When I take a look around me, my friends tend to fall in one of three camps. Happily coupled having found the right person, coupled on schedule (having secured the job and the house –the next notch on the belt was to get married–so they found someone and they did) and finally, single, like me.
It never bugged me that I was single until I made the very silly mistake of falling in love.
I’ve been in love exactly one time. When it happened it was a coup de foudre, a bolt of lightning, that I kept telling myself could not possibly be real. He was too cute, too nice, too funny, too smart for it to be mutual. But the more I got to know him, the more I liked and it was at least on some level, mutual.
Darkly humored with his feet on the ground, a nice counterbalance to my head in the clouds, we liked enough of the same things (Sci-Fi, mocking politicians) to make it wonderful, and disliked enough of the same things (his love of sports, my stance on drug policy) to make things interesting.
So naturally we messed it up.
I’ve been wondering a lot why so many of my friends– smart, interesting, successful in their own ways–are reluctantly single. And why Mr.X and I couldn’t make things work.
And I think it’s because, well, we think, too damn much. This Huffington Post article touches on it, but while their author narrows it down to very specific reasoning, I think many of us reluctant singles are guilty of a special brand over thinking.
We think love should come to us when we’re ready for it and when it doesn’t, we freak.
Like the guy who dumped a friend because the stronger his feelings for her became the less he was able to deal with them. He hadn’t been looking for love, you see, and to stumble across love when it wasn’t a part of his plans was not something he could do. So he ran.
Another ended things because she was scared at the idea of starting a serious relationship when her life was in flux; she wasn’t sure if she could be what he wanted her to be, but never bothered to give the poor guy a chance to articulate what he wanted out of the relationship.
Too many of us walk away from potentially great relationships – because we fear being unsettled, because we don’t have the degree/the job/the paycheck that we feel we need to “get serious”. The universe has its own timeline, and one that is often better than we could create. The trouble comes, however, when the universe serves us up something amazing and we walk away (time and time again) out of fear, or because it doesn’t mesh with some vague timeline.
There’s no guarantee that it will give us such awesomeness again, so when it does, we shouldn’t worry so much about the details. Just go for it.
Life and love are not a series of connect the dots… now if only I could remember that.