Monday, June 27, 2011

Openness is Relative, Especially When Meeting New People

My last post was about love and openness.

Openness… is relative. Recently, I’ve delved into the world of online dating. I have a feeling it’s going to take me a long time to find someone who will see me for who I really am, and who will love me just for being me.

That’s okay. I’m not in a rush.

Because I suspect it will take a while, I thought I would get a head start and put up a profile on two sites. You never know, after all, when love is going to have its way with you, and I remain open to the possibility.

But I do wonder if, when I’m first getting to know someone, maybe I’m a little too open. I think it takes people off guard, to come across someone who will really talk about anything, at least to an extent.

Part of me says, "I am who I am, and if that scares off a dating prospect, then phooey on him!"

But I'm not sure it's that simple.

I’m used to being around Pathways folks, who sort of let it all hang out, all the time. When I’m talking to someone random, though, that sort of openness doesn’t usually translate.

My problem is… I have become practically incapable of small talk.

I have to wonder, though. Do people really expect the worst? Do they think that because I am open, and curious, that I must also be a little nuts? Or that I have a hidden agenda? Or something else? Clearly, I’m missing something…

Or is it just completely disarming and frightening to come across someone who is willing to talk and share about meaningful things?

It was actually easier to do the online dating thing back when I was so closed up and actually trying to show myself off as being totally perfect. But now that I am unafraid to admit that I am flawed, and now that I’ve stopped trying to be so damned perfect, what I’m finding is that authenticity doesn't seem to be good advertising.

The flip side of that coin is… do I really want to attract someone who is looking for perfection?

The answer is, of course… no.

Perhaps it's about balance. Learning where that line is between the light-hearted getting-to-know-you chatter where you ask questions like, "Where's your favorite vacation spot?" to the more serious and potentially thought-provoking questions like, "What do you  really want in a woman?"

Because after I ask that question... if the answer the other person provides has some real substance to it, I can dive in for deeper questions pretty fast. And real questions, real substance, can, as it turns out, send someone for the hills faster than I ever expected.

Hey, this is a learning experience for me. I'm dating again, for the first time in 10 years. Along with all the other things I'm doing again, for the first time in X number of years... I mean, come on. You didn't expect me to do it perfectly the first time around, right?

I'll be happy if I get it right, ever.

When it comes to balance... well. I tend to have some trouble with that.

Balance isn't about being perfect and centered. It isn't something static. It's about the small adjustments we constantly make to attempt to get to 'balance'. It's a verb. And sometimes it's about falling, laughing at yourself, and doing it again. - Patti's yoga teacher*

So, I am content that finding someone just right will take a while. In the mean time, I view this as a learning experience, and I do hope that along the way, I will at the very least have some fun and hopefully meet some great people.

And perhaps learn some balance along the way, laughing at myself when I fall down.

*I have every intention to actually get this person's name...

1 comment:

  1. Linda,

    I find this blog to really hit home with me. I am as open as you are. I find alot of people truly think I am nuts when being as open about myself as I like to be since most people aren't like that. It's taken sometime to figure out I was different in that respect. I thought everyone was like me and they aren't. It's cool to find someone else that sees it can be a double edged sword and we didn't even know it. Even today I ask myself why do we build the walls around ourselves. I know it's so we can't get hurt but Can we really know someone else on a deeper level if we hide ourselves?? Today I know obviously, I am not perfect but I know now I am better now than I ever have because I can share who I really am scars, warts and all.

    Thank you for your Thoughts Linda!