Sparks on the First Date?

Gallery

From the Christian Connection dating blog. Some really good points here.

Do I need to feel a spark on the first date?

Written by Katherine Baldwin

Modern dating happens so fast. We rule people out online before we’ve even met them or we check to see if anyone new has liked our profile on the way home from a date. At this hectic pace, how do we decide whether to see someone again after a first encounter or move on to the next?

Often, we’re looking for that all-important chemistry. But do we really need to feel a spark on the first date?

The simple answer would be ‘Yes,’ but I’ve never been a fan of simple answers and life isn’t straightforward or black and white.

A while back, I asked my fiancé if he’d felt a spark between us when we first met. To clarify, we weren’t on a date. We met in the kitchen of a cottage in Cornwall on a cycling weekend with mutual friends. He walked in wearing lycra and a helmet while I was putting lasagne in the oven.

He gave me an honest answer: ‘No, not really,’ which of course I didn’t like to hear. I then asked myself the same question and came up with a similar (if more wordy) response.

I know I felt something. He had a kind face and a calm, peaceful presence, which I was drawn to. But I also came up with a long list of reasons why he wasn’t for me – reasons which would have scuppered our chances of a relationship if we’d met on a date rather than as friends.

Fortunately, I had an entire weekend to get to know him and to grow to like him. No pressure. No rush.

So based on our experience, and on the stories of many couples I’ve met who didn’t fall in love at first sight but who are together nonetheless, I’d suggest we don’t need to feel a spark on a first encounter and that curiosity could be enough of a basis for a second or third date.

Do you feel curious? Do you want to know more? Also, ask yourself these questions: how do I feel in his or her presence? Do I feel content and relaxed? Can I be myself with this person?

If you are someone who craves that spark, it’s a good idea to be aware that fireworks can sometimes be a red flag rather than a green light.

We’ve all seen Hollywood movies featuring passionate clinches and lightning bolts. Some of us have come away with the conclusion that real connection has to look like that. But these instant attractions can be unhealthy.

When sparks fly between two people, it may be the case that they both have deep, unmet needs for love, affection or touch or that they have unhealed wounds and they’re craving comfort and support. They’re drawn to each other like magnets and they stick together like glue – for a while. And then the relationship unravels because they can’t meet each other’s deep needs or heal each other’s hurt.

I know this from experience. I’ve had a number of fiery relationships that, for a brief period, have transported me to another place. Sparks have flown. ‘This is like Hollywood – he has to be The One,’ I’ve thought. But these relationships that began with fireworks always went up in smoke. The attraction was unhealthy. I was either drawn to commitment-phobes, enticed by the thought I could make them commit, or I fell hard for people who had their own unmet needs and unhealed wounds, as I did.

After a number of crash and burn experiences, I understood that I had to learn to meet my own needs and heal my wounds as best as I could first. I had to learn to practise self-love and self-care. I had to re-parent myself and learn to soothe myself. I had to find healthy ways to experience hugs and human touch. And I had to resolve some of my childhood issues so that I didn’t crave male affection and affirmation quite so much – so that I could regain the power of choice when in the presence of an attractive man.

As I got healthier, I became wary of the chemical pull or the flashes of lightning. I set boundaries for dating so that I could keep myself emotionally safe while I found out more about the person I was with. I asked friends for support so that I wouldn’t repeat the same patterns over and over again.

We all have our own journeys. We all make our own mistakes. But can I suggest that you be wary of instant fireworks? Can I suggest that you tend to your own unmet needs and heal any lingering hurt as best you can, so that you’re not craving love and comfort? (Dating with a craving is like shopping for food when starving – we lose our discernment.)

And can I suggest that you go on a second or third date with people whom you’re curious about, even if there aren’t any immediate sparks?

You never know what will come of it.

Advertisements

WHEN PEOPLE JUST WANT TO BE TEXT FRIENDS

Gallery

When people just want to be text friends

What is it with friends who give great text/messaging but who never make the effort to see you in real life? I am not talking about my fellow ill people here, who are really good at keeping in touch as and when they are able, nor those with major life challenges – or even introverts, by the way. I mean the ‘average’ person who leads a seemingly normal life.

I’ve been trying to work out their purposes. Perhaps they just want to keep you as an option, or maybe you are a habit, someone to pass the time of day with.  Instead of nipping out for a for cigarette break they decide text you .

Maybe I should be pleased that they think about me at all!  But sometimes their behaviour makes me think that there are mind games going on. Some kind of passive aggressive behaviour, manipulation that they are not even aware of.

For example, you receive what seems to be a warm text message inquiry after your health or wellbeing. You reply and then receive nothing back. I don’t expect an essay but a simple, “Thanks For the update”, or “That’s good to hear”, or “That’s a shame”, would is welcome and then you know that the conversation is over.

I think people hide behind technology. I am probably guilty of this sometimes myself.

However I have decided there is only one answer to these frustrating texters: To go NC.  In other words, no contact.

Resting B**** Face in the Church of the Poison Mind

Gallery

download-1-480x279

said I find it hard to move on yet I have decided today to purge some of my ‘friends’ on Facebook and to simply not engage with horror people IRL. 

This has come  from the realisation that I am surrounded at times by women who can best be described as having ‘resting b**** face’  syndrome. (RBF). No matter how hard I try to be friendly I get nowhere.  And they call themselves Christians!

I don’t really know why they don’t like me but there it is!  They make me feel like the white, blonde/ginger bitchy girls at school did or used to. Yeah, you know the ones… The shiny people! 

Actually some of the men are as bad.  There’s a couple I can think of right now – arrogance personified!

I really don’t need this stuff in my life.  Be gone!

Valentine’s Day Prayer

Gallery

“We pray today for those in love, those off love, those in between. And for those who are lonelier today than other days.
We pray today for those whose frozen hearts cannot love & those who feel so unlovely that they can’t love themselves.
We pray for the elderly man gazing today at a black and white photograph in a silver frame of a wedding in another time.
We pray for the the mum, who quietly bought herself flowers yesterday. And the boy who dared to send a card but didn’t get one back.
King of love come comfort and forgive us this cheap, gaudy, desperate, isolating thing we have made of you. Amen.”
Pete Greig – Valentine’s Prayer

One of our pastors shared this on Facebook. It’s awesome.

A Lover’s Story: Crookes Valley Park, Sheffield, 1988.

Gallery

crookes-valley-park-sheffield-by-paolo-margari.jpg

“Will you stay in our lover’s story?” Kooks, David Bowie.

Back in 1988 I saw our time in Sheffield as a sad and lonely period yet in retrospect I see it differently. We were young, not yet fully formed, and very much in love.

My job was hard, physically and mentally, and I felt pulled in many directions. At work, I was the ‘newbie’, before that word was invented, who had to make her mark, a graduate among school leavers, viewed with a little suspicion. I wasn’t part of any clique and was frequently homesick for my birth town and my parents. Gray was out-of-work and lonely too. As I had dragged him to this landlocked city I felt I had to make everything alright for him. Exhausted after my day at the office I felt obliged to go out at night, to pubs or to the cinema, when really I would have preferred to stay in and just talk or be.

Sundays became special though.

Mostly we walked in Weston Park, sometimes visiting the art gallery there, and often in Crookes Valley Park, which was often swathed in mist.  He would wear his Joe Orton-style leather jacket and I would be in my blue coat with its real fur collar, which I’d picked up in Oxfam in Broomhill. It looked like something straight out of a Tissot painting. I kept that coat for years.

Crookes Valley Park comprised sloping greens and a flat lake and was peaceful in a melancholic sort of way. Gray was often sad and we were frequently tired. What we talked about I can’t recall but conversation always flowed between us as the leaves came tumbling down around us. There was this utter sense of togetherness, of being with the right one. If I’d have known my Bible back then I would have identified with the verse from Song of Solomon:

“I have found the one whom my soul loves.”

Sometimes we would walk down to Hunter’s Bar and end up in Pizza Hut. Having been on the dole for a few months before I got this job this seemed to us quite decadent! I relished seeing the anticipation in his eyes and we’d laugh as the soft, doughy pizza would melt in our fingers – and then in our mouths. I loved to see him happy like that.

Sundays were doubly precious because I never looked forward to rejoining the world of office politics in a department that was sinking fast in an era of privatisation. Many people in the office were having affairs with each other as if it was the last few  days of pre-war Berlin. This was the very antithesis of my world of “pure love”, monogamous, hopeful and magical.

These memories can pierce my heart, as if they were happening right now. I wonder at this, bemused, that he, in his new life with new wife, doesn’t feel it too, at the very same moment as I do.

The subconscious mind, I read, doesn’t understand past and present, but sees everything as if it IS occurring right now. And it is happening.  I’m walking in Crookes Park, Sheffield, with the man I love.

I am loved, valued, wanted.

Moving Towards Life for Lent

Gallery

ingleborough

A Christian who lives on my street, asked me what I was giving up for Lent.

As I have a restricted life – no chocolate, no alcohol, no drugs, no gooey cakes, no eggs (allergic!) and am celibate – I thought that during Lent that I would instead go towards life rather than away from it. Giving up more things is going to worsen my already on and off joylessness.

And after all, the end of Lent is Easter, a time of renewal and resurrection. New life.

Therefore I shall be trying one new thing a day. At least one thing. It may only be a small thing – talking to a new person, buying a new food, reading a new book – but as long as it’s new and life affirming that qualifies. I guess that the sacrifice of shunning a pleasure is a small way of showing gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice.

PIC: New view towards North Yorkshire. 

Where’s God on Days Like This?

Standard
No. 1 in Heaven

No. 1 in Heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s hard to believe when things go wrong – like today.

  1. Lost the flat that was perfect for me to buy. (Buying due to divorce). It truly was great and I thought I had it in the bag.
  2. Left my landline handset out in the rain. Now it is a dead line not a land line phone.
  3. Aged dog vomiting blood. Can see that she is heading for the heavens – dog heaven. Am heartbroken about this.
  4. Trailed around numerous estate agents – nothing doing.
  5. All this only exacerbates my chronic illness. Terrific.
  6. Guy-friend has proved to be a real let down. And possibly insane.

“God has a plan and purpsoe for your life,” they say. Mmm. Not convinced. Unless the plan is to be constantly thwarted.
Heaven knows, I’m miserable now! I’ll try praying, maybe.