Friday, February 13, 2015

My Fair Share of Blind Dates


Blind dates are possibly one of the scariest things ever invented. Broaching the topic to another could send that person sprinting in the opposite direction at lightning speed and you won't even have enough time to finish uttering the term. Believe me, I get it. I've agreed to do it one too many times.

The truth is that I just wasn't meeting enough people and I was getting close to 30—lethal combination to the brains of most single people. At the time, I was teaching in university and everyone I found even just remotely interesting or attractive were either married or gay. Well, that or they were clearly pining for someone else. So, I let friends and relatives take matters into their own hands and announced to the Universe, "What the hell, let's do this!"

The first one was through one of my closest friends, M. She said her female boss highly recommended a male friend...single guy, smart, funny and comes from a good family. The guy called me a couple of times before our date, (which, by the way, was to be a group date with my friend and the boss). He sounded okay over the phone, not impressive by my standards, but I promised the Universe I'd keep an open mind. 

On the night we were all meeting up, M and myself arrived first at the restaurant. I wanted it this way so that I can give myself enough time to breathe and calm down before I saw my date. While waiting, my friend and I spotted a few grammatical errors on the menu and killed time making fun of those silly mistakes. I should've taken that as a sign at that point and just called it a night. When M's boss came, she stood by our table, greeted us, and I saw that there was a guy standing behind her. I think at this point I should tell you how much this 'boss' built up her friend so much that M and I were convinced we were going to meet someone with a showbiz-worthy face. No such face showed up. As a matter of fact, when my friend and I saw the guy standing by our table, we were both thinking the same thing..."Where's THE guy? Is there someone else showing up?!"

But, no I didn't walk out. I'm not that superficial. I stayed, had dinner, did my best to have fun, and even let the guy drop me off at my apartment. But I knew I didn't want to see him again. He was completely conceited, shallow and uninteresting and all he seemed perfectly capable of was to brag about his family's textile business and how much money they make. Unimpressive. Simply not my cup of tea, so...moving on....

Blind date #2 was one arranged by a cousin of mine. They said the guy was a bit older than me, definitely mature, successful and looking at finally settling down. I had just come out of a very intense and consuming relationship and wanted to see what else could be out there for me, and so again I said, "Bring it on!"

He was a gentleman. Picked me up from the apartment, made sure to open doors for me, mild-mannered and seemed completely good on paper. He wasn't my usual type but at that point, I was so heartbroken that it probably didn't matter anymore if he looked like Kermit the Frog. He took me to a nice restaurant and I thought it was a good sign that we were having good conversations and I was feeling comfortable. Too comfortable, as a matter of fact, that I crossed over to being verbally incontinent, sans alcohol. There was nothing or no one else to blame but me. I committed the worst first date mistake—over the top self-disclosure. I think I talked about my ex and then I'm pretty sure I used the words 'psychotic' and 'neurotic' quite often to describe myself. Suffice to say that after our meal, I was pretty sure I scared him off badly enough that I wouldn't see nor hear from him again. 

And then of course there was Guy #3 who didn't even give me the chance. We spoke on the phone, another one who's totally great on paper and then NOTHING. No follow through. The friend who tried to fix us up said the guy chickened out. I was upset and mainly only because it felt as if I was weeded out so early that I didn't even get thrown into the lottery drum! What's up with that?!

But as cliche as this may sound, I'm actually grateful that none of those blind dates worked. If they had, then I wouldn't have had the chance to go on another blind date where I finally met my husband. By that point, I just cared enough to show up and look presentable, but didn't care too much to try too hard to stay too focused on results. I showed up as me and thought, "Take it or leave it. I'm way too old and too exhausted to play these games."

Fortunately, it worked. It wasn't instant. It took almost a year after my husband and I first met on that blind date for us to really reconnect and acknowledge that 'we' might be a possibility worth exploring. Yes, our attraction was instant. But we were both not emotionally prepared when we first met and there were way too many loose ends in my life at the time for me to seriously consider having a relationship with him. The delay was needed and ended up being worth it. 

So my point is this. You have to want something badly enough to get it. This includes Love. You have to make the effort to put yourself out there and make your declaration to the Universe as clear as you possibly can that you want THIS. You won't know exactly what will show up, but if you are clear about what you are looking for and know what you deserve, then you'll recognize it when it finally shows up.

You have to be willing to experiment, try new things if you want different results.

Most of all, in your quest for love, you have to value yourself and know that no matter how it all turns out, you will be fine. This is YOUR story, YOUR journey. And every one else you meet, date, fall in love or end up with, are cast members with supporting roles. Your focus should be on how you will evolve as your story unfolds. 

Waiting to see if the frog's just a frog or if it'll turn into a prince is not where the excitement lies. It's in wondering what the princess is willing to do or how far she's willing to go to find what she's looking for and seeing how it's all transforming her as well. To me that's the more interesting story!


































3 comments:

  1. Excellent advice Joy! I met my husband and it was love at first sight as they say. It's usually not that easy and it was a long road to get there but in that moment everything was in sync and almost 24 years later and we're still going strong. When it's right it just is.

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    1. Wow, that's amazing Rena! Thanks for sharing that, and you're absolutely right. When it's right, the stars do end up aligning!

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  2. Yup, love, like everything else is work.

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