A Man Fast…

Hello World!!!

Since time permits me from writing my usual magnum opus (just kidding), I have decided to dash off a quick but hopefully punchy post. Hopefully, the topic will be meaty enough to inspire your thoughts and your comments. (PLEASE post your comments. It helps my self esteem:))

So here goes. In recent years, I have taken periodic breaks from dating. One of my friends humorously refers to these breaks as my man fasts. Whenever I feel like I’ve become obsessed with finding “The One,” dated a “wildly inappropriate” man or found myself at the end of a gut-wrenching relationship, I’ve found it helpful to allow my heart to simply rest. During these breaks, I try to reflect on how I may have contributed positively or negatively to the relationship, read numerous relationships books (Remember “He’s Just Not That Into You.”); and reflect on God’s will for my life in the area of romantic relationships. Usually, these man fasts last about six months. I usually rebel at the start of my fasts, but by the end of these fasts, I feel like I’ve given myself a priceless gift – the gift of solitude. And as an added bonus, I have found that the next man that comes along is higher up the man food chain, if you know what I mean. Maybe because I’m choosing out of a place of peace rather than desperation…I don’t know…I have found that inner work precedes outer results.

Anyway, my friend, Soul Daddy (check out his Web site at souldaddymusic.com), sent me a link to an article in which a Christian comedian discussed the pitfalls of her online dating. However, the main point of the article that struck me was how she decided to forgo dating for a while. By the end of the article, she was happily married. And yes, I do want to be married someday, and I do believe my man fasts are leading me in this direction. (Even if my friends make fun of me!)

Read the MSN article below. It’s a very easy read. Any thoughts?

Can faith & online dating mix?

By Jennifer Derryberry Mann

Online dating gives us the unique chance to choose our potential dates—a particularly big challenge for those of us who value religion anda chiseled upper body. No one knows that better than Kerri Pomarolli (www.kerripom.com), the author of If I’m Waiting on God, Then What Am I Doing in a Christian Chatroom?In the book, she offers up true tales of her online dating experiences… like clicking on the hotties instead of the guys who shared her faith. Now an advocate for trusting God and using dating sites with a clear purpose in mind, she doesn’t claim to have the recipe for love, but she does have a few guidelines for single Christians online.

Q: What does it mean to be “waiting on God”?
A: For me, waiting on God was about getting to a place where finding a husband didn’t run my life. I couldn’t go three minutes without thinking about getting a date, and eventually I took a year-long hiatus from dating, which let me prepare for what God had in store for me. I don’t think we give God enough credit in our dating lives. We’re like, “I’ll do this, Lord, and then You just bless it.” And God’s like, “Hey, Kerri, I parted the Red Sea. I think I can find you a husband.”

Q: What mistakes did you make when you dated online?
A:My heart was totally in the wrong place. I didn’t pray about it. I was never intentional or really thoughtful about online dating. The first time I logged into a dating site was at 2 a.m. after having run into my ex and his fiancée on my birthday. I’d look at the pictures first and skip the profiles if the guys weren’t hot. I wanted an investment banker who looked like an Abercrombie model. But when it came time to pray, those guys thought I was a zealot.

Q: What are some other unexpected wrong moves people might make?
A:Saving yourself emotionally for marriage is important. For the longest time, I’d spill everything on the first date: Here are my hopes and dreams, here’s my heart. When you break up with me, you can crumple it up and give it back to me. Online, especially, it’s so easy and tempting to be free and not hold anything back. I found out the hard way that you don’t have to be physically promiscuous to be vulnerable. How are you going to feel if you’vehad these soul-searching conversations, and then he stops returning your calls? Also, if you’re obsessive-compulsive about online dating, like I was at times, you might want to have a sponsor. It’s good to have friends who can hold you accountable, so they can ask, “How many hours were you on today?”

Q: What finally changed for you?
A: I started crying out to God for real help and understanding. I changed, and I did it without losing any of the things that God loves about me—not my fun, or my spontaneity, or my spark. I got to six months of not dating, and I was amazed that I was OK when I found myself at home on a Friday night with no date. That’s a secret struggle for so many of us, but God’s message is that He’s there and that we’re never alone.

Q: So how did you finally meet the man you married?
A:One guy I met through onlinedating became a friend of mine, and he actually introduced me to my husband out in the real world. I met Ron on a comedy trip. He was this token Irish comic, wearing a red Hawaiian shirt, shorts, black socks—the worst! But he and Rich, our mutual friend, prayed for me before the show, and I thought that was the coolest. We became friends. Later, when we were traveling together on another trip, he brought my favorite doughnuts, and we were having a great time laughing and joking. I’d never wanted to date “the nice guy.” By the time that trip was over, I’d fallen and was like, “This is crazy, God!” I had been on a dating hiatus for about a year. I’d broken all my rules — never date a friend, never date a comic — but he was just so thoughtful. He called my father to ask for permission to date me. I never give guys like that the time of day, and there’s no way I would have seen Ron in that romantic way if I hadn’t had my eyes on God. But I did!

Jennifer Derryberry Mann is a columnist for Spirituality & Health magazine and the former editor of Science & Spirit magazine. She writes, edits and teaches yoga in Minneapolis.



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16 thoughts on “A Man Fast…

  1. I agree with article, Jackie. It makes a great point, “if you focus on your God-given purpose, everything else falls in line” The young lady is a Christian comedian and met her mate while fulfilling her ministry.

  2. I think “breaks” can be very useful for some people, but as you know, I don’t think they’re necessary for everyone. The main point of the article, though, that I completely agree with, is that keeping your focus on God will result in the right guy (or job or opportunity) coming along AND in your ability to recognize it when it does. THanks for sharing!

    ~~~ Nicola D.

  3. Hey, Jackie

    Great job. Bunny Wilson talks about doing a man fast in Knight in Shining Armor, which I think is an excellent book for singles. I was on one just before I met my husband. It helped me be more God focused when I encountered my future husband. It also helped me stay pure and not rush into anything.

  4. That’s funny, I originally read your title as”A Man Fast”–as in, “I want a man fast!”

    There are definitely perils in rushing into emotional vulnerability too quickly. Like a lot of other things in life, it seems like relationships turn up exactly when we don’t expect them. Not that getting out of the expectations game is easy. Let us know if your latest experiment helps…

  5. @Nicola D. I know that you don’t agree with my “man fasts,” (ha,ha) but I know that God directs each of us differntly…as long as we follow His guidance, then we are headed in the right direction!

    @Damola I read that book during my ’20s, and I halfway tried a fast back then, but my heart and head weren’t really into it. Now I realize what she was talking about. I actually met her too. Thanks for commenting. Please continue to visit my blog!

  6. I read it as “get a man fast” too. Maybe a chapter in your book can be, “Want a man fast? Try a Man Fast!” Then you can talk about how it seems when you have the resolve to take a fast from dating, THAT’S when all the men come out of the woodwork.

    It happened to me in reverse. I never met women so fine as when I took a fast from dating back in my 20s!

    Anyway, thanks for the shout out, Ms. Holness. =)

  7. @Soul Daddy – You’re welcome. Yes, all the guys do seem to come out of the woodwork when you’re on a fast, and I love your suggestion for a chapter title! But trust and believe, if a desirable guy comes along while on I’m a fast, I’m not above asking him to wait until the end of the fast, and we can get things poppin’! Some guys have waited around by the way and others have not – it’s a good weeding out tool:)

  8. Wow. A “Man Fast.” That’s the title to a really great self-help book. 🙂 It worked for me. I think I say something about my story on my website. Sometimes you’ve just got to stop kissing frogs and wait until you’re ready for the prince. 🙂

  9. Good post Jackie! You know me though, I believe that a person should do what it takes after a relationship to be happy, healthy and whole. Be it taking a man fast, taking a bath or taking time to cry out to God. I can agree with you though that after you have taken time to heal and listen to God the next man is usually higher up the man food chain! Remember Good old Ken!? Good job Jackie!

  10. I agree with you. Breaks are great for renewing the soul and discovering who you are. I have always found that focusing on myself and doing what makes me happy, attracts the right guy. There is no pressure or desperation. Good post!