dear sharideth: letter #3

a.  yes.  i changed “ask sharideth” to “dear sharideth”.  so sue me.

b.  this letter is from one of my favorite readers and he can claim it if he wants to, but i’m leaving that up to him.

c.  enjoy or die.

Dear Sharideth,

Where does one go to meet single women when the usual places one might think of don’t really offer any opportunities?

Here is my situation; I work at an office where my department is completely separate from the rest of the building.  There are literally (and no, I’m not using that word incorrectly) no single, compatible women (all married or in serious relationships) in my department and with the separation from the rest of the office there are no real opportunities for fraternization within the wider cubicle farm population except for maybe the Christmas Luncheon or the yearly Awards Banquet.  The last woman I tried chatting (and I thought connecting) with at one of those things turned out to be very happily married; just not wearing her wedding ring that day for whatever reason.

Oh, and wandering from desk to desk in other departments on your breaks trying to pick up chicks is generally frowned upon.  😀

My church is the same way.  It’s a very (very) small church where most of the congregation is married.  All told there are 3 single guys including myself and 1 single girl with no attraction between her and any of us or vice versa.

The gym is pretty much off limits as far as I’m concerned.  I’m there to work out and pretty much nothing more and I assume that everyone else there feels the same.  To me, weights and cardio are pretty much a solo endeavour which seems to be the general consensus among my fellow gym enthusiasts except for maybe the muscleheads who always need to get spots from their gym buddies.

I’ve even tried online dating off and on for the past 3 or 4 years.  Don’t even get me started on that fustercluck of digital desperation.

I guess a more encompassing question would be how much am I supposed to just let happen/wait for the meetcute/serendipity/whatever (if that kind of stuff even really happens outside of rom-coms) and how much am I supposed to try to make happen?  I’ve tried both since I hit dating age 17 years or so ago and neither has really worked.

I really appreciate any advice you can give me.

Sincerely,

Reader I Really Like So I’m Not Going To Give Him A Stupid Name

dear RIRLSINGTGHASN,

first, excellent use of the term fustercluck.  totally stealing that.  and second, since “beats the hell out of me” isn’t the answer you’re looking for, i’ll try to do better.

i have a few suggestions…

  1. friend of a friend of a friend of a… – if you get invited out, go.  meet women through the people you already like.  if your friends are hanging with these girls, it probably means you’re on the right track.  it could even happen at a bar.  *gasp*  be careful if it’s a little sister though.  that could get you punched in the neck.
  2. another church – now my relationship-advice-giving-conjoined-twin, Joy Eggerichs, warns against becoming a church creeper.  this is a guy who hops from church to church looking for hotties like some lecherous Easter bunny.  don’t do that.  find a larger church you like and get involved with activities they have going for people your age.  this does not mean you have to leave your other church, you are just expanding your horizons to better accommodate where you are in life.
  3. activity clubs – here in nashvegas there’s a outdoor club called Team Green.  it’s a small fee per year and you get discounts on stuff to do all over town.  the events are planned by a team coordinator (who met her fiance’ at one of these events) and it’s a great way to meet people who are into the same things you are.  there’s all sorts of these activity clubs.  find one that fits your interests.
  4. *insert suggestions from the comments here*

my only other thought is that waiting for something to happen can work, too.  sometimes when you just stop looking and really settle into yourself, a girl worthy of you will appear.  it does happen.  on occasion.  and you, my friend, are a prize.  she’s out there.

oh so sincerely,

sharideth

for the rest of you…

help a brutha out.

where are some places/how are some ways to meet datable people?

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29 comments on “dear sharideth: letter #3

  1. Amanda says:

    I think the “friend of a friend of a friend” thing is under appreciated. People know people. The wider your web is, the more likely you’ll catch someone. Not that I’m calling you a blood sucking spider.

  2. G Fresh says:

    I will own up to the fact that this is my letter.

    That being said, I guess I’m kind of weird or something as at least the first two don’t really apply to me.

    For #1, I don’t really get invited out to do anything. On the rare occasions when I do, the event is populated with married people. I’m kind of at that awkward age (33) where most of my friends are married and they only really hang out with other married people when they go out. I’ll get invited to their parties and whatnot, but again, married people as far as the eye can see.

    For #2, I guess I should have been more specific. I’m actually on staff at my church, not just an attendee. I’m one of it’s worship leaders and also do a lot of work with the inner city kids/young adults that we primarily minister to. My typical Sunday consists of getting up early to drive all over Nashville picking up 3-4 kids to take to church (Occasionally making more than one run if one of our drivers is out of town that week or something. Yeah, we’re a little jealous of those fancy churches that can afford a 15 passenger van. :D), setting up chairs/sound system/etc., sound checking (if I’m leading worship that week), then the service itself, clean up, driving the kids over to one of our members’ houses for Sunday lunch/hangout time/quasi-mentoring/etc. and then taking them all back home at the end of the day. I honestly don’t have time to try to fit another church in there and now that it’s starting to warm up a little and once they’re out of school for the summer, we’re going to be doing more stuff with the kids throughout the week.

    #3 sounds intriguing though. I’ll have to check that out and see if I can make it fit into my budget/schedule.

    • i’d talk to your church about double dipping (so to speak). i know several people who’ve done it. ministered in one church, and attended events or a service at a different time at another.

      you could come to mine. i sat by vince gill and amy grant on sunday.

      but neither of them are single…

      • G Fresh says:

        I could probably check out events at another church as long as they weren’t on a Sunday. As you can see above, “church” is pretty much an all day thing for me and the rest of the volunteer staff.

    • I’m going to echo the #3. Look at what your hobbies are, and see if you can find groups of people that enjoy that hobby and might have single females among their members. Not all groups have fees, but scheduling is of course a challenge.

      I can “feel your pain” to a large extent, as I’m 34 and single myself. I get looks of shock periodically (it’s amazing how clearly those faces come through even online) when announcing myself as 34 and a virgin. I decided when I was 12 that I wasn’t going to date till I was ready to get married, as I didn’t see any point to beginning a relationship that I wasn’t planning to go anywhere with. Didn’t mean I’d marry the first person I dated, just that I wouldn’t date without a purpose of finding a wife.

      The most important thing I can say to you is to start with God and not with the girl. Most Christians find a girl they’re attracted to, date the girl, fall in love (or lust or both as the case may be), get engaged, and then maybe think about bringing God into the equation at the marriage ceremony. Maybe they even ask His opinion before they decide to propose. It occured to me several years ago that marriage is the second biggest decision you can make in your life, second only to choosing Christ, so it seems like something God would have an opinion on. So I try to talk to Him first, both in general asking Him to lead, and in specific asking Him about any attractive and single girl that catches my notice.

      You may well already have done so, but I’d also recommend making yourself an informal list of what’s important to you in a potential wife. That she’s definitely saved should of course top the list for a Christian. And looking at the Biblical definitions for a righteous woman is a good idea for finding more. But this should also include things that are just personal wants, as long as they don’t contradict God’s view. It’s also good to look at things that you want to *avoid*, based on their likelihood to cause problems in marriage.

      A few on my list (in order of me typing them rather than of priority):
      1) Must be Christian, obviously. But that goes down to more than just church membership. You have to start with salvation itself: original sin, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, Christ’s death and resurrection, and Christ as the only way to heaven. Add in primacy and infalibility of Scripture. Difference in view of these represents a spiritual issue that would be an incompatibility for me, and would only be worse if there were later children and a struggle over whose view to teach them. Denomination doesn’t matter so much to me, it’s what you believe about Jesus and the Bible.

      2) Must be intelligent. I have a brilliant mind, when I’m not being childish and immature. I need a wife who can keep me mentally engaged and hold conversations with me where, even if the specific subject doesn’t interest her, she can follow the gist of what I have to say and I can do the same with what she has to say. Being on significantly different intelligence levels doesn’t make any person more valuable than another in the sight of God. But it does affect communication in a relationship, and will be a factor in connection for me specifically.

      3) Similar political opinion. I’m hardline conservative on political and social issues, and passionate about it. Having a wife who was on the opposite side of the spectrum would not just be a source of arguments, but would also likely indicate that the underlying worldview was different, which would affect all sorts of other areas. It’s hard to have unity when you differ politically, especially in the current times where politics is so contentious and the fate of the country is at stake.

      4) Alcohol and cigarettes. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink. I always think of the old ditty “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew. Don’t go with girls that do.” I don’t think you’re going to hell if you have a glass of wine with your meal; I can only find Biblical injunctions that you not get drunk. But I don’t personally see any compelling reason to take something that could impair my judgement and put me at risk of embarassing my Lord, or endangering myself or others. And I have medical reason to believe I could be a candidate for alcoholism. Better safe than sorry.

      5) Toilet Paper Direction. I just don’t think I can live with a woman who dispenses the tp from underneath. I’m kidding on that one, to an extent, but if you actually get serious about a woman, it’s important to think about little details that can blow into big problems in a marriage, and toilet paper rolls and how you squeeze the toothpaste are the sort of things that you have big explosions over when something else is actually the issue that was bothering one or both of you.

  3. Jenn says:

    Well I guess #2 is not really an option, because that was one of my suggestions.

    I think in the end it does come down to diversifying who you hang out with – or going to places you might not have though of – now granted I will say that in the end this was not successful for me, the most dates I had in “rapidish” succession came from going to almost any event I was invited to where I knew I would know almost no one.

    I would say that number 3 is probably one of your best bets – in that find an activity you like to do, that you would want to share with that prospective someone.

    In the end it’s kind of sad – there are single sane women out in the world and we must be able to get one in your vicinity, no?

  4. Amanda says:

    My other suggestion is to move to Canada. I have loads of amazing single friends.

    • Jenn says:

      I was going to say that too… Canada is the land of the amazing quality single women.

      • G Fresh says:

        Yeah, I moved to Nashville from northern Indiana partly because I was tired of how long and cold the winters were there. I don’t think I would last very long in Canada. Tell your friends to move down here. 🙂

        • Jenn says:

          Well I can’t speak for Mandie, but I live on the “wet” coast where it doesn’t snow in the city only on the ski hills and is currently the fabulous temperature for running around in shorts. We are the city where all the “weak” Canadians live – if you don’t believe me, any news report from around the time of the Olympics last year will verify that we had to actually truck in snow and had blooming trees in February.

  5. riggs says:

    a wingman might help. if i still lived in nashville, i would help a brotha!

  6. Solid advice. Church stalking does work on occasion, but if you become known for it, it goes down. Girls like to think they’re the only one you’re doing blah blah blah for, so that pretty much encompasses any technique you can get (in)famous for doing.

    Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap that says “hey, your standards are too high, you gotta knock those down a bit. Want a girl who knows what’s going on in the world? Cheah! Ha-right!” P.S., the trap is voiced by Wayne Campbell of Wayne’s World.

  7. kristinherdy says:

    When I was in a relationship, a guy I met at the grocery store tried to pick me up. I said no because I was with a someone at the time, but he was very nice, and no immediate danger signals like “serial killer” went off. Maybe the places you go outside of gym or church could offer an opportunity for conversation?

    Even though you work at church – volunteering somewhere you don’t usually – food bank, clothing drive, organizing a 5K for charity, etc could all offer you a place to meet a nice girl.

  8. alyssaemi says:

    As a fellow Nashville single, I’d recommend Kairos bible study on Tuesday nights at Brentwood Baptist. 1000+ people with quite a range of ages and marital statuses.

  9. I peed a little when I saw that you gave me a shout out. I also wanted to thank you for changing “ask” to “dear” because I had copy writtedened “ask” so I was about to sue you.

    Great post – looks like peeps have already given great responses. I usually go to the carnival to find men. Did someone suggest that already?

    • Hayley says:

      That one Carnie you brought home to meet the fam was a gem but boy was he a rollercoaster of emotions. (dad joke?)

      I would avoid the carnival.

      Someone I know (see comment above) LOVES set ups. I am not as crazy about them but what I’ve come to realize is, it is usually the people that are setting me up. Ask people you trust to set you up. This goes along with the friend of a friend of a friend, but make sure they know you are interested in being set up because some people feel weird about it. Give them the green light.

  10. […] ride through all five boroughs of New York, which is brilliant in concept but proved to be a fustercluck in execution. (But more on that […]

  11. […] for some it can mean switching churches.  i go over places to meet people and church hopping here.  (make sure to dig into the comments of that […]

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