Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What should I do with my life?

I've recently joined a Catholic leadership group of sorts, and we've been talking about this question a lot. We've been talking a little about discernment and how we can start to figure out what it is we're supposed to do with our lives. Of course, in addition to thinking about career, or vocation goals of mine, I also wondered about this whole single thing.

On the outside, it might look like I've failed in my dating mission this year. I rarely make it to a date #2 with a guy, and all my "crushes" over the past year have fallen through. Have I really succeeded at all if I'm still single? Yet I feel like I've learned so much about how to date, how men's brains work. I have not obsessed over anyone since December 2009 as I have learned how to tell that a guy does NOT like you. That's a big step for me. I no longer blame a guy not calling me back on him being "too shy." I've stopped fooling myself.

Discernment, by the way, is also about choosing between two goods. I truly don't think to be forever single means one is "doomed." I've never been in a relationship, so I've always kept my plate full. I have great friends, a career, two cats that I adore, my own space, hobbies, travel opportunities... One of speakers said while discerning, pay attention to your affect. When I think about being single or married, how do I "feel?" The thought of being in a longterm relationship, honestly, sometimes frightens me more than being single forever. But although I've seen friends struggle in relationships, I have also seen the beauty and richness of longterm relationships that work.

I don't want to close myself to the possibility of being in a longterm relationship, but not because I think my life will be incomplete if I never find romantic love. It won't. I'm going to be "fully single," and take on all the opportunities I can as a young, single woman.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How to find a nerdy guy

I've been googling this during times when I have nothing better to do, as I am keeping my eyes open for such a man. Although I have never been in a relationship, I think a somewhat dorky or nerdy guy would probably match well with me. I wanted to share some of the tips I found on my searches. Though I plan to try a few out, note that some of the advice was more humorous than helpful.

1) Go to restaurants, the same ones, regularly.
Nerdy guys don't and cannot cook, so they eat out a lot. Also, because they like routine, they tend to frequent the same restaurants.

2) Hang out at "cons."
Comic/Anime cons, Star Trek conventions, video game cons as well as other such sci-fi, technology-ish conventions attract nerdy guys, apparently.

3) Do online dating.
They don't get out much, you know.

4) Try to catch one's eye at the library or bookstore.
I don't know. The library attracts non-nerds too. Students and people who just don't want to pay for books go there.

5) Approach him.
They're too shy and nervous to approach any women, especially one as attractive as you! Well, I'm not one to just go up to guys I find cute. We'll be stuck admiring each other from afar!

6) Join online forums, especially relating to nerdy things.
Again, they seem to have no social skills and do their best communicating online.

7) Go to a technical college.
Too late. I graduated already.

8) Or go to a lecture that's open to the public or take a continuing education adult course at a college.
Nerds are lifelong learners.

9) Hang out at a comic book shop.
Do those still exist? The big chains have manga and comic sections now. I thought they put the comic stores out of business.

10) Hang out at the record shop for a music geek.
One that hasn't closed down, that is.

11) Hang out in the technology section of a store, or even better, a computer store.
If you're into computers and technology, do it. Don't fake being interested in technology.

12) Go to a nice bar.
Nerds like to drink too, but they won't be at the meatmarket.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Should I stay a virgin until marriage?"

The other night, some non-virgins (who were unaware of my virginity) and I conversed about our love issues, and this question has been front and center for me ever since.

Two of the women were in their forties, one of whom divorced her husband of sixteen years a while back. They mentioned that for them, sexual compatibility was the most important part of relationships. If compatibility were a “pie chart” (as one of them said, and I think the pun was intended), sex took up at least 60% of the pie. The other woman said close to 75%. Now, these are just two women. It made me wonder, though, is this true for most people? They said that from sex comes all else in the relationship, it’s the foundation and glue.

Then where does that leave me? I plan to eliminate the “most important” part of the relationship until marriage (or at least engagement). Is it ridiculous to expect a man to decide to marry me before he sleeps with me? What about me? What if I’m stuck with a man who doesn’t turn me on in bed, until death do us part?

My inner feminist also wondered about the logic behind virginity. Am I just feeding into some idea that for a woman to be “virtuous,” she has to suppress her sexuality? Sexuality, in many ways, gives women a power over men they might not otherwise have. Our sexuality can liberate us. Is virginity really just another way of holding us back?

I don’t feel totally suppressed, at least not always. I took bellydance after all (and might again as my New Year’s Resolution). I’m seldom uncomfortable in conversations about sex. I’ve gone to a sex toy party. I’m not afraid to show some skin. I also know that if I were to have premarital sex, God would forgive me because God is all-forgiving. However, could I forgive myself?

My friend Amy and I have both decided to wait on sex until marriage. We’re like each other’s role models, and if I have premarital sex, I feel like I’ll be letting her down. This is something we’ve been struggling together with since high school. It’s one of the things we bond over. Amy might have no virgin friends left if I leave the V-club. I think that’s one of the main things keeping me a virgin. I don’t want to abandon Amy.

But that night, amongst those women, I felt like a naive little girl. I don’t want a puppy love, kid relationship. I want to be treated like a woman, and that might mean sex.

I’m still not giving the “cookie” to just anyone. If a man and I are in a committed relationship, if it might be going somewhere, maybe I’ll loosen up my stance. I have a right to be picky, but I also have a right to ecstasy.