dear sharideth #16

16 is my lucky number.  although i’m not sure that is going to help me today…

Dear Sharideth,

I was in the process of answering the question– “ladies, what do you to try to stand out in a group?  or do you do anything at all?”, and all of the below happened. I thought I’d send it to you in letter form instead.

I don’t do anything to try and stand out. I don’t necessarily do anything to try and blend in, but I honestly don’t feel like I can live up to the competition. I see girls of all shapes and sizes get noticed, and I wonder what makes me not get noticed. Maybe the fact that I am uncomfortable in my body really does shine through. I try to act like it doesn’t bother me. I have medical and personal issues that have caused me to gain weight over the past few years, and I have been rejected by doctors who call me fat and lazy or have been asked to pay obscene amounts of money for holistic doctors. I’m still trying to find help, but in the meantime, I feel gross.

I see girls who are similar to me find love or get noticed, and I wonder why not me? It doesn’t help that I am the only “young adult” single in my church who actually serves the church (there’s a guy who’s cute, a couple of years younger, but I don’t know him at all. He comes most Sundays, but that’s it.). I didn’t mean for that to sound like I am bragging, but I want someone who won’t use the church for their own personal gain and not give back. It also doesn’t help that said single guy has been coming to the church for about a year, has barely talked to me despite my attempts to talk to him, and suddenly become chatty Cathy when tall, beautiful single girl visits the church. WTHeck single guy?

The answer is not find a church with a “thriving” singles ministry. Been there, done that. Felt like I was watching the Dating Game while being told “give it all to God and Mr. Right WILL come along.” I call BS. I want to get closer to Jesus, and it seems the only way I have been able to do that is to avoid singles ministries. Whoa. I honestly didn’t mean to sound all high and mighty. I’m just worn out.

I’m tired of being the nice and goofy one. Well, not really, but I want to be nice and goofy and lovable and loved one.

Love,

Not fat and lazy but sick and tired of being sick and tired (and sometimes of being single)

dear Nfalbsatobsat(asobs),

first of all, yeah!  WTHeck, Single Guy?  as i’m constantly reminding myself, i’m not God; so i can’t just rename someone at will, but as far as i’m concerned, Single Guy will now always be thought of as Schmuck Boy.  being friendly shouldn’t be reserved for hot chicks.

anyway, to the rest of your question…i’m afraid i don’t have a practical, witty epiphany for it that will make everything right.  but golly! i wish i did, because you are certainly not alone.  many of my readers have expressed this same frustration you have.  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 post)

but obviously that’s not the answer for everyone.  for you, i think a couple of things are in play.

1.  your confidence – it’s taken a beating with being sick and having that effect your weight.  guys see that.  “that” being your lack of confidence, not your weight.  since for the time being there’s nothing you can do about your weight until you find a doctor who isn’t a jerk, you need to focus on the things about you you can control and be proud of.  what are the things you like about you?  but let me tell you, if you are having a hard time thinking of something, you are being too hard on yourself.  you need to raise your chin and give the world an “i dare you” look.  and let me tell you something else, guys see that, too, and they like it.

2.  circumstances – it sounds like you just don’t have a lot of opportunity to meet men.  that’s a really common issue.  i applaud you for holding firm to your resolve about where you attend church.  you won’t get any argument from me.  but i would encourage you to look for social events to attend.  start putting yourself out there.  mingle.  revel in the freedom your singleness gives you.  it’s a fine time to be a little ridiculous if you want to be.

i feel like maybe my readers are going to have some good things to say, so let’s let them have at it.

so…what say you?  any other thoughts for the nice lady?

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11 comments on “dear sharideth #16

  1. Jenn says:

    I think the biggest thing you can do to stand out – is to get comfortable with you – no schlumpy sweatpants kind of comfortable, but the kind of comfortable that says for example – I may be a curvy girl but I can run laps (or a marathon) around you and make a mean gf vegan red velvet cake. I know that some men might think of me as just a friend and others might think of me as more, but that doesn’t matter. What does it – am I enjoying life? Does my body do what I want it to (ie. fit into things, run up stairs – whatever rocks your boat).

    I think we single girls get into this rut of thinking that either we have to be hunting them down with avengence in uncomfortable clothes and laughing at unfunny jokes, or laying fallow at home in our sweats mopping. Neither I think is all that productive.

  2. I think our dear reader may have forgotten one important component to This dilemma, G-O-D!!! If the plan God has set for your life includes a husband then nothing will stop you from having that. What is it that you want in a relationship that you’re not getting now? Please realize that you can always change your single status but once married you can’t Chang that status w/o something painful happening. As stated by other readers, you can’t expect for a man to accept you for you when you’re mot willing to

  3. I had to chuckle at the “watching the Dating Game while being told ‘give it all to God and Mr. Right WILL come along.'” Sadly accurate many times.

    Sometimes we singles have to ask what we expect a spouse to fix in our life, and whether that’s the right place to look for it. A date or a spouse isn’t going to fix your feelings of unlovability. Unlovable is an internal problem, not an external one. A human relationship may ease it for a time, but it can’t fix it. But it sounds to me like that draw you’re experiencing to grow deeper in Christ may well be God working on the inside to heal some of your pains. Ask the Lord to give you, and keep reminding you of, a solid vision of what He sees when he looks at you. Those days when you catch a vision of how God sees you can make how others see you so very insignificant.

    At this moment, I believe I’ll be married someday. I have my doubitng days. I’m nearly 35 and still single. But at this moment, I know that single is not alone. Sometimes single feels like alone, but Jesus promised I’m never alone. I’m no less valuable than that other guy that the girls all seem to notice when they’re not noticing me. The divine blood of the Creator of the universe was spent to purchase me. How do you get more valuable than that? How do you get more loved than that? On good days, I know this. On bad days, God is still faithful.

    As for Schmuck Guy…you’d be surprised how terrified we can be of “leading a girl on” and the potential DRAMA that can ensue. The “if I’m nice to her, will she read it as being interested?” worry can be a deterrent to normal friendliness when a guy doesn’t know how to handle it. If he’s as aware as you of the sparseness of hte dating environment, that can make it worse. It doesn’t excuse rudeness, but it can be a possible explanation. Every single I’ve known has some sort of template against which thy measure potential dates. Sometimes a person who falls outside the template can surprise you with something that wows you in spite of that, but most of the time we use the template. It can hurt to fall outside someone else’s template, especially if they fall inside yours. But the more you build that confidence in your value as a person, the less it hurts.

    • Jacquelyn says:

      really great post sir!!! I feel like today God has been showing me very similar things about making Him number one and loving others the best I can without looking to them for supreme fulfillment.

    • Jennifer C. says:

      I never thought of it that way. Is there a way for girls not on the prowl (so to speak) to reassure guys that anything they say or do around us won’t be misconstrued as anything else? I’ve done crap like that in the past and lost some really good friends. I’ve grown up. Promise.

      • I shall be pondering that question some more, as I think it deserves deeper thought. But a couple of quick thoughts before I head towards sleep:

        Conversation subjects matter. A comfortable subject can put a guy on home territory mentally even if he’s not on home territory physically. Listen to what he talks about when he’s talkative, even when he’s chatting up Ms. Tall and Beautiful. See if any of those subjects are either a) something you know enough about to speak on intelligently, or b) something you’re curious enough about to find learning about it interesting. If he’s not an extrovert, you may just need to engage him in his comfort zone.
        Option A can be a source of respect and camraderie if you know enough to hold your own. Don’t try to wing it if you don’t. Option B has the virtue that guys love to be the expert. Genuinely ask us to explain something that we know about and you’d like to learn, and you might not get us to stop. :> I’d almost bet money that Sharideth has at least once in their married life allowed Craig to explain something to her that she probably could have figured out for herself, but she knew Craig would enjoy being consulted about.

        And if you find nothing he talks about interests you that much? You might just have nothing in common. It really is okay for that to be true. There are a lot of girls I think are cute but have nothing I could talk about that would interest them in the slightest, and vice versa. This is sometimes disappointing but really not a problem.

      • If I say “don’t single him out”, will that make sense? I’m not sure if the phrasing in my head is the right phrasing, but I’ll wing it and you tell me if it makes sense or leaves questions. One benefit of a church environment is that it can be easy to greet a person in passing. If he’s one of two or three people you greet on your way from one place to another, it’s not quite the same as “She made a bee-line for me from across the room and pinned me down to talk.” I can only speak from the semi-shy guy mind, but that bee-line can be intimidating from a person you don’t feel you know yet. Once a rapport is there, friends who make a bee-line for you make you feel good, but at first it can feel put on the spot. You’re now obligated to be a worthwhile destination because you WERE her destination, and that’s just the sort of moment that you turn to your brain for a clever line to impress the person in front of you and your brain hangs out the “gone fishing” sign and promises to be back 10 minutes after she leaves. 😉

        • Jennifer C. says:

          I’ve been digesting your first post and this one. They both make perfect sense. I’m wondering, though, if this case isn’t some sort of freak of nature. We’ve been going to the same very small church for a year or so. I greet him with others, and I barely get a hello and he talks a ton to other people. I’ve never bee-lined him because I know how awkward that makes a person feel. I know he likes baseball (and so do I… for real). Do I just give up on having a friend in the only other single person at my church who isn’t under 12 or over 65? Do I go somewhere where there are more singles? Do I get over whatever I’m apparently going through? …I just want a single friend or three.

          • Hmmm. Here we go from general principle to specific instance, and I feel I must throw in a “making judgements remotely based on one person’s description” warning. There may be factors I can’t see because you’re not aware of them to tell me about them. But the situation as you describe it sounds like he’s just not interested in talking. If that’s the case, and it were me, I’d just put him on my “people I’m nice to but don’t expect anything from” list. Polite acquaintances instead of people I’m trying to make friends with. And realize that if he’s not wanting to talk to you, it may not be anything you’ve done, said, or are. You might remind him of a cashier that short-changed him at the supermarket ten years ago, who knows? 😀 If you don’t know of anything you’re doing incorrect, try not to fret about the why.

            I think you’ve already laid out why going to another church to find singles isn’t the right option. It could be if God wants you to have single friends at church that His way of doing so may be to bring more people (whatever happened to tall and beautiful? Does she need a friend like you?). Or it may be that’s a need He wants to fill in another way. The best advice I can offer you is to tell Him honestly about the need you’re feeling, and then pursue Him with an open question of how He wants you to fill it. I don’t think He’d allow you to experience that pain without having a plan for it.

  4. Chris says:

    There are guys who like the curves. I know, because I’m one of them. Don’t give up on that, and don’t forget it. Some guys call “fat” what I call “skinny.” 🙂

    I’d also agree with the sentiment to make use of your singleness while you still have it.

    But I’d also risk saying to look for the shy guys and ask them out. I know, because I’m one of them too.

    There was a time many years ago that I had my eye on a girl in church, but I didn’t do anything about it for about a year. I finally got up the nerve to ask her out, got the date, and got dumped (nicely, for right reasons) on the next. Hey, sometimes it goes like that. 🙂 But I say that to let you know that sometimes guys just don’t yet have what it takes to make the first move. It’s sad, but true. And often we are blind to the possibilities. And you can help with all that by being direct. (And when I say direct, I mean direct, like, “Want to go out for dinner this Saturday?”)

    But I’d also say, while taking the direct approach, that once you have your shy guy, to always keep a keen eye on him, and watch for the faintest signs of leadership. And when you see those signs, yield, and fan that leadership into flame, because you don’t want to have your whole marriage stay in shy land.

    One more thing: don’t limit your expectations to finding your future husband at church. It’s nice if that happens, but your man might be working at a homeless shelter, serving soup on Sunday mornings, just waiting for you to find him.

    This ain’t expert advice, but it’s all I got. I hope it helps, and I hope it is encouraging.

  5. Jennifer C. says:

    Alright. Time to fess up. I sent that letter. I do thank you all for your encouragement and advice (expert or not).

    Thank you, Sharideth for featuring this letter. Your comments and those of the readers have helped. While my letter is a snapshot, I do get into these kinds of funks every now and then, and I need someone who won’t coddle me to speak into my life.

    I just get tired sometimes, and (kind of like Naomi) I become bitter for a bit. I know I’m not unique in my struggles, but I do ask for help. I am so appreciative of all of yours.

    I can assure that I have not forgotten God in all of this. There have been times when I wish I could run my own life, but deep down, I know that if God wanted me married, I’d be married.

    In a way, I am wasting my singleness… in a rut. I’ve done a lot– taken advantage of being single– like gone on mission trips, taken weekends with my best friend to get away, but I don’t know how to mingle. I’m almost 27, and all I know is how to hang out with married people. I used to have a lot of single friends, but I was hurt a while back, and I withdrew.

    I simply don’t know what to do. I am sure that in my rampage against singles ministries, I’ve overlooked some excellent ministries. I’ve also overlooked things to do that are outside my comfort zone.

    Honestly, all I want is some deep friendships with other single men and women. I miss that a lot, and I don’t think some people at my church realize that. I don’t think they’d understand, really, if I left in search of that. A good friend of mine left for that reason almost a year ago, and they still don’t get why he left.

    If God wants me to be married, I don’t care where I meet him. I know that God will lead us together. Honestly, I hope it’s a hilarious story.

    Again, thank you all.

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