I believe that I've shared on more than one occasion that just about every man from my past has imparted some pearl of wisdom that has stayed with me (all things work together, right?-LOL-Romans 8:28). One of my favorites is this "Shellie, your problem is that you treat compliments as if they are *revelations* rather than *confirmations*." Whew! It still gives me goosebumps. And when I tell you that's the shot that should be heard all the round the world when it comes to people and their self-esteem issues...it really is.
At the time that he said it, it was probably around 2000. Yet, it's honestly only been within the past five years or so that it's really sunk in. I get confirmation of this fact whenever a man approaches me. Friday night is an example.
Being that I write for a living and I got my start in poetry, I like the good turn of a phrase. So when a guy approached me and said "You're amazing. I feel like I should be pursuing you", he caught my attention. It reminds me of when a guy said to me a few years ago "Thanks for remembering what you look like" (in other words, thanks for not rockin' all of the fake stuff and piling on a ton of make-up). Like I said, the turn of a phrase is nice.
OK, so back to Friday night...
We had some small talk. As a woman who is less than six months away from 40, I have learned to *listen with intention*. At this age, with the wisdom (sometimes via experience) that I've acquired, and the amount of abstinence mileage that I have on me, I'm not interested in dating...just to be dating. So although I really liked what the-man-with-the-name-that-seems-to-follow-me-everywhere-that- I-go (inside joke) said, I knew I wasn't going to take it any further.
Even though when I shared with a couple of friends how I couldn't believe what his name was, they were like "You should have given him your number. Or at least taken his."
For what? Uh-uh.
Even though here's the thing. He was a nice guy. He was cultured. He appeared to be ambitious. Several years ago, I probably would have gotten his information. And we probably would've dated for a few months.
Yet here's the other thing...
I know what it's like to be the person who passes someone else's time. I know what it's like to be seen as attractive, smart and funny and so, why not "hang out"? For a week, a month, a couple of years...whatever? And then I look up and realize that while I was "passing their time", they were *wasting mine*. That there was never really any plans for me. I was just...filling a void.
And here's something else...
DATING SOMEONE TO FILL A VOID IS SELFISH.
NOTHING HEALTHY COMES OUT OF DATING SOMEONE FOR SELFISH REASONS.
So am I saying there is something wrong with casually dating? Well, I'll say this: I'm not sure if anyone deserves to be seen in this light: "without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing". I'll also say this: I have male friends whose company I enjoy and we go out "on occasion" (another definition of casual). However, we both are clear that it's just dinner and/or a movie. We're not trying to build anything. We're just friends having a good time together. So, if that's what you mean by "casual dating", no, I don't see anything wrong with that; however, I probably wouldn't call or consider it to be *dating* either. Especially being that this is the actual definition of the word: "an appointment for a particular time, esp. with a person to whom one is sexually or romantically attached".
And that's kind of my overall point...
Recently, I sat and thought "Wow. You do my age times two and I'll be 78. You do my brother's age times two and he'll be 72. You can't even do my mother's age times two. That would put her well over 120 years and the Word says that no one really lives past 120 anymore." (Genesis 6:3) My point? *Time is precious*. So if you're going to be sharing time with someone else:
1) It needs to have a purpose.
2) You both need to be in agreement about what that purpose is (Amos 3:3).
3) It needs to be an investment. Into your future. And there's. One way or another.
OK, that doesn't mean that everything has to be (or even should be) "marriage intended" but there does need to be some kind of plan. In other words, neither person should be using the other because they are bored or lonely or because they need someone to make them feel good about themselves. That is *using someone* and no one deserves to be used. Besides, that's a horrible thing to have to reap because you sowed it (Galatians 6:7-8). Both people should respect the other person enough to want to *share time*---not use the person to *pass time*. Because again, that usually only ends up *wasting time*.
So the guy who thought I was amazing? Did he serve a purpose? Sure he did. This blog (LOL). However, I knew that I wasn't interested in building anything with him. I have learned to respect men enough to not want to give them the impression that it will go somewhere when it won't (an ego boost doesn't count). It's because I know what it's like to put my time into something that someone else has no intentions of taking anywhere. It's selfish. It's immature. And it's counterproductive.
And it's a use of time that neither one of us can ever (EVER) get back.
So if you're using a man to pass the time until something better comes along....
You're only wasting his. One of the worst things that you can do to a person is waste their time. And one of the worst things to come back to you is your time being wasted in return.
Yeah. That quote up top? It's a winner.
If you don't have plans for someone, ones that will benefit *them and you*, be kind. Deny.
So both of you can make optimal use of one of your most precious commodities: YOUR TIME.