preferably in a challenging way. not just some rocket scientist i can't talk to.

4. he's got to be well traveled... preferably having lived in another country, but i realize that's asking a lot.

and then the "plus 2..."

a) i won't date a guy closer to my mom's age than my own (she is a young thing!)

b) i won't date potential. that's a toughy, b/c there's always potential, but you got to date what's real now.

now... some friends take issue with the well traveled thing. what if the guy has a desire to travel but just hasn't been able to? can't really hold that against him, right? and some friends have an issue with the God thing. is it enough if he just respects your religion? or if he's spiritual? what if he does yoga? and some think you have to chose either travel or faith... that the two don't mix... but then i am positive i'm not some freak of nature, and there've got to be at least 5 thousand other peeps in the world that love God and travel just like me.

but this weekend i was thinking... are all these rules just an effort to be in control? i mean, what's the fun in some pre-packaged man? i certainly wouldn't want anyone to put ME in a box! so i thought i'd just get rid of my rules. get out of the way of God's sense of humor, you know?

but standards are a good thing, right?

what's the difference?

i figure it's better to ask these questions while i'm single.

i'm just thinkin' out loud here.

7 comments:

Mike & Nancy said...

Lauren;

Keep the standards, especially the one about loving God. I have seen too many women grab hold of the first guy that comes along because they get tired of waiting, only to regret it later (I've seen it happen to guys too)

Be patient, seek God first, and He will bring the right guy along at the right time.

Anonymous said...

hmm..can tell you one thing from my personal experience and some borrowed one. You will forget about all your standards when you meet the lucky one. Everything about him would be perfect and everything else, you will find, can be ignored.

But you can't plan such a event. It will happen when it is supposed to be and till that time living with your standards seems very wise to me.

Also, would have knocked on your door first thing after reading this blog had there been not these logistic issues.

S

Brookie said...

Don't lose the first rule. For the others, let the box explode as it might, but don't lose that first one.

Miss you, DC.

E1st said...

When I was pursuing an unequally yoked relationship a wise friend of mine said, as matter of fact as one can, "Well, there's no question - if this is going to last any amount of time, either she's going to become a Christian, or you're going to abandon it." And you know what? He was right.

lauren said...

my mom sent me the following via email... thought i'd post it to comments:

i think it is interesting that the only people who had opinions voiced them about #1. i don't really know what to say about that one. maryann and stewart have one of the strongest marriages i know of and their faiths are so different. for them i guess it is enough that each person has a faith and believes something which makes it easier for them to respect the other's beliefs. i have seen the most problems in relationships where the faith is radically different....like one person jewish and one person atheist. the atheist does not remotely understand the passion the jewish person has for their faith...just does not get it. i have also seen problems when one person in a couple suddenly is born again or becomes more fundamental. that person starts judging the other in the relationship and the other is confused because the rules changed. you know, just like anything else in the relationship, faith is not static. it keeps changing like people grow and change. so even if you sign on for one thing with a person there is a good possibility that it will change at some point. there are just no guarantees when you are talking about humans. you just work hard at staying on the same page.

#2. this is so important. i just can't trust a person who can't laugh....especially at themselves. i have watched many couples use laughter to diffuse problems that would become all-out wars in other relationships. laughter is healthy and keeps people real. and it is a gift from God. one of my favorites!

#3. this one is easy for you because you mostly hang out with intelligent people. you could really just take it off the list because you will just not be attracted to someone who is not intelligent. and you would scare an unintelligent male to death!

#4. please! you are such a snob! maybe you should rephrase that one as a spirit of adventure. maybe someone would have no problem backpacking across europe or going to africa or pakistan, but have just not had the chance....and you could introduce that to them. or maybe the person is very well traveled, but only in 4 star hotels. that is not what you want!

a. probably smart because the older you are the faster you age so at some point he will be aging faster than you. so many problems on so many levels. not to mention that they will either have baggage from another marriage and possible kids, or if they are closer to my age and have not married you have to wonder why.

b. well, you know how i feel about this one!

**fyi for the reader... my mom helped create the "don't date potential" rule**

i encourage you to find someone who can be honest with you and someone who you can be in a healthy relationship with. that person will have all of the right stuff. otherwise it would not be healthy!

xo,
MOM

Anonymous said...

Lauren, are you trying to show-off of how smart and analytical your mom is. If it is so, she deserves every bit of it. You don't find such understanding,clarity of thought and expression in many people. I am impressed..wait..does that matter? To mom's..cheers! S.

Betty Doris said...

Oh my sweet girls...you and your mom...you already know the answers to all your questions. DON'T abandon #1. When problems arise, and they will, you both will have a common place to start working things out. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule, but usually it tends to be like the comment that one of you will keep theirs and one will abandon theirs, and in between there can be lots of struggling. Other than that, laughter and honesty are a must and that's it! Don't settle for less, baby girl, 'cause it won't be fun. He's out there, trust me, and will pop up when and where you least expect it. Relax and stay true to yourself...can't go wrong with that. Now you've heard from the "older" generation...oohhh that's a scary description, I don't know if I like that!