What I’ve Learned When I’ve Gone About Dating

17 Apr

My last truly successful romantic encounter occurred nearly a year ago. 45 Boston-based dates later, I am almost concluding that karma is catching up to me for handling that situation so badly.

Even so, moments of great discouragement are perhaps precisely those that warrant evaluating exactly what one has gained from the challenge of persevering and of not giving up hope. Here are my truths.

1. Attraction lies beyond the analytic
– personality traits, interests, goals, experiences, et al are helpful in alignment, but attraction is truly instantaneous, and strongly physical. Being an objectively good-looking and even foxy person does not always guarantee attraction from another. It is art, not science.

2. Rejection is only so personal/you can’t know why this is happening – you could have been a perfectly lovely date, and still have gotten rejected. You could even be a dynamite potential partner, and still get passed up. Truly, we all have flaws, and we may or may not get overlooked because of them. Ultimately, we are likely not fully to know why we don’t get chosen, and dwelling does no good.

3. There is no linearity to our narratives of love and sex – see #1 and #2, above: so much of this is chance. Putting in years of dating, or dozens of dates, does not a perfectly-fitting and fully-committed partner fate bring. There is no control; there is almost total randomness to potential chemistry and others’ reactions to us; and yet I am terribly tempted to visit a psychic with my buddy EL (she’s seriously down with the magics).

4. Persistence is key – as with job-hunting, one must not give up until one finds a match: and that’s when the real work begins. There are plenty of smart and personable people who may not be successful – one of those reasons might be lack of persistence. Don’t let it happen to you. Keeping the faith is much more difficult than is going through the motions, but we’ve got to reach for a holistically-optimistic view of the world’s possibilities.

5. No matter the disappointment, I continue to believe in what I have to offer – and I’m still a great date!! See #2: I do all I can not to take any of this personally. I am a hand-sewn, mix-textured, neon-patterned urban dress in a boutique filled with other pieces – I am not for everyone. But I believe I will be someone’s extra-special fun, functional inspiration.

6. Love happens – I know, because it’s happened to me. I may be forgetting the sensation, but I believe that it will happen again, and that when more elements are right, I will appreciate this person and what we share more than ever. Perhaps 45 site-specific dates will even seem a small feat compared with the joy awaiting me eventually.

About the author: Shendi is suffering from withdrawal from having recently finished Haruki Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun. When the going gets rough, she writes herself into optimism, and maintains that you can, too.


6 Responses to “What I’ve Learned When I’ve Gone About Dating”

  1. Elena April 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    loved this! Thank you for sharing this!


  2. UrbanBilingual April 20, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Looks like you got clear ideas and your theory is convincing! This could help some of us… but your first point, I think is the more useful: “this is art, not science”… don’t forget it and good luck!

  3. wamit April 27, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    Great post Shendi! Love #3. In hind-sight, it is so easy to weave a narrative. But when in the thick of it, you realize the world as it really is: random and chaotic.

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