Friday, 26 July 2013

Understanding the Language (Part 1)

I would love to blame my summer of Biblical Hebrew last year for my sudden inability to understand Evangelical dating-ese, but I think the problem might go further back. Way back, like a few light years ago to junior high.

I skipped out of dating in junior and senior high. I would love to say that decision was my choice, a sign of me channelling my inner Cher Horowitz or maybe it was, more accurately, a decision not of my making. Somehow in that choice, that wasn't really my choice I missed out on my chance to learn or at least vaguely comprehend this mysterious language. It sounds like English and I am sure it is English, or maybe was English, just like Cher (the other one) was actually Cher at one point in her life. Every morning when I look at my matches I find myself wondering what kind of alcohol induced game of telephone I've found myself in. Now granted I am sober when I read my matches, it is really all I am willing to offer of myself to the process, so then where is it all breaking down?

I have narrowed down some of the issues which I have examples of (oh screen shots how I love thee), and maybe if we put our heads together, like a gaggle of tourists around a Greek sign we'll be able to figure out where we are headed or at least where we are.

1. The My-I's
2. Cutes
3. Death as Becoming
4. Fem-Men-in-and-out-and-all-around

The My-I's are number one purely for my annoyance and not necessarily my confusion per say. I will say that I am in many respects curious about all of the facts in their appearance. What do the My-I's look like? At present with the site I am using it is often encountered in the "5 Things I Cannot Live Without" as My Jesus, My Salvation, My Bible, My Church, My iPhone, usually followed by the 3 Things I am Thankful For with, My relationship with Jesus, who saved me, My salvation or some other derivation of the Jesus/Holy Spirit or Father God combo and then the last one is always a My ___ (possession). At this point I will say that a majority of profiles (80-90%) demonstrate this phenomena and of those 75% demonstrate it in its majority.  This grates on me, like this grated on my nerves for the five years I worked in pediatrics. It also does not help these men that I work with a 3 and a 6 year old two days a week and they do not even drop the I or the M words that often.

So what happened?

Did Gen Y become the "why meeeeeeeeee" generation at some point and I missed that moment while I was busy being a junior homemaker, balancing a job, school and parents? Even if that did happen, which I doubt it did, I do not feel comfortable with forcing Gen Y to shoulder the blame for this issue when I think the "personal relationship" aspect of the modern Church has a part to play. In all our desire for the me and Jesus relationship we have lost the we and Jesus, the community. I am not suggesting the movement from a corporate understanding of faith and salvation to an individual one is wrong. However, in this manifestation it sounds a lot like the Finding Nemo seagulls and not like a beneficial understanding of the relationship between God and humanity.

I will confess (to you all - how lovely corporate confession is) that these men normally get kicked to the no pile really fast. Why? In the end I'm looking to marry a partner. It is a red flag to me when everything can only be framed in terms of me and I. I become very worried that I am dealing with at best a poorly behaved 3 year old and at worst a pathological narcissist. In the immediate terms of online dating it also makes starting a conversation hard when it is framed all about them. Where exactly do you jump in and get the discussion going? Should I ask how your Bible or your Jesus is today?  Or is all of this just a sign that #4 is going to be the biggest problem of them all, because maybe it is not so much about it being your Jesus as much as it is about my voice* being nothing compared with yours.

*Voice (definition): auditory communication of life experience, perspective and opinions.

Postscript: While listening to the radio I heard this song and I thought I fit perfectly as she does know how to work the My-I:


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