Seminary did a very good job at teaching me that it would be really hard—nay, impossible—to date anybody as a young clergywoman. “Don’t even get your hopes up,” should have been printed on my diploma. I, like many others, saw the flood of seminary classmates rushing down the aisle before heading off on internship or to their first church. It was not difficult to conclude that my chances of finding a rewarding relationship would plummet with the laying on of hands at ordination.
Now, fortunately I wasn’t very good at the dating thing and didn’t mind living alone, so it didn’t seem like a huge deal. I’d just experienced the ending of a relationship gone sour, so was feeling particularly
inept at that kind of partnership. I also happen not to be a person who has always craved children or a husband. So, it was kind of a bum deal, but I had accepted and come to terms with the likelihood that I
would be a lifelong singleton.
Two years later, attending my first regional conference as an ordained minister, I met someone who changed everything. I won’t say he’s my soul mate, because this isn’t an eHarmony commercial. But we (more or less) instantly connected, and suddenly we had to figure out how to date as pastors living 300 miles away from each other. How do you navigate those murky waters of being not-quite-single but definitely not being married? How do you draw the line between keeping your private life private and being open and honest with your people? How do you balance your need to be with this person with your call to be with your congregation? Read more