Archive for the ‘dating’ Category
I dread talking about “feelings” (ask any boy I’ve dated), and DTR* is pretty much the scariest acronym I know. But I could totally get behind this kind of nerdy pillow talk:
More gems at http://siliconvalleyryangosling.tumblr.com/. Someone please make a coffee table book, stat.
*DTR = Define the Relationship. Not Diesel Truck Resource or Direct to Tape Recording…silly Google.
During a game of “truth or dare” on a date the other night (yes, I’m still in middle school), I was morally obligated to answer: “What is your one non-negotiable when it comes to a significant other?” Which is a rather loaded question, given the context.
I could have gone with “searing wit,” or “really really ridiculously good looking.” Or perhaps a sexual reference, to ratchet up the awkwardness. But instead, I went with my recently discovered truth: he has to be happy.
This seems like such a dumb, overly simplistic answer. On the spectrum of contented pig to unhappy Socrates, you really don’t do yourself any favors by openly aligning with the former (especially if you’re on a date with a rather literary boy). So I felt compelled to justify my answer.
Sorry, Socrates and tortured intellectuals everywhere, but I think our spectrum is way off. We tend to define happiness in such limited, undermining ways – as a product of a naturally perky personality, an unquestioning mind, or a charmed life. But I’m beginning to believe it’s much more than that.
I’ve done some field research. I’m a total sucker for sarcasm and smarts, and have dated my fair share of boys with these attributes in spades. But no matter how witty the banter or big the brain, if their overall outlook on life is a negative one, I’ve found that the attraction wears off pretty quickly.
The same applies to relationships of the platonic nature. My closest friends and the people I admire most are intensely happy. Sure, they’ve gone – and are going – through their share of hardships. They’ve ridden plenty of emotional roller coasters. But they’ve made a decision to be fiercely, intentionally happy in life. And their energy is contagious.
I guess that’s my point. Happiness is a choice, not a reaction to circumstances, or a part of one’s innate personality. It’s a way of living in this world, and I’ve found that I have a hard time relating to people who actively choose to exist differently. Frankly, it’s rather exhausting. And outside of working and eating brunch (my two main obligations, obvi), I don’t have a whole lot of down time to waste.
Yesterday, I had one of those zomg-I-love-my-life moments. I was on a rooftop in San Francisco for Fleet Week. Clear skies, Blue Angels overhead, glass of champagne in hand. A co-worker/best friend and I were (tipsily) gushing about how absurdly amazing life is. We’d only just survived the most action and stress-packed month in our professional lives, and some tough personal stuff to boot. But getting through these things is part of why life is amazing, dammit.
So here’s my conclusion: you have to live life with the assumption that it will continue to get better. And if you believe the opposite, you’ll be right.
Perhaps you’ll agree with me. Or perhaps you’ll just conclude that playing “truth or dare” is best left to the middle schoolers.
Give me a menu with five entrees, and I’ll easily pick out my favorite. Add another twenty options, and I’m rendered completely indecisive. (And increasingly hungry.)
Choice is always a good thing…except when it’s not. Dating might be one of those instances. We find comfort in the fact that there are “plenty of fish in the sea,” but when you’re getting messaged by fifty of those fish each week, sheer quantity is no longer appealing.
I’m referring to online dating, of course. (Silly, fish can’t send messages!) And OKCupid specifically. Initially, the deluge of interest is exhilarating, and admittedly ego-boosting. After some serious vetting, you’re still left with more options than you could possibly handle, even if you’re willing to pack three dates into a single Sunday (ahem, not that I ever did that).
It’s incredibly empowering to know that there are so many interesting, intelligent, eligible guys out there. It’s also incredibly counter-productive. Guy A seems awesome…until you meet Guy B, who has a way more badass job. And then Guy C comes along with his disarming smile, and Guy D with his searing wit. And so on, and so on. No one person can possibly win across all categories. (And if I’m wrong about that, pretty please send him my way.)
This is why lengthy menus are so damn problematic. You think you want the ahi tuna, but then you get distracted by the sweet potatoes that come with another dish, and damn, it’s been awhile since you’ve had lamb. The fastest way to offend a chef is to try to mix n’ match his creations…and (thankfully) there isn’t a Mr. Potato Head-like parallel when it comes to potential love interests.
An even bigger problem than indecision is this: when we get hung up on comparing isolated strengths and weaknesses, it becomes impossible to see the whole person. It’s also easy to forget that true chemistry is not about perfection. Quite the opposite. I can always tell when I really like someone because I find his flaws and oddities as endearing as his objectively positive attributes.
So that’s the double-edged sword of online dating. You are effectively blinded by choice. And unless you’re burning crazy calories, you can really only eat one entree at a time. Or date one fish?
And lest I’ve offended you by comparing potential soul mates to both dishes and fish, know that that there are few things in life that I enjoy more than a good seafood entree. Mmm.