Friday, August 10, 2012

A Great Perhaps

Last weekend, I read the August blogger book club book - Looking for Alaska by John Green (which was a wonderful book, btw).  Early in the book the main character, Miles, is asked by his parents why he wants to go to boarding school. He quotes the last words of Monsieur Rabelais, a famous Frenchman:

"I go to seek a Great Perhaps." 

I think I stumbled upon that quote at the perfect time as that quote could also sum up my approach to dating these days.  During the months of December - early June, I really did not have the time or energy to date.  Some have argued this point with me and said that if the right person came along, I could make it happen. But I know that this is not the case.  Between my lack of free time and the stress level in my life, it would be next to impossible to foster a new, budding relationship.

But now the CFA exam is behind me and I have 5 months of freedom until the next round of studying begins.  For a long time, I've held the belief that I should be able to meet a guy naturally and organically by living my life and doing the things I enjoy.

But the fact of the matter is that it's not working.  I haven't been on a date since October and with the exception of a few potential set-ups by friends, I have no potentials in sight.  So after much thought and some prodding by some close friends, I decided that maybe it is time for me to be a bit more purposeful about meeting someone.  

So my first step was to try speed dating last Friday night.  I like this approach to meeting someone better than online dating because it gives you the ability to immediately assess whether you are a) interested in the person and b) attracted to them - which in my opinion are not things you can determine by looking through profiles or emailing back and forth with someone you meet online.  

There was a pretty small turnout (4 guys), but I am glad I did it.  You got 7 minutes with each person, which was(more than) enough time for me to determine if I'd like to see the guy again.  And randomly enough, there was actually a guy from Paris there! Ooh la la!  But the company that hosted it (Date and Dash) totally sucks.  I matched with the Parisian but had to email the host to ask for my matches - otherwise they wanted me to pay an extra $10 to find out automatically (on top of the $35 event fee) and then the email of the Parisian was wrong...  so yah.  Kind of a fail, but I am still glad I tried it!

Because of the low attendance, I don't know that I will do another speed dating event  - especially after my poor experience with this company.  But it was a good experience for me and got me back into the swing of making date-type conversations.  Despite my reservations about online dating, I am also considering doing a short, 3-month subscription to a site, possibly eHarmony. 

And so I go to seek a great perhaps.  Perhaps something will come of it.  Perhaps nothing will.  The good thing is that regardless of whether I meet someone between now and December, I am very happy with my life and do not feel as though anything is truly "missing."  I guess that you could say that meeting someone would just be the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that already has all of my favorite toppings.

If you are married, how did you meet your spouse?  If you are single, would you ever try speed dating?

28 comments:

Becky said...

I'm so bummed the Parisian's email address was wrong! Lame! I think speed dating sounds really interesting - maybe you could try one by a different company?

Sorry I don't have much advice to give - I've known Ben since first grade so I don't have great "first meeting" suggestions! Although I know a lot of people who have liked eharmony - I'm excited for you to try it!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I want to drop kick that stupid dating company. Big fail! Maybe there are other speed dating companies in the area with better business models and more successful turnouts? Regardless, I love that you're open to new beginnings in whatever way they come to you. And if you ever have reason to travel to Dallas, one of my best guy friends lives there and I'd set you up with him in a heartbeat.

Me? Well, I was a match.com subscriber on and off for years. I was about ready to take a break from the service and announced to friends I was going on my "last first date" before freezing my account for a while. Little did I know that "last first date" would have a different meaning, because that's when I met Sweets and never went on another date with any other guy ever again.

missris said...

The week after I swore off boys in order to concentrate on grad school, I met D at a pub trivia night. I think because I wasn't looking for anyone and was thus being outgoing and friendly without wondering about what it all meant, I was maybe more approachable? We hung out a few more times in groups before he asked me out, and I was so surprised! That said, I know several people (Nilsa included!) who've met their spouse on online dating sights. You never know!

Gracie said...

I always thought speed dating was a good idea! Glad you tried it. Of course I met David online, not a dating site though, but it worked for us because we spent a month just emailing and calling before we met. It felt like we knew each other well already once we actually met face to face.

paigearoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paigearoo said...

I whole heartedly endorse 'purposely meeting a partner'. I met my BF the traditional way, but I have more friends who met online now then not. I even have friends who met in a Metallica chat room. 12 years ago. Before online dating was even a thing! (this is an adorable and very brave story :) He lived in the UK and she lives in Canada. They spent four years talking online or on the phone, then he finally plucked up the courage to fly over and they've been inseparable since)

Kelly said...

Im definitely glad you tried speed dating and I completely agree you can tell pretty quickly if you will be a match with someone, I wish there was speed interviewing for jobs because when I interview someone I can usually tell in five minutes or less if I want them in my classroom all day haha.

I'm also annoys at that company that the French guys email was wrong, ugh!

Anyways you probably know the story of how I met Eric. I was out for a friends 21st birthday (that was supposed to be the week earlier but was postponed bc of snow). His friends were jumping in all of our pictures and so I met him. He asked me to come out again with his friends the next week and I didn't want to go because I wasn't 21 and it's hard to get in places in Boston, and plus it was already late etc. most of my friends were like "that's fine it's not like you are going to marry the guy..." ha! But my friend Katie was like how are you going to know that if you don't try?! I still tried to say no after that but his friend Brian (who married us) got on the phone and guilt tripped me into coming out haha. I think I still continued to declare I don't date football players that night but obviously I changed my mind.

Nora said...

Offer still stands to Skype over wine and help with profile selection for guys on eHarmony ;)

I absolutely love the quote you shared and how it all ties together... great post, Lisa!

Carolina John said...

I am constantly astounded by the stupidity of Minnesota men. Anybody who doesn't know how to try hard enough to win you isn't worth wasting time on.

I met Kelley in a bar while I was in college. It was a one night stand in 1996 that is still going on!

Abby said...

I like Carolina's John about the stupidity of MN men! You are such a great catch it's unreal!

I'm bummed that it didn't work for the Parisan -- but let's just chalk that up that "it happened for a reason"

I'm glad you finally having time to start dating again. I know you're not jazzed about the online dating, but I know 2 great couples who are now married and happy as can be that met online!

Amy said...

I swore off dating after some bad experiences, and spent one particularly awful Friday night crying...I met Andrew the next night at a party. We went on a date the next week, and well...here we are. It's been hard at times, but we are here.

I think I would have easily turned to online dating if I hadn't met Andrew when I did. I know at least 10 couples who met on Match or eHarmony and are super, super happy. I think you're smart to put effort into this and I wish you the best! You never know, right?

pinkflipflops said...

We met on the 4th of July, when a mutual friend called him and invited us out on his boat. Whoops. Didn't know I was crashing a party. It apparently worked out. ;) I also met people online (chat rooms! hahaha), livejournal, through friends and school.

Stephany said...

I've been on OK Cupid for about a year now and haven't really found someone worth my time, ha. I'm very protective of it! ;) I've been thinking about eHarmony or Match but I get nervous about signing up for something I have to pay for because then it feels like a waste if nothing comes of it! But I think the selection may be better but I hear on eHarmony, you can only contact those people who they match you up with so if you have no matches, then you have to just sit back and wait and do nothing! What a waste! So I'm still up in the air on both sites but I'm glad YOU are being more intentional about your dating life.

Speed dating sounds a little scary to me but it could be fun. I should see if there are any events around me just to try it out once.

I also like how you know your life isn't missing anything by being single but at the same time, you know you want to find someone to spend your life with. Nothing wrong with that! :)

crystal said...

Speed dating sounds interesting to me, Im so upset the stupid company ruined it for you! Although I do find humorous irony in the fact that you have to pay extra for immediate results when you sign up for SPEED dating!

I hope you try EHarmony, I have heard really great things about them. Let us know how it goes!

I love the idea of a "great Perhaps" only good things can come out of a search so beautifully named.

Amber said...

I think it's wonderful you're putting yourself out there like this! Like John said, MN men are stupid because you are an amazing catch. eHarmony is a great idea, it's worth a shot right?

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Oh, I love how you linked this to Looking For Alaska. I so wanted to do the speed dating at Des Moines Social Club but I was working that night.

I've been using OKCupid lately (because it's free!) and I've been pleasantly surprised! I tried EHarmony and didn't like it. A friend did it and had some luck with it though!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

THat term "a great perhaps" reminds me of the "meet cute" term the old movie producer talks about in The Holiday. That sucks that they didn't even have the right email for the Parisian guy! Mr. Right is out there looking for you. I just know it.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

If I was single, I might try speed dating ... I think it's neat!

Shoshanah said...

We met in a grad school math class. I feel bad saying it because it really is so cliche, but I really wasn't looking at the time. And when the boy first asked me out my thought was, at least I'll get a free meal out of it. Ha! But obviously things changed, so I guess you really just never know.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I applaud you for going out and doing that! I would never have the guts. I have always met my boyfriends "naturally". However, as we get older and the dating pool gets smaller and our life revolves more around work, I think it's important to be open to many different avenues. Good for you for trying this one. My friends have tried Match and eHarmony (as well as some free ones like okaycupid) and had good results as well. You never know! I think you have done well to take the first step and not wait around for someone to come to you. As you know with many things in your life, if you want it, you have to work for it / go and get it yourself / do it!

Caroline said...

I am not married nor single but I would totally be open to speed dating (and online dating) in the future if the opportunity presented itself. I like being proactive about meeting new people because it makes me feel like I have more control over the situation and my luck. That's such a bummer that they messed up the email address! There's no other way to find him - Facebook, LinkedIn?

Lisa-Marie said...

I am proud of you! Taking chances is good!

I met Dave on the internet when I was 18. He found me on a social networking/dating site called Faceparty. My Bio said I liked punk, and he was trying to get people to go to his shows. We were online friends for 5 years before we met! We each had partners in the interim, though we both think there was always something there. We met, and a month later we were living together (I am not suggesting this is for everyone, but it is quite common for people in the UK. We don't really 'date'). We have been together for 6 years, married for 4.

qwerkyqook said...

Great Post! I did match.com for a while, and met really great well educated people. You just have to use good judgment in who you respond to (ie, hey i'm in town for the weekend...um no thanks) I do think it helped me get back in the swing of things dating wise, and then I randomly met Josh. There is truth to being open to dating in general, and thus reflecting that when you are out and about.

J said...

That totally stinks the email was wrong but I give you a lot of credit for going. I would have been so nervous. Hopefully you can find anther way to meet people!

Jeanie said...

Bad news about the Parisian. But I admire your taking a step and doing something. And I especially admire the fact that you're just fine with yourself. That wll get you far forever.

I met Rick because I was getting evicted because of my cat Stimpy. Rick had just bought a duplex and was looking for a tenant. I didn't end up living there (I moved across the street) but we became friends and two and a half years later decided to move forward. That was 16 years ago. Maybe before we die we'll get married. But living two blocks away is just fine for now!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I think its so great that you did this event and that stinks big time about his email not working out.

Chris's friend Brian met his wife on e-harmony and my friend Nora, dated a guy for a few months off of harmony. I think its worth a shot and the Catholic singles site. My OB met his wife that way and she was living in SC so you never know!

San said...

Speed dating! Who would have thought! Interesting approach to the dating thing...

I met my spouse VERY organically... we crossed paths on a university campus, he came up to me and introduced himself and we talked the rest of the night.
Seems easy enough, right? ;)

I have no idea what I would do if I were single again.... the whole dating thing has never been a part of my life and I probably wouldn't know what to do ;)

I think it's fantastic though that you're trying to get back to meeting guys! You're such a catch, someone will snatch you up :) :)

Melissa said...

That John Green quote is one of my all time favorites. I think it works perfectly for your situation, as it does for many people who are, in fact, seeking a great perhaps (I'm fairly certain it's in my About Me page!)

That being said though, I think it's really great you're putting yourself out there. It's too bad things didn't work out with that company... Maybe online dating will work out better! I know soooo many people who've found success in that.