It’s a Date: Where’s That Thing Called Joy?

Let’s talk about dating.

This is not my typical blog post because I don’t talk about dating because I have little to no experience. My giving anyone advice would be like going to your doctor to get the latest meme update. Your doctor would probably look at you like you’re in need of more help than they can give. (Note that I didn’t gender the doctor, anyone can be a doctor. Sorry, whole other topic.) Alas, let’s talk about it this warm June day.

I have lived variously thorough many people in the world of dating. Especially people in the form of television. I like to think that I’ve already been able to avoid a lot of serious problems since I’ve seen things work and not work for other people.

The reason I bring up dating is not to go on and on about how little experience I’ve had, though, I could. My hope is to talk about the unrealistic expectations of relationships. I know too many people who are under the impression that once they find, that one person, the rest of their life will fall into place. I’m afraid that’s untrue. You might say, what does she know? She hadn’t found that “right” person so she can’t talk. You’d be right. I can’t talk, but I do know a thing or two about looking in the wrong places for fulfillment.

For the large part of my life so far, I was seeking happiness in many arenas. I thought, ok, let me make enough friends, then I’ll be happy. No luck there. Then I thought, I’ve learned from that mistake, let me be as good academically as I can possibly be. Well, that didn’t work either. And then I started thinking, maybe money is where the true happiness lies. Now, I’ve also never been wealthy but I do know that even in the times where I wanted for nothing and had no worries financially, which has been for most of my life, I didn’t feel truly happy.

The thing is, happiness is fleeting. I don’t say this to be a downer or to make you frown, I say this because it’s true. You probably will meet your right person, though, it might take a really long time. The point is, that person, is as perfectly imperfect as you. They can’t read your mind. They won’t say everything right. They’re not going to complete you to the point that you can’t remember a time without them. They’re going to support you, sure, and love you, but you’re still going to be you.

If you weren’t happy before you were in a relationship, you’re not going to happy in one, long term anyway. You’ve probably heard all of this before, but I don’t think the world does a could job for portraying that. There literally is no happily ever after. Television, music, and movies tell you that sex and romance, they’re the true key to all that is good in the world. WRONG. (And just so you know, I actually can talk about media influencing real life relationships thanks to this new Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies.) There are always going to be bumps in the road. So, while you’re looking for that right person, try working on you. Find your joy now so you can share that with your forever person, sure, but more importantly, find that joy for you. Have goals, go after them. Tackle projects you’ve been putting off.

You might be, but probably aren’t, thinking about how I never finished that thought regarding searching for my happiness. Well, I can tell you exactly where I found it. ALL AROUND ME. I’d been searching for this completion and I never knew He was right there. You see, at one of the lowest points in my life, I called out to God. I knew who He was. I wasn’t a big fan. He’d done a lot of stuff in my life that didn’t fit mine or the world’s ideas of happiness. So I basically said, hey, You, if You’re really who You say You are, then help me out. And I’ve never been the same. I found joy like nothing I’ve ever been able to match. My life is still one bumpy road. I’m still one lumpy, messy of a person. And heck, still, I am as single as can be. Though, the difference is, I don’t have to be bare it. And that, is the happiest feeling in the world.

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