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Posts Tagged ‘timing’

The timing was like something out of a novel.

I had reached the end of my patience with dating. I’d had a few fizzles, and I wasn’t even upset anymore as much as I was simply DONE. I looked at my life, and everything else was going really well. It was only dating that was making me unhappy, and I felt less and less incentive to take the time and energy out of all the parts of my life I did like for something that was feeling like a waste of my time.

I wrote “On Dating Fatigue.” On Facebook, one of my college friends suggested I take a break from dating. I replied, and this is a direct quote, “I’m not taking a break per say, but I have taken a step back and am not actively looking.”

Little did I know I’d start dating the man who is now my boyfriend nine days later.

*

To be honest, I didn’t really know what I meant by taking a step back, but I was forced to figure that out a few days later when someone asked me on a date. And I decided it didn’t mean I couldn’t say yes to a date I really wanted to accept, but it did mean I wasn’t going to be making effort to make those invitations happen.

The same day I made this determination, I went to game night. Attending for the first time was Future Boyfriend, who I had met a couple of times prior, always at big parties. But this time, we sat next to each other while we played Resistance, and he tried to convince everyone I was a spy instead of him, and I tried not to flirt with him. As the night wore on, this proved to be more and more difficult, but I was determined! I wasn’t going to make any effort! No flirting allowed!

By the end of the night, despite my best effort to make no effort, my best friend had invited Future Boyfriend to do a puzzle room with us, and I had somehow, with the least effort I’ve ever had to make to do such a thing, arranged for a bunch of us, including Future Boyfriend, to play BSG later in the month. In some circles, this might have been considered a failure of not making effort, but I was secretly pleased.

And also determined to make no further effort.

*

Two days later, Future Boyfriend asked me on a date. A less discerning individual could not have been faulted for thinking it was a Maybe Date, but I knew. It was a date.

I spent the requisite amount of time agonizing over what to wear: something as flattering as possible but also casual because of the whole Maybe Date thing, preferably something that didn’t look like I’d thought about it much at all, and could I get away with a skirt? Because sometimes guys try to take advantage of skirt-wearing on early dates, so it’s always a risk.

I wore the skirt. He was a gentleman. We made it to date two.

After date two, there was another game night. And a puzzle room. And a party. And a sprained toe. And BSG. And rushing Nala to the emergency vet together late at night. And more dates. And some frank conversations.

And eventually, he became my boyfriend, full stop.

*

One might extrapolate from this story that not making effort was a winning strategy.

But one would be wrong about that.

PLOT TWIST

A few months before the above events, I ran into Future Boyfriend at a party. We barely talked, but he sent me a friend request on Facebook, so I invited him to my birthday party. (effort)

Then, in a somewhat uncharacteristic move on my part, I invited him to go to a wedding with me. (effort) But he was busy and couldn’t go.

At my birthday party, I felt like I had no time to talk to anyone. But when I found out he was leaving, I carved out the time to have a short conversation with him. (effort) During the conversation, he mentioned in a few weeks he was going to start coming to game night.

I went to game night. I probably would have gone anyway. But due to my freakish memory, I knew he would be there. (effort?)

Would I have invited him to my birthday and the wedding if he hadn’t sent me a Facebook request? No.

Would I have been there at that game night if I hadn’t known he was going to be there? Maybe…?

Would he have come to my party and game night and asked me on a date if I hadn’t asked him to that wedding? Maybe. Maybe not.

I guess we’ll never know.

*

No, refusing to make effort isn’t some magical answer. Instead, here’s what I take from this: you never know. You never know when and how past efforts may pay off.

So much of being social is about planting seeds. You put the seed in the ground, and if you can, you give it a little sun, a little water, and you wait and see. Sometimes nothing comes of it. Sometimes some shoots begin to emerge from the soil. Sometimes it’s a different kind of plant than you thought it would be. Sometimes it takes more time, and sometimes it takes less.   

And sometimes you get really, really lucky, and the timing is impeccable, and you begin to date someone right when you’ve finally stripped off enough layers to be truly genuine. And they show up, and they match you. And suddenly commitment doesn’t feel like this big, scary, pressured thing.

Instead it feels natural, like something you actually want. And you are even happier than you were before.

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