Friday, 26 October 2012
Reason #1 - The Awkward
Let's talk about the awkward, shall we? Awkward: He asks you out. You say no. He proceeds to pretend that you have fallen from the face of the earth. Awkward: Your friend dated his friend's roommate's set dresser's bartender's e-girlfriend's cousin. Awkward: You volunteer together every other Sunday and still have to see each other at church, even if it ends... awkwardly.
Reason #2 - "That Guy"
Let's talk about that guy. (There also exists "that girl," I'm sure, but all my experiences have been with that guy. Sorry.) Have you ever heard the phrase, "No one wants to be that guy"? Well, revise that to "No one wants to date that guy." Harsh, but true. Why? Because he hits on every single single girl at church, which means he's: A) Desperate, B) Has very little dating experience, or C) Desperate and has very little dating experience. It might be poor personal hygiene. It might be the tendency to constantly bring up a struggle with lust during co-ed group discussions. It might be an inability to take "no" for an answer -- at which point "that guy" becomes "that stalker" and you might have to get a restraining order. Regardless, that guy will always ask you out, as a rule. Which is, as you already may have guessed, awkward.
Reason #3 - She's Just Not That Into You
This is not, strictly speaking, entirely true. It's just that, if you like them, they probably don't like you, and vice versa. When girls complain that, "No one asks me out," what they really mean is "No one cute (or that I like) has asked me out." I theorize that, realistically, there are one or two girls or guys everyone wants to date. They, in turn, have inexplicably taken a vow of celibacy and/or are holding out for Ryan Gosling. Yes, the guys too.
Reason #4 - Nice Girls Finish Last
You are too nice. If you were raised to be a good Christian guy or girl, you probably aren't completely comfortable saying "no" -- just "no." No qualifications, no "You're a really nice guy, but..." or "I'm really focusing on my acting right now, so..." These things take practice. If you're nice to a guy, he might think you're flirting with him -- in fact, he will definitely think you're flirting with him if you don't want him to think you're flirting with him. Now you're stuck somewhere between a rock and a literalist interpretation of scripture: If you're not nice, you're a bad Christian. If you're too nice, you're a good Christian, but now this guy is stuck to you like a barnacle to a whale's arse no matter how politely you tell him that you're focusing on your walk with the Lord.
Reason #5 - The Prohibition Against Drinking in Church [Communion Wine Excepted]
Just kidding. Sort of. Problem is, Christians take dating way too seriously, and at church, everyone is on their best church-behavior. Plus, when you're screening every member of the opposite sex for desirable life partner traits, it kind of takes the fun out of dating, or most forms of social interaction for that matter.
Reason #6 - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Gossip Pants
People, they talk. And by people, I mean girls. They talk about guys at church and whether or not it would be a good idea to date them. This leaves, oh let's see, one and a half guys who are acceptable to date. All the single girls at church then hold a gladiatorial contest to determine who gets to sit next to him during Bible study. Of course, then he goes and says something that could be construed as insensitive and we all take a vow of celibacy and/or continue to hold out for Ryan Gosling. It's brutal.
Reason #7 - The Insta-Couple
The minute you sit with that guy or girl at church, everyone assumes you are a couple. I'm not sure why this is. Probably because when you look around at church, it's all couples or suicidal single people sitting by themselves. Or with friends. This makes so much sense. Guys I barely know have sought me out at church in order to sit next to me. I guess that's their way of staking their claim. Perhaps there's something about singing "Blessed Be Your Name" next to someone that really clinches whether you should spend the rest of your life with them. Sitting together = practically married, after all.
Reason #8 - The Insta-Wife [Add one heaping tablespoon Jesus and stir]
Church engagements are known for being criminally short. Or maybe it's just my church. Soon after becoming someone's insta-girlfriend or boyfriend you are this close to becoming someone's insta-husband or wife. It's insane. Not to mention scary. What makes it worse is that everyone will be secretly or not-so-secretly judging you for your three-minute-engagement. You dog, you.
Reason #9 - The Temple of the Holy Spirit Market
Think about it for a minute. Scoping out your church for dates feels... a little bit icky. "Wow, that was a really great sermon. I really felt like God was speaking to me about -- whoa, that guy in the plaid is hot!" Or worse: "She's really cute, I wonder if... Uh oh! Wedding ring alert!" Treating church like a singles mixer pretty much always leads to feeling like the least spiritual, most shallow person on the face of the earth.
Reason #10 - The Clincher
You might meet someone and fall in love. This reason alone should be enough for you to never think of, or even consider dating someone who goes to your church. Don't say I didn't warn you.
What has been your experience as a single or dating person in church? Do you find that, in times of singleness, you sometimes look around church like it's a meat market?