Dating is like figuring out a  maze. Last night I spoke with two single friends and am so glad I am done with dating after literally a lifetime—married now 9 months almost!!  But it is impossible to get married without the D-a-t-i-n-g  word so… afterthoughts.

Dating can be a craze-maze if we are still processing our dysfunctional past—if we were raised where we were not given the opportunity to voice opinions and reason, or negotiate to resolve conflict or differences growing up. If we are indecisive. Apprehensive. Afraid. Unsure of ourselves.Low self esteem. 1×1 = 1  Two whole people multiplied makes one whole relationship. 1/2 times 1/2 = 1/4  Yikes!

In single parent homes we often do not learn how couples communicate—because  men and women communicate differently.Their brains are actually physiologically different—we are shortsighted. ie. Men need their caves for refreshing. We need to let them go there. Not resent what we don’t understand. Women need communication. Men need to tell us what they are doing or not doing. And ask us questions. We both need to always clarify what we are hearing each other say. “I heard you say this… did you mean this” before jumping to conclusions…because we hear words differently.

It’s a maze if we were in a committed co-dependent relationship or marriage where in order to remain together we had to cease to exist (no voice)—and enter dating at twenty years old or dating again at forty years old we feel behind the curve of ability.

So with the empty bag of tools we possess to garden weeds out of a relationship and plant seeds…we learn it. We learn how to sow the ground for good communication through years of trial and error, counsel and observation, prayer and pain.( Unless we are blessed to meet a person who has great communication skills, which was pretty non-existent in my dating life.)

The good news is that God marries imperfect people all the time. Marriage doesn’t mean we have arrived as amazing communicators at any level. But it ensures we get to work on it if we marry someone who loves us enough to listen and we love them enough to listen so we can both learn to communicate well – we can grow together  and individually.

People will always get together, and even have successful marriages in spite of rocky courtships or relationships. Once I received a note from a friend who was in a dysfunctional relationship. I didn’t know the answers, but remembered stories, so shared…

I will be praying. Sometimes people don’t know what love is if it has always been dysfunctional. They don’t know that without all the intensity of the crazies, a secure and peaceful relationship with good communication is true love. They have to learn to like normal.

I know you don’t want to hold your hopes up, that is the hardest part. But this is your first break-up with Greg and he may realize later that he has the feelings—when you are not in his life. Emotionally numb.

I met a women who was happily married with children 15 years when I last saw her. But in her twenties her fiancé, now husband, broke their engagement  multiple times. We couldn’t believe her response hanging in there unruffled. She calmly prayed with her Bible study group the night he broke up the 5th time “Oh, he’s just afraid again.”

Another couple our age who were engaged and broke up recently are now back together and doing well. Dr. Dobson in his rules of dating, posted, “Many couples have a breakup before marriage. It is part of the process.  If it is not to be, then you are both better for having dated each other….because you know more what a healthy relationship should be.”

That’s why I never regretted old dating relationships. God uses all things for good. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly Ps 84:11

I am confident God has the right one for you, whether it is Mr Man in Question or someone we can’t see yet. YOu are wonderful inside out.  Stay focused. In quietness and confidence is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15) He will give you peace and steady you.”

Parting thought: As a dating single, I said to myself in those tough times when seemed no one is out there, or fresh from a  break- up–

“There is always another man.”

If you are a guy reading this, “there is always another woman.”

So don’t give up. There are many people looking for someone to love at all ages….