Why I'm Single...

... in the words of Jaime Grace (who was totally reading my mind).

Absolutely hilarious and perfect video.

In general, I feel a lot of pressure to be in a relationship. Part of it comes down to the fact that my unofficial part-time job is "wedding attender." There is at least five weddings a year in my life. And there was the year I went to 10 (and had been invited to more). And at every wedding, I sigh with a lot of happiness for the couple, but also a little bit of longing for myself.

But a huge part of it is that every Nigerian auntie wants to question me at every event possible (especially weddings) and during their questioning I get this niggling feeling that I'm not meeting expectations. That it doesn't matter that I have two degrees, or that I'm working my butt off teaching 6th graders, or that overall I think I'm growing into a wonderful woman. What matters is that I'm still single. And that makes me a failure.

I don't truly believe this, of course. I know that I'm not a failure. But in those moments...

So not only did a laugh out loud at the video above, but I also said a lot of "amens" along the way. Because even if I have that deep longing inside me, and even if I'm not measuring up to the expectations of all the Nigerian aunties, when I date... I want it to be more than just for fun, or to fulfil misplaced interests/desires. I really do want it to be with intention.

Yesterday I had dinner with a friend and we were talking about "lists" girls create to help them set standards for the guys they date. And how often those lists are so long and so specific.. .it's kind of a joke. So we decided to take the advice of the Millionaire Matchmaker (who I've actually never watched) and come up with Five Absolute Non-Negotiables. Five things that we know we couldn't live without in a partner. Five Things that would be absolute deal breakers if they were lacking. Since it was kind of on the spot, I'm not so sure how true my five are, but here they go...

1. Relationship with Christ/ always seeking to grow--this is a given (or at least for me), but I want more than just someone who is a Christian. I want someone who is constantly seeking to know more and grow more in Christ. I want it to be okay to disagree on things spiritually, and sit around and have deep theological discussion... not to prove the other person wrong, but just for us to think and explore our faith more. Each day is a quest to draw closer to him.

2. Family-Oriented--family is super important to me, and not just immediate family. And I'd like to know that whoever I'm with would put those relationships first.

3. Decisive/Definitive/Responsible-- I'm a hot mess. I'd like to think otherwise, but it's so not true. I'm horrible at making decisions and I am easily plagued with uncertainty... so I feel like I'd need someone to balance that out. Basically, I want to be able to feel confident that things aren't going to crumble in our lives because I'm a scatterbrained ninny.

4. Healthy Ambition for your career and mine--I hate work-a-holics, but I also don't want a bum. I want someone with dreams for me to encourage and who in turn will encourage mine. I'd like to know that we each are reaching to be the best we can be and do new things and not settle in mediocrity, and that we help each other do that.

5. Best friend--I know couples who are not best friends, and I know ones that are. And I know that when I first start dating whoever, we won't be best friends from Day 1. But by the time we get engaged and decided to become married, I want to be best friends with my spouse. Simple as that.

Anyway, like I said, I came up with these on the spot. Which my friend felt meant they were genuine, if they are the first things that came to my mind. And I do realize that I, of course, have many other preferences and desires in a spouse. But these are among the most important. And if I keep these things in mind, it'll help me be intentional about dating. And I guess I'll stay single till then!

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  1. YES YES YES to feeling like you're not measuring up, despite everything you've accomplished. My mom keeps telling me she's praying that I'll find someone, and I keep thinking "Isn't there something better to pray for??" I do love the idea of that list, though! I'm going to ponder about that one.