Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Social Therapy

Sometimes, there's nothing more therapeutic than having dinner with an old friend. I don't think that I've had the occasion to talk much about my friend Flip since I started this blog, as he was in Spain for the last few months shooting a movie. He's one in my core group of friends from Montana, and it was more than a delight when he finally relocated to Los Angeles for his career.

Last night we went out to dinner alone, because all of the time that we've spent together since he got back from Spain has been spent in the group situations and we hadn’t had the opportunity to catch up at all.

It’s hard to describe the elegant complexities of individual friendships. Each person that is close to me has his or her own amazing qualities that make me thankful for them every day. Flip and I have developed an incredible relationship over the years; we can talk about so many things and relate to each other on so many levels. I think that we both really got to mull some things over out-loud last night, and that we both really needed it.

You see, I had a bit of a break-through realization last week, and it seems even more valid and hopeful after talking to Flip about it. I’ve been beating myself up for rejecting all of these guys who are interested in me, and thinking that I’m only doing it because they’re not the unavailable types that I’m nearly always attracted to. But there’s something much larger at work here, that I wasn’t even aware of until last week.

It turns out that underneath my toughened exterior of cynicism and open-minded theories on the Modern Relationship – I’m really just a big, fat, Hopeless Romantic. I’ve realized that I’m not dating in the interest of finding someone to date. I can’t bring myself to start a relationship with someone just because I sorta like them and they are at the right place at the right time. Subconsciously all along, I’ve been looking for A One. (I don’t like the phrase “The One” because it implies that there’s only one person for me or for each of us, and I wholeheartedly disagree with that type of thinking.) I’m not willing to settle for less than the type of person that I could see myself ending up with. And if I were to jump into a relationship with any of the very nice (but not quite it) guys that I’ve dated, I would be settling. Apparently I just don’t have that ability programmed into my DNA.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is for me to figure this out. When a lot of time passes between relationships, I start assuming that I’m doing something wrong. We all have these little insecurities that hang around in the back of our minds, and mine like to speak up during a dry-spell. [Maybe if I were skinnier, or trendier, or prettier, or used fewer large words, someone would love me.] On top of that, it’s very difficult to be a single woman in your mid-twenties. People question it a lot, as in: “I wonder what’s wrong with her that she can’t get a boyfriend?” But now I realize that I’ve been choosing this all along, and that it’s okay that I’m being so insanely picky. When someone who is right for me comes along, I think I will be ready for him.

But will I meet him on the internet?

Lyrics of the Day

“The sounds of the city sifting through trees, settle like dust on the shoulders of the old friends. Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly?” Simon & Garfunkel Old Friends


Natalie said...

I know what you mean, as I wasn't really interested in settling either. And like you, I didn't realize that until later. I had guys that wanted me, but I was looking for a specific kind of guy. I didn't want to go through relationships and breakups. I just wanted IT.

Cynthia said...

It's totally okay to be a little bit picky because you're looking for someone to be with for the rest of your life. Scary thought, isn't it? I'm 26 years old and I know how it feels to get weird looks because you're single and people have told me that I'm being too picky. You just have to block those people out.

And don't discount the Internet. I met my current boyfriend on eharmony and we're completely in love. This may be IT for me.

LB said...

Thank you ladies for the encouragement. It's nice to hear that it's okay to be picky - so many people say such disparaging things about pickiness in general. And it gives me hope to see that you can be picky and still find someone! I'm just going to have to practice my patience...

Sharon said...

"But will I meet him on the internet?"

I did. And moved 2500 miles from home for him. And it actually worked! So don't give up hope.

Maybe what helped for us is that, because we were so far apart, we had to do a lot of the "getting acquainted" stuff by writing and phone. Then when we finally met in person, we were already crazy about each other.