The texts, e-mails and phone calls were rolling in. If there was ever a time I needed a receptionist, this was it. I had just gone on a first date and word was spreading rapidly.
“OMG!! I AM SO EXCITED!! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Woot! Woot!” my aunt sent via text message.
“Tell me everything!” my best friend said at the beginning of a lengthy phone call.
“So, how did it go?” my college roommate questioned in an e-mail.
I excitedly answered each and every message, detailing my anticipation for the possibilities that may lie ahead while also curbing the over-enthusiasm of many friends who had already forgotten that it was only our first date, not our 10th. I marveled at the number of relatives and friends, some married and others unmarried, who took the time to express their excitement and joy about this simple first date.
Time magazine reported this summer that a healthy social life with strong friendships leads to a longer life. Numerous health institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, support the idea that strong social networks made up of family and friends can reduce one’s stress levels while also increasing a sense of belonging, sense of self-worth and feeling of security – all things that singles need when navigating through the dating scene.
I’ve been blessed by a strong support system, one that has stood by me through first dates as well as painful break-ups. They’re the people that encourage me to hold out for the best, to demand respect and to always have faith in the greater plan.
Each of us has unique friendships and support networks that stand beside us through all of life’s triumphs and defeats, and as Catholic singles, we must rely on these people to remind us that the right person may only be a first date away.