My Two Cents on IKDG

Two friends this week sent me this article; it’s about how Josh Harris is re-thinking what he wrote in “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”

I have already written about my relationship with IKDG and other courtship books in general, and I’ve already written about courtship culture, so I don’t want to re-hash those things. I just have a teensy bit to add in response to the article that came out this week.

We HAVE to lay off Josh Harris for his book. Love or hate it, it was part of the courtship culture – and he wrote it when he was 21. No one has love figured out at 21. No one has life figured out at 21. He did a bold thing by publishing this book, and it happened to come out in a time when it would be widely received.

While I respect Mr. Harris’s humility in publicly re-thinking Read More

My Choice to be Single

I often, even on this blog, bemoan the fact that I’m single. I mean, there are good things about it, and I get to know Jesus in suffering and whatever. But it just occurred to me in the past couple of weeks (mostly because of a comment my dad made on a previous post – thanks, Dad) that I actually have chosen singleness. Do choose it. Am choosing it.

I kinda don’t like that. It’s easier to think of singleness as something that’s happening to me, something that has been chosen for me. I like to think that, if it were up to me, I would choose marriage and a family of my own. Yet, 33 years into this life, I have yet to make that choice.

For instance, when my best-ish guy friend asked me to be his girlfriend, I turned him down. More than once. When a guy I reconnected with after 10 years indicated that he might be interested in me as a future wife, I turned him down. Again. I’ve gone on dates only to firmly cut things off before the second date, and I’ve refused to give out my number to interested parties.

It’s not like this happens often. Read More

My Coffee Date Thoughts

A few weeks ago, I was meeting up with a friend for coffee after work. She got married last year, and I knew her before she was ever dating her husband. She and I were in the same accountability group at church, so I got to see the trepidation when a man (her now-husband) from church asked her out to breakfast the first time; the awkwardness of the first months of dating; the agony of waiting through trials before engagement.

I was there at the surprise engagement party, I bought her her first wedding magazine, I slaved over the wedding DIY, I agonized with her over the family drama that seemed unfair, and I dragged my roommates into the planning, whether they liked it or not. The planning of that wedding dictated my days, and I experienced “bride brain” for the first time. I blogged about the wedding itself last year.

In all that time, I had done well in not being envious as she and her groom in their early 20’s found each other and planned a wedding and experienced the first year of marriage – all things that I’ve wanted/craved for decades. In fact, I’d done so well that I took my joy for them for granted. Read More

My Level of Love

I ran across a blog post today, that definitely resonated with me. Several parts of it elicited some “Mmmm hmmm”s and “You go, girl”s.

The author, Joi Weaver, tells her story of being a 33-year-old who has never been kissed and shares the social struggles that accompany virginity. I blogged about virginity a couple of years ago, as well as some themes she highlights in her story.

For instance, here is one paragraph I can definitely relate to:

[Singleness is] not my preferred choice, but I’m not going to fling myself at someone out of desperation. This sense of acceptance comes and goes. There are days when I’m tempted to run outside and proposition the first man I can find. But most days, I just accept that this is my reality right now, and change will not happen quickly or easily. Regardless, the frustration lingers: I would have liked it to be a real choice, not a matter of mere acceptance.

(Even though I have had the chance to say, “Yes,” to a couple of different men who were interested in me, it still feels like I haven’t had a choice because those men were not good for me, nor I for them. It wasn’t a choice of singleness or a great marriage; it was a choice between singleness and a bad relationship – and therefore not much of a choice at all.)

Miss Weaver goes on to tell Read More

My Romance With Myself

This post of mine was originally published on March 24 on my friend Rachel’s blog:

I recently took myself on a date. Treated myself to the works: Dinner, movie, dessert. I dressed up for the date, texted pics of my outfit to my sisters, met up with myself directly after work and gallantly drove myself an hour away. After the date, I got myself home at the respectable hour of 10 pm and told my roommate all about how I had been treated so well by my date.

Hmmm…perhaps I’ve just stumbled onto the reason I’m still single.

No matter! I’m here to tell you exactly why it’s a good idea to date yourself every once in a while (even if you’re not single).

Dinner: When you go to dinner by yourself, you can get what YOU want – and splurge a little! Whether it’s a steak dinner or just getting the avocado at Chipotle, you can get what you want, where you want it. None of the, “Where do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” Plus, you can check your phone all during dinner without being rude.

Movie: I recommend the luxury of attending a movie by yourself. You get to sit exactly where you want to sit, people don’t usually sit next to you, you don’t have to deal with other people’s loud snacks or talking during the movie, and you can Read More

My Unfulfilled Desires

I want to be a wife and mom.

Besides Jesus and maybe a “Beauty and the Beast”-esque library, I want wife-hood and mom-hood more than anything else in this world. More than a better paycheck, more than losing 20 pounds, more than a trip around the world, more than my own house, I want a husband and children.

Not just “Oh yeah, it’s kind of a toss-up between a house and a family for me.” No. If my desire for comfortable high heels is a 1, and breakfast in the morning is a 3, and a walk-in closet filled with dresses that magically look great on me all the time is a 4, and a pink hovercar is a 7, and the most I think I could ever possibly want something in the world is a 10, then husband/kids is probably like a 12.

I’m not always honest with myself about this fact. I hide the extent of my desire (“Nooooo, Husband/Kids is totally only a 7.5. Ptch. I want soooooo many other things from life first.”) from my friends, family, readers, and even myself most days because – well, because of a few reasons, I guess: Read More

My Courtship (Non)Experience

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations, and I think a certain expectation deserves to be fleshed out more.

Last week, I said that I expected to “meet someone, maybe hang out a couple of times. Then he’d talk to my parents, and we would decide to ‘court’ (but rebelliously call it ‘dating’) because we’d already know that we were headed toward marriage.”

In the words of the great Inigo Montoya: Let me ‘splain. No, ‘tis too much. Let me sum up.

I grew up in the “courtship culture” that has generated national buzz with the recent weddings of two Duggar daughters. This belief system is basically thus: man meets woman, man gets to know woman in a community setting (like a church or family outings), man asks woman’s father for permission to pursue her, man and woman never go on unchaperoned dates, man asks woman’s father for permission to marry her, man and woman get married and have many babies.

I have a lot to say about it, but since there are many, many, MANY blogs and books and otherwise published opinions and commentary on this subject, it took me a while to figure out if I have anything to add to the conversation. Well, I do. Read More

My Apologies

“So…is there a guy in your life?”

I’ve heard it a million times, in half a million different ways:

From the little girls in church. “When are you going to get married, Miss Charity? We want to come to your wedding!”

From the well-meaning relatives. “Your younger sisters are married. When is it going to be your turn?”

From the people I haven’t seen in a while. “So tell me…are you seeing anyone?”

From my married friends. “Marriage is wonderful. You DO want to be married, right?”

From my single friends. Read More

My Barren Womb

About a year and a half ago, I started counting down the months to my 35th birthday.

When I was 12, I counted down the days until I became a teenager. Then at 20, I counted down to adulthood. At 29, I counted down to a new decade. But now, I’m counting down the number of months I have left as a fertile woman. (42, this month.)

Everyone tells me that after 35 years old, it’s a lot harder to get pregnant than before. To them, I say: try getting pregnant when you’re not having sex. Except for medical or Holy Spirit intervention, it’s pretty much impossible.

I had a guy friend ask me the other day if virgins have the same biological clock as married women.

Yes. Yes, we do. Read More

My Pursuit of Happiness

“I don’t need a man, in order to be happy,” I remember telling my mom one day when I was 21 or so.

At the time, my life was super fulfilling, and my outlook on my circumstances was rosy. I’d gotten a taste of globetrotting with a semester at Oxford; I had a job I loved; I’d found outlets for my passionate creativity, in class and in editing and writing for the school newspaper.

Plus, I mean, I was a senior in college, and this finger didn’t have a ring by that spring, or the one before that, or the one before that… So I had decided to stop waiting for the (pink diamond) ring and just live life.

The plan was great on the outside. Read More