Plastic profiles in dating…

So if you’ve read more than a dozen profiles on dating sites you have seen patterns repeat. Everyone likes to laugh have fun, and talk long walks. And everyone is romantic.

I mean, really? Could it be more plastic?

Who on earth DOES NOT like all that, or if they didn’t, would say it in their profile. Picture it: “you know, I really don’t like to laugh or be romantic. And long walks holding hands… ah, not so much for me.”

For Heaven’s sake, who doesn’t like to have fun and laugh? Who doesn’t like to be kissed passionately in the soft, flickering glow of a candlelight? Hollywood would be out of business if any of that was true.

Can we get real for a bit and talk about what is important beyond all this stuff about interests and physical attraction. OF COURSE we have to have all that. But first can we talk about what is really important?

Everyone on these dating sites says that they have no “baggage” and/or want someone “without baggage.” It’s cloaked in “drama” sometimes, too.

I find that not just funny and absurd—it’s frankly self-centered. And perhaps as clearly, it’s just plain fanciful.

We bring our pasts (yes, it’s called baggage) with us every day, into everything we do. Every last one of us does this to some degree whether we admit it or not.

The keys, then, are first to be honest about it, second to be willing to accept that it may negatively impact us and create internal pain or fear of loss, third to be willing to do the internal work to minimize it and its effects, and forth to seek a relationship with someone who has sufficient emotional maturity to work with us when the effects spill into our joint lives and create that most dreaded word in the dating world— “drama.” And this could not be more important: we must each seek, as best as we can, to give grace when that spillage and “drama” occurs.

But here is the real magic: when, in relationship, we help each other to grow through that past and into something beautifully new. Into something uniquely “us.”

This all takes a willingness to be accountable to God, to each other, and to ourselves. We must be willing to look at our own poor reactions and thoughts and see how they negatively (or positively through growth) impact others. The question is, do we want to be stuck in the bad places, patterns, and baggage, or do we want to grow in relationship? More precisely, do we want to be a part of helping our “mate” grow through his or her “issues,” “baggage,” or what ever people want to call it?

Credit to Tony Haines for verbalizing some of these concepts in a LONG phone conversation. Tony, on your worst day, I want to be you.