What happens when there’s no romance

There’s eye contact. Laughing. An attractive woman with a pretty smile. She touches his arm playfully. He compliments her style. This has all the makings of a great relationship forming. But what happens when there’s one thing, one critical thing, missing?

It might not be apparent on the first date, or even a 5th date, but have you ever been out with someone only to realize you don’t have romantic feelings for them? Whether you ever admit it to them or not, I imagine it’s happened to most of us at least once.

So let’s get personal, shall we? Earlier this year I spent time with someone in whom I was hoping to have interest. There was clearly an attempt on both of our parts to strike the match for a romantic spark. We went out a few times and saw each other quite a bit in “non-date” scenarios. All that to say, we were able to see each other’s personalities pretty well, and I was purposely trying to be a gentleman throughout the entire dating relationship. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m generally happy with how I behaved. Well… that makes one of us!

I’m not one to leave things hanging or to assume she can read my mind so once I knew I didn’t have feelings for her, I wanted to talk about it. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not one who’s known for being tactful. I’ve got none! But I made a point to be kind, considerate, and to muster up at least an ounce of tact. It must not’ve worked. Somehow my approach for sharing my feelings was off-putting and she took the opportunity to let me know. Let’s just say she had a spirited response…

…which was 17 pages. FRONT AND BACK!!

OK, it wasn’t as dramatic and the Ross and Rachel saga, nor was it more than 10 or 11 pages, but she was clearly upset and told me all about it. And just so you have all the facts, she also didn’t have romantic feelings for me! The verbal lashing seemed to be out of left field, and what I couldn’t figure out is who she thought she was talking to? And I don’t mean that in a puffed up kind of way. What I mean is that she derided pretty much my entire approach to our dating relationship, the same dating approach I was proud of! Surely she was thinking about some other fellow, right?

Way back in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think what really upset her is that I brought it up first. Maybe she wanted to be first to say there wasn’t interest. I honestly don’t know, and won’t ever know, because after I defended myself, and spent time considering her comments, I let it go. Any further communication would not have been helpful to either of us.

What helped me through this is remembering I can only marry one person. So every other person in the entire world is someone I didn’t marry. Makes sense, right? These other people… either I didn’t know them, didn’t date them, or didn’t have romantic feelings for them. Those are all the options. So this latest relationship is simply one of the ones that aren’t the one. I wish her the best…

As tje band Queen said, “Another one bites the dust!”

-Out of the Wilderness

Advertisements

Will You Accept This Prose?

If dating were only as easy as The Bachelor makes it seem! The show is more of a scientific experiment than it is a true attempt at finding love. That’s why when you include the unknown variable, the X factor called “life,” the experiment most often blows up.

Jake Pavelka

If you can prove the success rate of that show is higher than the number of Yanni discs you have in your collection, then I will be a little more optimystique (optimism + still a little confused on where they mysteriously find the contestants for The Bachelor). Until then, I will have the sincerest devotion to the old-fashioned romantic moments I hear about when my parents or grandparents tell me how their stories began.

In my time, though, dating is a little different from theirs. Only slightly different because although the form or fashion in which relationships happen has changed dramatically (with the onslaught of social sites on the internet, ability to travel great distances quickly, revolution in sound technology, and, oh yeah, the internet!), the fundamentals of solid dating relationships remain the same: communication, common interests, mutual friends, keys to imagination and similar world views. The Bachelor includes one, maybe two of these fundamentals, and therefore, is starting behind the eight ball from the very beginning. The reason the success rate’s extremely low is because the relationships are formed in a controlled environment, just like an experiment. Once the show is over and the elements are introduced into the “real world,” the variables can no longer be controlled. Variables like career goals, family, location, ethnicity, and many more. To further my argument that dating is much harder than The Bachelor reveals, I give you… exhibit A: High School Ben Wilder.

My dating life got off to a slow start and to be perfectly honest, my first real kiss was in 10th grade. If I could tell you that secret with little to no embarrassment, then I’ve made progress in the 15 years gone by since. I often refer to my high school love life as “the private years” but again, to be perfectly honest, shrouding those years in privacy makes my love life sound so much more mysterious and exciting than it actually was. Tracy the softball player*. That’s who I kissed. Out of silence my love life burst into song!

Whether we were listening to “Sukiyaki” by 4 P.M. or the best of Yanni at the time, I can’t say. I was just happy it happened. A quick encouragement to readers patiently awaiting their first kiss: Hang in there and dare to dream!

To sum up, I hope these personal reflections of passion (I wouldn’t call my example of dating passionate, actually) help to prove the point that in dating, as in real life, sometimes you got to learn the hard way, not the live-on-television way. And yes I’m talking to you, too, Jake Pavelka. Vienna? Really? Reconsider Sheila Lidner (or return to suprise Ali Fedotowsky this season) before you tell Vienna, in one of your best Yanni voices, “niki nana.” However, if you end up marrying Vienna I’ll make a toast in celebration of life… and I’ll look up and whistle while I’m walking.

*I refer to Tracy’s love life in high school as “the chameleon days,” because I later found out she is now a lesbian. Hope it wasn’t because of me!