Hello all. Tonight I’m going to venture into territory that may have my dearest friends and family looking for a book to throw at my head. I’m going to talk about “Meeting Mr. Right, The Process of Finding and. ” Yes. I just got married three years ago. No, I’m not currently living with that husband. Yes, I’m crazy enough to try again and hope I’ll find someone worth having someday. No, I’m not interested in meeting your cousin Normy and seeing his Chewbaka collection.
Seriously. The processing of finding and meeting Mr. Right seems to be a curious and daunting one. Scores of magazine and internet articles are written on the subject. Psychiatrists’ offices across the country are filled with people who have become battle-weary in the never ending search for love. So I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert. On the other hand, I do seem to know several people who are facing that searching process. I like how some people just dabble their toes in the water and test the temperature. Other people just cannonball right in and see what floats to the top. I’m more of a toe-dabbler, I think. I’m sure I probably get crushes on people way too easily and over-think everything to death. What I need pointers on, I guess, is exactly HOW one keeps it slow and casual when meeting and getting to know people. I know it probably boils down to a long list of Do’s and Don’ts. You know, “Do be yourself.” “Don’t text him 5 times the day after you met him.” “Do be honest about your feelings.” “Don’t let the air out of his tires if you see him with another girl.” Stuff like that. But isn’t there some sort of “Keeping it Cool and Casual” primer that tells you exactly what to be thinking in your head when there’s a possibility that you might have a date or two with someone in the near future?
Not that this is the case with me. It’s just that I know myself. I know how my imagination and my fantasies get away with me. I know that I’ll be wondering about whether he’ll like the activities at the family reunion or what I’ll take to his parents’ house for Christmas dinner after I’ve known him two weeks. Realizing that these kinds of thoughts are not optimal “keeping it cool and casual’ thoughts, what exactly ARE some KIC&C thoughts?
And while we’re on the subject, I recently read a thread on a message board based on a book about what makes a person “un-dateable.” Some of the items on the list were pretty shallow, like if a man wears any jewelry other than a wedding ring. Others seemed to make a lot of sense, like a person with bad hygiene, for example. So I’m wondering what most people’s deal-breakers are? For me, the biggest deal-breaker would be not being of the same religious faith I am, and being unwilling to consider studying the subject. No point there. The second biggest deal-breaker would be using drugs or being a heavy drinker. I’ve already been married to a smoker, and I didn’t exactly enjoy it, so being a smoker would be a serious pause button. There are a dozen other qualities I could mention, but mostly I would want someone who wants the same things out of life that I do. Someone whose dreams are similar, whose goals are similar, and who is open to life’s possibilities.
Ok, before this begins to sound like a personals ad, though I suspect it’s too late for that, where is the best place to meet the most dateable people? Obviously we want to find people who share our interests, so we should go where people who share our interests meet, right? Like, say, a book club at a library. An art gallery. A sporting event. A community fundraiser. A church event. A concert.
But let’s say we just want to take a chance on a random gathering of folks and we go to a bar. Is it a given that we will not meet the kind of person we want to meet at a bar? Well, that depends on one’s standards. If you want to meet a strong, faithful Christian, odds are- he’s not hanging out at Happy Hour. If you want to meet a Party Playa with a bandana and a bike, a guy who comes complete with tatoos and piercings, then I’d say Easter Sunday Church is not your best bet.
See what I’m going for here? Where you should look depends on what you’re looking for. And on that note, do I even have to go into the whole “What kind of fish you catch depends on the bait you dangle” metaphor? In other words, if you want a guy who’s interested in you for your mind, ditch the miniskirt, high heels, and see-through blouse, and throw on a t-shirt and jeans. Save yourself the trouble of getting insulted when he can’t remember what color your eyes are after a meaningful half-hour conversation.
And finally, the most important ingredient in the Finding Mr. Right recipe. (Or Ms. Right, for that matter.) You have to be complete in yourself first. You have to know who you are and what you’re about. You have to know what you expect from a relationship and what you’re willing to give. You have to love yourself before you can really love someone else and let them love you. It may sound trite, but you know what? I think I’m getting there. I’m not there yet, of course, or I’d have to change my blog title. But this path I’ve been on for a while now has led me to some interesting places. I’m seeing my life less as a series of unfortunate events and more as a winding, meandering, searching, exploring journey. All that I’ve done and seen and been and experienced just adds to the scenery along the way. And the further I go, the more I take from where I’ve been, and use it to tweak where I’m going until I finally arrive there. And hopefully when I do, it will be much closer to Postcard Perfect than it would otherwise have been.
Thanks for being a part of my journey, and good luck to those still working on finding your Other Half. To those who have, count your blessings and be sure to tell them how much you love them every single day. Comments, please share your thoughts on dateable-ness, searching and finding, when to throw them back, and when to open the lid to the livewell!
Until next time,