Yes dating is awkward. It is full of awkward. But I also believe to my brave loving toes that your beauty grows in spite of the awkwardness.
Beauty has vulnerability in it. Dating is full of vulnerability. Beauty is uncomfortable. Vulnerability is uncomfortable. Every synonym of vulnerability feels uncomfortable. And yes…ummm…dating can be uncomfortable.
Do you know who is not beautiful? Bitter people. Angry people. Numbed people. Botoxed people. People who are armored up to vulnerability.
Dating can really create a mess of your emotions. You are at risk for heartbreak because love asks for that.
But even before you grow to love someone, you will likely experience disappointment. Disappointment that the coffee date didn’t have a click. Disappointment that the one you have dated is actually not the match you thought. Disappointment at the too many matches on a dating app who don’t respond to your messages. Disappointment hurts too. Disappointment wears on you.
Frustration is another real emotion that hurts and wears on you. You are frustrated at not being asked out. You are frustrated at the stupid comments people make around you. You are frustrated at God for his (or her) slowness.
You are also growing yourself while you are dating. Growth is not smooth nor easy. Fears you don’t want to admit are uncovered. Habits are brought into the light. You learn there are some things about you that need healing. You have some hard decisions to make about yourself. All of this requires vulnerability. While at the same time you know that the lies you’ve told yourself to get to this point have made your life adequate. Maybe your botoxed self is good enough to find a love for a lifetime?
Then there are the ones who date armored up. I have a friend who told me why she loves her current boyfriend. He is the first guy in 15 years she hasn’t had to shut herself off emotionally while she was having sex. With this one they can keep the lights on, she can laugh, and she can look him in the eye. Do you see the lack of beauty in this? Aren’t you sad that she felt this was what she had to do to be in a relationship? There is no beauty in this.
This is just the wide list of the awkwardness of dating. There are the very things you are thinking of too and they wear on you.
Yet there is beauty to be found. Even in the awkwardness of dating. There is beauty in you.
Beauty seeps out when your decisions of bravery define you. When you choose vulnerability over numbing. When you allow the beauty of pain to shape you. This shape often has the form of Jesus.
You lean into the vulnerability because you know deep down you are worthy of something good happening to you. Or someone good loving you.
This requires boundaries because you know your worthiness. This requires a brave faith because you know God desires for you to have this love for a lifetime. You know you are on a brave life ride and in the meantime, something holy is happening. You have a little vanity to wait this brave life ride out.
This is all beautiful. You are beautiful.
Beauty attracts beauty.
As an observer of this beauty this is not the botoxed kind of beauty. But the true beauty that stops you for a moment and you feel a small jealous twinge. You wish you were that beautiful.
You can be. You are.
This beauty attracts. This beauty attracts your love for a lifetime.
Which then becomes beauty upon beauty. Your story, the story of the two of you, inspires more beauty.
Love is a beautiful world. It is simple and it is complicated. Heartbreak is surely a part of it. Yet this is the world we are attracted to.
Do you see your beauty in this world of love? Find it. Keep it.
(photo credit: Photo by Emily Sevenoaks on Unsplash)