Dating experiences + Mentorship
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Tainted Love

I was a pretty pathetic dater in my pre-Boundless days. Had you Googled "awkward around the opposite sex," my name would've been prominently displayed alongside a list of my epic dating failures.

It all began at the age of 6, when I decided I was in love with my brother's friend Kurt. Never mind that Kurt was 14; somehow I thought he was both eligible and attainable, and assumed the reason he persecuted me mercilessly wasn't because I was his brother's kid sister, but because he was in love with me, too.

I remember the day I decided to test my theory and put it all on the line. I saw my brother and Kurt standing after school with their group of friends. Knowing it was now or never, I sauntered over to the circle and stood by my brother. Leaning on his arm, I pushed myself up on to my tiptoes (the added height would make me look older). Kurt stood across from me in his black leather jacket, his shaggy dark hair tousled, his eyes cool and assessing, and his demeanor one of detached ease and general awesomeness. Teetering back and forth on my toes, I looked Kurt straight in the eye. Just as I was about to say I know not what, my dream came true; Kurt fixed his gaze on me and spoke. Was he going to ask me to marry him? Isn't that what boys did?

"What are you doing, punk?"

I snapped out of my reverie and blinked. What did he say? Did I mishear him?

"Why are you standing like that? It looks stupid."

This time I knew I'd heard him correctly, because everyone started laughing, and my brother shook me off and said irritably, "What's your problem? Stop hanging on me!"

I burst into tears and ran away. Kurt's and my future together died that very day.

I'd like to say things got better when I was actually old enough to date, but sadly, that isn't the case. Despite being a generally confident and communicative young woman, I seemed to always make missteps around guys. Take for example my friend in college whom I decided I'd like to date; how did I make my move? By telling him I didn't see Christ in his life. Or there was the guy who asked me out, but I apparently wasn't smart enough to figure out he'd actually asked me out on a date. I assumed we were going out with our entire Sunday school class, and when I finally figured out the truth, I was so embarrassed that I clammed up the rest of the evening. By the end of the date, he probably wondered why he had asked me out in the first place.

I was the girl who went out with someone, then avoided him so he couldn't ask me out again. Or if I really liked a guy, I'd try too hard to be funny or clever and just end up offending him or boring him to death. Would you be shocked to know I've also employed my journalist skills on dates? Yep. Many a date has soured by me going into "Diane Sawyer mode" and peppering my victim with questions. Death by interview—the worst kind of dating death.

Thank goodness for Boundless. I give Boundless credit for teaching me that dating can be natural and fun. I learned that dating isn't a competition; it's a privilege. Dating is my opportunity to learn a bit about a brother in Christ and build him up in the process. It allows me to practice communicating, assess character and exercise the fruits of the Spirit. It's a two-way street where two people with God's help determine if they have a future together in service to Him.

Sometimes it's difficult to see our blind spots, prejudices and (ahem) quirks. This is why I'm such a big fan of mentorship. People like Candice Watters, Motte Brown, my sisters, my girlfriends, and yes, even my mom, have pointed things out to me that at the time were hard to hear, but in the end were true and worth taking to heart. Actually applying them and either tweaking a few things or changing course altogether is what has prompted growth and maturity in not only my dating practices, but in my life in general. It's a wise investment, and I'm the beneficiary.

So while I wandered a dating wasteland for years, all is not lost. I actually went on a few dates recently where 1) I knew they were dates, 2) I refrained from confronting my dates openly, and 3) the guys actually thought I was interesting and fun! That's progress. Who knows, one of these days, maybe I'll marry one of these dudes. Until then, I've left my days of tragically tainted love in the past. I'm now on a better, healthier journey of being myself, discovering others and trusting God with the outcome.

Lisa's Signature
Lisa Anderson
Director of Boundless/Young Adults

P.S. If you're interested in jumping feet first into the dating pool, don't forget our exclusive offer from Over 600 of you have signed up for CC's trial offer; wow, that's a lot! A membership with is a great way to get to know lots of Christian singles, start conversations and maybe even find your future spouse. Give it a try!
Other Boundless Resources
- Website - Girl's Guide to Marrying Well
- Blog - Guy's Guide to Marrying Well
- Podcast - Define the Relationship Assessment
  The Boundless Show

Podcast Episode 202: If It's Broke, Fix It

Listen Now | iTunes | RSS | MP3 Download

Blog Posts

- If It's Broke, Fix It: Episode 202
- I'm in a Store and I'm Singing
- Anti-Boy Crazy
- Dreaming of a White (Elephant) Christmas
- Reading Revelation Responsibility
- Marriage, Children and Happiness
- Worship Aids
- Thanks, Mom!
- Pujols, Money and Faith
This Week's Articles

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  Read Suzanne Hadley Grosselin's article titled, 'Boy Crazy' now  
  Boy Crazy  
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  Read Mike Ensley's article titled, 'When Pigs Fly' now  
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