We’ve all heard these questions. So, who are you dating now? Are you dating anyone yet? Why aren’t you dating yet? Are you gay? Continue reading “Dealing with the Pressure to Date”
We’ve all heard these questions. So, who are you dating now? Are you dating anyone yet? Why aren’t you dating yet? Are you gay? Continue reading “Dealing with the Pressure to Date”
No matter how skilled someone is at crafting an attractive persona, you can usually find subtle clues to their true character. If you know where to look, you can spot the red flags. So, why do we so often miss them? Why is it so hard to see the warning signs? Continue reading “Red Flags | How to Spot Toxic People”
Okay, first, let’s get the bad news out of the way. Second virginity is not the same as virginity. Once you have sex you are no longer a virgin. That ship has sailed. There is no do-over. It is not truthful or accurate to call yourself a virgin. A virgin is by definition someone who has not had sex. Period. Continue reading “Second Virginity? A Second Chance to Get It Right”
Let me answer the question up front and succinctly – YES. Marriage is still relevant, desirable, and a necessary pillar of civilization. If it crumbles, so does our society. Continue reading “Marriage | Is It Still Relevant Today?”
Today’s post is different from the posts I’ve written so far. This post marks the one year birthday of Thrive Singles Blog! It also makes about six months of the Thrive Singles Podcast, and about three months of episodes on the Thrive Singles Blog YouTube channel. Today I want to share a little more of my story with you, take a look back over the past year, and share my vision for the future. Continue reading “One Year of Thrive Singles Blog! – Past, Future, and Present”
The short answer is … it depends. In last week’s post, I gave you some food for thought and some questions to ask yourself about online dating. Here are more things to ponder. If you do decide to give it a try, there are some things you can do to make it a better and safer experience. Continue reading “Online Dating | Things to Consider”
The short answer is … well … it depends. Here are a few things to consider and a few questions to ask yourself. Continue reading “Online Dating | Should I Try It?”
Hate being single? Can’t wait to be happily married? Now is the time to be happily single. Yes, it is possible. Here are some ways to get there.
We all have regrets. A lot of the things we regret stem from relatively minor choices. Things like not double checking our self in the mirror before we go out, not packing extra underwear for a trip, or eating that extra dessert, could lead to regrettable consequences, but they have a low probability of destroying our lives.
Other times, the things we regret can be life-altering, like not flossing, not exercising regularly, smoking, quitting school, getting drunk, using drugs, or marrying that person everybody told us was no good for us.
Having at least a few regrets is unavoidable. Hopefully, your regrets are more like the former and less like the latter. However, that being said, I have found that there are some things in life that you will never regret. Here are a few of them. Continue reading “Things You Will Never Regret”
Okay. It’s over. You were on the receiving end of the ‘we need to talk/it’s not you/we can still be friends’ speech. This comes as a shock to you. They seem perfectly okay with moving on. Meanwhile, you struggle to eat, work, and even breathe. You may have even been toyed with or cheated on. What you do now, at this point, is critical. How do you move on after an unexpected breakup? Continue reading “Moving On | How to Thrive After an Unexpected Breakup”
One of the best ways to overcome depression, be more confident, and learn to thrive is to reach out and help other people. We volunteer to help others, but in the process, we end up helping ourselves. Continue reading “Helping = Thriving | Learn to Thrive as a Single, Help Others”
Do you know fellow singles who seem to go through relationships like you go through jeans or shoes? They go through a cycle. First, they get all excited about the new. Then they enjoy the comfort of the familiar. But eventually, they toss out another old worn and tattered relationship and go shopping for a new one. Continue reading “Make Your Next Relationship Last”
Last week in Manage Your Expectations Part 1 I wrote about how we develop our expectations and how to counteract some of the unrealistic expectations we acquire throughout our lives.
This week in Part 2 I want to talk about realistic expectations. Some of these may sound negative, some positive, and some neutral, but such is life. You can expect a mixed bag. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting everything will be wonderful or everything will be awful. In singleness, as in all of life, there will be some of each. Continue reading “Manage Your Expectations | Thrive as a Single Part 2”
We all have expectations about what single life should be, what married life will be, and what life, in general, should be. Some of these are reasonable. Others are unreasonable. Some are good and healthy. Others are slowly suffocating our psyche.
Perhaps the most unreasonable expectation of all is that all our expectations will be reasonable. We all mess up from time to time.
Where do our expectations come from? Are they truly our own, or someone else’s? Continue reading “Manage Your Expectations | Thrive as a Single Part 1”
It is my absolute conviction that it should be easier for Christian singles to thrive than anyone else. This, of course, flies in the face of current thought. According to ‘modern’ thinking, the only way to be single is to always be dating someone, have sex often, with or without a long-term commitment, and live together instead of marrying. Continue reading “Why Christian Singles *Should* Thrive”
Every life tells a story. Maybe a story of adventure or heroism, or perhaps tragedy, or, in lots of cases, mediocrity. The great thing about your story is that you get to write it. You can take a story that seems destined for calamity and give it a plot twist that, in the end, surprises everyone. Continue reading “Write Your Own Story | Thrive as a Single”
When I found myself single again at forty, I received a lot of awesome advice. Some of it saved me a lot of heartache. Maybe I’ll write about that some other time. Today, let’s talk about some of worst bad advice people give singles. Continue reading “Bad Advice For Singles”
And here it is – just what you’ve been waiting for – your unscientific, unofficial guide to the top ten ways to be unattractive to the opposite sex. Continue reading “Top 10 Ways to Be Unattractive to the Opposite Sex”
Can I ever trust again? That was one of my biggest post-divorce questions. After going through such a huge betrayal, is it possible to once again trust someone with the level of trust it takes to make a marriage thrive? Continue reading “How Can I Trust Again After My Heart’s Been Broken?”
A belated Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans!
Thinking about the freedom and liberty we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America also got me ruminating a bit about the advantages and freedoms afforded by the single life. Continue reading “Singleness = Freedom”
It is hard to build, easy to lose and harder yet to rebuild – trust. As to the latter, that is too difficult to cover in this brief post. I may try to tackle it in another post on another day. Today I want to talk about who to trust.
After my divorce, I never thought I would be able to trust again. After feeling so betrayed, it seemed impossible to even consider trusting someone of the opposite sex. And yet, without trust, there can never be intimacy.
Therefore, if you desire deep intimacy with another human being, you will need to learn to trust. But, as a single, it sometimes seems like a jungle out there. Who can you trust as a date? Who can you trust for advice? Continue reading “Who Can You Trust? | Your Heart? Your Friends? Your Gut?”
I know – I periodically, predictably mount my virtual soapbox and proceed to pontificate regarding not falling in love too easily and especially regarding not falling in love too soon after a breakup. But, I have to admit, I fell hard shortly after my divorce. Actually, I wish I had fallen in love sooner. It was the best thing that possibly could have happened. I fell in love – with being single!
‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.’ -Lao Tzu
Are you stuck in a repeating cycle of dead-end dating? I have a one-word answer to your dilemma – change! Continue reading “How to Break Out of a Dating Rut: Change!”
How many times have you been told to just be yourself? That is pretty much standard issue advice from parents or best friends to people going on a job interview or a first date.
It’s great advice if you are well-groomed, well-read, well-mannered, and witty. If you are timid, ill-tempered, unkempt, and socially awkward it is the worst advice you could ever receive. Continue reading “Just Be Yourself | The Best or Worst Advice For Singles”
OK, first things first. What exactly is a Christian Atheist? At first, the term may seem like an oxymoron, but I know you can find many people in your own local congregation to whom the term applies. I know a few myself. In fact, I have been one from time to time and you probably have too. Continue reading “How to Date Like a Christian Atheist”
‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.’
—Charles R. Swindoll
Even if you find yourself single again or single a lot longer than you would like, there is one thing that will without a doubt never fail to increase your happiness. It is not marrying mister or miss right. It is not going on more dates. It is not even reducing the length of your single years. The thing that will decide your level of happiness is your attitude. Continue reading “Change Your Attitude | Thrive as a Single”
Leading a singles group left me wondering about many things. This one, in particular always puzzled me. To me, it seemed like a big need in an important area. It was something that, as a single man, I worked hard on myself. Yet, for some reason, I never received many questions about it – how to be attractive. Continue reading “How To Be Attractive | Confidence, Kindness, and Conversation”
Just like the Siren’s Song in Greek mythology lured sailors to their death, the alluring call of sexual temptation relentlessly entices men and women to their spiritual death.
Sexual temptation is one of the biggest things I dealt with when I became single again. As a formerly married man with a healthy sex drive accustomed to regular sex, being single was hard. I have a feeling I am not alone in this. The scriptures, a lifetime of anecdotes, and scientific research back me up here. Continue reading “Sexual Temptation | As a Christian Single, What Do I Do?”
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. -Reinhold Niebuhr
What do you find attractive? What does your best friend find attractive? Chances are there are some things that you both find attractive and some things one of you finds attractive the other does not.
No two people have exactly the same tastes in anything. This is especially true about who they find attractive and what they find attractive about them. Sometimes even when people agree that someone is attractive, they will disagree on what exactly it is that makes them attractive. Continue reading “How to Be Attractive | Things You Can and Cannot Change”
Purity and chastity seem rare in this permissive, anti-Christian era of brave new morality. But, you are not alone. Some of us still value such things.
This week I am writing about a topic that I may thus far have subconsciously avoided. It is surprising to me that I haven’t written about it yet because it is a subject that is very important to me, and always on the minds of most single people – sex. Continue reading “Sexual Purity | 3 Thoughts for Singles”
Please allow me, as a former, long-term, midlife single person, to give you, as a currently single person, a very important piece of advice – don’t be desperate!
One of the biggest turnoffs for me, as a single man, was women who came off as desperate. Desperate is not attractive. Desperate says, “I have no game, I have no self-worth, and I have no options.” Instead of saying, “Love me for who I am,” it says, “Love me because I fear no one else will.” Continue reading “Thrive As a Single | Don’t Be Desperate!”
What do people find attractive? Do opposites attract, or do birds of a feather flock together? Are people more attracted to a carbon copy or a polar opposite? Well, it is a little of each. Continue reading “Opposites Attract or Birds of a Feather?”
Before you begin learning how to be attractive it is helpful to assess where you are and decide where you want to end up. It is good to be attractive in general. It is even better to attract the specific kind of people who make great spouses.
Let’s begin by asking ourselves three vital “Who?” questions. Who are you attracting? Who are you attracted to? And most importantly, who do you want to attract? Continue reading “How to Be Attractive | Start With 3 Vital “Who?” Questions”
In Better Dates Part 1 we looked at the importance of knowing why you are dating. In Part 2 we will look at how to have better dates.
One sure way to not enjoy a date is to build up a bunch of unrealistic expectations. If you are expecting a guy to sweep you off your feet or a girl to swoon when you enter the room, you will end up disappointed. Don’t go into this expecting to find love at first sight or true love on a first date. It doesn’t usually work out that way.
Of course, the flip side of that is not having high enough expectations. Continue reading “Better Dates | Part 2 – A Short How To”
How long has it been since you went out on a really enjoyable date? Was your last date a delight or a disaster? Was the last person you went out with a possible mate or a definite mistake? It’s time for better dates.
In a recent post, I wrote about how to go on more dates. So, what if you are going out on more dates, but they are leaving you unfulfilled, bored, uninspired, or weirded out? Or, what if they leave you no closer to finding a lifelong partner than you were a year ago? There are things you can do to date better. Continue reading “Better Dates | Part 1 – Start With Your Why”
In my life, especially while leading a church singles group, I saw this cycle over and over and over again – it drove me crazy.
Someone would go through DivorceCare with us or start coming to our singles group. Once there, they would begin to heal up and start to learn and grow as a person. Then, despite our teaching, they would meet someone and right away start a dating relationship. They would get way too involved way too fast, disappear from the group, and isolate themselves. Predictably, they would start having issues, their relationship would become dysfunctional, they would break up, and they would end up heartbroken. Then they would more likely than not repeat the cycle again. Continue reading “Break the Dating Cycle”
How do you know if someone is marriage material? How do you know if you should go on a date with them? It depends on what you value – check your list. Continue reading “Are They Marriage Material? Check Your List”
There are few thing in life as important. It is hard to find and easy to lose. Things constantly conspire to throw us off of it. Life dictates that we must at certain times be out of it, but, hopefully, these periods are short-lived and we can once again find it. Balance. Continue reading “Balance: a Key to Thriving as a Single”
Today I have a little encouragement those of you who are single and looking, single again, or just feel like you have been single way too long.
When I found myself divorced at forty years of age, I thought my prospects were pretty bleak. There I was, brokenhearted, introverted, rejected, and not particularly good-looking, yet desiring to, at some point, remarry.
A few years later, I also found my income reduced. So, possessing neither lots of money, loads of charisma, nor lavish good looks, if I didn’t feel hopeless before, I sure felt hopeless then. Continue reading “Encouragement For Singles Who Want to Marry”
Valentine’s Day was one of the hardest days for me as a single person. Not only was I living alone, but had I remained married, it would have been my anniversary. So yeah, it was not my favorite day.
There were very few things people could say to me to make it better. The thing is, it is a day which celebrates romantic love. And even though my life was filled with love, that was the love I intensely craved and the love I did not have. Continue reading “Happy Valentine’s Day – You Are Loved”
While I was single I loved going out on dates. I never felt in danger. As for as I can remember, every date I went out on was very enjoyable.
One of the reasons for that is because I very carefully screened and actually “predated” most of the ladies I asked out. These were women I had been acquainted with and had seen in action at church, in singles groups, or in other social situations. They had good reputations and carried themselves in a confident and kindly manner. I could see that they dealt with people from a position of strength and were emotionally healthy.
But, as a DivorceCare facilitator, as a singles group leader, and as a single man out on dates, I heard many horror stories. Some of them were just embarrassing, some were uncomfortable, but some were downright dangerous. I heard stories ranging from the irritating “he wouldn’t stop trying to hold my hand” type to the darker “I suddenly felt woozy, I think he put something in my drink” variety. Continue reading “Dating Danger”
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? -Groucho Marx
So goes the old joke, but as it turns out, a lot of people do want to be married. Yes, there are more people waiting longer to get married, and there are always those who, because of their parent’s divorce or bad breakups of serious relationships, fear marriage. But still, a lot of people dream of marriage and happily ever after.
The problem is that a lot of people go into marriage with totally unrealistic expectations of what marriage will be like. They see it as the answer to all of life’s problems and believe it will somehow magically make all of their issues disappear. Continue reading “3 Things Marriage Can and Cannot Do For You”
There is a myth that is largely regarded as a fact by many. It has been circulating widely for millennia, mainly through overly romantic stories. Even before there was an internet its tendrils had already woven their way into the very fabric of society. From children’s fairy tales to big budget movies, it is ubiquitous.
Those who perpetuate this myth do not do so out of any evil intent. In fact, I believe that for the most part, they do so in an effort to bring hope to the heartbroken and the lonely. People talk about it, sing about it, and create all manner of artistic expressions around this seemingly helpful but none-the-less insidious lie – you will be happy when you find “THE ONE”. Continue reading “The Myth of “THE ONE” – A Mythology of Unicorns, Mermaids, and Special Someones”
For a number of years I had the extreme privilege of being involved in, then facilitating a program specifically for those newly single because of a divorce – DivorceCare. As I healed up, I gradually worked my way into facilitating the program because I found it so helpful to me in recovering from my divorce.
I saw a lot of good fruit from those groups, and yet, group after group, year after year a pattern emerged that frustrated me. Men and women would find our group, begin to find a little healing for their battered emotions, and take a few baby steps in the right direction. Then, bam, they would meet someone and disappear. Later on, I would hear, usually second-hand, of them experiencing another heartbreak.
My wife and I also saw this same pattern repeated in the singles group we led. In fact, whether in DivorceCare or the singles group, the number one mistake I saw newly single adults make was jumping into a relationship too soon after being divorced or widowed. Continue reading “The Number One Mistake Newly Single Adults Make”
Being single does not make you a lesser person than someone who is married. You are not of lesser quality, of lesser importance nor of lesser value to society and to God. You have intrinsic value, a value that goes far beyond having more free time to volunteer.
Most of the single people I know are intelligent, personable, and reasonably attractive. A lot of single people I know excel at and advance in their career. Many single persons lead very satisfying and fulfilling lives. For many, money is not an issue. The things that most people rely on a wife or husband to do they have found a way to have them done or to do them themselves. Yet many of you, despite your accomplishments and your hard-won independence, have a nagging desire. Continue reading “6 Tips For Singles Who Desire Marriage”
For many of you, this season brings parties and family get-togethers and is the highlight of your social calendar. But for just as many of you, this season brings social anxiety, disappointments, and the holiday blues. This is especially true for those of you whose singleness was thrust upon you by the decision of someone else or who remain single longer than you anticipated or desired.
This season is so overly romanticized, over-hyped, and brings with it such overblown expectations that some amount of letdown is almost inevitable. However, you can learn to survive, beat the blues, and maybe even enjoy the holidays.
Another definition of date is the day, month, or year on which an event happens or happened. But, the kind of date I am writing about today is generally defined as two people meeting together on purpose at a specific place and time, usually because of a common interest, especially a romantic interest.
As a single person, I read several good books about dating. Two of which, at first glance, seem to have very different points of view about dating. I read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris and “Boundaries in Dating” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. The former asserts that we should ditch the modern concept of dating in favor of the old concept of courtship. The latter gives advice on how to date in a healthy way as a Christian.
I fall squarely in the corner of Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend and highly recommend reading their book. But, I still found “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” helpful for several reasons. Joshua Harris did a good job articulating the problems with modern dating. I agree with him that the way most people date is disastrous. The books actually do not disagree as much as it first appears. The key is in defining dating. Continue reading “Dating vs Dating: What Is a Date?”
How long has it been since you’ve had a really good date? A bad date? Any date at all? Want to go on more dates? These four things will help.
In part one, I asked – Do you want to get married? My question today is – Why?
Why do you want to get married? The answer to that question can make all the difference in what type of marriage you eventually create.
We are now living in a time of upheaval and shifting social norms. Gay people want to get married. Married people want to get divorced. Divorced people seem pretty divided on the subject of getting remarried. Single people are waiting longer to get married and many people eschew the idea of marriage altogether.
This post and the next will ask two very important questions. Do you want to be married? And, why?
Let’s begin at the proper starting point. Do you really want to be married? This is not a trivial question and not necessarily the case. Continue reading “Want to Get Married? Part 1”
Thinking about the best date ever might conjure up images of candlelight, violins, and sips of champagne. It may bring memories of some carefully orchestrated first date perfectly executed at a time when everything was still new and full of promise. It could bring you back to what you once thought of as your best date ever, but, looking back through the lens of all you have learned, you now see as a source of embarrassment or shame. But perhaps, as mine, your best date ever was the result of a mishap, miscalculation, or simply bad timing that led to a formative, deeply bonding experience. Continue reading “Best Date Ever!”
I remember an old saying that went something like – no matter where you go, there you are. People go to great lengths to start fresh. They change jobs, hobbies, neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, spouses, religions, political affiliations, and buy expensive toys. They perm, curl, straighten, extend, bob, color, lighten, darken, redden, highlight, frost, reduce, nip, tuck, lift, paint, pierce, and tattoo. Yet without real change on the inside, they find themselves to be the same collection of attitudes, prejudices, and opinions they were before – just with a different wardrobe and hairstyle. Continue reading “The Unavoidable, Impossible, Necessity of Being Yourself”