I had to explain that I am trying to date while still having fun and work hard. I've made significant steps in the last few years to, as I believe, make myself a better prospect as a husband and father. Still it doesn't feel like I am quite there but I am growing and learning every day.
My grandfather and I got a moment to talk alone and he explained to me that these weren't supposed to be harsh questions or accusations, they just wanted to see me happy. I then talked to him about life and some problems I've been having in the love department. Recently I've been labeled as a "player" among the women I go to church with, which puts a big damper on a dating life there. I had forgotten the age difference so at this point I had to explain what a player was to him. He asked me if it was true. I told him no since I haven't been on a date with anyone in the congregation in at least a year and the last person I did anything with was my girlfriend. He told me not to worry about what those women say, that I should find a women that will have me and then marry her. I think he simplifies it too much but you also have to look at the evidence. He and my grandma dated for 2 weeks before they were engaged and married within a few months. Now they've been married for over 50 years. I guess I'll just have to be on the lookout and try and follow the advice. But I have decided that there is no way that I'm doing the date and be engaged in 2 weeks thing.
Another thing I've been concerned about is that all I hear about marriage and what I know about relationships is that when it's good, it's great but when it's bad, it's really really bad. I voiced my concern and how I didn't want to put anyone else in that kind of a situation. He then asked me this one question and made it all make sense. He asked "If you could have one car in the world what kind would you want?" I replied, "Easy. A Lamborghini Murcielago." He then said, "Ok in order to make that car work and keep it's performance you have to do the maintenance right?" "Of course." This was the point that I realized this wasn't a, "what can i give you before I pass" question. He said, "A marriage is the same way. If you keep up on the maintenance, metaphorically rotate the tires and change the oil, it will be easier and smoother than if you just let it go. Yes you will have rough times when more is needed than a quick oil change but if you do the small things often then the big things aren't quite so big." This small analogy changed my whole outlook on things. Relationships are hard yes, but they can and will get easier and less painful. You just have to take those little steps every day.
All this being said I still don't think I'm ready to be married but I'm less afraid of the unknown. One day it will all work and I'll be able to look back and know when and why it all started.
So that's it for now. Just remember to keep your head on a swivel, split the defense and hit low and it'll all be ok.