I want to take the opportunity with today’s post, to respond to some criticism my blog and I have come under in the last few weeks. A recent conversation led to more conversations and finally, with the (my) realization that there IS, in fact, real merit to some of the complaints. And I, as much as I hate to admit it, have some repair work to do.
Admittedly, for this approval-hungry ENFJ (Meyer’s Briggs Inventory) and high “I” (DISC Inventory) and “Sanguine (Dolphin)” (Personality Profile Inventory) girl, …receiving criticism, regardless of how truthful it may be, is quite jarring. …Even painful. So… I’ve given a lot of thought to the reproach I received, to my reaction to the negative feedback and ultimately, to my goals for this blog and my “voice” as I report on the world of dating.
Here are the comments/criticisms I’ve heard, with my reactions to each.
- “The blog is too mean. “
This one came as a shock. Here I thought that the snarky edge in my written “voice” was just part of my blog ‘character’ that I use to convey my thoughts. But, as I’ve been reflecting on this idea, I’ve had to admit that I HAVE taken a slight turn toward the harsh – more edge than I want to have. I DO want to have a sassy spunk. I DO want to have a sarcastic bite to my tone. But, I don’t want to be downright hurtful or mean. One friend said that the snark was so thick, that people couldn’t see my heart. And, while this isn’t exactly an inspirational, feel-good blog, I do want it to be known that I HAVE a heart!
And so – to that end, I’m making a commitment to dial back the snarkiness ever so slightly, so that I can bring the blog back to a place of sarcastic, but not hateful humor.
2. “You hate men.”
Ok, this one cracks me up. I hate men? I’m SEARCHING for a man! The whole POINT of being online and going on these dates is to find a man for myself. I think men are great. Hellooooo…I want one of my very own! I don’t hate them. I DO hate the difficulties of navigating the differences between the sexes, the way they behave and communicate,…but that’s also part of the fun – delving into the puzzle and learning how to be in relationship with people of the opposite sex. I am certainly far from being a man-hater. I’m more like a man-hunter. And along the way, I’m having a lot of fun befriending other men.
3. “You’re not explicit enough about your Christian faith.”
This one is on purpose. I want the blog – and my life – to be accessible to as many different people and different belief systems as possible. And I want the fact that I put my faith in Christ, to come across in the ‘between the lines’ of my life, not in me being preachy in my writing. In the course of writing this blog and going out with men from dating sites, etc., I’ve met some AMAZING people who span the spiritual continuum from atheists to (as my atheist friend calls them), “hard core Christians.” And I SO value the friendships of the people who believe differently than I do, that I don’t want anything in the way of that. That’s NOT to say that I am ashamed of my beliefs or have watered them down to be friends with people who aren’t where I am. I still go to church. I still pray. I’m still a theology nerd. I still struggle with my own spiritual journey and understanding what it really means to be a follower of Christ in this broken world.
But, the blog isn’t a place where I need to plant my spiritual flag. And that’s not how I operate. I try to live my life authentically and in doing so, hope that the light of Christ in me will shine – without me having to SAY it.
I actually have a post in my drafts folder right now, discussing the difficult aspect in dating, of HOW to see if you line up with someone on this front… so, stay tuned. The post is not, in any way, written to persuade,…but only to bring to light how hard it is to bring UP this topic on first or second dates… trust me…it’s not exactly a sexy talking point.
4. “You do too many ‘XYZ’ kind of posts and not enough ‘ABC’ ones”
Or “Who is your target audience ANYway?”
Let me begin by saying that I want to accomplish ALL of the following:
– General comedic entertainment
– Dating/Relationship Advice
– Creating solidarity with fellow women AND men in the dating trenches
– Storytelling about my own and others’ experiences in the dating world
– Discussion about men, women and relationships
– (once my website is launched) – Dating Services (help with profile writing, links to photographers, etc., and even an “Ask Sarah” column…more on all this later)
Unfortunately… I can’t seem to please everyone all the time. But I CAN admit that I sometimes get on ‘kicks’ where I neglect one facet of the blog. I’d like to have posts about my personal dating life, online dating in general, relationships and of course, continue the “winner’s circle” editions with the (literally) ridiculous photos. But, I am going to try to diversify more, as well as include more of the GOOD stories from my dating life.
To be honest, the majority of my dates are quite lovely. And I plan to talk about those more, while hopefully keeping my sassy ‘flavor.’
In fact… in the advent season, I’m going to be writing a mini-series: “The 12 Dates of Christmas” in which I’ll go on 12 dates between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where the men know ahead of time that I’ll be blogging about the dates afterwards – good, bad and everything in the middle. In fact, one guy has already agreed, but on the condition that he write his OWN interpretation of the date and have me link to HIS blog! It’s gonna be fun. Again – stay tuned.
Basically – consider this a face-lift. Everything you love about the blog – the snarky frivolity and sassy take on dating – will remain. I’m just going to take some of the biting edge out of my “voice.” Be patient with me, as finding this balance sometimes seems nearly impossible. And thank you to those of you who’ve stuck with me.
Lastly – if you know someone who’s read the blog and was offended, or if you’ve felt that way – I encourage you to hang in there and see if it doesn’t soften a bit and nestle right back into your reading/entertainment sweet spot.