Two Things, If I May: Don’t Be Locked Into A Life-Plan, And Be Yourself ALWAYS!
Dating’s tough for anyone. If you like someone, hopefully they like you, too, and a date, broken down, is essentially a fun, extended interview for the right to see this person every day and every night of your life—if all goes well–until one of you dies.
In my case, I’ve always been hopeful the latter part will be due to natural causes, at a time when I’ve been married for years to the love of my life, with whom I’ve raised a family of good, upstanding citizens into the world. Hopefully, these citizens are liberal, and hopefully they don’t grow up and continually beg me to give them chunks of my hard-earned money, but those are just personal preferences specific to me. I’ve had this “dating plan” for years. Really, it’s a life-plan, isn’t it? I’ve recently come to believe it may have been doing me more harm than good, and that it might be time to jettison the plan.
Is it time to jettison your plan? To stop searching for Mr. or Ms. Perfect and start searching for Mr. or Ms. Partner? It may be.
Because, of course, the plans we have in our heads very rarely come to exact fruition, no matter what aspect of life they deal in, but especially when it comes to dating. I can write stories (I do write stories) and create characters, and breathe life into them with every word I put down. I can not simply create someone who wants to spend their life with me, though.
And know this, and call it to mind whenever you might need to: We are all human. This means that in addition to being imperfect, no one is Prince or Princess Charming. We all have wonderful things about us, and we all have those things we’re trying to improve. Works-in-progress, every single person you’ll ever know or have known.
If you go into on-line dating looking for perfection, you’re going to be deeply disappointed. Think about the bar scene. How often have you found perfection there? If you’re on-line dating now, the answer is probably: “Never.” While it’s a different scene, don’t expect perfection from on-line dating, either.
If you’re going to find a partner, and we all want to, you need to:
Be yourself from the beginning. If you want to go hiking every weekend, say that. You won’t be dating me, but there’s someone out there who would love the idea. Trust me. They’re all over the on-line dating site I frequent. ALL OVER!!! If you like baseball, keep liking baseball, and like it in front of your date. If you like football, proclaim to them your love of the NFL. If you think, as I do, that watching a 0-0 soccer tie for 90-minutes plus is about as fun as an unexpected jab to your junk, say that. (I feel like saying that in and around Seattle isn’t the safest thing to do, but what the hell? I’m being myself, and soccer is a snore-fest! I also hate those Housewives shows, okay? Hate. As in: Why does anyone watch this crap? Do they think they’re one day going to become a rich housewife with a camera following them around all the time? I don’t watch baseball and think: Tomorrow I’m gonna throw a perfectly located 95-mile-per-hour fast ball.)
Anyway, I digress. Why is being yourself so important? Well, you’re not looking for someone who shares all of your interests—of course you’re not; you don’t want to date you; you already are you—but finding someone who can tolerate most, if not all, of them isn’t a bad idea.
You also need to be yourself when it comes to those things about yourself that you can’t change, and wouldn’t be able to change, even if you tried. We all have them.
I am handicapped. And I know no girl, no woman, in her “life-plan” ever said, “I want to be with someone who’s handicapped.” (It will not be passed on to my children, a fact which I fight to make clear at every chance I get.) But I am handicapped. So I need to find someone open and kind-hearted enough to say, “I like you for you, and maybe even partly because of the things you go through every day.”
It’s easy to say to yourself, “I could be that person.” I know. I’ve met women who’ve said just that.
I am looking for the woman who is that person. Having been on countless dates, some of them turning into friendships that have lasted years, some of them not much more than momentary diversions, I can tell you I’ve looked. And sometimes I can get discouraged. But I’m not giving up! I’m not, and you shouldn’t either! Only by being myself, putting myself out there, and realizing that not all plans are set in stone, will I find the person who will engrave their name into very special quadrants of both my mind and heart.