It has been a crazy ride in such a short period of time.
When starting out the dating fast, of course I entered with visions of grandeur, a clean and tidy dating fast in which I would automatically fall more in love with God. I mean, how could you not?
Little did I count in the fact that my emotions are at sometimes, ok, fine, all the times, crazy.
This is basically how my dating fast prep went:
The month before the dating fast started: Ah, this is going to be the best thing ever for my spiritual life. How have I not done this before? Get to know people without tons of relationships expectations, and just relax. Cannot wait for this dating fast to start.
The day before the dating fast started: Holy canole. What in the world am I getting myself into. I'm in college. If I don't meet someone now, it is only going to get harder. This is huge. This could be the semester where I meet someone. And I'm going to have to say no because I'm on this dating fast.
Day 1: I got this! Heart to heart talks with God, some scheduled time for the Bible, this is great. This is better than great.
Day 5: Ok, it's hard. In fact, it's really hard. I'm surrounded by available, great guys everywhere I turn. In class. In the library. When I go to dinner. At work. In my social groups. Can I just join a convent? This would be much easier if I could do a dating fast with no men around. I feel like the only safe guys to talk to are those who are related to me and seminarians/deacons/priests. I'm so in trouble if this is how it's going to be for the next four months.
Day 9: Ok, how have I never noticed all these couples before? They are literally everywhere? That kid is in 4th grade and has a boyfriend? What am I doing with my life?
And then I caught myself. Because I'd fallen (again) into the trap that what I needed so badly was a relationship with a guy. I was getting tripped up by guys because I was hoping that there was some potential there somewhere. And frankly, that's pretty darn selfish.
Things went from:
"Oh! What a great guy! He opens doors and doesn't cuss and is super into his faith."
"Hmm...what would our relationship look like."
"Thank you Lord for a man of God who serves you with His heart. Strengthen him on his journey and help him do Your will."
There is a great story about three men who go out for a walk on a summer evening. As they stroll through the park, they walk past a young woman in a revealing top. The first man immediately averts his eyes, doesn't acknowledge the woman's presence at all and continues on the walk. The second man indulges in the beauty of the woman for his own good, and cranes his neck to stare at her as she walks past. The third man acknowledges the woman with a friendly smile and continues on the path, and takes a moment quietly pray Psalm 84:1 - "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts!"
This can be applied to dating fasts too.
The first approach is to totally avoid guys at all costs. You can't date 'em, you don't even want to see 'em. This results in always wearing earbuds and sunglasses and may or may not include frequent midnight McDonalds runs for food incognito.
The second approach is to go all out. You're on a dating fast, but dating is flirting. Dating isn't texting. You're just lining the options up for when you are done with the fast and in for the feast.
The third option is acknowledge the beauty that God has created in this world (including guys in your life) and thank Him for them. And then, continue along the path.
Any thoughts? Tips or hints for dating fasts? (pass them over, I will take anything you can give me.)