Thoughts about dating and things

A friend of mine wrote me an email:

> I thought of joining up with….

And I wrote her back. Here’s some of my ideas on the topic:
* * * * *

Hmmm. I have some thoughts on this. I spent a few months last summer giving the whole internet thing a try, really being open-minded to see how it works, what works or doesn’t work, and what it costs–both in finances, effort, time, emotion, etc. My conclusion? It’s not worth it. It’s not the best use of my time, efforts, or money. It’s too easy to get either cynical or frustrated or depressed, which is never a healthy path to go down. And that comes from someone who’s already self-confident and extroverted and even someone who’s very comfy and savvy on computers.

No, it’s not worth it in my opinion.

My beliefs about meeting someone include the following:
(1) I’ll meet someone in my existing social circles.
(2) I’ll meet someone in a new social circle.
(3) or I won’t meet anyone at all.

That sure takes the pressure off it all! 🙂 How easy and simple–I either will or won’t meet someone. That’s it. *laughs heartily*

In the meantime, there are some things I can do: (a) I can work on myself and my own internal health. I can get back into the gym and be physically fit, or improving. That’s a good thing, and can only make me feel better and live longer. And it certainly makes me more attractive, whether or not anyone is interested. Looking good, feeling good–it benefits me personally and all my friends and family. I’m better able to be there for them.

(b) I can pursue my dreams and my accomplishments. I can figure out what matters the most in my life, and set the wheels in motion to be a success and achieve my goals. Some of my goals are about putting my health in order. Some are about putting my financial house in order. Some goals are about being a great employee. Some goals are about being a good friend and family member (remembering birthdays if just for a short email or a short phone call, or remembering to put a card in the mail; or visiting the people I’ve been thinking of but never got around to seeing).

Some goals are much bigger–like learning to do the AIDS ride some day on bicycle, or learning to be fluent in ASL. Or studying some of the research for my arts and crafts projects, organizing the supplies in my house, and setting aside regular times to work on sewing or knitting or spinning yarn or working with leather.

Other goals are smaller–like just picking up the house regularly, always having the dishes put away, always making my bed, vacuuming more regularly, scrubbing the downstairs bathroom, or finally tackling the garage and those boxes I don’t want to deal with.

Other goals are internal–not getting frustrated with my roomies about the cleanliness of the house. If I want it cleaner, I could clean it myself AND make sure that I work on my internal attitude–to be thankful for the health and the time to do the cleaning. And to be thankful for the ability to do something in service of other people.

You see the pattern? I have just myself to worry about, and how I affect the people around me at home, in my family, at church, at work–and if I always work on making myself better, how can I be worried about being single? I just want to shrug it off and tackle the things I can affect in my life. I can’t just go looking for someone to date. But if I make myself a more wonderful person to be around, I’m more likely to be attractive to someone. And if I stay single anyways, at least I’ll still be even more pleasant company than I am already and so being single will be a joy and a comfort, not a burden and a heartache.

This is the only thing I’ve learned in the past mubmmbledy-mum years. I have to be the best person I can be, and no less. One, because it’s good for me. Two, because it’s good for the world around me. And most importantly, at the core, because God asks me to be. The rest is up to Him, so why should I stress about it?

Now, I’m not so “shrug it off” as to not know what matters to me in a partner someday. I took the time to write down in a list the things that matter to me. The things that are non-negotiable, and the things that are just attractive and fun but not necessary. My closest friends know what matters to me, and I tease them that they are part of my “Yenta Team.” You know the show “Fiddler on the Roof” ? The Jewish matchmaker character, her name is Yenta. So if my friends happen to meet someone that would be a likely candidate, they’re on the look-out for me. I trust them, and I trust myself. Either someone will be right or they won’t.

I don’t have to worry about [figuring out who might be attracted to me], I don’t hang out in bars, I don’t go looking. But I have my eyes open, my ears open, my friends prepped and ready to recognize someone. That’s all I can do, and I can leave it at that.

There’s plenty for me to worry about and fix in my life, and it’s been a matter of learning to put “find a mate” much lower on my priority list than ever before. Talk about getting rid of a burden! 🙂

She wrote:
> … I don’t know, maybe I’ll just stay single.

Well, I like to look at it this way–what can I learn about myself and my life from all the relationships I’ve had in the past? I have *tons* of horrible relationships in my past, and that list I wrote that I mentioned before? Most of it comes from the “lessons learned” from these bad relationships. Since I’ve been through the bad ones, I know what matters for finding a good one. And I’m not planning to compromise on the things that matter–which is another reason I think I’ll be single and not looking but not closed to the idea if someone just happened to show up.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts about dating and things

  1. Dayle says:

    Studies have indeed shown that you’re more likely to attract someone if you’re happy and content with your life. That old “If you can’t love yourself, how can you love anybody else” adage has a lot of truth to it.

    Plus, love isn’t something you can force. While sometimes dating services and blind dates and whatnot can be effective, you’re more likely to find someone you’re compatible with if you’re out and about doing the things you enjoy doing–because you’re going to meet people who enjoy the same things. And since I happen to know that some of the things on your “want list” include compatibility in certain pasttimes, you’re obviously headed in the right direction. 🙂

    For my own experience, all I can say is, the two major relationships I had showed up when I was specifically _not_ looking for relationships!

    Love ya, sunshine!

  2. Cat Ellen says:

    True, true, but sometimes it just takes putting it into words to remember how you feel about it all. Trying to explain it to someone else helped me coalesce my thoughts into something more coherent.

    Heaven knows I hate the cliché response, “Oh, when I stopped looking that’s when I met the most wonderful person!” which is usually poor comfort from someone acting superior about their happy new marriage, and happens most frequently in certain conservative religious circles. To that I just say, “Eww, please!”

  3. Dayle says:

    I didn’t mean it as a cliché, although in the first case did I consciously think “I’ll stop looking now.” I’d broken up with my first long-term bf, and I was headed off to study in England, and I didn’t want another long-distance relationship. I decided I was just going to go out and have fun for a few weeks and then take off. Damned if I didn’t meet somebody I couldn’t shake! [g]

    I guess another way to circle around and say basically the same thing is that if you’re thinking “My life isn’t complete w/o a partner”–even if the thought comes out more like “I’m actively seeking a partner”–then rather than being fulfilled by what you put in to and get out of life, you’re basing your happiness on someone else. (By “you”, I mean “people in general”, not you personally! [g])

    Hey, is this a private entry? It doesn’t show up on your list of entries for the month.

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