Thank you again for joining me on this journey into podcasting! This post is a reflection on my Episode 2 about love relationships, so if you haven’t listened to the podcast or read the podcast episode, please feel free to grab a listen on Spotify, or just read my previous blog post 🙂 As I’m typing this, my podcast is being reviewed for Apple Podcast/iTunes and iHeartRadio, so you may be able to listen to the next episode on those platforms if you prefer!
As I mentioned in the episode, it seems like society as a whole is moving towards feeling ashamed about our feelings, and that’s really tough on relationships! If you just go through Reddit, it’s filled with “I can’t tell if she’s not interested or playing hard to get?” or “Is he not texting me because he’s actually busy, or because he’s cheating?”. Relationships are hard as it is; two individuals from completely different backgrounds are coming together in hopes of figuring out something cohesive is no easy feat! And even for those of you who aren’t in the dating scene for long-term commitment or marriage, it can still get tough sometimes to voice when your feelings are hurt, or intense. Now, adding shame to the mix, it’s just a recipe for blocked communication and lack of closure, and frustration.
There really is no need to be ashamed of who you are or your feelings, because it’s honest – “[love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6). In order to have a strong basis and foundation of love in your relationship, you would have to be honest. The background of 1 Corinthians 13 is that Paul is reminding the Corinthians that they cannot show how “great” they are with a false sense of love for God, based on their spiritual gifts and actions. Love must come from the heart – both towards God and towards one another. Someone who glorifies God for all their riches but refuses to share his wealth with others is not truly showing love for God, simply a love for money. Likewise, someone who gives all his money to the poor to show off how much he glorifies God is not loving God and others, but their own reputation. In the same sense, if our love is so tainted by shame and fear that we begin to show ourselves in a different light, then what are we really caring about over our relationship?
I thought that this would be a perfect week to share with you some of my really awkward and embarrassing dating stories. Honestly, don’t take yourself so seriously. Life is so short, too short to keep holding a grudge against ourselves for embarrassing moments. Laugh a little at yourself, and realize that life happens. It’s not within our control, and it’s okay. We don’t have to be afraid to show the dorky, quirky, weird sides of ourselves to anyone, because that’s what makes life (and relationships) so much more entertaining and fun!
So, for this first story, you have to note that while I am fluent in English, there are things I say a lot more in Cantonese to my parents, and it can be hard to think of in English on the spot. This was the case for a date I had back in high school. We had gone to a local Taiwanese bakery, and I was explaining to my boyfriend at the time what each of the different pastries are. I struggled so much with remembering the word “meat” that I just ended up explaining one of the pastries as “This has a soft bun with cooked flesh and veggies inside”. He looked at me with the weirdest expression, and asked, “Flesh?” It took me a while to realize what it sounded like! I remember I was so embarrassed about it, and I still could not for the life of me remember the word “meat”, so I just flicked my hands downward as a way to imitate the plopping of the filling into the dough, but that obviously did nothing to mime what “meat” actually is. At this point, my boyfriend caught on and realized I meant “meat”, and teased me relentlessly. Now, I’ll always remember it’s called MEAT, not FLESH!
This second story is similar in that sometimes words just escape me. I was out on a first date with someone, and we were wandering through a furniture store. I wanted to express that one of the tables looked like a pool table, but I couldn’t remember that it’s called “pool”, so I described it as, “I know it’s not called poker, but it’s the game where you poke the ball.” That has been the joke of our entire relationship, but hey, it didn’t make him turn away!
Have you ever fallen asleep and woken up disoriented? That happens to me all the time – after food, I get food coma like none other. Add that with a car ride? I’m knocked out. (I used to get motion sickness a lot as a kid, so usually whenever I get in a car as a passenger, my first instinct is to sleep.) I try not to during dates, because that can be really rude. While other girls are trying to eat very little on first dates to seem dainty, I’m just eating little so I don’t fall asleep! But anyhow, I was on a second date with a really sweet guy, and we had dinner together after work. He told me it was fine if I fell asleep, because he knew I had a long date, so I eventually did while we were stuck in traffic. When I woke up, my first instinct was to always crack my neck, because it was really stiff. It cracked super loudly, and I completely forgot I was on a date! He looked over at me, shocked, and then he started laughing really hard. I turned bright red, and I remember thinking “Welps, I guess the second date is the last.” But his reaction was so different from what I expected, because he said, “I’m so glad you’re comfortable with me,” and cracked his own neck! He said that he was dying to do that the whole night, because he sits at a desk all day, and his neck gets very stiff. We did go on a few more dates, though the relationship never panned out. See? Showing our unrefined side isn’t always a bad thing!
Something that happened with my current boyfriend is a wine-tasting fest. I was invited by my friend who works at a winery up in Napa, and so we went, dressed up to this nice event. He bought cheese and crackers, and unbeknownst to us, there was hummus spread on the crackers! I took a bite and spat it out as soon as I tasted it, but it was too late. My chickpea allergy kicked in. I went from slightly buzzed from a few small shots of wine to black out drunk as my immune system freaked out. I only remember snippets of throwing up all over the place, and out the window of our Uber. Not only did my boyfriend pay an extra nice tip for the Uber driver, but he cleaned up after me, and stayed with me through the night to take care of my throwing up and drunken state. Apparently I had lost a shoe during the whole fiasco, but now we laugh at it, and I’m his Cinderella, and after him taking care of me in my worst, I’d have to say that I see him as my Prince Charming 😉 Jokes aside though, despite the fact that I felt so embarrassed the morning after, seeing how understanding he was gave me so much assurance and security in our relationship.
If you all think this is pretty tame, let me tell you the most embarrassing date that has ever happened in the history of ever in my life. This happened very early on in a relationship with someone, and I still don’t know why he stuck around. I think this may have been maybe the third date in? I am not lactose intolerant, but I’m lactose sensitive, so I usually need something to “cushion” dairy products, otherwise it goes straight out the other side. We had a pretty decent-sized lunch, before we went to A la Minute, an ice cream shop in Redlands. I thought it would be okay, because I had already eaten, but I was wrong. It was a thirty minute drive from where we were at, and I guess in those thirty minutes, my stomach had already digested my lunch. Because of that, my tummy was not feeling very good after the ice cream. After an agonizing 15 minute carride, I ran to a nearest bathroom and exploded. It was so loud, and it hurt so bad, and stank really bad, too. I am pretty sure he heard me from outside the bathroom 🙁 Somehow, he still miraculously continued to ask me out on dates. I guess our bodily functions aren’t anything to be ashamed of!
While there is definitely dating etiquette, especially in terms of the first few dates, ultimately we are real people dating other real people. We’re all imperfect, and we have moments where we are gross and annoying, and all that good stuff. These are things that make us real, and so rather than judging others and ourselves for these “real” things, let’s embrace it! Let’s not be afraid of rejection, let’s not feel ashamed for being who we are. We’re all works in progress, slowly changing and being molded into the men and women that God intended us to be. I hope that by sharing with you some of my awkward and embarrassing moments, you can also be inspired to reflect back and laugh with ourselves on the moments that we have felt ashamed of and scared to admit. 🙂