On my 25th birthday, it finally dawned on me that I will be 30 in five years, which, according to statistics, means I have just three more years to find a mate. There is no more screwing around anymore; its serious now.
One of the themes of ‘Happily Never After’ is looking at the difference between dating to date, and dating for marriage. In dating to date, I am looking for someone who makes me laugh, can engage in good conversation, do the same kind of things I enjoy. In dating for marriage, I am looking for all of those qualities, but I am also looking for someone who will work to solve problems with me, be understanding of my busy schedule, and raise a family with my similar values. Recognizing that dating to date is different than dating for marriage is important, because it changes how I date, whom I date, where I look for dates, how I approach dating, etc.
We date to date when we are figuring ourselves out; we aren’t sure if we like the scruffy kind of man or the well tailored one, so we try both out, and make our determinations. We aren’t sure if we would prefer one who wears fancy jeans and button down shirts, or one who wears jeans and a t-shirt, so we try one of each, and decide. We aren’t sure if we would prefer one who lives down the street from us, or one who lives further away, so we try the short distance, the mid-distance, and the long-distance thing out, and we make a choice to never date short-distance ever again. But, when we have defined ourselves, and our dating styles, we don’t necessarily need to waste our time with these decisions any longer, and we move into a “dating for marriage” period, of which the stakes become a little higher, our resources become a little more selective, and we are a little more serious about the outcome.
What I will ask you: What kind of books do you read?
How I am looking for you to respond: In some way that suggests you actually read books.
Obviously, as an English teacher, reading is part of my daily life. When people find out I am an English teacher, to try to impress me, they try to mention all the books they have read. I am flattered that you are trying to impress me, but I don’t expect you to just pick up the hobby of reading to date me if you actually don’t like the activity. We really don’t need to be fake, and we really don’t need to pretend anymore; I certainly do not want to make a marriage commitment to someone and then find out the next day they lied to me the entire time. I’d rather just know that up front.
What I will ask you: What do you do in your free time?
How I am looking for you to respond: THAT you do something to fill up your free time.
There are some people who refuel themselves with a lot of downtime; they spend their weekend, vegging out on Netflix marathons, playing video games, and just hanging out. That is not me. My weekends are often spent catching up on homework, lesson planning, going to practice, competitions, and games, running errands, seeing those I skipped during the week, etc. I have the ability to make free time, but I am very busy, and like Athena, I need to be with someone who is able to occupy themselves while I am gone (because we ALL know I am not missing a yoga class for you).
What I will ask you: What is your next travel destination?
How I am looking for you to respond: The Netherlands, Greece, Bali, Virginia, etc.
There are some people in this world who feel comforted in structure and schedule. They do dinner and a movie every Friday night, every Saturday they do housework and yard work, and every Sunday, they go to their parents’ for dinner. I applaud those people, but that is not me. I love exploring, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and I get kind of grumpy when I haven’t gone anywhere in a while. So if I am dating for marriage, I need someone with these same adventures in mind. And, it doesn’t really matter where you want to go (although, if The Netherlands, Greece, and a yoga retreat in Bali are at the top of your list, I am all in), but that you want to go places. I would even accept the answer of, “I spent all my money on my last travels” as an acceptable answer (because that is where I am too).
What I will ask you: Do you schedule your dates via Google calendar?
How I am looking for you to respond: To laugh
If you haven’t caught on yet, I do have a very dry sense of humor, which really comes from my family. We never take anything too seriously, we are always making fun of each other, and we like to laugh in the most impossible situations. So, if you don’t laugh at my jokes, and you can’t ping pong back with my sarcasm, its not going to work.
What I will ask you: If you found out a friend of yours was cheating on their significant other, would you tell them?
How I am looking for you to respond:
Just kidding. I wouldn’t actually ask this question. But, I do know that I have to date someone who has the same moral standards as I do but that will probably come out in other ways…