Three Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Dating

It’s no secret – my dating journey has been…well…a bit of a bumpy road.

One thing that they don’t tell you about recovering from anorexia – or any eating disorder for that matter – is that sure, you may put on the weight, but that the mental recovery — and shutting off the negative mental tapes that chiseled away at your heart for years and years…that recovery is the most difficult. Because it seeps into every aspect of your life — including dating.

And so, hence, why I’m just now starting to go on dates and open up my heart in the hopes to let someone else in.

But here’s the thing…I think I had built up the idea of dating so much in my mind, that I wish I could go back and have a sit down, face to face real talk session with my old self. And when I say self, I mean…my 4 months younger self haha

And just spoiler alert — I’m going to want to hear your thoughts on the matter too ๐Ÿ™‚

OK – The Top Three Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Started Dating

Don’t try to be who you think the other person wants you to be.

This may seem like the biggest “duh” in the world. But it goes back to my perfectionism — the gal’dang beast that led to my anorexia in the first place. Being perfect is not what constitutes you as “eligible” for dating. Care: just be yourself.

Because you need to know if who you really are “works” with who they really are. And if you’re just going to try to be exactly what you think they want, not only is it going to be incredibly exhausting, but also – you’re doing the potential relationship a disservice with inauthenticity. It’s such a buzz word, but really just be authentically you.

And that means talking about things that mean a lot to you. Talk about faith. Talk about important issues. But what’s more than talking, is listening. Because just as important as sharing your own thoughts, is learning theirs on the things that matter to you.

But at the end of the day: you’re enough, you’re beautiful, and you’re worth being loved.

Makeup is great, but guys aren’t falling for a perfect eyeliner application and snatched highlighter.

Ok – this one was really hard for me. Because again, that damn eating disorder plants these lies that really screw with your head. But I was — and am trying to work on — I was always that girl that…if I was going to see a guy, I would have to look perfect. Full face of makeup as though I hired a glam squad. Not a hair out of place, and dang it, I was going to look like I could be on the cover of a gosh darn magazine.

But you know what? Makeup doesn’t make you worthy of love. Makeup doesn’t enhance who you are as a person. It doesn’t make you more attractive or more beautiful. Sure, it’s fun, and if you enjoy it – awesome! Go for it. But know that who you are with and without makeup — she is worthy of the same amount of love.

And what’s more: guys — at least the right ones — actually prefer women without all the make up. Which, now that I’m thinking about it makes a lot of sense.

Believe it or not — this makeup obsessed girl has now switched to tinted moisturizer, chapstick and ONE coat of mascara. (Not three!)

Eat like a lady.

Ok – this is really not what it sounds like. Because I’m sure as heck not talking about ordering a salad. I’m talking about — actually, my eating “form” — as in — Care, DON’T MISS YOUR MOUTH. I mean, I live in a studio, I eat most of my meals in the privacy of my home with just me and my YouTube videos, and so I can sometimes forget how to like…I don’t know — chew? Practice bare minimum manners? Yeah — gotta work on that.

Dating is really fun!

Finally, this one is the biggie. Dating is fun. Period. It turns out that being vulnerable and letting someone in to see the real you is not only incredibly affirming, but it’s just an awesome feeling.

Not to mention, you’re opening yourself up to so many new adventures. There’s a reason why there’s a booming industry around “date spots” — because they’re genuinely FUN to experience. And with someone you enjoy getting to know…it’s shocking, I know…but it’s a great time.

SO there we go, I know I added a fourth, but I just felt moved by the spirit.

I would love to learn YOUR top dating advice. Because I am always eager to learn, and I’m finding that the more dates I go on, this list gets longer and longer.

Have a happy memorial day! And I’ll talk to you on Wednesday!

Unless, of course, you’re on Patreon, and in that case, your video will be uploaded tonight!!

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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264 responses to “Three Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Dating”

  1. Excellent vulnerable post. You are right, YOU have to just be you. I have seen God move time and time again in this area of dating and getting married. My view is I donโ€™t date to date but to find the right partner for life. Before I met my wife I had resigned myself to 2 things. Since I am a Christian
    1 I would not have sex till I got married. If I didโ€™t get married then I would never have sex again. Sounds radical in todayโ€™s world but less problems would arise
    2. Pray for God to bring you the right spouse then step back. It was when I gave it all over to God that Julie appeared.

    Thank you again for being so truth and vulnerable. All of us can relate to pain.
    Keep on keepin on

    • Hi Brad! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. Those 2 things are so awesome – and you’re right – GIving it to Him is the best plan. Thanks for sharing your beautiful love story with Julie! hugs xox

  2. Feel comfortable in your own skin, love yourself and care about who your date is. Live life and enjoy the journey–even the potholes! Love and hugs!

  3. “Because Iโ€™m sure as heck not talking about ordering a salad.” ๐Ÿ˜† Salad is probably one of the hardest things to eat when you’re aiming to make a good impression. Especially if the lettuce doesn’t want to go on the fork and you have to resort to fiercely stabbing it. lol

    Second worst thing would be anything with a spaghetti-type sauce. Especially if you’re wearing your favorite light colored shirt or skirt or dress. The sauce will find a way to crash land on your clothes, even if you’re being super careful. It will find a way. ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. On a complete side note, I love that gif of Grover and Cookie Monster. Grover is so dismayed by Cookie Monster’s bad manners. He’s like “I disapprove. I disapprove so much.” ๐Ÿ˜†

  5. Simple suggestion. Don’t go on any date with the goal of snagging another person to spend the rest of your life with. You are no less an important person if you don’t find that special other if it takes a year or a decade or longer. Go with an open heart and learn about other people. It is not a competition to make an acquisition. Don’t set timelines and goals. My bet? You will find the person you seek, not on a formal date, but an informal circumstance. On a job, at a party, in a theater seat next to someone crying at the same scene and you just have to chat with them at intermission. Ease up on those date squad goals or whatever you young people call them. Good luck…

    • ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ thank you! Informal circumstances is exactly the key. This comment gives me so much hope now!

    • that’s a really great point. yeah – that’s where my head is these days – i’m just enjoying the process right now. and thank you for that wonderful encouragement. gosh – that would make a great “meet cute” in a rom com to meet the love of your life sharing tissues at intermission! hahah thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xo

      • Yes, interesting thatโ€™s how everyone love story is โ€œMeet Cuteโ€, unless itโ€™s dating apps, where itโ€™s โ€œSwipe left to Right Cuteโ€. ๐Ÿ™„

      • Wooooo!! Thatโ€™ll be the day!! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  6. hahaa I love the eat like a lady advice. My spouse is a chef by trade, and we eat a lot of our meals at home for this means I like to sample and taste things with my hands. When I am out I have to remind myself to use my utensils…lol

  7. Oh gosh, this made me chuckle! I wrote about similar dating escapades a while back. I think the main thing is the experience truly did give me the opportunity to consider what I may like or not like. I have – as you also have – a wide range of tastes and interests. Some of my favorite things, foods, activities and places became known to me through a date. I’m grateful. I think letting go of the “husband agenda” helps. I found that just relaxing and enjoying the company. At the very least, I learned something about myself and that was worth all of them!
    Great writing!

    • Itโ€™s true I do learn a lot about my favorite things, foods, activities, and places through dating. And I learn a lot about how to have meaningful conversations, and ask deep questions. But mostly, I just listen closer to get to know the person.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this! You’re right – letting go of the husband agenda – and honestly, I think that’s why it’s become more fun! is because I’m just going with the flow and enjoying the process ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the awesome advice!! hugs xo

  8. I would invite your date impromptu to go volunteer to care for disabled, elderly, or homeless people and see what kind of person he is. See how he reacts in the trenches where life matters.

  9. As you both move forward in the relationship, do so together. Being equally yoked like two oxen (metaphorically) will keep one of you from moving at a different speed or trajectory than the other.

    (Guys) Be intentional; make it clear if you are dating her or just hanging out. Communicate.

    (Ladies) Be intentional; if you’re not interested or ready, just say so. But be kind.

    Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable about sharing you past dating experience with one another, but only do so when both of you are ready. This helps you understand where each of you is coming from. Also be transparent about healthy boundaries so you are both on the same page, and not trying something that the other is not yet ready for (or has a premarital conviction against) or that may arrest both of your self-control.

    I’m just learning this as I go.

  10. You have given yourself good advice. Here’s my addition: keep your spidey-sense tuned to how the guy treats others such as wait staff. If you sense unkindness there, know that you will be on the receiving end one day. And if he mistreats you in any way (physically or emotionally), run for the nearest exit in this relationship because there is no fixing that. If you are not valued when he is trying to make a good impression, you will surely not be valued later.

    I have watched a couple of my daughter’s friends settle into relationships where they are not valued and it makes me sad.

    • Spidey sense – love it! but so true – a person’s character is so important, and it’s evident in the little things. i really appreciate your adivce!! hugs xo

  11. Thereโ€™s a beautiful Israeli film called The Wedding Plan about an Orthodox Jewish woman trusting in God to find a husband. Very different situation obviously! But I really enjoyed the theme of providence and letting people in. You might enjoy it.

    • ooh sounds like a really interesting film! thank you for the heads up – I’ll try to get my hands on a copy! hugs xo

  12. I donโ€™t really know much about dating so whatโ€™s the difference between going on a date and having a boyfriend? Sorry but Iโ€™m not really sure how this works ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    • Hi Elizabeth! oh gosh – welcome to the world of 2019 confusingness! haha So i guess the process, at least in nYC is that you go out on dates, get dinner/drinks with guys to see if you’re compatable, test the waters, but until you “define the relationship” as in – you want to be exclusively seeing only that person, then they become your boyfriend. It’s all very confusing and frankly frustrating for a traditional gal like myself. But alas, that’s what the dating apps have done to the scene.

  13. That thing you said about the make up (or lack ) is spot on. Not a darn thing wrong with getting all prettied up if you enjoy it..BUT, (and I am only speaking for myself) I’ve been married to the same beautiful woman, 40 years this past month…and to this day, she still takes my breath away when I see her in the morning, hair all floo-floo/ no make up. Period. Keep doing what you’re doing..guarding your heart, staying open and sensitive to the Lord, and your beauty/ the real beauty that counts, the beauty that flows from your heart, will stay with you to the end of your days. This is just my theory but I think a godly women is like a good wine. just keeps getting better with age. DM

    • HI DM! wow, thank you for this beautiful comment. And gosh, congrats on 40 years!!!! that’s really something to celebrate. How beautiful. thanks for the encouragemtn. hugs x

  14. “Donโ€™t try to be who you think the other person wants you to be,” you wrote. This is so freakin’ true. I’ve gone on dates where the man spoke at great length about something (or from a perspective) I couldn’t relate to at all. Not anything BAD, but he’d have an orientation (toward sports, or movies, or cars, etc.) that I just couldn’t relate to in the least. And I’d get all afraid to say, “Well, here’s what matters to me: writing, woodworking, ice skating, etc., etc.” You’ve got to weed out the self-absorbed. If he’s constantly going on and on about his orientation, and you can’t get a word in, and he’s not listening, then there’s a problem. Make sure it’s (roughly) a 50/50 conversation! Not perfectly 50/50, ’cause you’re both nervous, but if it’s, like, 90/10, then it’s not going to happen.

    • Thanks so much Meg for this awesome advice! 50/50 that’s so important. I think listening is the most underrated thing – on both sides! it really shows that a person cares and is not just into themselves! so glad you stopped by! hugs xo

  15. Amen sister! Mainly be yourself, even laugh at yourself when it’s appropriate. Watch out for expectations set too high on him or for yourself. Nobody needs that kind of pressure. It’s funny you mention makeup. I was going to mention it before I even got to that part. Maybe go lighter (not color but amount). This goes back to being more like yourself. Guys – at least I think, in general we like a natural face. Maybe even just some eye liner. Let him see some of your imperfections. One more thing if your going steady for awhile and he gets a little frisky – make sure you set parameters – whatever your comfortable with. You drive that boat. Ask your Mom and Dad for guidelines. Don’t dismiss him as a no good too quickly. It could be a good sign that maybe…….just maybe God is pulling you together. But as you know there are too many that are no good. Oh one more thing. Don’t try to fix him. If he has an issue decide on if you can overlook it or if you need someone else. God bless you.

    • Thanks so much friend – i love it – laugh at yourself..yes! not very difficult for me, as I am always doing embarassing things! hahahahah but gosh, so much great advice here – boundaries, absolutely. Not fix him – amen. Because it’s like – shoe on the other foot — he can’t “fix” me or change my heart on something I believe in, so likewise, the opposite is true for him! Thanks again for this awesome response. big big hugs xo

  16. DONโ€™T TRY TO BEโ€ฆ Something you should know as an actress. Never try to out-guess the casting director. Give them what youโ€™ve got. Anything else is a lie and winning a job on a lie never works out. Rejection possibilities? No one bats 1.000. Get past it. Same holds true in relationships. Be you. Period. No one bats 1.000. Rejection? Next!

    MAKEUP โ€“ It might make you gorgeous, but I always wonder about someone who is too perfectly made up. All the time. Remember a poem I recently referred you toโ€ฆDelight in Disorder. Sexy isnโ€™t naked. Neither is it glammed to the max. Sexy is a carefree smile surrounded by blowing, carefree hair. That, my dear, is the best makeup ever. You have both. Go with it.

    EAT LIKE A LADY โ€“ Never seen you eat. When I do, remind me to let you know how it goes. Unless you go into chipmunk mode, Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll do fine.

    Be you. ED and all. 40,000+ plus of us love you just the way you are. Can that many people be so spectacularly wrong? I think not! Iโ€™ll bet your Wonder from Down Under will be fine with it. If notโ€ฆno one bats 1.000. His loss. NEXT!

    • Winning on a lie never works out — A-TO-THE-MEN!! And thanks for that Jeff – the more I think about the makeup aspect — you’re so right — it’s fun and great but — it’s another barrier between the real me and the me I “present.” Hahah – I wouldn’t go so far as to say chipmunk perse — perhaps glorified toddler — jk jk, but i guess I just notice that people from europe and Australia…their table manners are no joke. Gosh, thank you Jeff for this awesome encouragement. You’re right – gotta be myself. All of it. And you know what? I’m excited about that thought ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a great week! Working on flights this afternoon!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs to you and Julie! xox

  17. โ™ก “Dating” sucks to the max EveryOne ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š; it’s Crystal Clear Clarity that We either KNOW!!! or We Don’t


    • We either know or we don’t. well gosh isn’t that the truth! thanks for this! hugs xox

      • You Are Most Welcome SupaSoulSis; it’s a Pleasure to Serve, Stay Strong and Serene…I Am Therefore I THINK!!! Sum Ergo Cognito, I Am; We Are One Who Are Many rather than Many Who Are One, It Is Time for Appreciation of Darkness and Divinity Within Bringing Both Tolerance and Understanding of Psychological Healing and Evolutionary Growth EveryOne especially Rediscovering The Purity of Our Childlike State and Watching in Wonder as Our Creative/Sporting/Business Practices and Personal Relationships Flourish along with Our Refreshed Curiosity as We Innovate and Co-Create Together โ™กโ™กโ™ก…

  18. I second letting go of the “agenda” and be open. Enjoy meeting new people and consider every new encounter as just an expansion of your network. Finding a husband is a great life goal but that’s all in God’s time… if you rush or modify it in any way, results may vary.

    Dating is essentially just testing the waters for marriage anyways so what is marriage? Hard work- are you both willing to make an effort to see where things go? Communication- how effectively do you communicate and are you willing to be vulnerable by expressing expectations, fears, interests, etc? Acceptance- are you able to understand and love things about the other without any future ambition to change them? Chemistry is great but at the end of the day you want a teammate that shares in your victories and defeats and challenges you to be on your a-game.

    • thanks so much – you’re absolutely right – I’m just enjoying the process, and honestly – it’s fun and it takes the pressure off! And you’re spot on – God’s time. Hard work, communication, acceptance — I love this so much. Thanks again! hugs xox

  19. All I have to say is just be YOU!. who wouldn’t like you I am sorry has no brain in his head .You are a smart , great personality , and beautiful person inside and out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • be you! yes! that is such great advice, thank you. and gosh! You are too kind!!!! thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you have a beautiful week! hugs xo

  20. Hey, how are you? Happy Memorial Day.
    The first tip on your list is vital. Too many times we cover up ourselves to fit into the mold of someone else. I can say we have a hard time if it just wasnโ€™t a great date. Rejection is hard, but Iโ€™d rather someone be honest about not being into me then stringing me along. The latter is extremely heartbreaking.
    I love your honesty. Itโ€™s refreshing sometimes to see a different perspective.
    Iโ€™ve not been on many dates, but I enjoy just meeting people. God is in charge of my love life. I feel that burden is lifted. โ˜บ๏ธ

    • Hey hey friend!! thank you for this awesome advice – you’re so right about that – being authentically ourselves – that’s the most important thing. no false advertising here! haha Yes! Gos is in charge! hope you have an awesome week! big big hugs xox

  21. Such a wonderful article! This article should be a wonderful inspiration to all people/girls who are looking for their second half ๐Ÿ™‚ Blessings!! You will find amazing man one day๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโœจ

    • Hi Zettie! haha oh my gosh YES that is THE BEST advice — and yes — advice I follow. An hour with her and a half hour with my best friend since birth!! Very true — it’s hard to follow the no white rule, because I live in white and black — but I have a good dry cleaner…i know a guy ๐Ÿ˜‰ hahahhahah jk Thank you for this awesome advice! hope you have a beautiful week! hugs xo

  22. This article tells a lot of truth. Like you wrote, “Make up is great, but guys aren’t falling for a perfect line eyeliner application and snatched highlighter.” Real men seek for something better than superficial; especially those on a godly mission.

    Most ladies have got to understand that.

    When it comes to perfectionism, it’s been a part of me, as well. But I’m loosening up a bit and learning to keep an open mind.

    Some things we desire may not come in the packaging we think they’ll be wrapped.

    Thanks for sharing the other tips. I learnt a great deal.

    • Hi friend, thank you so much for this awesome advice – some things we desire may not come in the packaging we think they’ll be wrapped. WELL HOT DANG – I’m taking that truth bomb to the bank!!!!! thanks again : )hugs xo

  23. I love the “be yourself” one. This is intelligent because eventually you and he will “be yourself” and what if he falls for you in a role as someone else and visa versa and then you eventually realize, after wasting much time, you dislike each other. And wow, what a waste. So save time and “be yourself” now. Smart!
    I would add to ask up front about their relationship or lack of one with the Lord. Before you laugh, follow me here. Why waste time playing games that lead you in an eternally opposing destination. Why even tempt yourself and entertain that though? And if God is not prominent in his life, you honestly do not want him in a prominent place in your life.
    And watch the actions not the words, especially the actions when he thinks you are not paying attention.
    I will stop because I could literally write a book. Lol As always, love you, beautiful soul. Hugs! XO ๐Ÿ˜„ โค

    • I forgot a big bit of wisdom. Trust God not men (or people in general). Draw closer to God and the right guy will fit that relationship without strain. Trust God in the process and not people. Just that. ๐Ÿ˜„โค

      • Oh wow I love that. Yes! Trust God and draw close to Him!! amen!

    • Hi Tonya!!! Thank you for this awesome advice – you’re so right – being yourself saves time and emotional energy! no false advertising!!! And that is so important – I’ve got to include Jesus in all of this — because He is the most important, and has the right plan for me. And YES actions not words. Oh my gosh, I am drinking up all of your wisdom — THANK YOU my dear friend. love you and have a beautiful and blessed week!!!! big hug xox

  24. You’ve got the basics down pat. Now just work on your “follow through.” God is sovereign. That means He’s got the right man for you already lined up. You just be YOU and be patient. Realize it might take months or even years but IT WILL HAPPEN at just the right time for both of you. Pray for guidance. And have fun in the meantime!

    • Hi Rollie!! thank you so much for this great advice — the follow through. Amen. Actually, funny you mention that because I just went on a golfing date yesterday! hahaha But you’re so right – I’ve just got to trust and be patient. Pray and have fun – that’s going to be my motto from now on!! haha hugs xox

  25. Dating is tough…especially Christian dating. How do you know if the other person is regenerate or if they are just really good at playing the part? What happens if you find out they are not later on? Have you compromised your heart or morals? So many questions and I’m sure there are many, many more. Best to stay single in my (unasked for) opinion lol. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Seriously, though, dating stinks. ๐Ÿ˜

    • You’re right about that – it can be so hard to tell a person’s authenticity. Gotta be on high alert! thanks so much!! big hugs to you xo

  26. This is apropos. Ive been contemplating diving back into the dating pool but ive had so many horrible experiences, ive put all my eggs in the “not-internet” dating scene, which is slower going but definitely calmer. I have no advice to give since i am not a success story and havent quite figured myself out.

    The best advice i was ever given came in a comment to a recent post of mine. The commenter said, paraphrasing: “people get in there heads that there is a plan and we arent allowed to know it we just have to make the right choices–that is predestination with a chance of failure. We have to make a choice, and follow through boldly. The only way to lose is to not chose”.

    Predestination with a chance for failure. I get in my head that theres someone God has in mind for me, and ive either missed my chance or she is being withheld as chastisement or what God has in mind for me is Holy Orders and Hes waiting for me to realize it. In truth: there are many paths to success, if i discern carefully, make a choice, and follow through.

    At present i am crippled by fearful inaction. Thank you for your encouraging post.

    • Hi Scoot! thanks for this awesome response – the non-internet scene, IMHO is the way to go! Ah, I love that advice so much. My dad has always said something similar — he calls it a “pocket veto” meaning — not making a decision, is a decision. Losing out by indecisiveness. I definitely struggle with that. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hope oyu have a beautiful week. hugs ox

    • Aw, thank you so much Sarah — I really appreciate that. dating is kind like the wild west!! haha but fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you have a great week! hugs xo

  27. Love everything you said in this post! It’s all so true, completely my thoughts on dating too.
    Also kudos to you for putting yourself out there, it takes courage. I have given up on trying to find a guy and just gave it to God. If He wants me to be with someone, He’ll find a way.
    Good luck on your dating journey!

    • Thank you so much Elizabeth for this awesome encouragement and advice. Give it to God – I think that’s the best advice out there! hugs xx

  28. I think that’s a really good start of things. I think you could add to the being perfect part with just being comfortable. Like if you aren’t comfortable in the clothes or shoes you wear to the date, you are going to project that there’s something bothering you. I also only wear makeup a few times a month. My hubs says he prefers me without makeup.

    • Oh geez, sorry, butterfingers… I hit the send button hahaha. When my husband and I were dating, we would play what we called “the question game.” We would take turns asking each other questions. It would be simple as what’s your favorite something to what’s something embarrassing that’s happened to you. But it Sparks conversation and it’s kind of nerve wracking at first but you build conversation and laugh and you get to know the person. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Not to worry!! The question game — I love that so much! I may have to borrow that idea ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe But so true – it’s that getting to know one another that is really the foundation of a great relationship — whether that ends in dating or just a new friend ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xo

    • Hi Rachael! Thank you for this awesome advice — be comfortable…that’s such great advice. And the more I think about makeup the more sense it makes! it’s just another barrier to the authentic me!! the tides are shifting with this makeup loving girl! hahaha thanks again for you great response! have a beautiful week! hugs xo

  29. Everyone can love anyone for their beautiful side. But if that someone can love you for your not-so-glamourous side, grab onto to him tightly and never let go.

    I’m sure your bf must be feeling extremely blessed to be with you. Don’t worry too much. Wish you lots of happiness in both of your journey.


    • Thank you so much for this great advice – Can’t say I have a boy friend yet — been going on dates but not *dating* yet, if that makes sense – which, frankly…this whole dating scene is one big ball of confusion haha Thanks again, I hope you have an awesome week! hugs xo

  30. You’re so cute! I love that you are so vulnerable. I definitely agree on simply being ourselves on dates, it’s not always easy as I consider myself a perfectionist like yourself, but I think for me is now also allowing myself to see them as a friend first before labeling them a future husband right off the bat.

    • oh my gosh thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that – friend first — amen! thanks lovely! xox

    • Hi Krista! Thank you so much for this great advice. you’re so right – gotta be my authentic self! ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs x

  31. We are all different so while it’s interesting to find out what appealed in the dating process with others you really have to discover it all by yourself and I think that dating is about finding out whether you are compatible with the other person. Now compatible is not looking for a clone or an angel, heaven forbid! I couldn’t think of anything worse than having a partner for life who was my clone. I wanted someone who would be fun to have around for the rest of my life. My wife doesn’t go for the makeup scene and that’s why she has great skin condition at her age. However it’s about how a woman feels with it or without it and not how the man feels. You must each maintain individuality or the marriage is likely to fail. My wife and I are opposites but we complement each others strengths or weaknesses and accept them as part of each other’s uniqueness. Don’t be in a hurry to share all your innermost stuff until over time you feel comfortable with the person you are dating and that is sealed by commitment. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Ian, thank you so much for this great advice! It sounds like you and your wife have a beautiful marriage ๐Ÿ™‚ And that’s a great point – to not be in a hurry. love that. thanks so much Ian! Have an awesome week! hugs xo

    • Thanks so much Delores!! I appreciate that ๐Ÿ™‚ I am very grateful for all the awesome advice I’ve received from everyone! glad you stopped by ๐Ÿ™‚ big hugs xo

  32. Personally I was in way too much of a hurry. I could almost hear my biological clock audibly ticking I think. I feel I have learned the hard way the importance of taking things slowly and giving people the chance to show who they really are beneath the charm, before we fall too hard.

    • Hi friend! thank you for sharing your story. I think that’s great advice — to give people a chance to show you who they are. love that. thanks for this! big hugs xo

  33. Tough question.

    I have very little advice, because my experience with dating has pretty much been a desert thousands of miles wide with a few train wrecks and dumpster fires scattered a few hundred miles apart. I didn’t learn anything at all about dating until I was in my early 20s, and what I learned was from Josh Harris types who taught that dating was inherently un-Biblical and unhealthy, and that if I prayed hard enough and spent time with groups of single Christians, the right woman would come along and we could start planning for marriage. I just assumed all Christians lived like that, since I was a new Christian at the time. I didn’t realize that the Josh Harris lifestyle doesn’t work for introverts who can’t have deep discussions in a group, nor does it work for anyone after college when you’re no longer surrounded by single Christians your age. So I guess that would be my advice to myself, but it almost certainly doesn’t apply to you.

    What little advice I have would be what not to do (I’ll word these from your gender perspective, advice for a woman seeking a man, rather than from my perspective). If he makes major life decisions (moving 500 miles away, for example) without even telling you that it’s on the table, he’s not the one. If he thinks all your ideas for how to spend time together are stupid, he’s not the one. If he thinks it’s cute to humiliate you in public, he’s not the one. If he cancels, reschedules, or stands you up three times as often as you actually go on dates, he’s not the one.

    It must be nice to be privileged enough to say that dating is fun. It must be nice to actually experience things like getting to have a second date before the guy cuts off contact, and not being accused of being secretly gay when you won’t go to bed with him after a few weeks. It must be nice to have people around who are Christians, not polyamorous, and don’t have grandchildren yet. I’ve pretty much given up on finding anyone. Good luck… from your post last week, it sounded like things were going well.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your heart and for this advice. Those are very VERY good red flags to look for. Luckily I haven’t come across many of those in my dating! Hang in there – the right person is out there!! For both of us! ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xo

  34. My dear friend,

    There is another “make-up” existing – it is to put make-up on our own character. When meeting people, are we different then when meeting ourselves? – when we are alone with our thoughts? A make-up can also be a “mask” we put on in front of others, maybe especially when meeting strangers (out of fear to be hurt or be disappointed with own expectations): then we want to appear in our best light and often hide the shadow of this light in us – then we are not we. Best is to be very natural: you can talk about good and bad things, about what you like and don’t like and do not fear if the stranger you meet does not like what you put on the table: if he is tolerant and understandable, he will accept you as you are, if not then… Tell him what is very important for you: your faith in God and that your life is anchored in God. When after some first meetings there is still a good feeling in you, then you can start inviting him and with the help of your beautiful cooking skills you can practically show your gift for tasty meals – really convincingly. As we say: love goes through the stomach… Make also nice walks, see together the little things of life, the beauty of it, enjoy together a sunset, a sunrise, talk about what your heart is telling you. These little mutual things, mutual experiences will put the seed in the soil of love… – however, do not have too much trust in those dating: you maybe lucky, but you may also run from one date to the next without finding that feeling: he is the One! Anyway, I wish you good luck and the right dosis of opening yourself to your date that might be your future…

    From heart to heart
    Love and hugs

    • Hi Didi thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection. I think you’re right – we need to remove all the masks – be it makeup, or busyness, or stoic feelings, or anything like that. And YES!! love grows through the stomach — i fully agree to that!! hahah ๐Ÿ™‚ so much wisdom here, I’m very grateful for the sound advice!!! big big hugs xox

    • According to your profile you already have a wife and family in Tanzania. Why are you telling this single woman you would like to date her? Stop it.

      • Oh no Melissa, you absolutely misunderstood me. I think she understood me very well, though. All the same, thank you for checking into my blog.

  35. I wish that I could give some kind of advice on dating Caralyn, but I can’t.. I haven’t been on a single date.. ever. Yes, I’m a 37 year old man, who’s never been on a date with a girl. Every girl I’ve invited has said No..
    I’ve met female friends for coffee and breakfast a couple of times. If they thought those were dates, I think I owe them an apology. I just thought I was being a good friend.
    But yeah… on a real date, where both parties knew that it was a date, Nope.. never been on one at all. Had no chance to be romantic with anyone.

    As for your article, the title is misleading because I think you mentioned 4 things rather than the suggested 3. LOL.. :))
    I also found the second one sort of hilarious considering it was coming from a girl who is so incredibly “God Given Gorgeous”. Honestly don’t think you need make up ever.

    Now the 3rd item is something very important to note. Thank you for sharing. It actually made me think. Good table manners is sort of missing. I’ve noticed something in myself that I am working on correcting. While decorum is not the issue, I’ve noticed that if I’m seated at a table with someone or a group, I tend to stare at them and their food. No one has said anything so far, but I feel I know it makes them uncomfortable and its off-putting.
    I don’t know what it is or why, but I just find myself staring. Maybe I find the way people eat fascinating.. I don’t know. I mean no disrespect to anyone.. but there you go. I’m a weirdo.

    Oh and I loved the “Cookie Monster” image. Reminds me of good times when children’s tv was wholesome and actually entertaining.

    • Hang in there — the right woman is out there, and it will be sweet and beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ And oh my gosh, what a kind thing to say, thank you for that. No, i agree!! i think eating is actually such an intimate thing – there;s a reason why sharing a meal is such a good date ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe yeah gotta love cookie monster! hugs xo

    • Hi Elizabeth! Oh gosh – it is definitely confusing now a days with these dating apps — but you go on a lot of dates with different people to get to know them — kind of like speed dating, but with an evening of drinks or dinner. And you may go on a date or two, until you get a good enough idea as to whether it’s something you want to pursue more intentionally. And it’s at that point that you “define the relationship” and establish that you’re exclusively seeing each other. It’s all incredibly confusing and the water can be horribly muddy. at least that’s what the dating scene is like in NYC! thanks for reading! hope that clears it up! hugs xo

  36. When I met my wife she was (still is) physically very beautiful. But thatโ€™s not all. Sheโ€™s a Christian which makes her beautiful. She loved football (what!!!!), and she loved to EAT! Yes!

    • hahah sounds like you guys have a beautiful (and fun!) marriage! thanks for sharing!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xo

  37. Oh well! It really entered.
    I believe trying to become who we feel other people would want us to be will mean becoming the lesser version of ourselves. On most cases, I have always loosed myself trying to be the “man of the people” but the “big-bang truth” is this… You are better as you and you decide to define your own standards! How long will we pretend to be who we are not? It is tiresome. The thing is, we should try to be the better us and that is one of the things dating brings out of us.

    About dating being fun… Yea, it is fun even if things go rocky! After the rocky experience, we sit back to realize that it got us better. I have been very sacred to date lately though but I know there is an advantage when we decide to see ourselves through the lens of other people’s eyes and though it may take some time and determination, I’ll gladly walk that path again… For me, that is part of what dating represents.

    • Thank you George! I love that, we should try to be the better us! amen! and I agree – even if rocky – it all is an opportunity for growth! hugs xo

  38. In dating the old adage โ€œThis above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” applies. Don’t try to be who you think your date wants you to be. Never lie to your date or put on an act. And always remember that what you are looking for is within you so your date, if he is the one, will echo what is within you.

    • i love that- to think own self be true – amen to that! it will echo what’s within me! ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for this beautiful reflection! have a great week! hugs xo

  39. All the memes about the voices in our heads are true-ish. Really… it’s the only way the Enemy can mess with us. My advice is this; ‘Be careful who you date.’ In this I mean, as women, but especially Christian women, because we are taught to look for the good in everyone, we tend to over-look serious flaws in potential husbands because we fall in love with their ‘alter ego’. That person they COULD be if they would just let Jesus heal them. I think this comes from (at least in my generation) reading too many romance novels where the good-girl heals the bad-boy and they live happily ever after. This is a fiction. It is not our jobs to heal the very broken. We are not Jesus or Holy Spirit. We can and certainly must pray for them, love them with the love of a sister or distant friend, but that’s IT. Don’t date/marry the bad-boy.
    I was reading an article the other day about how to pick the right goat to buy. Apply this phrase to your dating rules, ‘Goats are herding animals. If one is standing off to one side by itself… there’s a reason. Don’t buy it.’ The same can easily be applied to dating/marriage. At a certain point, you need to ask the question, why is this guy still single if he is so great a catch? I dated a man for a year. His mom even asked me why I was dating him. I should have run out the door and not looked back at that point but I was determined to prove something. I did finally break up with him after being left along all day on Christmas because of his empty promises to ‘stop by’. He made the rounds to his family and friends, did not invite me to join him/them. I was alone waiting for him instead of going home to enjoy my family and their festivities. Worst Christmas ever but an important lesson; if he doesn’t introduce you to his friends (not only as a girlfriend but NOT AT ALL), if he doesn’t invite you to family functions because in his mind it elevates things to the next level, the place he does not want to go with YOU, you are nothing to him… walk away.
    A great book to read is; He’s Just Not that into You. More that a kitschy dating book title/movie, it does have some wisdom in it. Men are able to compartmentalize things, including people & relationships, better than women. Women tend to devote themselves to whatever is important to them, be careful about to what, or whom, you apply that tremendous effort. He’s not a project, he is a man. Don’t go into any relationship with the idea that you can fix his flaws later. If you can’t tolerate it now… walk away or you will be fighting about it for the next 50+ years. Do you want that?
    No relationship is 50/50. Having a 50/50 relationship means you’re always keeping score and that’s not good.
    Keep an eye on how he treats you especially around friends and family. Look at it the way we try to talk to people about babies prior to and after birth (as in they are not different things don’t have an abortion). There is no, ‘magic wand’ that gets waved over a baby before it is born to transform it from nothingness into a human. Also there is no, ‘magic wand’ that miraculously transforms a man into a sensitive husband and father after the marriage ceremony. His flaws prior to marriage will be his flaws after marriage. People are not taught how to be successful life partners, manage money, etc. Yes, people are always changing, some for good, some for not so good. For the most part, we are who we are and again, only Jesus and Holy Spirit can truly change us if we listen.
    As a Christian woman, it is not out of the question for you to expect certain traditional behaviors from him that the world would think is outdated, antiquated, or even unfair. Are you looking for a man who is willing to provide for you and any possible future children? Don’t date a cheapskate. Yes, looking for a man with a good job and who is career/money minded is ok. You’re not a gold digger you are being practical. Does he like kids? Does he enjoy spending time with his family? Does he want you to join him when he visits his family? Is he willing to go to church with you? Now, this is tricky, Care. I have a friend whose husband she is still married to, went to church with her the whole time they dated. THE ENTIRE TIME. The minute they returned from their honeymoon he stopped going to church altogether! They just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary but it has been, and still is, a hard thing for her to deal with. It is not crazy to ask his parish priest how often he attends mass. If the priest asks you who you are talking about you know he is lying about going to church regularly. Seriously, by the time I met my husband my whole out look on dating changed. It went from fun ‘winging it’ to ‘I’m in my mid-30’s. Sh!t just got real’. Sorry for the expletive.
    Next; Is he ok with your close relationship with your mother? Some men will feel threatened by this and it needs to be taken into consideration. Being close with your mom is not a bad thing, but some people will not understand. Some men will feel jealous/threatened. Do you want to deal with that your whole life? “A son is a son until he takes a wife. A daughter is a daughter all of her life.” It is so true. Also you don’t just marry a man, you marry his family and mothers are especially protective of their sons. It’s weird but when you see it in action it is down right scary. If his mom hates you while dating she will hate you your entire marriage. Nothing is good enough for her little boy and that includes you. Be prepared. Maybe you will love him so much it will not matter but difficult in-laws can be a strain.
    Remember; You have nothing to prove. You are under no obligation to love the unlovable or fix the unfixable. That man I dated for a year told me straight up his flaws, imperfections, etc. that he was a bad boyfriend. I thought he was being deprecating in a cute way. Turns out he was trying, in his own sick way, to warn me off of him. I was so desperate to prove someone besides my family could love me I couldn’t hear it. He found an easy, insecure mark in me and exploited me… I let myself be exploited. I fought hard for that relationship for a year. Turns out he was looking for a sugar mamma. Walking away was the best thing I ever did. I healed, dated/married my husband and am healing more everyday. Not just from THAT, but from other things as well.
    I hope I have not scared you off of dating forever. I’d love nothing more than to see a post about your impending nuptials one day. The right one is out there truly. There are just so many men who know how to get what they want without giving women what they need. The world has tried to sell women a bill of goods and some men have studied this and use it to manipulate women and to avoid commitment. Maybe instead of dating you start courting? I did this and ended up marrying my husband. Tell your friends and family that you are looking for a man who is a strong Catholic who wants to marry and have children to ‘date’. Tell your parish priest and the priests in several other parishes as well. There ARE Catholic men who want marriage and kids out there in the world, they DO exist.
    I’m sorry for writing a book. I hope it helps and that I was not too much of a finger wagging big sister!
    p.s. read as many GOOD Catholic books on marriage you can find. Watch videos or listen to podcasts about Catholic marriage. If you can’t find any (which I doubt) there are some good teachings from the orthodox Church at Youtube under, Orthodox Talks. Ask Holy Mother to help you find a good husband like, Joseph.
    Dear heavenly Father and Holy Theotokos, I pray you would send to Cara the right man for her; a man who loves God and can help her and their children, love her family as his own, walk the path of the faithful, and help them all to prepare to spend an eternity in Your presence. …Amen

    • Ugh! Some of my typos are embarrassing! Of course I’m not talking about dating kids! There are Catholic men who want to get marriage and HAVE KIDS. I’m sorry. I thought I had proof read it but I must have stopped (I’m also making breakfast and visiting with hubs) and lost my place. Feel free to delete or amend as needed.

      • not at all!!! I totally gotcha ๐Ÿ™‚ you are so sweet to share all your beautiful thoughts!!

    • Thank you so much for this heartfelt response. I am so grateful!! You’re so right – be careful who I date – and you’re right – got to consider why they’re still single. I think in NYC, a lot of it are men who have been chasing their careers, and it just not really “expected” of them to settle down in the city until their older. Which is so annoying in my opinion. But you’re right – that’s something to consider for sure. And thank you for sharing that about your past – I’m so glad that you’re healing and that you’ve found such a great husband. SO MUCH WISDOM here! oh my gosh, I seriously am going to print this out and save it! haha — and yes! i’m trying to read and listen to all the catholic books and podcasts out there! And thank you for your prayers, it means the absolute world. Melissa, you are a gem, and I am so grateful for the time you put into sharing this with me! big big hugs to you xox

      • Thank you for the compliment. I never know if I’m coming across crazy or with sound advice. In regards to men getting their careers in order before dating… an older man can be a good date/life partner but make sure he is in good health. You want someone you can go places with. A ten year gap is not too bad. He has had time to make money, see some life and share with you his experiences. Usually older men who are established are not as stressed out. They have more time to enjoy life. A younger man still climbing the corporate ladder is focused more on his job even after marriage. Also, kids. A ten year gap means he will still have the energy to enjoy the kids and grandkids. This is not of course written in stone. Now, I like the advice Jackie Kennedy and her sister received from THEIR mom on marriage. ‘Marry rich and marry well.’ Lif eis tough and marriage does not automatically make it easier. In fact, it can make things harder. Not having to worry about money can alleviate at least one area of stress. I highly recompensed books such as; How to Marry the Rich by Ginie Polo-Sayles. I used this when dating my husband. Are we rich? Not by a country mile. What this book did is it helped me change MY mentality. It’s one thing to be told and to believe in part that you deserve a certain kind of mate. However, it is an entirely different can of worms to go out there and find that person you know you want. Ginie’s advice is priceless. You will look at the world in a totally different way after reading it and you will look at people in a new light. It may even come in handy with your career. No matter how much we wish it did not, money matters. Being on the same page as your spouse when it comes to finances is a BIG DEAL. The next book is; Old Money Book. all of the OMG books by Byron Tully are good. He has written books about marriage and Old Money women.
        People’s mindsets about money can be very revealing about how they view themselves, and how they value themselves and other people. I grew up with not a lot of money. My husband has a very practical but generous outlook about money. We save and invest as we can but we do not pinch pennies until they squeal. There is NOTHING wrong with thinking about money when dating. Money doesn’t buy happiness but neither does poverty. Money is a tool, period. The more tools you have the more you can build. You can build a gilded mansion or a better world or both if you’re very, very wealthy! lol
        Oh dear. Here I went and wrote another tome! Maybe I should publish some of this? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sound advice for sure!! Iโ€™ll definitely look up that book. Thank you again – yes! You should write a book! Or at the very least a blog post!!

  40. A good way to practice eating is to do it in front of a mirror or film yourself with your phone.

    • oooh – great idea! i will have to try! could potentially be terrifying! hahahahhaha

    • I did better last night — didn’t miss my mouth once! hahahahhahahahahahhaahahhahah Actually…quite elegant if i do say so myself ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’ve lost count of how many times I have ‘fed my boobs’. I once attended a nice luncheon called a Hail and Farewell. It is to welcome incoming military and say goodbye to exiting military personnel. My friend though tit would be a great way for me to meet a nice man, etc. right after our Italian very saucy food was served, I promptly spilled some right down my lavender sweater. I scraped off as much as I could but I was sitting in the back and could not get out to go rinse my sweater. I had to endure the rest of the meal with a giant tomato sauce stain on my sweater. I did not meet anyone and ruined a new out fit. Some how God still took pity on me and I eventually met my hubby. He is just happy if I don’t lick my fingers during the meal. What can I say? I like my food and don’t want to waste any!. lol

      • oh my gosh, I really hate to laugh, but oh gosh what a story. haha! And Melissa, I’ve been there! I think we all have!! thanks for sharing that!

  41. I definitely think the “be yourself” one is the most important. I think people have a habit of trying to put that best foot forward all the time when they are dating and we know that’s not really us. Some may do it to an extreme which can overly complicate things further down the road when the “real” us starts to emerge.

    • Thanks so much! i agree – be yourself is so important for authenticity’s sake. Thanks for this great advice! hugs xo

  42. Lol… You’re cute! Be yourself and like who you are. Be honest with yourself and your date. Never settle. If you don’t like something, you don’t have to put up with it. And you look great and you’re a sweet girl. Anyone would be extremely blessed to be in your company.!

    • Thank you so much Tony! never settle — that’s a great point too! gosh, what a kind thing to say — thank you again! have a great week! hugs xo

  43. Hi Caralyn, I think you’re doing great. I was pumped when I read your tip about using minimal makeup. It’s so liberating, isn’t it? I used to wear a decent amount of makeup but my husband kept encouraging me to just forget it. He really boosted my confidence and now I hardly wear any! So I agree with you 100% there… the good guys don’t care about makeup. Keep enjoying the dates and trusting in Jesus! That is the most important thing and you are very faithfully doing that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Hannah! Oh gosh thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚ It really IS so liberating!! And thank you — you’re absolutely right — having Jesus be part of the process is a MUST! have a great week! hugs xo

  44. It sounds like you have already worked out what it took me years of marriage to discover – be yourself and donโ€™t try to be who you think they want you to be. This is so so important. The right person will love you and value you for exactly the awesome person that you are. Keep being real.

    • Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ yeah – I’ve received so much great advice through this blog! And gosh – thank YOU for that awesome advice and encouragement. means a lot! big hugs xo

  45. Back in the stone age when I was dating it was so different than today. These were times when all roles were being question and many young women started being more aggressive in meeting their needs. Being raised in a household that getting married was not the ultimate goal by my mid 30’s I really was ok with that. Then I answered an ad in a christian singles paper ( long before eharmony) and that changed my life in ways I could have never expected. That was over 22 years ago and now that woman I am leading to her final resting place with the Lord God Almighty!

    • Hey friend! yeah dating is so weird now a days. thank you for sharing your love story – it sounds like a really beautiful relationship. Sending so much love and hugs xo

    • Thank you so much! I can’t wait to read it! And gosh, thank you for your prayers – it means so so much!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ big hugs xox

  46. My dating life is less than lucrative, and I’m okay with that. I’m working on myself right now, and I’ve finally accepted that I’m where I need to be. I’m glad I don’t have anyone else to take care of (except my pup Harper)!

    That said, I also have some dating tips:

    1. Don’t settle.
    2. Listen to your gut.
    3. Say adios to men who use shame, even if they are “just joking.”
    4. Don’t try to rescue someone. Pity is a horrible base for a relationship.
    5. Find someone who is okay with being alone and also who can handle you doing your own thing. It isn’t even healthy for married couples to be constantly joined at the hip. Date someone who respects that your world does not revolve around him and y’all’s relationship.

    • That’s such great advice – don’t try to rescue someone. On that same token — the idea of “missionary dating” — or dating someone with the hopes that they’ll convert to your faith eventually…I don’t think that’s wise either. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! big hugs xo

      • I agree. Thatโ€™s a rocky hill to climb, and your own morals/values/beliefs could be lost/sacrificed. Iโ€™m not a huge fan of the idea of casual dating. Iโ€™m sure it works for some people, though! I just know myself and how easily I get attached to people, and I donโ€™t think itโ€™s smart for me to do it.

  47. The hardest part of dating for marriage is that you often don’t know, while you date, what the other person is like when you aren’t dating them. There’s always that context that interferes (to greater or lesser degrees) with knowing who the person is when their guard is down, when they’re panicking, when they’re angry, when they are all the things they want to hide or change about themselves. That’s more than willing vulnerability; I speak my heart when I say that this moments are the scariest for me because I don’t know if my wife can live with what she sees, and if she can, if she can forgive me for it. Those, though, are the moments that make a lasting relationship, if both sides are dedicated to making changes and allowances for each other. Like I’ve taken to saying, “if you ‘like her, but…’, you only like her butt. You have to love even the ugly parts to deserve the beautiful ones.”

    Good luck with your search, and God’s blessings.

    • Thatโ€™s a really great point. Thatโ€™s whatโ€™s so beautiful about dating someone from your home town or that you knew growing up – because you know their character, their family, their values. Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you two have a beautiful marriage. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs and love xox

  48. But at the end of the day: youโ€™re enough, youโ€™re beautiful, and youโ€™re worth being loved…Love this! โ™ฅ๏ธ

  49. Rule #1: There are no rules!

    But in all seriousness, authenticity is probably one of the most important aspects of meeting someone new. It can understandably be difficult because we want to put our best foot forward, especially when we’re working on building up our confidence again. Thanks for sharing!

    • I love that – there are no rules! Thanks Daniel. I agree – authenticity! Hugs and love xox

  50. Like others have said, just be yourself. Not always easy, but it makes it much more efficient for finding the right person. Being happily married, I’m very thankful to have found someone (the one person, actually) who I can truly be myself around. It is so worth it to wait for the right person. You are a beautiful woman, inside and outside, and you will definitely find the one for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks so much – thatโ€™s really such great advice. Thanks for sharing that – it sounds like you have a wonderful marriage! I appreciate that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs and love xox

  51. Just. Be. You. Be open. Be accepting, but don’t be disrespected! All dating is is interaction. Revealing of character. Any guy who gets to know you and your story from you is a lucky, lucky fella.

    Trust your instincts. Follow your heart!

    • Just be you – that’s such great advice. Interaction. Revealing character — i love that so much. thank you Eli! hugs xo

  52. I was always too shy and had to go through some stuff… which I now see is Godโ€™s protection so I never was a dater. I never understood casual dating as Iโ€™ve always prayed there would only ever be 1 for me. While i never โ€œdatedโ€ God had me in customer service for 5 years now… wow… and I have learned and been so refined so much by meeting all kinds of different people. I also get attached easily so guarding my heart was obvious. This has been the best situation for me. But, with that said, God sent 3 people (guys) in my life to really have me pay attention to who I am and as lessons and I have learned and grown so much. He knows exactly how to get to you.
    1. Reckless
    2. Perfect test for me
    3. An atheist but he was there for a reason and taught me so much … a lot being let people go and you cannot open a blind personโ€™s eyes. If they choose to be blind let them go. Do not cast your pearls before swine … no matter how perfect you are for each other.

    So I do not โ€œdateโ€ and am finally content with being single and can enjoy it. Nobody in the Bible ever stressed about finding a spouse. God always had them meet at the time they were supposed to.

    He who finds a wife finds a good thing … and she is to be hidden in Christ.

    He is to โ€˜findโ€™ a wife. A wife does not search or chase. Iโ€™ve been studying biblical marriage and itโ€™s so opposite of what the world teaches us to do. Godโ€™s metaphor is so beautiful because He is the perfect Husband and we are His bride he has chosen and he is coming to get us.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. There’s a lot of wisdom there – God’s timing is absolutely everything. And we can just trust and have peace in the waiting! hugs xo

    • no alarms and no surprises. got it ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you so much Tony! big hugs xo

  53. Just be yourself and the right one will appreciate you for who you are! In the beginning meet at your destination and don’t allow the guy to pick you up at your place. Better safe than sorry. Have fun!

  54. I really enjoyed reading this article. My top dating advise is to take your time on the journey and do not waste time on people who are not worth your time. Sometimes we try to make people fit into our lives who are not part of our journey. Thank you for your transparency.

    • Thank you so much Ada! I’m so glad you enjoyed the read! Take your time on the journey — I love that so much! And you’re so right — it’s funny, i really needed to read that today about not trying to fit people into our lives who are not part of our journey. That can be such tough advice to follow, but you’re absolutely right. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  55. Hi, Caralyn-
    As someone who lived alone for several years before marriage: the possibility of sharing your whole life โ€” your daily life like what to have for meals, where to live, what will this person think about this topic, or my viewpoints. My wife and I were friends hanging in the same social group for over a year so by the time we decided to date we had a knowledge and trust in each other. A very good thing. . .

    This is a guy you should let know about this website (if you are wondering). Whether through an offhand comment, where he takes his own initiative and peruses around the postings on his own(and is genuinely flabbergasted at the breadth of this blog), or a more direct “discourse” probably would not matter much. This blog is a main part of your life and this guy should see this side of you.
    In Him,

    • Thank you so much for this awesome advice, Jeff. You’re so right about that – having that foundation of friendship is so beautiful and so important. And you’re right about the blog. It is something that I definitely will share with someone I’m serious with — maybe not on the first date — but it is such a huge part of my story, and I am looking forward to being vulnerable enough with a guy to share that. I really appreciate you encouraging me on that, because to be honest, it really is something that terrifies me. That I’ll be “found out” before I’m ready for him to know ALL that this blog covers. I mean – yikes. haha. But you’re right – it’s important to let him into that too. You’ve really blessed me with this comment tonight. thank you. and also – it sounds like you and your wife have a really beautiful marriage — gives me hope!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs x

  56. Two good books to take a look at if you haven’t read them yet- “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” by Dr. Henry Cloud and “Boundaries in Dating” by Cloud & Townsend. Not necessary to read both, I have a slight preference for the first one. They offer great practical advice for navigating dating and relationships and managing expectations. Love your posts-they are fun, sassy with tidbits of wisdom. Keep ’em coming! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thank you so much Alison for the great book reccommendations!! I will definitely have to check them out. I am always on the hunt for a good book or audiobook! and these in particular sound right up my alley. And thanks for your . kind words about my posts!! means the world ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs and love xox

  57. Haha! Love your three tips. The makeup one was a no brainer for me โ€” I hate wearing makeup! Took years before someone could trust that I’d try out moisturizer (my boyfriend’s sister “sneaks in” chapstick on Christmases, that’s adorable of her). The first is hard because of …issues involving trust. Whee. Third, LOL. Snacking on a coconut cake slice and I’m laughing quite hard.

    Okay, you asked readers to contribute. I don’t find rules in dating useful, so I’ll do a “three things I wish I knew” too. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Future husband can show up in ways you don’t expect. He could come with Incredibly Bad Timing โ€” God has His humour, and I can laugh now, too. And he might not look anything like what you imagine, fantasize, dream up, etc. You could have no idea. God can be funny like that. Furthermore, don’t give up on a guy too quickly. You’re getting to learn him, and he’s getting to understand you. Sometimes he’s got stuff to work through โ€” you’re not always a reason for it โ€” and he may need space and time to deliberate. Same with you. Can you get through the bumps, the unexpected scares and undesirable bits you didn’t think could come? Can you two work together, can you two go on a limb for the other if needed, can you lean in and out as you’re figuring out how on Earth do two people entrust God with making a shared life with two unique individuals who are His children?

    2. Don’t talk about the dating partner -> boyfriend to others whom you KNOW to have problems with you. Not worth it. Not worth those tears and brokenness at all. It will hurt your relationship. So-called “friends/family” come and go, but if future husband is supposed to be future husband, prioritize building up life with him. He could be in this for the longest haul with you. Do you want your marriage to begin with regret and hatred from such pettiness? If he struggles with similar experiences, can you hold each other up and through some dark, dark days and nights? Sometimes you must choose your husband over your gals, and that’s a good skill to learn before things go into engagement zone. He has to learn that skill, too. And it could play out different for both of you.

    3. Don’t make previous attempts or exes a foundation in your budding relationship. It’s good and recommended to be aware of things that went wrong before, but a guy isn’t a toy to replace unhappiness or trauma. You know who to talk to for life repair? God. Dial up your patron saint for assistance. And seek out help if you need it. You got a chance for a new direction, a different future outlook. Baggage needs to be sorted and unpacked, but for the love of the future spouse, he’s not there to fix you. Nor you to fix him. Again, you got God’s calling card. Remind him he’s got one, too. Better yet, make some mutual chats between you and your Daddy, and invite potential future hubby to that party.

    Coming up to three years together in July, and I gotta remind myself of these at times. It’s not always tips to tell my younger self. Hindsight has this funny characteristic of being relevant in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. It’s fun following your life path. You are rediscovering the most important things and that is being yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. That sounds so duh but is actually something very few people ever accomplish. What is make up, clothing, cars, houses, jewelry, etc? but things to make the outside look good – but the inside may still be ugly and damaged. Only a guy who also wants what is inside of you and just as importantly inside of himself is worthy of your time and attention. It’s hard to find a guy like that today, or a girl for that matter. But you ARE a girl like that so only settle for a guy worthy of you. My advice about dating is pray-pray-pray and then pray some more. Ask God to guide you to the perfect guy for you – the one he chose for you to be with. I still believe in the lost rib and all of that. That aside I’m glad that you are healing and that you are having fun in your recovery. God bless.

    • Oh youโ€™re so kind to say that. Thank you so much for this powerful advice – youโ€™re so right – itโ€™s the inside that matters. And YES! PRAY!! Thatโ€™s the. EST advice!! Hugs and love xox

  59. You can’t date everyone. If you do it right, you don’t have too. People do date titles, I get handed business cards. ๐Ÿ™„ Which makes, it weird. I’ve reached the age where if everyone made the right choices they should have business cards to promote that fact. Cool. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Love, has gravity it connects two bodies. God, did it.

    • Love has gravity – wow that is a powerful statement. thanks Kenzie. hugs ox

      • You’re in a weird spot. Being a part of the market that pretty much sets the behaviors that everyone copies.

      • Oscar Wilde, was in a similar situation for most of his life. Everything, is material. Not so materialistic, just story material.

      • ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

      • If not, well his loss. We may not agree on, anything. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I wouldn’t wish mistreatment on you. You’re writing has, improved.

      • Dating, to marry gave us “shรจng nวš” in Chinese. Meaning the leftovers. There’s a similar name in Japan, I think it’s “dumplings” or, “Christmas Cake.” ใ‚ฏใƒชใ‚นใƒžใ‚นใ‚ฑใƒผใ‚ญ. Just, dating has given these challenges for women, everywhere.

      • Kiss frogs. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I think the upper classes have the same men. High school quarterback types too much time spent over achieving. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      • The inner conflict tho. Your need to be liked? Your. Actually being, attractive. Would make men, less genuine don’t you think? Like, it would take a few months of dating to see past everything. To get to here, talking across the table. We’ve talked for a few years, I think. This, is what most people want to achieve when looking for someone. Just, talking across the table. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘ Too bad, I dislike Manhattan. Its up there with dentist visits and TSA.

      • I’ve never just, been there for fun. Working or, volunteering. I’ve always wanted an NYPL card. They have, huge sections of books I like to read. I’m, different. I enjoy the higher quality goods of the upper classes but would be just as happy with day old donuts.

      • Sometimes. Doors shut because they don’t see you. Maybe. Not you. I’ll be okay. You’re, gonna be okay. That, makes me happy. I’ll take care of my mom and play in the desert. I’ll be, alright.

  60. I always hated dating because it seemed like the two of us were putting on our best faces…like a performance. I would recommend biking, hiking, etc., with a group of church friends (male & female). While you are naturally real with your friends, God may choose to take one of those friends of yours, and surprise you with more. Thatโ€™s how it worked for me. It was a heart thing instead of attractiveness-based.

    • Thanks for sharing that Angie! A heart thing. I love that! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks so much! Oh wow 15 years! That is really something to celebrate!! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›Hugs and love xox

  61. I love this honest post. My dating advice from someone whose been divorced is to be honest. Iโ€™ve been completely honest with everything, including my feelings. And donโ€™t let the fear of losing them stop you from being yourself.

    • thank you friend – that’s such great advice — honesty above all else!! ๐Ÿ™‚ big hugs to you xo

  62. I did enjoy reading this post. It was interesting to see the transformation in your thoughts from just a few months. I look forward to hearing more of your dating thoughts and maybe even your journey if you are willing to share x

    • Thanks so much Rexina! I appreciate that! Yeah itโ€™s been quite the journey these past few years! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks so much! Haha yes! So glad this resonated with you!! Hugs and love xox

  63. Iโ€™m just started to learn about dating in recovery, as well. Iโ€™m an alcoholic and am so grateful that I can say Iโ€™m sober today.
    Iโ€™ve got two divorces in my past and was dumped by my most recent ex 5 1/2 months into sobriety after a 4 1/2 year up and down relationship. Today, a year + after we broke up, I know he was not a healthy partner for me, but dang it! Dating without social lubricant is difficult.
    Honestly, I havenโ€™t even really tried aside from opening a Match account because even tho Iโ€™ve been in a relationship with someone since I was 16 (add 20 to that for my current age), I really have no idea what Iโ€™m doing. ๐Ÿ˜› So Iโ€™ve decided, for now, to continue my journey of self-discovery. Itโ€™s probably better if I finally learn who I am before introducing myself as a potential partner to anyone else.
    Love this post! ๐Ÿ’–

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through that. But I’m so glad that you’ve discovered what you deserve in the process. Yes! Continue that journey! You’re worth the absolute best! big big hugs to you monica!! xoxo

  64. I really think that you hit the nail with being yourself. Honesty is vital, in my opinion. Also, you want to be liked for who you really are, and know that the other person isn’t being fake, either.

    • Thank you Rebel – I appreciate that. And so true – that’s that give and take balance that is so key! hugs xo

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