A Letter from Cinderella to Peter Pan

Cinderella

Letter From Cinderella to Peter Pan

Dear Peter,

We have now been on three dates. I loved our time flying to Never Never Land. (I especially liked it the second time, when Wendy didn’t tag along.) Flying with you was so romantic. My heart has been fluttery for days. I must admit that I got my hopes up.

I have given you all the right hints and flirty moves. But today when I texted you, it took you two hours to text me back!

So Peter, you need to get your act together. Either you want me or you don’t. I am beautiful and a great catch and UNDERNEATH IT ALL I AM A PRINCESS!!!

The bottom line, Peter, is that you need to GROW UP!

Sincerely,

Your Lady in Waiting

Cinderella

Letter From Peter Pan to Cinderella

Dear Cinderella,

Let me give a you a peek into my heart. In my world, people expect really intense commitment really fast. This scared me. So I habitually stayed in the “friend zone” with girls…spending lots of time with them and getting them to like me so I could feel good. I was afraid of getting out of the friend zone because according to my culture, that meant I should be ready to get married.

I would much rather stay a boy than to face this much pressure. I was very stunted in my dating life. I wasn’t really growing up.

I finally decided that my rules were not working well for me, so I took a plunge into the dating pool. I have gone out on some dates to get to know people, and even to challenge myself to get out of the friend zone.

One lady had seven midgets living with her. I found that to be a little strange, so I decided to move on. Another one was sleeping the whole time. I could tell she wanted me to kiss her to wake her up, but I was not ready to kiss someone that I hadn’t talked to yet. Plus she was sleeping with her mouth open. Awkward.

You have been my favorite so far. You are beautiful and strong, you love animals, and you have a great singing voice. You’re a lot taller than me, but I can work with that.

Cinderella, here is the problem. I feel so much PRESSURE from you and all of these other girls. The I Kissed Dating Goodbye culture taught me that I should only date someone if I know I am going to marry them. This put enormous amounts of stress even on a first date. It has scared all of us men out of even wanting to date anyone at all.

When you say to me “either you want me or you don’t” that makes me feel backed against a wall. I DO like you, very much, but I need good time with you to really know whether we are a good match or not.

I am not into dating casually, but I am into dating slow. Can you see the difference?

Sincerely,

Peter

P.S. I think you left a shoe at my place.

Letter From the Fairy Godmother to Cinderella and Peter

Dear Cinderella and Peter,

Oh my sweet dear little naive funny human children,

Cinderella came to me in tears asking for advice, so I thought I would write to both of you. Navigating dating can be as difficult for humans as turning pumpkins into carriages.

Cinderella, you had no father figure growing up. (You also had an evil mother figure. Like almost every Disney character. But I digress…)

You have been in the ashes for so long, berated by people telling you you are not beautiful, until you told that to yourself. You have longed for someone to sweep you up out of those ashes and make you the princess you know that you are on the inside.

I can understand this, sweetie. You have had a hard life. In your fairy tale world, romantic love is the happy ending, the thing that rescues the girl. No wonder you want someone to love you.

But can you understand how unhealthy it is to believe you only have worth when a man tells you you are valuable?  It seems like you often date someone just to prove you are valuable, something you weren’t told enough as a little girl. You are using him if you do this.

You might want to go on a few less dating websites and few more counseling sessions. You need some healing.

Dan Allender says “Every woman will labor with loneliness; every man will struggle with futility. It is written into the plot of the earth.” I think this is true for both you and Peter. It will take a lot of work for you to overcome the lie that you alone (even with a husband,) and it will take a lot of work for Peter to know in his heart that his life is worth something.

Part of the curse in Genesis was that a woman would “long for” a man. I know in my younger days, I would long for romantic love with every sinew in my body. I thought it was the answer.

The truth is, you are already intrinsically valuable. No one can take that away from you, and no one can prove it to you. The more you know that now, the less you will demand men to show you your value, which will be especially life giving if you get married. It will put less pressure on your husband and allow a more healthy love to grow between you.

Peter, I can understand your points. The pressure from Cinderella is not helping anything, it is just scaring you. It is way too early in the relationship to put that kind of pressure on.

On the other hand you are not totally innocent. You have led Wendy and Tinker Bell on for years when you know you are not interested in either of them romantically, and I don’t want to see that happen with Cinderella.

Like you said, you need time to gather good information about Cinderella regarding whether or not you are a good match. The trick here is that after a good amount of time and lots of good information, if you do come to the conclusion that you are not a good match, you need to set her free. She deserves that. Even if it hurts her at first, it will be better in the long run. Don’t hold on to her because you are afraid of hurting her, and DON’T hold on to her just because it feels good to have someone like you. You are using her if you do this.

If you do realize that you would be great together and that you really can see a future with her, it’s time to take the next step and commit.

There are special fears that come up here because you also did not have a good father (or sometimes mother) figure. You have wanted to stay a boy because deep down you don’t really know if you have what it takes to be a man.

A lot of identity questions come up when there is a possibility for commitment. Am I good enough for her? Can I provide for her? Will I feel suffocated? Am I ready for children?  

Commitment and responsibility go hand in hand for you, which makes the thought of getting serious a little more scary for you than for Cinderella.

It will help you grow up if you believe in yourself more. The more you believe you have what it takes as a man to be responsible, the less scared you will be of commitment.  Ask God to show you how proud he is of you and how he sees you as a man, things you might not have heard from your father.

My advice for you? Talk to Cinderella about these fears as they come up. Allow these conversations to help you navigate whether you are a good match or not.

Cinderella, same advice. When you have that insatiable need to be loved come up, talk to him about what you are going through rather then pushing him against a wall. Don’t command him to fill that desire to be loved in you, but converse with him about your struggles in this area.

To both of you, don’t feel like you have to hold in your feelings forever, making it nebulous and scary. If you are attracted and wanting to learn more but scared of going too fast, just say that. It is much better than staying silent. Set a precedent from the beginning of your friendship to be open with each other. Whether you end up together or not, good communication will be invaluable.

Cinderella, commit to praying for Peter’s insecurity when it comes to his identity, and Peter, pray that Cinderella will know she is beautiful intrinsically.

Both of you, remember who you are by looking in the face of your True Papa and letting him tell you every day.

As Donald Miller says in his book Scary Close (my second favorite of his next to Bibbity Bobbity Boo for Beginners)

“I don’t know if there’s a healthier way for two people to stay in love than to stop using each other to resolve their unfulfilled longings and, instead, start holding each other closely as they experience them.”

Sincerely,

Your Fairy Godmother

P.S. This letter went so well that I am thinking about quitting this Fairy Godmother stuff, which doesn’t pay well, and becoming a Life Coach. You might have a fee next time. Just a heads up.

***This post was inspired by a teaching of Dr. John Coe

Me and My (Betty White) Pheromones

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“Kate, I have decided that you are the eighth wonder of the world,” said my brother as we ate peanut butter and honey sandwiches at my grandma’s house recently.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it is a complete mystery why you have had this litany of men who act interested in you and then drop you like you’re hot. Or like you’re not hot. Or errrr….You know what I mean. You are so awesome! Why is this happening?”

“That is the question I have asked myself for the last fifteen years, Will.”

“Well, I have a theory,” he said mysteriously.

“Really what’s your theory?”

“Your pheromones.”

“What about my pheromones?”

“Maybe they are not working right.”

“What?” I said, slightly offended.”My pheromones are great! Never been better! I have very sexy pheromones! In fact my pheromones very closely resemble Angelina Jolie, that’s how sexy they are!”

“Well,” replied Will carefully. “How do you know that? What if you don’t have Angelina Jolie Pheromones?  What if you have Betty White pheromones.”

“What?” I replied. “How can you say that to me? I love Betty White. Everyone loves Betty White. But no one wants to marry Betty White.”

“Exactly, Kate. Everybody loves you? Check. No one wants to marry you? Check. Betty White pheromones? You need to think about it.”

I looked at him, shocked. “Don’t let it get you down too much.” He said. “Maybe all your pheromones need are a little metaphorical plastic surgery.”

I went home, laid in bed, and pondered my brother’s observations. What if all these years, all this heart break, all these times hearing “Kate I think you’re amazing, but…” all this wondering if I’m not pretty enough, nice enough, good enough, special enough, what if all of the time, the only problem is that I don’t have the right secreted chemicals that trigger a social response in members of the same species?”

I sat up and started researching. One article I read said that when women are given men’s shirts to smell, over and over again they pick the shirts of the men they would have healthier children with, according to their DNA samples. That’s how powerful scent is. It also said that men are much more drawn to women when they are ovulating. They can tell by the pheromones that are emitted. (Remember that for your calendar for when you are planning that next date, ladies.)

Another article said that queen bees have such strong pheromones that it renders their faithful worker bees infertile so the queens can control them more. (Don’t remember that the next time you are planning your next date, ladies. That’s just mean.)

Queens also excrete especially strong pheromones when bees from the hive get lost. It attracts the lost bees so much that they find their way home.

Lesson learned: Pheromones are powerful, and mine were not displaying their feminine prowess like they should be.

After reading all this, I started getting angry with my little Betty White molecules. “Dang it pheromones!” I said, pointing to my stomach, (because maybe that’s where they live). “I need a little help here! Lead my species home!”

My roommate knocked on the door to ask if I was ok. I remembered the last time that this happened, which was when I was having a similar yelling match with my uterus. One of these days I will learn to whisper when these altercations occur, so my roommates don’t think that they live with the crazy cat lady that everyone talks about.

I woke up the next morning and decided that I needed a plan of action.

The first strategy was to take loads of Zinc. I read that Zinc is supposed to help your pheromones work better. I bought a bottle at Vitamin Cottage. I decided I would take three times the daily recommended dosage because of course, then I would get three times as many dates.

My second strategy was to buy some pheromone perfume. Yes that is a real thing. And no it is not just sweat in a bottle. It smells delectable! 

I asked my friend what she thought about the idea, and she said “Kate! You can’t walk around wearing someone else’s pheromones! Whose pheromones are they? What if Joe, the guy you meet because of your pheromone perfume, is a creepy 50 year old with gelled hair and a leather jacket with too many zippers? What if Joe was really meant for Betty, who donated her pheromones to your perfume?”

“Ummmm….Amy? Why did you choose the name Betty?”

“I don’t know it just came to me while I was sitting here next to you. Why?”

“No reason.”

After her caution, I decided to be safe and only try the plan out for a month and see what happened. The plan was simply a bunch of Zinc every night and a slathering of pheromone perfume every morning. Plus maybe smile a little more.

Here is what happened in no particular order:

1) Three old ladies asked me where I bought my perfume.

2) The checker at vitamin cottage started winking at me. I realized sadly that this was probably less about my pheromones, and more about my buying so much zinc.

3) A guy with exactly 9 zippers on his leather jacket asked me if I wanted to go to a wrestling match with him.

4) Four homeless men asked me to marry them.

5) I got stung by 3 bees.

Actually, none of that happened. Well, one homeless guy did ask me to marry him but that occurs pretty much every month.

What did happen is that I started thinking about patterns. Throughout my entire adult life, I have met some wonderful men, and although they often seem drawn to me at first, I almost always become the best friend,the sister. Hardly ever the one he falls in love with.

Does this occur because of something that I can’t really fix, like pheromones, or is there something I can work on? 

Here are a few thoughts: 

#1) My counselor says that because of some hard childhood trauma I am sometimes scared of intimacy. I am often attracted to unavailable men, men that I subconsciously know won’t or can’t love me back. Maybe instead of taking my zinc, I could work on looking for and being open to men who were emotionally available.

#2) Maybe I put off the “sister” vibe when I’m scared of rejection. Instead of just wearing that pheromone perfume maybe I should be keenly aware of my emotions and recognize when I am trying to hide myself by being a friend instead of being more honest about my feelings. Maybe I should even get out there and flirt a little bit, which I don’t often do because it scares me so much. I often hide behind the “good girl” energy, and I have to remember it’s not a sin to flirt with a man that might make a good match for me (as long as I know that our faiths and lifestyles are on the same page.)

#3) I heard of an experiment in which a pretty and shapely woman was put on a billboard in two different cities. One said I think I’m beautiful, what do you think? The other said I think I’m fat, what do you think? They polled people in each city. The results? Something like 70% of the city with the fat billboard thought she was fat, while 70% of the city with the beautiful billboard thought she was beautiful. I can not let my prolonged singlehood tell me who I am. I am beautiful and valuable. God whispers it to me every day, and I need to believe him. Instead of giving my pheromones a facelift, maybe I should give one to my self esteem. The more beautiful I believe I am, the more beautiful people will see me.

d) I have to trust that the God who speaks stars into space and paints the tiny lines on a leaf, that God is the one who loves me, who sees my dreams, who sees me beautiful. I can’t claim to understand something like the sovereignty of God but I can say that God is gracious and merciful. I can say that he makes all things beautiful in his time. I can say that when we see him face to face no one in the world will question whether or not he is good.

So I have a hunch, a really big hunch, that he is more powerful than my pheromones, even if they do resemble a certain Golden Girl. 

Questions for you…

Have you ever felt like something was “wrong” with you because of your dating life or lack thereof?

What strong patterns do you see in your dating life? What can’t you control in that situation? What can you control? 

Any other fun science about pheromones? (Keep it PG-13!)

If You Can’t Marry ‘Em, Write A Blog About ‘Em

I thought I would repost my very first post on this blog as I know a lot of you haven’t read it yet.

By the way, if you haven’t bought my book Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed you can buy it here. Also, you should check out the reviews! I’ve gotten six 5 star reviews since it came out a month ago!

I have been in thirty three weddings.

I am not talking about how many I’ve been to, but  how many I’ve been in. I was a bridesmaid in some. I am a full time singer songwriter so I have sang and played in many more. Unfortunately, my job in these weddings has never been to walk down the aisle in a white dress. But I tell you what, if I ever get married, I will have lots of ideas to choose from.

Let’s just look at one wedding that I went to a few years ago that is a snapshot of my single life

Two of my dearest friends were getting married. It was a beautiful backyard wedding. Before the wedding started  I was talking to my friend Shannon, a very feisty, happily married 40 year old. This is what Shannon said to me that day, as she gestured towards my curled hair and perfect makeup  and my eggplant colored sleeveless dress that showed off my shoulders

“Kate, you look smoking hot. Too bad it’s just wasted. “

Most of you that are single are shaking the heads, putting this comment in the mental file called “insensitive things that married people say to single people.” Believe me, that mental file is chock full of comments people have made to me over the years , but this was not one of them. I  was not offended by this remark, because I knew that Shannon meant it as a compliment. What she was saying is “What the heck, Kate? You are wonderful person. I don’t understand why you’re still single. ” People say this to me often.

It is kind of a mystery to all of us.

During the wedding, I sang a love song that I wrote. My married friend Seth came up to me and said “Kate, in that dress, singing that song, any single guy here would want to dance with you. ” I felt very flattered. At the reception, thinking about those two comments as I was eating my chicken a la king, I started to feel very confident, brazen even. I was beautiful. Someone would want to dance with me.

I began to anticipate the dancing that was about to begin. One of those handsome single groomsmen would see me across the room and think “that was the girl who sang her song during the wedding. She fascinates me. I want to dance with her. ” He would walk up shyly and  ask me.  We would step out onto the dance floor and he would gently take my hand. Even that would give me butterflies, since no one has touched my hand in a long time. And then we would move together. Two peopled with different personalities, different weakness’, different strengths, moving as if they were one.

Maybe I would even fall in love.

The time came for the single men to ask the single women to dance.  I stood at the edge of the floor in anticipation like Cinderella at the ball.

No one asked me to dance.

Instead of feeling like the intriguing girl everyone wanted to dance with, I felt more like the Old Maid in that children’s card game- standing alone while everyone else paired up. I could have pulled out my knitting needles and my rocking chair right then and there. I wanted to say “Hey! Single guys! Over here! According to my married friends, this dress makes me look smoking hot! Doesn’t anyone want to dance with me?” I waited, hoping for a falling-in-love-worthy  song. Surely all those groomsmen were just being shy.

Sadly, the next song was anything but romantic. Can you guess what it was? I’ll give you one hint: it has nothing to do with wedded bliss and everything to do with an athletic club.

That’s right folks, the YMCA.

The YMCA seems to be a dance designed for people who can’t dance. A dance that you could do even if you were in a wheelchair.  If you are unable to learn the incredibly complicated 80’s dance that involves hopping up and down alone, you can at least fling your arms out to spell things. “Look at us!” we say. ” Who says we can’t dance? We are so coordinated! We can all spell out the letters for the Young Men’s Christian Association in perfect unison! “

I was annoyed, but I still I went out there and “danced” with all the other bad dancers.  More accurately I “spelled.” But I wasn’t in perfect unison with them. Instead of YMCA, I was spelling WPCD. A little secret joke between me and myself. White People Can’t Dance.  This has been a tradition for me at weddings ever since then. *

Finally, towards the end of the wedding came the dance I really wanted to participate in, even if it was reminiscent of awkward middle school moments;  slow dancing whities. **

But there would be no slow dancing for me. Not even in my smoking hot dress.

I wanted love, and instead, I got the white man’s overbite.

Seriously God? Seriously?

That night was kind of a snapshot of my life.  The reception started out with me eating at a table with dear friends and loving life.  I laughed. I felt accepted.  I was thankful. But then the dancing came and everyone took their partner . Another pair and another pair and another pair. I sat at the table and slowly ate my wedding cake, an important stance when you don’t want to look like you have nothing to do while everyone is dancing.  I tried really hard not to cry.

I don’t want this to be difficult for me. I want to be satisfied in who I am as a single woman. But when I look at those pairs dancing, no matter how hard I try to fight it,  I don’t feel smoking hot. I feel alone.

How do we find hope that is still hope even if it doesn’t end in a wedding dress? How can we prepare ourselves if we do get married? How can we be thankful for where we are today?  What can singles and married people learn from each other to help us cope with this journey? Is a life that has no intimate witness still valuable? If a traditional family never comes to us, are we doomed to loneliness, or can we build our own family?   Does God see me alone at my table, eating my wedding cake? Does He care? Does He feel the same way at times?

These are some of the questions that I want to explore in this blog. I love the thought of you going on this journey with me. Let’s walk fully clothed along this road together.

*I looked up YMCA and wedding on the internet as “research” and found this in Yahoo Answers:

Question: “Do fundamentalist Christians do the YMCA dance at weddings? It just seems like it would be the dance of the devil. Which village people singer do they like the most?”

Best Answer- chosen by asker “The Village People are a creation of Fundamentalist Christians, so yes. They like the construction worker best because the Lord likes hard work. “

Another not so popular answer was “Fundamental Christians prefer the Hokey Pokey, while pentacostals are hot for the electric slide.”  This is what happens when you do research on the internet.

**All of these moves and more can be seen on the youtube video “How To Dance Like A White Guy.”  Very scientific, incredibly accurate internet research.

Dating With Speed

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I went speed dating the other night. Yes, you heard right, speed dating.

“Kate,” you say”didn’t say in your post on online dating about how you felt like you were sinking down the dating totem pole by getting into that? I have news for you, my friend. The only thing lower on the dating totem pole than online dating is speed dating.”

I know. Whatever. You’ve got to take risks every once in a while, right?

Everyone I mention this adventure to is really curious. “Oh reeeeally?” they say. “You went speed dating? What was it like?” I want to retort “It was like an auction only with semi good looking men. The bachelor walked across the stage and the caller said very quickly and with a singsongy voice ‘Look at this lovely specimen of a man with the argyle socks and nice jawline. Can I get one date one date one date? Come on ladies how about a nice dinner and a movie? I see your one. One date one date can I get two dates?  Come on you lonely ladies wouldn’t you love for this handsome young man to take you bowling? I see you lady in the fur coat, make that two dates two dates.”

Okay, it was nothing like that, but it felt almost that frantic.

The party started out with mingling, an awkward but endearing stance at any party. The mingling was especially awkward and endearing at this particular party, since we knew that we were all there for the same reason; to get ourselves a few slow dates after these really fast ones.

Next, all the girls were asked to sit in a chair. The hosts explained that a man would sit in the seat next to us, we would get three minutes to talk, and then a gong would ring. Then the men would move clockwise to the next seat.

This is when I started realizing something. I hate first dates. All the small talk makes me more nervous than a man with a combover in a wind tunnel. Now I was going to go through twelve awkward first dates in the space of an hour. What the heck had I gotten myself into? This was either going to be a whole lot of fun or a whole lot of horrible.

I felt a little panicky. But like someone who decides to try taking a dip in a river in December, I just had to close my eyes and jump.

Here is a loosely translated rendition of what happened…

GONG (Enter sweet short man with glasses who is balding a little bit) “Hi my name’s Ed!” ” Hi Ed! ” “I hate these things.” ” I hate them too.” “Why are we even here?” “Well, they said there would be good hummus.” Chuckle chuckle. “Have you ever tried online dating? That’s even harder.” “Yes I hated online dating.” “Why did you even do that” “I heard there would be good cyber hummus” fake chuckle chuckle…

GONG (Enter taller guy who is geeky but in kind of a cute way) “Hi my name is Walter.” “Hello Walter!” “So you live in Boulder? Do you ever go to that great little ice cream shop on Pearl?” “Oh yes I love that ice cream shop! In fact, me and my friends have this really fun thing we do where we dress up like pirates and ride around on our bikes and end up there and eat ice cream with our patches on.” Very intrigued look from Walter. “Oh really? Do you like reenacting characters?” “Well, kind of. Just when me and my friends dress up and ride our bikes.” “That is fascinating, because I am really into civil war reenactments.” “You are? Where do you do that?” “In California.” “Oh really? Was California even around for the civil war?” Death look. “You obviously don’t know much about the history of the Civil War.” “Well in truth, Walter, I’m a pacifist. I don’t really like war when it really happens, let alone try to make it happen when it’s not happening.” Shock and horror ensuing. Much happiness when the three minutes are over.

GONG (Enter my friend Brian) “Hey Bri!” “Hey” laughing laughing laughing louder than we should because we are so happy to see someone we know and want people to be impressed with how much fun we’re having. “So it looks like you decided to go as low on the dating totem pole as you could possibly go.” “Well, looks like you did the same thing.” Laughter laughter.

GONG (Enter hippie looking guy named Ben.) “Dude what’s up?” “Hey there.” “So are you a vegetarian? Because I’m a vegetarian.” “Well, no, actually I am hypoglycemic so I eat copious amounts of meat every day.” “Murderer.” Stunning silence. “Just kidding man, just kidding.”

GONG (Enter cute hipster boy named Roy.) “So, I have an idea, let’s promise to not ask each other predictable questions. Ready, go!” Awkward silence. “I can’t think of anything that’s not predictable.” Chuckle chuckle. “How about, what do you like on your pizza?” “Ummm, do you really think that will help us know if we should go on a real date?” “I’m only going to date you if you like anchovies.” Chuckle chuckle. “What’s your take on predestination?” “I’m an arian.” “Wasn’t Hitler an arian?” No chuckling. Awkward. Horrifying and awkward. “So, what do you like on your pizza?” Chuckle Chuckle.

GONG “Hey you look familiar!” “That’s because we’ve been matched on match.com before.” “Oh, yes, of course.” “You never answered my message to you.” “You’re right, I never did answer that.” “Why not?” “Because you looked like a guy with a combover in a wind tunnel.” (Ok I didn’t say that, I just had to squeeze that in.) Totally horrible awkward for 2.75 more minutes.

I got through it. I did get one real date out of the whole experience, which was very flattering since there were so many pretty girls there. It made me feel special. And I no longer have to say that I had only been on two dates since my last big breakup two years ago. I can now say that I have been on 14. Six times as many dates as I have been on in two years. Three times as many as I’ve been on in $200 worth of the online dating over the years.

Score.

I love dating with speed!

Adventures in Online Dating Part II

A reader turned me on to this video on 80’s video dating. I mean, can you see why I might be frightened?

Also, do yourself a favor and look at the comments on my last post. They are hilarious stories about online dating. My favorites…

1) A girl who went out with her second cousin.

2) A girl who dated a guy that ended up marrying a close family member

3) A guy whose first message to his potential date was “I have already married and divorced you in my mind.” Best. Comment. Ever.

Adventures in Online Dating Part I

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Before I post, I wanted to let you know that I am trying to play some concerts and/or house shows for my new CD, which contains all songs in which God is speaking. All inspired by scriptures where God is speaking truth and hope over us. I can also lead worship at churches. I can also teach and put on great retreats for women, worship teams, singles groups, youth groups, anything you’d like! I AM ESPECIALLY LOOKING FOR POSSIBILITIES IN THE SEATTLE PORTLAND AREA AND IN NORTH CAROLINA. If you are interested, please go to my website and shoot me a message! Ok here goes the post!

You knew that the topic of this post was coming. It has been lurking behind the scenes for months, ready to pounce on all of my readers like a whitewashed vampire in a haunted house.

It’s inevitable. I am in my thirties and single and it is the 21st century. It had to happen.

That’s right folks, I am stooping down to the lowest of the low points. I am going to try online dating.

It all started yesterday. My friend Rosie was going on a date with a guy she met on okay cupid. I started scrolling through some of the people on the front page. One guy in particular looked intriguing. Christian. Handsome. Career oriented. In my mind, his name was Ramon, since that is the name of the imaginary boyfriend that I talk about occasionally. “Maybe I’d try this some time,” I thought out loud.

Before I knew what was happening,  Rosie slyly asked me what my email address was and what password I often use, copied some of my pictures on facebook, and voila!  The whole world now has physical proof that I am desperate, like a girl on a desert Island who finally decides to eat snails.

I will admit this is not my first time on the exhausting online dating treadmill. I tried eharmony once. I gathered up the courage to go on one date. The guy was wearing an over sized blue suit, didn’t ask me one question in over an hour, and had created an ap that helped you hit on people in bars. I am not joking. It would tell you if there was someone your type in the bar who had the same ap. It didn’t work out, but that guy is probably a millionaire now.

For some reason, that date didn’t seem worth the sixty dollars I spent for the first few months, along with the sixty dollars I spent when they automatically renewed my subscription without my permission.

Awesome.

Okaycupid is a website that is even further down the already low low ladder rungs of online dating. It is worse than eharmony in that it is free. That is dangerous. Any guy who says “hey you know, I really want to find a broad to go on a nice date with, maybe even get hitched, but I don’t really want to pay any money to do that stuff” is not going to buy me dinner. No way.

This particular website started out by asking you a whole lot of questions, which I actually like. You need to weed people out somehow. They literally have hundreds of questions you can answer.

When the question was asked “Which is bigger, the sun or the earth?” I knew that I might be in for a rude awakening of how stupid some of my potential dates would be. I marked that question as “very important” to me, meaning that it was very important that my potential date got this question right. My reasoning being that someone who doesn’t know if the sun is bigger than the earth is definitely not going to be able to figure out how to change a diaper.

One of the next questions said, “if you were to turn your left glove inside out, would it fit on your left hand or your right hand?” I was too lazy to get up and try a glove on. There was no option that said “It can go on either hand, especially if you are good at putting your hand in a awkward position,” which is obviously the right answer. I skipped that question, knowing full well that it was not a good indication of whether I would make a quality life partner or not.

I finished a hundred questions. Within 2.5 minutes, I had three messages.

Message #1 was from a guy that asked me if I was into younger guys. Occasionally, I wanted to say, but not one that looks like you.

Message #2 was from a guy that said, “for you, beautiful girl” that had a link on it to a youtube video of a Melissa Etheridge song from 1988. If you listened carefully to the words, you realized that Melissa was actually talking about breaking up with someone. Winner.

Message #3 was from a charming man that had a picture of himself standing in front of his house with no shirt on. You’d think that might be a good idea if you have a six pack, but not if you have a beer belly.

In that 2.5 minutes, I also got matched with a friend of mine. Great. He will be the first one to know that I am willing to eat snails.

The only thing I was excited about was searching for Ramon. I searched and searched for him. I searched for words that I remembered being in his profile. I searched for his profile name. He was nowhere. You know why? Because Ramon is not real. The Okaycupid people made him up so that I would be intrigued and try it out. Oh Ramon, come back to me!

Now that Ramon is out of the picture, I have several legitimate excuses explaining why this is not a good idea. I will have to lower my standards. I will have to shave my legs. And my best and most holy excuse? If I do this, it would bring into question my trust in of the sovereignty of God. How could I think God was sovereign if I was forcing my love life to happen? Good one, Kate. Good one.

We’ll see if the excuses win out. You might be hearing more about this topic, friends. Even if you don’t want to.

Okay. Let the comment games begin. Your worst online matches. Your worst online dates. Ready, go.

How My Trip To The Library Proves That I Love You

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(I wanted to include the above picture as proof that the following blog is based on real events.)

I want to let you know that you are loved today.

Do you know why I know that you are loved? Because I am the one that loves you. Do you know why I know I love you? Because of a little trip I took to the library yesterday. Read on and you will understand.

I have always loved libraries. I inherited this love from my very wonderful but very quirky mother. All though my years growing up, we would have stacks and stacks of books around the corners of our house. Mom realized that if she went to Denver Public Library there was no limit to how many she took out. She also realized that she could renew all her books every Friday, and that if no one else requested them, she could keep them for as long as she wanted.

So she milked that government subsidized machine-o-wisdom for all that it was worth. At one time she had two hundred books out from the library. I am not exaggerating Two. Freaking. Hundred.

The Denver Library finally changed their policy to say that your book limit should be, you know, under the triple digits. She proudly believes that they made that policy because of her.

I usually check out really thought provoking, deep books. Books of spiritual poetry. Books by Henri Nouwen, who is my favorite non fiction author. Theological books about the bible. Novels that are beautiful written and inspiring. Books about social justice and community development, subjects I am very interested in.

In my warped, slightly self absorbed, perception, I always believe that my familiar librarians notice what I am checking out. That they are intrigued by my choice of books. There she is, they think. That wonderful kind redheaded girl who always checks out  such spiritual, thought provoking books. She is so contemplative and wise.  In truth, what they are probably thinking is I wonder if I should make tacos for dinner. 

This last time I went to the library I needed to do some more research for this blog, as I am a very astute blog writer. Plus the fact that I am totally running out of things to say about dating.

As I stood to check out my books, I looked down at what I was about to check out. And I was ashamed. deeply ashamed.

Instead of Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son or a book by Teresa of Avila, I was checking out Dating Makes You Want To Die: But You Have To Do It Anyway, How To Date A White Woman; A Guide For Asian Men, and Wood Nymph Seeks Centaur: A Mythological Dating Guide. (Okay. I didn’t really check out those last two, but I thought about it.)

In my mind, I was no longer the librarians favorite mysterious yet winsome patron. I was the shallow thirty something year old woman who wanted a date enough to read these ridiculous books. “Would you like to check anything else out?” the librarian said to me sadly. “No, just these,” I retorted with a tear in my eye.

One of the only books that I checked out that looked promising was called How To Date Like A Grown Up.  Okay. Looks like it might be a good research book.

I knew my mistake when I started reading the third chapter, which was called Mortuaries and Other Pick Up Joints. The chapter talks about how it is more difficult in later years to find good dating material in bars and dance clubs. So the author has a few new suggestions. In the section of the chapter called Ladies Night At the Crematorium it talks about how funerals are a really good option for us.

Not. Making. This. Up.

There is a little caption at the bottom of the page with some good advice. How long to wait to flirt with the widower. Seriously, author lady? Seriously?

The next two suggestions of places for women to find good dating material were a golf course and a motorcycle gang.

Midway through the chapter, I looked up and thought, Dear God, what has happened to me? Is this what I have been reduced to?

These are the sacrifices I must make to write this blog. These are the things I must endure.

I DO IT FOR YOU! I DO IT ALL FOR YOU!

Do you feel loved now? I hope so. Because you are.

Thirty, Flirty, and Fertile (Part II)


As I stated in Part I of this series, when people tell me that age doesn’t matter, I respond with “tell that to my uterus.”

My uterus and I have had quite a few problems in our relationship as of late. In truth, my uterus is pretty frustrated with me.

The argument she has with me all the time sounds like this: “Kate, what am I good for if I don’t house a little baby for nine months? I’ve been sitting down here for over thirty years with nothing to do! I need a job, Kate! Go out there! Find yourself a man! Get married and get these eggs fertilized.”

I feel sheepish and guilty every time my uterus and I talk. Because she’s right. I do need to get “out there.” But it’s more complicated than it seems. I try to tell her that, and she says, “Why didn’t you go out with all those guys who liked you ten years ago? Why were you so picky?”

“I don’t know, Uterus. Life only makes sense in the rear view mirror.” That’s what I always say. Or maybe that’s a country song. Either way, it’s true.

According to the social norms, my uterus and I have exactly three years, eight months, and eight days to get ourselves pregnant.

That is the day that I turn forty. The day that my eggs shrivel up and die. Forever.

If they do by some monumental miracle of God get fertilized after that day, my babies will look like a cross between Jay Leno and Steven Tyler.

At least that’s what the people around me and society have told me.

I joke about my uterus and about roller skating parties, but the truth is, my ticking biological clock is a serious matter. If I can’t sleep at night, I am often thinking about the fact that I am getting older and might never do all the things I dream of doing, especially having a family.

Lately I am realizing how much this is culture induced, though, and that if we didn’t have such a thing as the label of age, I wouldn’t be so scared. Think of the countless references to turning forty that plant fear in all of us. Forty seems to be the marker in which we need to figure out whether our lives are meaningful or not in our culture. My friend who is a midwife in Portland says that half of her clients are in their forties. From the way our culture talks, you would never think that was the truth.

Often when I date someone, I will start out the relationship lightly, but then my fear kicks in. I try desperately not to be desperate. If I am not careful, I end up wearing my biological clock on my sleeve. I all but stand up on the table during a date and do an interpretive dance of the old DC Talk song “Time is Ticking Away” complete with my arms moving to the rhythm like a clock.

I am realizing that this is one of the biggest fears I have dealt with in the last decade. I have let it run my life sometimes, and I am tired of it. If I wasn’t so fearful of this age thing, if I were not so aware of the social label of age, I might be able to date someone without them feeling unnecessary amounts of pressure, without them inevitably taking on some of my own fear. I could date them for a good while so that we are sure about the decision and wouldn’t rush into anything simply because of how many years I’ve lived. It is something I need to work hard to overcome.

The only way that I can possibly get over this fear is to trust God. If God wants me to have a family, I will have a family. He has no time constraints. Nothing is too difficult for him. If I don’t have a family, it will be very hard for me to understand, as it is something that I believe God has promised to me. But I will be okay. I can choose to be a mother in other ways if that is what the Lord has for me.

In Ecclesiasties 3:10-11 Solomon gives us these words.

“I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ”

Let’s look at this verse a little closer. You read the first part -“I have seen the burden God has laid on man”- and you wonder. . .what is this mysterious burden that God has laid on men? To have to work to provide food and shelter for your family? The evil in the world? Mosquitos? Joan Rivers?

The next sentence that identifies the “great burden” that God has laid on us is very surprising.

Here is the burden: he makes all things beautiful. 

Why would God making something beautiful be a burden? That sounds much more like a blessing doesn’t it?

Read on and you might understand.

“He makes all things beautiful in its time. ”

This great burden is not that he makes all things beautiful. It is that he makes all things beautiful in his time. In ways that are beyond our limited perception.

Some of us get angry at his timing. We do not like getting older. We don’t like that “Only Be With You” by Hootie and the Blowfish was written in 1995. (How can it possibly be that long ago?) We “cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Standing within the walls of time, we don’t understand.

Maybe we need a different perspective.

My friend Sam said to me the other day, “Kate, do you realize that if you had a child a few years ago, your baby would most like have had Lyme disease? (Lyme can be passed onto children in the womb.) Maybe it was not God withholding from you when he didn’t let you have a baby at that age. Maybe it was His grace. Maybe He wanted to wait for you to be healthy to let you have a child.” It had never occurred to me before that my having to wait might not have been God stealing something, but him waiting to give me something much better.

We can’t often see things clearly from our limited perception of life. Perhaps God stands above us, above time, as if we are in a parade, and he throws down love on us, like floating ticker tapes. He throws down love from that lofty window, seeing the bigger picture, and we don’t understand what he is doing from beginning to end. But the love still falls down on us, surrounding us as we march on, unaware.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for your grace. Whether I have a husband or not, whether I have children or not, even when I don’t understand your timing or my disappointments, I can trust this one thing.

You make all things beautiful.

90’s Dating Gone Bad #5: Don’t Date Someone Unless You Are Sure You Are Going To Marry Them

This is the last in my series on 90’s dating gone bad. (For background on this series, start with this post.)

Often, we Chrisitian women complain that men do not pursue us enough. But can you blame them? As a result of the “Zero dating tolerance” era, they are expected to know if they want to be with us forever within the first few dates. The bridesmaids dresses are picked out after the first cup of coffee. These men find themselves in a quandary. “I want to get to know this girl, but if I ask her out, I need to be pretty sure that I’m serious. But how do I know if I am serious about her if I don’t spend quality time with her?” It is a catch 22. I would be scared too. See what a bunch of rules does to us?

I have had good men in my life who were frozen because there is so much pressure in Christian dating. They wouldn’t  give me a chance because God did not give them a vision in which I was wearing a white dress. This kind of thinking seems emotionally driven, and based on the “feelings” you have. Feelings are a good thing, but they should not be the only thing you focus on to assess  whether you would make a good match. There should be a lot of wisdom involved as well as feelings.

As I have stated before, I think slow steady dating where you are getting to know someone day by day is the best way to do things. Something I have tried to do with the last few people I have been interested in is to not think about marriage too soon. I use what I call the “Holiday Effect.” I ask myself “Is there enough enjoyment and beauty and mutual sharpening in this relationship that I want to keep pursuing this to the next holiday?” If the answer is yes,  I invest wholeheartedly in the relationship day by day  to that next holiday, and then I check what is going on with us as a couple and what is going on inside of me. I keep doing the next best thing. Someday, I will get enough information to know whether a future with this person is a good idea or not. (The only bad thing about this theory is that I could potentially be breaking up with someone on every happy day of the year. But you get what I mean. Go in seasons.)

In my experience, few guys have taken the risk to date me like that. They want to know they are “supposed” to marry me (a term I really don’t like as it sounds so much like a duty rather than a joy) or they just want to be best friends with me. Nothing in between. Honestly, I would feel much safer dating and knowing we are praying day by day about where our relationship is going than being best friends. I know a lot of guys think there is more integrity in staying it friends rather than dating, but it can actually be so boundary-less that it ends up being damaging to a woman’s heart.

I have been interviewing married and divorced people for my book. I have heard over and over that a biproduct of this kind of thinking can be marrying someone you don’t know very well and rushing to get married. This can be very dangerous.

What do we do in the wake of our dating hell tsunami?

We need to move from a culture that is scared of dating to a culture that feels confident that they can date well and make decisions with God. In the courting model, we were taught that God wanted to choose our spouse. But God choosing a spouse for someone only happens twice in the bible. Once with Isaac and Rebecca, and once with Hosea and Gomer. As one of my favorite teachers, Dann Farrely says, “a fifty percent chance of marrying a prostitute is not very good odds.” Most verses about marriage in the bible are filled with imagery of being wise, and of choosing with God.

I believe that in order for these deep seeded unhealthy views of dating to change, a revolution needs to happen.  The Christian church at large is in a  pivotal time right now. We are more concerned with social justice issues. We are learning to become less hypocritical and more compassionate. We are trying to read the bible for what it really says, not what culture tells us it says. I would love to see our Christian communities grow in the area of dating as well. To have a revolution in which we are allowed to date and have adult relationships while still maintaing our values and boundaries. To allow a man to feel like he can ask woman out just to get to know her better without everyone in his life asking him when the wedding date will be.

I’d also love to hear sermons for single people where we are being taught good dating principals. Someone once said to me that it isn’t fair to married people to have to listen to a sermon for singles. But how many married sermons have we listened to? There are almost no unmarried pastors out there, so they don’t often think about what singles need to hear. Please, leaders in the church, make it a priority to learn what single people go through, and start bringing healthy teachings for us to grow and for our culture to change.

There also needs to be good books written about being single that will help shape the culture. Namely: a little book called Getting Naked Later which I am almost done with. (Making me rich, famous, and married to a hot guy would also be good goals for my book.)

For out dating culture to change, we all have to change together.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, especially you men.

BY THE WAY: I am thinking of doing a tour to North Carolina and surrounding states in the end of June. If anyone can think of places that I could guest lead worship or do a house concert, or even teach my sexy celibate ways to singles groups, will you let me know? Thanks!

90’s Dating Gone Bad #4: Don’t Be Alone

Today, I am going to continue my series on 90’s Dating Gone Bad. (Click here for the background article on this post.)

Here is the next rule that we made up in the wake of the I Kissed Dating Goodbye phenomenon. It is the one I am most worried to write about because it is such a hot button topic. Be gentle with me.

Rule #4: You shouldn’t be alone with the person you are dating (or courting, or buggying.) Being alone leads to kissing. Kissing leads to sex. Sex leads to dancing. And we cannot have any dancing now, can we?

I must admit, this rule can really irk me. And I don’t use the word irk lightly. Because it is a really awkward word.

It seems backwards for us to avoid sex so much that we march our innocent little butts down the aisle towards a person we barely know. Sex before marriage can be destructive, but so can marrying a person who you ask on the honeymoon “so, what’s your middle name?”

Don’t get me wrong. I have lived my life with the philosophy that sex is something incredibly sacred. So sacred in fact, that I have personally chosen to only be that imitate with someone inside the boundaries of a life long covenant. I have not chosen that simply because it is what my Christian culture expects me to do. I have chosen it because I know having sex with a man (or many men) who is not in covenant with me would be very, very hard on my heart, and could change my life in ways that I don’t want it to be changed.

I also don’t want to downplay a subject that has been a life struggle for some people. I can’t possibly know what it’s like to be a man or woman who has been tortured over a sex addiction. (Let me say that I applaud you for being brave and fighting for freedom from this.)

As always, there needs to be balance. Balance between knowing the sacredness of sex and knowing the sacredness of making a good choice when it comes to tying yourself to someone for life.

Here are two things that I think will help us in the quest for this balanace.

#1) Know Thyself.

These are Plato’s words,  and they are full of wisdom.Try to understand what is going on inside of you. Figure out what you can handle.

In my case, I know that I can make a boundary with someone I am dating and stick with it. I can kiss and not feel a need to go further. It has actually been healing for me to kiss people, (not very many mind you, but a few).  I have gone through certain  things in my past that made me apprehensive of any kind of intimacy. But over they years I have dated trustworthy, kind men who respected our boundaries. God brought a lot of healing through that, even though I didn’t marry them. I now really enjoy intimacy rather than being scared of it.

Other people, on the other hand, can not handle very much. They would want to go past their boundaries if someone was wearing the right pair of earrings. Be honest with yourself. Communicate well with the person you are dating. Make boundaries together that you know you can follow. And tell her put on some really ugly,chunky, Grandma earrings.

#2) Foster a culture that does not succumb to the lie that we are slaves to sin.

Yes, sex is tempting. Yes, we need good boundaries. But we have to stop telling ourselves that we are weak.That if left to our own devices we will have no choice but to lose ourselves in passion.

If we see ourselves as sinners that have no control over ourselves, it may be a self fulfilling prophesy. We should start seeing ourselves for what we are; people who the Lord has made strong. People who have self control and who do not need chastity belts in order to be in the same room with someone of the opposite sex. The more we see ourselves as weak, the weaker we will be. We must remember the truth; temptation does not have control over us. We have control over temptation.

I am not saying it is wise to sleep in the same bed together, to always be alone, to go off for the weekend to some romantic place and think we won’t be tempted. There is something special about saving those things for covenant, and you don’t want to set yourself up to go beyond your boundaries.

But I am saying that we need to see ourselves as people who can have adult dating relationships that allow us to get to know the other person very, very well before we get married without having to tear each other’s clothes off before the wedding night.

What do you think?  I want to hear your perspective.  We can all learn from each other.