Over the last few days, I have had some great discussions with some wonderful friends who are truly blessings in my life. If you've known me for five minutes, you know that I am working to put more and more of my trust in God and steer away from "going it alone." Often, I ask God to send me signs, to let me know that I am on the right path or that I am following His will. I think He's been talking to me through some friends over the last few days. Or my friends are just particularly wise.
Upon announcing that I intended to take a self-imposed break from online dating for the remainder of 2010 (perfectly coordinated since my birthday is 8 days before New Year's), I decided that I'm going to ease off in general. I have thought through my actions over the past few months and seriously think that I'm putting too much pressure on myself. I have that impending doom complex, as if I'm never going to find someone if I don't do it before December 22. The giant stop watch on the wall is ticking out of control, and I've got that feeling that I'm going to be the last car to cross the finish line, losing the Race of Life. None of this is true, of course, but I've had that mentality the last few months, complaining if I'd gone a certain amount of time without a date or that not one of my dates turned into anything beyond company for dinner. I have enough pressure from the outside world and don't need to add any more to the pile myself. I'm going to enjoy these last couple of months and do whatever it is that I want to do from now until 2011.
I was sharing this new epiphany with a friend last night who was also feeling the strains of perpetual Singleton-status until a few months ago when she figuratively tripped over a guy that she's very much into these days, and the feelings are mutual. She's happier than I've ever seen her, but learning to balance a relationship with a life that has been accustomed to being a party of one is a bit more challenging that she had initially thought. As she was giving me insights and advice on how to maintain this balance successfully, she must have glanced over and noticed my face full of doubt. I hadn't intended to have such an expression, but apparently I wasn't doing a good job of hiding it while focused on my new exercise routine. I knew immediately where the conversation was headed: "You'll find it as soon as you stop looking." Heard it a million times, but what exactly does it mean? Make sense of that for me and I'm happy to follow suit! If I stop looking, then I won't seem available. If I don't seem available, I'm unapproachable. If I'm unapproachable, then I'm still single. And how long exactly do I "stop looking?" What's the cut-off? Do I say "Well, I'll stop looking for six months and if he hasn't found me yet, then I'll pick up where I left off?" What if I "stop looking" myself right into another decade of Singledom? Does "stop looking" mean to still go out to all the places that Singletons gather in hopes that the special someone you desire hasn't also "stopped looking?" Urgh.
But, I had rushed to judgment of my friend and her conversation skills. She did tell me that she had "kind of" stopped looking at the time that she met her current stud-muffin, but had really taken more of an "I don't care" attitude. She'd come to terms with life as a Singleton and was enjoying it, whether she had someone or not. She was keeping her options open, but wasn't actively seeking constantly. Probably goes along with that notion that men can smell desperation. Once the desperation is gone, they notice you again, not your ravenous need to be in a committed relationship.
She also shared that she could tell that something great was about to happen for me. Although she's not my prophetic friend, it's rare that this friend gives empty encouragements. Since both of us are communications majors with focuses in jouralism and media, we like to have sources in every aspect of life, so I knew that her words were not unfounded. She said she feels like I'm being prepared for something wonderful, that all of these trials and tribulations with online dating and men in the real world are simply prep work for the real prize. I'm learning quickly what I want and don't want without having to waste time on full-blown relationships that would end up going nowhere. I'll give her credit; I hadn't looked at it like that. I was simply looking at it from the "Why can't I get a second date?!" mentality, when her more positive spin makes the whole situation look a little different...and a little brighter. She continued that she thinks all these various men (I mean, good grief, just look at that list ->) are simply helping me branch out from my limited view of the male species, enlightening me to their various facets. I'm kind of test-driving different versions and will get to choose between all of the available options for my custom model in the future. I'm not going far, it's really just around the block, but I'm old and wise enough to make quick decisions for myself at this point. "I'll take the funny, cute, somewhat sensitive in a good way, passionate, intelligent, quirky guy (with basic hygiene and conversation skills, don't forget) who is a cross between Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice and John McClane from Die Hard, please...with a big, red bow. Where do I sign?"
Although she had good evidence for these previous points, she didn't, in fact, have them for her last statement, however nice it was to hear. She just "knows," she said, that it's going to happen for me very soon. She can "feel it." I almost asked her if she'd rigged my fortune from the other night, but thought that my sarcasm might tempt fate. We've known each other for almost ten years and she's never so assuredly said something along these lines to me in all that time. I kind of feel like she wanted me to bet her. That's how confident she was.
|"There's a jungle cat in the bathroom."|