I wrote a several days ago about more-like-it, who I met at a coffee shop a few weeks ago. I’d met him online, then in person, we’d talked on the phone, and I was enjoying getting to know him and his flirtatious personality.
When we first communicated, the conversation and flirtation flowed naturally. He was articulate and we seemed to be of a similar mind. He said all the right things. When we first met, I learned he had studied Japanese in university. I had lived in Japan. I was looking for someone who had bandwidth, presence and was concerned with health. He talked about balance, engaged parenting and cooking with organic ingredients.
I confess that physical beauty matters to me (I am a Libra, after all), and I’d give more-like-it a solid eight on a scale from one to ten. In the world of our online dating site, however, he’s a 26 (yes, out of ten) — far and away the best match for my physical type that I’d met (not only because of general attractiveness, but also because he could easily be assumed to have sired my offspring).
Finally, previous to meeting more-like-it, my most recent emotional attachment had been to Chi-guy. I wondered where all the guys like him — articulate, attractive, creative, intelligent and so much more — were in this city. Sure enough, more-like-it shares both age and astrological sign with Chi-guy. (Both are Virgo goats; neither an auspicious match for me.)
At the risk of being redundant, so much of what I’d put out there on my list, what I want — both written and unwritten — and more was reflected back at me. Though I doubt I’m explaining it very well, what I experienced was like some bizarre universe communion, a cosmic call and answer. I felt validated. And kinda powerful.
More-like-it was emotionally expressive and warm, yet I sensed there was something holding him back. His pain was palpable — too fresh for his divorce timeline. Following our last lunch, during which I asked him what he wanted (he said he wasn’t sure he knew), he spent some time reflecting and realized he wasn’t ready to date. So he dropped out.
I can’t deny feeling a little disappointed. I could feel a definite intellectual connection and was beginning to sense a physical connection, but we hadn’t built that emotional bridge yet. This was a pretty rockin’ guy, with a lot of positives going for him. The thought that I might get to know him better had given me something to look forward to.
More-like-it had solid, compelling reasons for taking a couple of steps back and away from dating. And I took a pause myself — I cancelled a date or two and left some messages unanswered for a few days to re-evaluate my own readiness. (Suddenly my profile seems to be on fire!)
He told me that I deserve to meet someone amazing and spend time with people who are “all in.” Yet some of his reasons for backing off are the very reasons I’m staying in. I’m looking at things differently these days:
- I’m meeting people because I enjoy meeting people (even when I don’t really feel like meeting people).
- I’m flirting to practice flirting.
- I’m dating to develop confidence in relating to men romantically again.
- I’m taking what I can from each interaction, trying to give and receive something positive each time, continuing to develop a clearer picture of what makes me feel good and what a life-affirming relationship looks like for me.
- I’m not “all in” myself. And I may not be until I fall in love. “All in” suggests commitment to me, and the only commitments I have right now are to myself, my children and to putting myself out there.
- Even if I’m only 85% ready to date, dating casually is what’s going to get me ready. Learning to take the small disappointments in stride is the fuel I’ll use to both toughen up and open my heart.
- Who can say they’re ready for a serious relationship? You’re only ready if you find someone who inspires you to open your heart, take risks and be fearless. And that happens over time.
- Although I ultimately want marriage, I don’t expect the guys I date to know what they want right away — and I especially don’t anticipate they’re going to know whether they feel something special for me for a long time. They may use dating to develop clarity, too.
- I feel vulnerable putting myself back out there, but facing my fear and challenging my beliefs is exactly what I need to move forward right now.
Yes, the human heart is fragile and it’s unfair to mislead anyone. But if we’re authentic — even if that means admitting uncertainty — it’s not misleading to discover, learn and grow in relation to others. In fact, most of us are doing these very things every day. And I have learned something from every single date I’ve been on.
So, while I’m a little bummed that I won’t be spending time getting to know more-like-it better, I’m going to add some of his amazing qualities to my list. I’m going to use having met him as evidence that great guys are out there, in this very city! And I’m going to ask the Universe to give me more of that cosmic “call and answer” dance — it will make putting myself out there all the easier.