Now that i'm in a dating mode, I get to start refining my detection systems. Gaydar. Mine isn't so developed. I refer to it as simple sonar. Other people have x-ray or even infrared but i can only pick up what's on the surface - the guys that are clearly and obviously gay. But then again, since i've been spending more time with gay friends, my accuracy has been improving. It also helps to be in social venues where the odds are pretty high that i'll meet other gay guys. Coffee shops. Clubs. Churches. So does me saying that i want to start dating mean that i'm putting myself up on the "meat market"?
Not so sure how I feel about that....
I will admit though that seeing as how i want to meet people for a potentially romantic context, i'm looking around for who's hot. Well, at least for who's cute. I know, it sounds superficial of me but it's real. I'm not saying that i only want to date a hot guy - in fact my self-esteem is hardly that secure. But when i think about the kind of chemistry needed to nurture an ongoing romantic relationship, i think it's realistic to admit that I need a degree of physical attraction. This raises an interesting issue for me though. Where's the border between looking around to see who i'm physically attracted to so that "something" can develop versus just plain looking at guys in lust?
If I wanted to give you the impression that i'm this holy guy looking for real love then i'll tell you that a godly guy like myself doesn't go to the club and drool in lust. Truth is - it's pretty easy to do that. It's pretty easy to go to a club or a coffee shop (or even church) with the intent of wanting to connect and to find myself indulging in the eye candy. It's also easy to gain a sense of boldness, in the name of having a good time, and get a little closer to guys on the dance floor. Not exactly the "christian" thing to do, is it? I'm not going to fool myself and say that God is in that.
Does He want me to be happy? Sure, i know He does. But i don't think that's what He meant when He says it's okay to be out there in the world because He's out there. Living out my faith sounds great and organic and progressive even, but i can't lie to myself and say that God would have me function like those who don't live and walk in faith. I think I'm meant to be the salt that affects others, not me being the one to taste everything around that this world is flavored with. So, i'm trying to remind myself of what it is that i'm really wanting so that I can stay grounded. I think the key, for me, will be wanting someone that God would want for me.
So I came up with a wish list for Mr. Right. I tried to articulate some of the things that i'm looking for in a guy so that my "dating experience" isn't completely trial and error. So here's what i came up with: Cute; passionate about life; sensitive to other people's feelings; loves God; has a "lifestyle of faith" paradigm - is non-religious; thinks outside-the-box; cares about the welfare of the community; can be comfortable with silence; can carry an interesting conversation; is liked by others; likes himself; likes me (that'd be a given, right?); likes to play volleyball; likes to watch tennis; enjoys watching movies; likes to cuddle; notices the little things about me - my idiosyncrasies; likes and wants kids; is an active listener; challenges me to be a better person; can converse well with my family; has compassion for the suffering; responds to injustice; likes to dance; likes to cook; can have a deep conversation about life; values relationships with people; values a sense of community; values family; can be flexible with plans; has personal life goals; is computer literate and can navigate the Web (LOL, yeah i know, but it made the list. Hey, he's gotta be able to at least find my blog!); is non-judgmental of past mistakes and regrets; likes to try new things; is spontaneously romantic; has a healthy sense of humor; is generally neat and clean; values personal growth; is a non-smoker and doesn't do drugs; can worship God independent of me; and is a natural leader.
I know, i'm dreaming. Is there a guy like this out there? For me? I can be a realist and say my guy isn't going to be perfect. But at least i've identified what kind of a guy i'm most likely going to be "in to". Perhaps this will save me alot of drama and heart ache in the "dating scene". This never made the list but I think i'm looking to share my life with someone who wants to share his with me. I know he'll have his own life and that he doesn't have to be exactly like me, but i want someone who's life doesn't simply intersect mine, but who's life coincides with mine. I want to be with someone with whom I can live life with - someone walking in the same direction as me.
Perhaps, then, our lives can collide to form a new one.
I don't think you sound superficial at all when you say you're looking for someone cute.
If you said you would only date someone who had no more than 2% body fat, and looked exactly like Brad Pitt, I might say that was superficial. ;)
Good luck finding Mr. Right, I've got my fingers crossed for you :)
For a humorous take (and some potentially good advice) on the gay dating scene, read The Mandates by Dave Singleton. My Partner and I got a copy when we first started dating and enjoyed it a lot. It doens't come at things from a Christian perspective (it is humor, after all), but it may open your eyes to some of the more glaring mistakes to avoid.
If you think you may be going overboard in the "meat market" mode, ask how your behavior compares to your straight Christian friends who are dating. It's not all the same, but you may pick up some hints on what is appropriate by looking at what seems to work for those whose principles you admire.
Curiosity question: if you're dating does that mean you've come to a conclusion on the "question"?
angel - you are so sweet!
damien - thanks, The Mandates sounds interesting. =)
mark - ha! that's the million dollar question eh? From the beginning i approached this journey on the fence haven't I? the answer to this may end up in a future blog post but for now... i'll say that i'm still journeying through this. I'm "inclined" towards side A but haven't formed concrete conclusions. It's just that all of this is just theory for me. Someone from all sides can make a good point about anything but the truth is, i'm never gonna get off the fence if I don't see for myself what the Lord places on my heart. So i'll go on a few dates with established boundaries and i'll stay close in prayer to discern conviction or peace.
You are going to have so much fun. When I first allowed myself to date guys I finally got excited about thinking through what I wanted in a date and potential mate. A friend of mine suggested I make a list of the kinds of characteristics you mention and then put each item into one of three categories. Non-negotiable (deal makers/breakers), maybe negotiable (pretty important), definitely negotiable (not as important as I thought). I know, kind of self-helpy, but I found the process made me a little more realistic without letting me compromise my values. Good luck and enjoy getting to know folks.
wow Troy, I actually really do appreciate that. It makes alot of sense. Yeah, i've gotten mixed responses regarding the whole making a list/having expectations kind of thing. It sounds like categorizing my list can actually help me further consider what it is i'm really wanting in a guy and what it is i would simply like in a guy.
Hey guys, Eric is going to have no problem dating I've seen him in social gathering he really now know how to work a room. You are become a great extrovert now in fact I bet you half the guys there would loved to have gone on a date with him. In fact he will be dating long before this old troll does.;)
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