Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Tall, dark and handsome. Many women would include these three adjectives on their wish list. Women often swoon over tall, dark and handsome celebrities, they visualize what the tall, dark and handsome fictional character in their latest romance novel really looks like, and they dream about the tall, dark and handsome man they expectantly long for.

Okay, so these three things won’t be on every woman’s wish list. But for most women, tall (read taller than me) is almost always on the list.

You may have read my recent article about weight being an instant disqualifier for most people, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with a male friend (who is less than 6-feet-tall) that I realized this same bias is used to rule out great men from the pool of potential suitors, just because of their height.

Who was responsible for making these rules of attraction anyway? I mean, just because a guy is tall doesn’t mean he will make a great husband.

This article was originally posted on Single Matters. To read more, click here.

What To Do When Your Family Is Pressuring You

Do you remember Bill Cosby’s show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”? Well, my niece Kylie might be one of the cutest little examples of the fun and crazy things children say. During her recent visit to Texas over Fourth of July weekend, we had a very interesting conversation.

Kylie: “Auntie Bran Bran, how come you’re the only one without a boyfriend?”

Me: “I don’t know, Kylie; do you think I should try to find one?”

Kylie: “Well, no. I think you should find a husband.”

Me: “What kind of husband should I find?”

Kylie: “One who’s smart and handsome and cool and loves God with all his heart and loves you and hasn’t been to jail too many times.”

Even though Kylie’s inquisitive nature was very much showcasing the fact that I, the 30-year-old, eldest daughter of 5, was the ONLY one in our family who didn’t have a mate—you can’t help but be tickled and laugh at her cuteness.

Sometimes, though, the reminders of our singleness aren’t wrapped in the humorous naiveté of a child.

I believe our friends and family mean well—I really do. There is no doubt in my mind that when my dad jokingly asked me to go on three dates before he returned from his deployment to Iraq, he thought one of the three would actually produce a lasting relationship. There is no doubt in my mind that when my sister insisted I bring a plus-one to her wedding, she was just hoping to make sure I didn’t feel lonely or without love. I know their hearts, and I am not at all offended by their comments. But sometimes, the reminders of our singleness from the ones we love can be hurtful, add pressure or make us feel like there is something wrong with us.

If you are finding yourself in a situation where the voices of the peanut gallery are extra loud, I hope you’ll find some encouragement in knowing you aren’t doing anything wrong. Your singleness is not something to be ashamed of, and you shouldn’t be in a rush.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – What To Do When Your Family Is Pressuring You

3 Things Every Single Should Consider

The combination of Whirleyball, Italian food and deep conversation made for a very entertaining Saturday night with friends. As I filled my stomach with Patrizio’s and conversed with a male friend about gender roles, my mind began to wander.

My friend referenced Genesis 3:16, and as I heard him say the words, “Your desire shall be for your husband,” my unfocused brain thought: There are so many singles here tonight; why aren’t any of them dating?

That question pops into my mind quite often. The more social gatherings I attend, the more I wonder how we as singles aren’t connecting. Are we too picky? Are we content in our singleness? Are we living selfish lives that are keeping us single longer?

We could ask many questions in an attempt to answer why we aren’t connecting, but I think the answer is quite simple: Men aren’t asking women out, and women aren’t saying yes when they are asked out.

Friendships are happening, groups are gathering, but connections aren’t being made. We’ve made dating far too complicated. The fear of rejection keeps some from pursuing, and the search for perfection keeps others from seeing the potential of those already in their lives. We are reaching outside of our own churches to date when there are plenty of singles all around us, and the excuse of not wanting to “ruin the friendship” is prolonging seasons of singleness.

Let’s set those things aside and look at the benefits of the simplicity of asking and responding.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – 3 Things Every Single Should Consider

Do Overweight People Get Fewer Dates?

“Unfair as it is, our society still discriminates the overweight … Your weight plays a role in how other people see and treat you.” Those are the words of Dr. Frank Smoot, author of Weight Loss God’s Way, a book that greatly helped me at the start of my journey to honor the Lord with my body.

When it comes to finding a suitable mate, weight is something that tends to be used as an instant disqualifier. Online dating sites even give you the option to sort through your preferred “body type.” Statements like “I want someone who takes care of themselves” or “I want someone who is committed to exercise and health” help us explain why we won’t date someone who’s overweight.

As someone who has deeply struggled with food and exercise choices, hearing those words leaves me feeling perplexed. Yes, at some point in my life, my unhealthy food and exercise choices caused weight gain, but I would not classify myself today as someone who doesn’t take care of themselves, or who isn’t committed to exercise and health.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – Do Overweight People Get Fewer Dates?

Longing For God’s Warm Embrace

I’m sure by now, most of you reading this have heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages. It was all the rave 10 years ago and is still very popular today. Dr. Chapman’s book captivates the attention of readers because we seek to know the best way to love our partner, our children and our friends. We desire to know how we can serve and love them better, and The 5 Love Languages is an instrument that provides valuable insight into how to do that.

For those who aren’t familiar with Dr. Chapman’s book, he writes about the five primary ways people show and receive love: receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and physical touch.

As I was thinking about the five love languages, I realized that while the Lord is able to show us love through most of these ways, it can sometimes be difficult for those needing physical touch to feel God’s love.

In May of this year, I received news that a client I had been working with for three months made the choice to take his life. For three months I fought desperately to keep him out of the hospital, keep him off drugs and keep him alive. He was doing so well, and I had hope he would continue on the path to success. But sadly, that was not the case. He chose to end his life, and I was unexpectedly torn to pieces with grief over this loss. I wrestled with taking on the responsibility of his death and blaming myself. I cried myself to sleep for days in a row, not knowing how to deal with the emotions I was feeling.

In those moments of intense emotion, all I wanted was to lay in the arms of someone who loved me. To feel the warmth of their embrace. But as a single person whose family is more than three hours away, that just wasn’t an option for me.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – Longing For God’s Warm Embrace