• Ibiyemi Balogun

Dating in a Pandemic…….story of my almost Valentine 🤣🥺



5 days before what was supposed to be my first romantic Valentine’s day and the dude bailed.

Get your cups because this TEA is HOOOOT! Hahaha just kidding…..The truth is, if we open ourselves to LOVE in 2021, we have to have to go through the ups and downs it has to offer.


My first thoughts on love in 2021 is that dating in this Panini, Panasonic, Panorama, Pandemic is the absolute GHETTO! Hear me out, hear me out lol…..it’s not the fact that everything is closed and it gives you fewer dating options, or that we are forced to date online (swipe left, swipe right), or that there is a weird nothingness in conversations because no one is doing anything fun other than staying at home …..its not all those things. It’s the RUSHED nature of intimacy for me. It’s the fact that I’m working from home and so are you, so we can have waaaaay more conversations about who we are and where we are at. It’s the fact that the first meetings and all dates are in the HOME……its -16 degrees outside, there is no such thing as a park/outdoor date! It’s the fact that we are spending HOURS on facetime which lives us living in a bubble of infatuation filled conversations about nothing.

What was sooo funny, is that I can tell that God has really done a good job with me in terms of my personal growth because he walked me through the WHOLE thing. I prayed every morning and every night because I realized that the pandemic was trying to rush me and I said nope, I will take my time. If you had met me merely 2 years ago, I would have told you that I was ready to fall head over heels in love with someone and would have pictured my wedding from the first date. If you had asked me 1 year ago, I would have told you, that I was still interested in love, but trying to control all the variables, like who reached out first, positioning specific topics and listing off non-negotiables, etc. if you meet me today, I am completely different! My strategy is to listen to the holy spirit! That’s IT, nothing profound or extraordinary. What he has been telling me is not to simply “fall” in love BUT to “walk steadily” into love with eyes wide open, guarded heart & spirit, healthy boundaries, and patience.

So why did he bail?? Well, let’s start from the top……..This man pursued me HEAVY, I’m talking romance, gifts, words of affirmation, QUALITY time, active listening, emotional intelligence and most importantly God was there. What he didn’t expect was that I would have physical boundaries around being celibate. I think most of us understand the concept and would like to do it BUT I don’t think we know what it actually means or what it actually takes. Even as I write this, the devil is whispering in my ear saying, you can’t talk about celibacy on the internet, what if your potential husband is out there and he is not down for it, you are limiting your pool…..but I guess I’m doing it anyway because someone may be struggling and can learn from my experience.

I think I’ve always thought about the idea of celibacy as a way to practice self-control and to avoid lust because lust is bad and it clouds your decision-making process. I always thought it was about not “going all the way” or “finding the line” that is acceptable enough BUT wow the holy spirit convicted me. I clearly heard God say that is not about “LUST avoidance” but about “PURSUING GLORY & PURITY”, it’s about making every attempt to glorify God with my life..... That perspective has been somewhat freeing because instead of trying to figure out how far you can go before grace covers you, you can simply ask “is this glorifying God?” Oh mannnnn…..even as I write this, it is sooo convicting….because there is no way you can say “I didn’t know”, or “can’t I just slip and ask for forgiveness after”, or “why is my own always different, why can’t I just do what I want” 🤣🤣 etc…….

Anyways back to my story and this DUDE……. he came in very STRONG and because God was in it, I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t skeptical, I wasn’t trying to control the situation, I was just trying to “enjoy” the season. What I didn’t know, was that “dude” was processing his own struggles and was trying to avoid dealing with the heavy things. He was looking to throw himself into this relationship as a way to avoid the hard conversations he needed to have with himself and ultimately those things won over. It was just unfortunate for him that I wasn’t someone who would just go with things without asking questions. The fact that he was seemingly saying all the right things and doing all the right things didn’t automatically mean brownie points……I mean he asked me to be his girlfriend 3 times, and each time I said not yet because I knew we needed to have a strong foundation and I was willing to wait and be patient in the process. The straw that ultimately broke the camel’s back was the conversation about celibacy and boundaries, although he would tell you that wasn’t it, I know deep down that was it…… I know because that is the risk you run, in this dating landscape and this isn’t the first time things “scattered” after the sex conversation.

Anyways I don’t know what to go on forever, I am still processing, it has been 5 days, and the switch up from talking to someone all day every day to NOTHING is deep. Ultimately, this was a stepping stone and I am glad he was in my life and I had this experience.

These are my quick lessons/takeaways

  1. Dating in a pandemic is tricky and can rush intimacy, pace yourself and involve God.

  2. Don’t be afraid to communicate your boundaries, it helps to build trust

  3. Make time for romance – even in one of the busiest seasons with work, school, leadership training, launching a business etc, I found time for love. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

  4. Be honest with yourself – if you are feeling overwhelmed, communicate it, if you are feeling excited, communicate it, if you feel you can’t communicate what you want with your partner, ask yourself where that anxiety comes from? Are you projecting old relationships unto this one?

  5. God is here with you through this journey, actively seek him throughout the process.

  6. Deepen your personal convictions around sex; if you are NOT sure where you stand, ask God for wisdom, and communicate sooner rather than later, it will lessen the heartbreak.

  7. Just because this didn’t work out doesn’t mean you failed; it just means you are that much closer to what God has for you! God does not want us to settle out of fear of not meeting “the One”.

Wow, that legit took EVERRRRRYTHING out of me. Half the time, when I’m writing these blog posts, I’m asking myself ibiyemi, why are you putting yourself on blast like this?? And then I hear the holy spirit say trust me, someone needs to hear this…..so there you have it.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, no matter your status – single, newly single, dating, engaged, married, etc., use this time to reflect and show love and gratitude to the ones in your life.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me.

Ibiyemi


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