She wants others in her situation, no matter their age, to know that even though they are single, they’re not alone. Anderson devotes a chapter to “grieving singleness” and adjusting for a romantic life and relationships that (so far) haven’t played out as imagined. She also cautions the hopeful not to sabotage the process with unrealistic expectations.
[Editor’s note: Lisa Anderson is a member of Village Seven Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Colorado Springs, Colo.]
Dating can feel like a game of musical chairs to which one has arrived late, especially for older singles who wear the status unintentionally. When the band starts to wrap another set, the pressure (read: panic) can be hard for the accidentally unpaired to ignore.
Lisa Anderson always assumed she’d get married, but when she found herself on her own in her 30s, she made peace with it – or so she thought. The reality of her feelings landed like a sucker punch one day when she decided on a whim to go for a spin on a Ferris wheel.
As a solo rider, she was turned away.
“I never felt more single in my entire life,” wrote Anderson in the anecdote that opens her book, “The Dating Manifesto,” a memoir/relationship guide that the 44-year-old Colorado Springs resident wishes was around when she was in her 20s.
As Focus on the Family’s director of young adults and host of “The Boundless Show,” a national radio program and podcast, Anderson dispenses advice and discusses Christian dating and issues affecting millennials.
She mined her own romantic through-line – misadventures, misconceptions and the wisdom of hindsight – for the book she hopes will help readers break the cycle of dysfunctional dating and set lofty, yet obtainable, relationship goals.
“With other books I’ve read in the past, there were either a lot of formulas or a lot of platitudes: ‘Do x, y, z and you’ll find your prince,’ or ‘As soon as you stop thinking about it, God’s going to bring someone amazing and put them in your lap,'” said Anderson, whose book was published last year by the Colorado Springs-based David C. Cook ministry. “It was all either super prescriptive or super enabling … and just seemed very saccharine to me.”
Anderson’s book is a view of dating from the trenches, with insights garnered from ongoing experiences, rather than the more familiar retrospective work by someone sharing tips that helped them.