The truth, though, is that I never will be ready. I am always going to be in a state of self-improvement in one form or another. My life is dedicated to becoming more like Christ everyday in all things that I do and say and think and feel. It is an impossible task. It is a worthy task, but unobtainable on my own. All I can do is keep walking toward Him and, one day when He returns, He will carry me the rest of the way. Only then will I be truly ready and by then it will be too late.
I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer wait for things to be perfect before pursuing my wife. I am done waiting. We are all imperfect and she won't be ready either. All I can pray for is that both she and I can accept each other as we are and hold each other up where we are failing. Now, so far, all I've said has once again been abstract and future focused. Here's where we'll get concrete in the now.
I have had dating profiles on several sites for years now (seven for the longest one). I mostly treated them as a crutch to tell the back of my mind, "No, really. I'm looking. I swear." I finally made contact with a sweet girl who found me. We were getting along really well and I eventually got up the nerve to ask her out. She said yes and something clicked for me. For various reasons, we had to cancel (no fault on either side), but then I made a decision to actually make use of those sites and put all my effort into them. To that end, I have been making contact with as many good matches as possible and being as honest about my intentions as I can. I learned how to show interest without overdoing it. I learned to suck it up and make first contact like men are expected to do in our society.
Seeing how infrequently I post as of late, it should come as no surprise that the reason I'm talking about all this is because I had my first date tonight. I met with a lovely woman I've been chatting with for a week at Petite Provence on Division. We had a great time talking in person and walking down the street to our respective bus stops. I was, of course, super nervous and forgot many of the words I was trying to say, but it was still pleasant and fun.
She is a strong and mature Christian, has a great sense of humor, and she has visited quite a few other countries and has such an array of stories to tell. I wish I could say that I have found her, the woman I will marry, but I know so well and have had the lesson drilled into my head so often that I cannot let myself read too much into these things and to not get carried away with my idea of a woman rather than the woman herself. Plus, it's only the first date. We haven't had a chance to let our guards down and figure out who we are to each other.
So, for now, I'm optimistic. I'm pragmatic, though, so I know that I shouldn't rest all my hopes on this one woman until there's clear momentum in that direction. Besides, if it doesn't work out, I now know that I am capable of getting a first date. I'm pretty certain that it will get more natural as I get more experience. It's fairly safe to say, though, that this is a significant change in my life. I'm hopeful, nervous, excited, vulnerable, confident, shaky, and thankful.
I do wish I'd had an earlier start on all this, though. I feel like such a schoolboy, getting jittery about all this. I can't tell you the number of times I had to look up proper dating etiquette and double check whether or not my plans were smooth or a failure in the making (because there's never any middle ground, of course). Basically, I'm a thirty year old man with no clue what the hell he's doing in a world full of people who've been doing this since kindergarten, practically. Well, at least the women I find are probably tired and done with the bullshit I skipped out on. That has to work in my favor. :P
Anyway, please pray for me. This is not going to be easy and it's going to be scary as hell for me. But, I'm so done. I want to find her.
On a side note, I weighed in at 208 lbs this morning. That's close to 70 lbs down from last year around this time. Holy crap! :D