Getting off the shelf and into a relationship

I know what you’re thinking – two posts in a week!! Yes, I’ve neglected my poor readers terribly this year but, as you’re about to find out, there has been a good reason for this.

But first – some exciting news to share: my fellow blogger and internet gal pal Ruth Harding, of Ruth’s Home Truths, has just written a book!

Off the Shelf: Traditional Dating Truths for the Modern Christian Woman is full of sage and practical wisdom for women on how to lose the single status and get into a relationship. My copy arrived the other day and I’m already halfway through the book! It’s insightful, easy to read, and soooooo relevant.

For any young woman, especially in her late 20s to early 30s, who has known the pangs of the single life, Off the Shelf is refreshingly honest, resonant and chock-full of advice for finding “the one” that is, above all, realistic and practical.

Separated into six sections, each part addresses common questions from single women who have either struggled to get into the dating scene or to find single, dateable men. Reading Ruth’s words is almost like reading my own diary – so much of what she writes is 100% applicable to me and my experiences, and I have no doubt it will resonate with many of my female readers, too.

Ruth and I had a good chat about the trials and tribulations of the modern single Christian woman on her new podcast (also called Ruth’s Home Truths), including why it’s so hard to meet people these days, why there seem to be more church-going single women than men and the fact that I’ve started writing a book..! (Hence why I’ve been a little distracted the last few months.)

Watch the video here (the audio/visual is a little out of sync) or listen here.

5 thoughts on “Getting off the shelf and into a relationship

  1. From what I’ve seen, the pangs of being divorced and fighting endless custody battles are much worse than those of being single.
    It always can get worse. It can get a lot worse.

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  2. The discussion at the 33:00 minute mark in the video was very interesting. I also tend to have the idea that accepting God’s will gives Him permission to swoop in and destroy your life by taking away everything you value (or think you do). I imagine this is probably more acute with men, given the stereotype that we don’t really like letting anyone else get control of the steering wheel.

    I would really like to see more discussion of the whole ‘having a personal relationship with Jesus’ aspect. It’s extremely off-putting for men and I cringe whenever I hear this, it just sounds so queer. As a single guy for whom marriage seems ever more unlikely, the thought of Jesus filling that longing in the world to come just sounds really weird. No red-blooded male wants Jesus as a spouse. Sure, it’s great to think of Jesus as your king, your general, or even like a great friend who pours you a drink and fights alongside you in the trenches. But the source of female warmth and tenderness? No thanks.

    There’s an interesting comment on this blog, which is interesting itself in its discussion of bridal mysticism (https://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-church-impotent.html):

    “Men are drawn to knowledge and duty rather than religious experiences and feelings.

    I think there’s something to this. GK Chesterton once said that men talk to the subject while women talk to the person. I think that men respond better to God as a “lawgiver” than a “personal” Jesus. Yet, in modern times, the moral law is either de-emphasised or “forgiven” away. I think that the decline/neglect of this aspect of Christian worship is definitely contributing to the problem. Trad Catholics tend to emphasise this latter dimension though I really can’t tell if it has made these groups more masculine.”

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    1. Ehh…I know a priest who probably has had a personal relationship with some guy named Jesús. He REALLY liked Fr. Alberto Cutie. (Shudders) Another area priest talks in his sermons about his (male) guardian angel. Hmm. The gay circus rolls on…

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    2. Thanks for these thoughts, David. Hearing this from a man is very insightful for me. I’ve never really thought about the difficulty that men must have with putting all their trust in God, since they are naturally more prone to wanting to control their environment.

      In terms of the “having a personal relationship with Jesus” – I can see why that would be a bit cringey for a man to hear, even though I think actually having that relationship is very important for both men and women. But just to be clear, I was specifically advising women in that last comment of mine. I wouldn’t presume to advise men on how to go about viewing or relating to their faith, but even if I were asked, I don’t think I’d phrase it in this way.

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  3. Was there ever a good one who got away? I think that you said that dating in high school didn’t count. But why not? Out here in the boonies I know that there were ones from high school who got away. I just didn’t know what was going on at the time, or was oblivious to the intentions of these girls. I used to brag about not having gone to a single dance. Spending my money and time on coins, railroadiana and my other interests was more important to me. Maybe I made a mistake by not paying attention to these girls?

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