Ok, hang with me on this one. It seems a little crazy until I break it down.
I’ve been in long-term relationships since I can remember. Honestly? Since high school (other than being single for half of freshman year of college). Until last year when I was single for quite a few months. I’ve blogged about it a lot, feel free to scrape the archives. And yeah, I’m in a relationship now—so, take that. But, ugh, dating was a lot of work and puts you out of your comfort zone.
A few months ago, a beautiful, kind, loyal, and smart friend became single. Ok, more than a few at this point. Like me, she was very hurt. Unlike me, she’s been dragging her feet getting on dating sites. She hasn’t been “ready” (her words, not mine). And I get that. I think you should take the time to heal and get to know yourself a little after a breakup. But now, it’s been awhile. She knows her ex was never good for her, but she’s still grieving a little and not ready to put in the work of online dating. Because, again, it’s work. After a chat and motivational speech with her today, I came to a major realization.
Most of us have a past riddled with relationships that fell into our lap in one way or another. You worked together, you were introduced by friends at a party, you met in college. You got along, it made sense at the time, and you didn’t really have to seek it out in a way that felt like cold-calling. We’ve all done it. It’s easy. It feels safe.
We take these relationships and think, “yeah, ok. This works. Easy enough. I’ll stick with it.” I mean, it’s all I knew for years and years, so yeah, seems normal. And even if it’s not bad, maybe it just isn’t quite right.
But looking back, I got in and stayed in those relationships because they were daintily set down in front of me. I didn’t really pick that person out of a group. I didn’t compare his/her skills, wants, needs with mine. Ok, ok, ok. That’s harsh—I did, and it all seemed ok. I’m not a total lazy fool. But when I think about it, wasn’t it just….easy? Served up to me. Felt good at the time without thinking through the lasting compatibility or life non-negotiables.
Stick with me here.
While online dating, you get to talk to many people you have zero or little connection to friend-wise. Yes, it’s scary. But you have all the control to figure out which of those people (or a few) make the most sense for your needs and wants. Those that share your interests, goals, and aspirations. No pressure from friends. You have to MAKE it happen if you want it. So, you better want what you’re working for.
Of course, we all come across duds (remember this, and this, and this?) Dating is hard, you guys. But when you take matters into your own hands, you can make an unbiased, real, and thoughtful decision on who is actually right for you. Some even have spreadsheets for it. I’m not saying you need to go that far, but hey, if you write down what your partner must have (I’m talking real goals and traits, not physical), they’ll be top of mind. For, you know, when the hottest person alive walks in and you have to remember that this goes beyond looks. And abs.
By the way, if you’re interested in that gorgeous friend I spoke about earlier, I can probably hook you up. Oh, wait. Doesn’t that go against all that up there? Well, maybe just this one time.
Oh, and if you’re into it and want some dating profile help, I gotchu. Head over to http://fixyourdatingprofile.com.