I knew the day would come when men became more than ideas and quaint coffee meetings turned into actual adventures to know each other better… and feelings started to muddle my sensibilities. Though I am careful and analytical I’m also a big old ball of emotional energy and knew it would behoove me to have a plan in place to keep my passions at bay and really, truly make sure the next time is the last time. Now that I've been dating for a while, I am more grateful than ever that I listened to wise counsel from friends and family and thought this through before getting wrapped up in feelings.
So the plan… what is my plan? Well in a nutshell: I'm not having sex and not falling in love and not dating exclusively at this time in My Middle...but am definitely investing focused time in getting to know good guys and doing fun stuff!
First of all, here’s the truth… I don’t want to be alone and certainly don’t want to be abstinent any longer than I need to. As much as I want to stop sexual offenses, I love good sex and I miss it dearly! I’ll be good until I’m married, but I’m not waiting years! I believe I’m a quality female with a personality, passion, body, soul, mind and spirit that is attractive to any number of good men (and all my single lady friends out there thinking they’re not… please, see the beauty within yourselves- we are beautiful, worthy of love and affection and worth a good man’s pursuit). I believe I shouldn’t have to search or wait for years for “the one” because, there are many high-quality men that I would partner well with. Instead of waiting and hoping for the perfect guy and time I’m condensing both into a short period. I don’t intend to be single much more than a year longer.
Feelings and signs failed me in the past it makes sense to me to meet good guys and do fun stuff and see who sticks, and who I’ll pair best with and then move on because as much fun as it is, dating is also time consuming and emotionally exhausting. I want to know the man I enter into a relationship with before we take that step. So I’m taking this time to learn about genuinely good men. Does my ‘plan’ reduce God’s ability to move in my life? No! I would say God knows me, He knows how passionate I am and will bring, (if He hasn’t already) the man that will be at the end into My Middle so that I can get to know him now.
I have been and will continue to be accountable and honest. I want this time to get to know good guys and do fun stuff not to fall in love or in bed with someone. God holds my heart safely in His hands and I have set conservative physical boundaries. I will only kiss while I’m dating because any more than that, in my opinion, dishonors God, myself, the men I’m seeing, and the man who will be the last lover of my life. I cannot see who is down the road, except to say he will be good, honorable, dignified, godly, fun and fit. I do not expect anyone to 'wait' for me... unless that is what they feel called to do. I know, as there are with me, there will be issues with every man, no one but Jesus was perfect. I'm not looking for the perfect guy, I'm looking to get to know good, normal men to know what they act like, to see what's typical and in due time take the next step into a relationship with someone I've become friends with, to know their character, habits and hang-ups, cause we all have them.
I don't know how it plays out, I just know my intention isn't to hurt anyone but to have fun right now. I’m afraid some men might get hurt because they want more emotionally or physically than what I am willing to give, but I also know I’m not hanging with poor quality guys, they’re good men and any number of good women are available to them. For me it’s all about time… taking time to have fun, to learn what makes the hearts, minds, souls and spirits of good men tick and … to see who sticks, because the thing is, it still all comes down to The Leaving. I’m more than OK with it now but I do not want to be left again, and if I choose wisely, I won’t be.
That’s my plan… I’m going to laugh, I’m going to have fun, I’m going to learn, I’m going to make quality friendships with honorable, high-quality men and I’m going to regret nothing!
And if you like my plan, do me a solid and buy Catching Tatum and check out her plan too!
Years later Cole, as handsome and charming as ever, makes an unexpected reappearance in her life with promises he’s a changed man. He’s got the story to prove it and says he’s willing to follow all of her rules just to have a second chance.
Complicating matters is the strong and steady Airman, Justin Parker, with a heartbreak story of his own. His friendship challenges all she ever knew of loving and being loved.
Will Tatum’s rules help her navigate two very different men, or will she strike out at her own game?