Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This thing called Love

My cute friend Suvi is conducting an experiment of sorts with her digital recorder. An incredible audio documentary exploring the mysteries of love. It has been fascinating to hear bits and pieces of perspectives from the recently hitched, and longtime single. And has opened my eyes to the wide array of frustrations the dating world encompasses. We listened and discussed into the wee hours of this morning, so it remains fresh in my mind.

Example: Last night as I sat with a few new found friends doing crafty things, Suvi turned the topic of conversation yet again to this thing called love. She does that. And always with the recorder on full force. It's interesting to hear the complaints and frustrations from the serial dater, the feast and famine dater, the previously married dater, and myself, the virtual non-dater. We discussed how for some attention can abound at times, and dwindle at others. This is where I dropped the bomb being that it's always the latter for me (I enjoy doing this when I have discovered that no one in the room is in this same boat). Sure I have flirtatious connections, that never proceed past that (not that I necessarily always want them to, but if they did, I mean, at least it would be a prospect). There are the occasional random seemingly worthwhile guys that I connect with online (despite my efforts to cease and desist with all that nonsense). Those are pretty much the only dates I have gone on in the past year. And never amount to anything beyond sometimes good first date experiences.

I realize I am not alone in this. There are people that are natural daters. That attract dating activity like a super powered magnet. My little sister was one of those, so it has fascinated me for sometime. Then there are people like me, moderately attractive (at the very least?) worthwhile souls who are comfortable with themselves and make efforts to put themselves out there, only to watch the others get asked out time after time. I don't pretend that it never gets to me. Because sometimes it does. Generally I accept it. Still make efforts, but am resigned to the idea that it just might not happen for me that way. Perhaps more in an evolving friend sorta way. Who knows.

Suvi asked with recorder in hand, why I think this is. Why I don't date. After she sweetly expressed her unbelief. I have been mulling over it ever since and I sometimes think that it is purely me, my appearance, demeanor, some vibe I put off despite my efforts not to. Which is discouraging, because I like me. And would love to find someone that likes me as well. That I can like back. Someone that appreciates the person that I am. I am more concerned with the fact that I feel like I am going nowhere in that arena. I don't need to find love tomorrow, but I need to experiment with love, as scary as it is. I do believe that for sometime I possibly avoided it because of that fear. Of being vulnerable. Of the unknown. Looking back to my early non-dating years, there were opportunities to date. I was terrified of boys at that time. Coming from a family of girls, and being quite the homebody, I really didn't know how to interact with them. Some I found out about years later, guys who were too intimidated. Some sabotaged by myself and my own naivety (I didn't understand flirting). I seriously believed in that time that boys were not and would not be interested in a girl like me. I have come a long way from there. I no longer trust that thought, but a little evidence of contradiction to it couldn't hurt.

I've been witness to several marriages (both happy and not) and a sister to 3 wonderful and happily married wives. It happened a little different for each of them. And I expect it will be the same for me. I am happy with me at present, being single that is, but sometimes fear that this will a perpetual me. That there is something terribly broken.

9 comments:

Angie said...

"Love is merely a madness"

-Rosalind (As you like it; Shakespeare)

Natalie Black said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie Black said...

Want to know what I tell myself? I'm not interested in just any guy, so not just any guy is interested in me. I have friends who have dates all the time, but you know...they're not really guys I'd like to be hanging out with. It's going to take someone really special Sarah...

Hobo said...

I say try not to worry about it. If you like yourself, that's all that matters at this point. The game comes to you when it's supposed to come to you. Love/charity is special and patient and kind and all that other stuff it says it is in the Bible. Not puffed up, provoked, Etc etc. And P.S. flirt to convert. That's what I'm talking about.
Sincerely,
Laura Webster

Rachel said...

I grew up with a bunch of girls too. I think you just described my dating evolution. 1) I was scared of vulnerable relationships and always sabotaged. 2) I was the sister missionary who made elders feel like they always wanted to "repent" and then I learned that elders are people too. 3) I made many painful and unsuccessful efforts to walk towards boys I like instead of in the opposite direction. Even small chat in the hallway at church was a major success. 4) I started letting boys chase me. Not that I always like being caught. 5) Now I try to just be consistently sociable with people and not be wrapped up in my busy little world remembering that not everyone will like me and that I won't like everybody. The famines lasts a REALLY long time. And the feast is usually just a tease and nibble. Or I end up just spitting it out because it had a bad after taste.

SummerChild said...

Oh Sarah, I obsess too much about love. Someone should take my little recorder and tell me to shove it. You are loveable, now that is a fact.

Just remember, you too can be a Dating Girl.

Sarita said...

Thanks all. I'm not overly concerned, just puzzled and fascinated by the whole thing. You all are an inspiration.

And Suvi, keep using that recorder. I'm still trying to discover my Dating Girl. (and for all of you in the dark, Dating Girl is an alter ego for all of us girls, but more particularly for a wonderful friend who created a comic strip chronicling the adventures of Dating Girl. Just wait, it's pretty great).

stace said...

I am still amazed at times that I am married. I was more like you and thought it would never happen and then one day it did. I can't explain how, but it happened.

Don't get discouraged. Just live your life like you want to and when it happens, embrace it.

susan said...

Yeah, Sarah I can empathize. I grew up pretty much an only child and then went to a girls school from 7th grade to 12th grade. So I figure I'm about 6 years behind my peers in terms of social skills with boys. That would put me at about 22 years old, in social years. According to those calculations I am one year older than the average age of women who get married in Utah, and still have three years until national average age. If you factor in demographic considerations (college education) then that might even give me 6 years until average marriage age. Of course, in actual years that would put me at 34 years old. But hey, we can't all be prodigies, right?

This still doesn't answer the question of why I would be insane enough (under the above elaborated circumstances) to hang out in a place like Utah. I could posit some explanations but I'll leave ya'll in suspense.