Several years ago, before marriage and after a particularly poignant conversation with my then-roommate, I realized how tired I was of complaining about there not being anyone in my life to date or hang out with. Stopping the complaining was one action to take, but I wanted more than just the achievement of pushing aside worthless thoughts. I wanted to do something about it.
I remember praying one night: Lord, I know that You could actually lead my future husband to my doorstep, and I could meet him without ever leaving my house. But I don’t think You’re going to do that. Please guide me to the relationships You’d like me to have in my life.
Thus started “Operation: Increase my Variables.”
My first round of business was to find events that interested me and, here’s the important part, sign up for them! Bocce Ball league, check. Kickball league, check. Running local races, check. Joining the local track club, check. Softball league, check. Arts classes, check. And drumroll, finally upgrade the dating site profiles from free, no-pictures accounts to yes-pictures, but for a limited time.
I decided that branching out and signing up for events, classes, and sports that interested me was one way to increase my variables—for meeting a prospective husband. With this increase in variables, I met a ton of women who were doing the same thing. Rather than being disappointed in the saturation in the market, I adopted the perspective that my fellow ladies knew men that I didn’t know. They had brothers or friends or accountants who were single men. So, knowing these ladies put me in the proximity of more variables.
For a while, my social calendar was super busy. And I met a lot of new friends. And I went out with a few men. But all along the way, I learned more about what I liked and didn’t like—not just in a life-partner, but in regard to my hobbies, interests and passions. Turns out, I don’t care for kickball or softball, but bocce rocks. Metalsmithing may not come easy, but wire-wrapping did.
Through these adventures, I gained confidence, generosity, hope, joy, memories, new friends and some new hobbies. Did I find Mr. Right in any of these variables? I didn’t. God brought Mr. Right to me through a unique series of events. But who’s to say that getting out of the house, leaving my comfort zone behind and developing myself through these experiences didn’t somehow allow the opportunity for God to reintroduce me to Nathan? Perhaps the openness I gained through those new experiences taught me how to recognize Mr. Right when he did appear.
My single friends: How have you stepped outside of your comfort zone lately? What are you opening yourself up to today?