Wednesday, October 3, 2012

If Not Now, When?

As is often the case, last week I once again stumbled across a line in a book (The Moment by Douglas Kennedy) that really spoke to something I have been thinking about lately.  The line was actually delivered in German - Wie bald 'nicht jetz' 'ni' wird -with an English translation:  How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'.

That stopped me in my tracks and really made me think.  Because I have been answering "not now" to the question of whether I was ready to re-enter the dating world for quite awhile.  I don't regret the decisions I've made in the past couple of years that I have spent single, but I've used the phase "as soon as" quite a bit.  As soon as the CFA is over.  As soon as I am finished training for my half marathon or marathon.  As soon as summer is over.  As soon as I get through this busy season at work.

As soon as.  As soon as.  As soon as.

We can keep clinging onto this phase to put off things in our lives - until someone calls us out on it, as my good friend Brooke did this summer.  She knows I want to meet someone (and am ready) so we talked about it and I said I would give myself the summer to meet someone organically and if it didn't happen, I would try online dating in September.

Well summer came and summer went and I did not meet a single potential date.  So when fall rolled around, I made a date with my 2 best local friends, Brooke and Amanda, and they helped me write a dating profile.  I decided to illicit their help as sometimes our friends can better describe us, especially for a dating profile.  We made a fun night of it by having dinner and some wine before tackling my profile!

Since then I am happy to say that I have been on some dates.  It has been fun and exciting to get emails from guys and it's by far the most male attention I have ever had in my life.  Of course, I am also getting back into dating at an incredibly busy time of my life.  I mean, I am gone 15 days during the month of October and am preparing to run a marathon...  But in an attempt to avoid "not now" becoming "never" I am instead focusing on the question, "If not now, when?"  After all, come December 26th, I will start studying for the final level of the CFA and I KNOW I can't handle starting a new relationship then, so I am giving myself 3 months to meet someone.  If I haven't met someone worth dating by December 21st, I will deactivate my profile and put it off until the last level of the CFA is behind me.

It's been so long since I've dated, and I have grown and changed in the 2 years I have been single, which has required me to sort of 'revisit' my 'deal breakers'.  Some remain the same, like I need to date someone who is driven, kind-hearted, and intelligent.  But now I have added things like an openness to an urban lifestyle.  Being 31 I've also had to think about whether I am open to dating someone who is divorced and has children (at this point, it's not something I am open to).

I feel like I am in a really good place in life right now as I am hitting my stride at work, with running, and am so happy living downtown.  I also don't feel like I HAVE to meet someone as I am quite happy on my own, so I can be particular and patient.  If it takes me years to find him, then so be it.  I know he'll be worth the wait.

Of course, it's not all fun and games as I've been on the receiving end of some rude comments and viciously rude emails, but I guess it is all part of the process and I am taking those not-so-fun situations in stride (and sending CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED emails to friends to keep them entertained and in the loop).  There are awkward "sorry I am not interested" situations and a feeling that you are hurting someone else's feelings at times, but I guess it's part of the process.

All in all, I am approaching it with a positive attitude and realistic expectations.  We will see what the next 3 months bring!

Is there anything in your life that you keep pushing off?


Marlys said...

I know you love to write, so I am going to pass along a suggestion I read the other day. Write a letter, daily if possible, to your future husband, telling him that you are praying for him, and what you are looking for in a husband, etc. I like that idea!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I keep pushing off exercise ...

Your perfect man will come along when you least expect it :-)

Raquelita said...

I've never one online dating, but I've had some friends who've had tremendous success with it. A couple have met their spouses that way and have now been happily married for a few years.

Leigh said...

I think it's great that you are getting back into dating. I hope that you meet a few interesting men along the way (so you have stories to tell your kids one day) and that you meet mister right :) I think you should share a funny dating story! :)

Stephany said...

What dating service are you using? I have had NO luck on OK Cupid, honestly.

I'm glad you're going on dates and testing out the waters, though! And I hope the right guy comes along and sweeps you off your feet. :) I'm at a phase in my life where I really am okay with my singleness and I'm not actively seeking someone, just happy with where I am now and if someone comes along, great. If not, I'm okay with that.

I'm sorry you've had to receive vicious emails! That's terrible!! I've never had to deal with that... not sure I would find online dating worth it if I had to put up with that. Eek!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I love that a quote moved you to have a deeper conversation with yourself about where you are in life, what you want and how you'll get it. While I somewhat agree with Jolene (your guy will fall into your lap when you least expect it), I think that can only be the case when you put yourself out there and make yourself available. Sometimes, that means online dating and letting our friends introduce us to people they know.

In all my years of dating, I definitely re-evaluated my deal breakers over time. Like you, in my 20s, I was adamant about no previous marriages and no kids. As I turned the corner into my 30s, I softened on that one a bit. I wasn't open to every guy who was divorced / had kids. But, I was open to guys who were divorced for sound reasons and/or who had kids whose lives they were actively a part of (I just don't understand how parents can walk away from children. Period.). So long as you are self-aware, know your deal breakers and know/are ok with what limitations that puts on your search, then more power to you. I also know that your guy is out there ... and I am excited for the journey you will take to meet him!

Amber said...

LOVE this post. It's so true, if not now then when? I think it's really important for us to be active in our own lives when it comes to things we want so I'm glad you're doing this!! And even though you've had some rude emails you've also had some fun dates and met some new people, nothing wrong with that!

Can't wait to hear and see what happens in the next three months :)

Carolina John said...

Planning to love is loving to plan, isn't that a real saying? maybe it's failing to plan. I love how you can lay it all out with timelines, it's incredibly efficient. You'll get there. xx

Abby said...

It is very easy to say "I'll do X when I have Y". I have found myself doing a lot of that, especially since we moved to Tucson in regards to getting involved in things and having a social life.

I am glad you are deciding to re-enter the dating world. Your prince charming is out there -- and you have go out and find him!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

This post is so true and I've tried really hard in the last couple of years to not keep putting off things I want to do. You are awesome to take this on when you are so busy, but you are right if not now, then when. Plus I think it's nice to have a temporary end date too so you don't get too overwhelmed with the process.

I would like to be added to the list of people to hear the crazy stories- I love crazy stories :)

Also, I feel the need to always remind you of the importance of giving people a few chances. I don't believe in "love at first sight" and all that. After meeting Eric I had a conversation with my roommates where I believe I said "it's not like I'm going to marry him" (or maybe they said that) and here we are. Eric is a lot of things I thought I would not marry, but I'm glad I did.

Maybe when you come to Boston you will meet someone awesome and your urban lifestyle will be moved here...wahoo!!!

Caroline said...

I realized last spring that I was falling into that trap and have since made the conscience effort to not say "as soon as". Obviously sometimes it still happens, but at least I'm aware of now. And on a smaller scale, I try to do anything that will take less than 5 minutes right away so it doesn't weigh down on me, no matter how busy I am.

I love this post and I'm excited for you!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Woohoo! Nice work, Lisa. Putting yourself out there with online dating is awkward, but a good learning experience. And fun that you've been just going through the process and meeting some new people!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

PS- The manfriend asked the other night "Have you heard if Lisa is dating anyone these days?" Haha... I was shocked that he remembered. Sometimes boys aren't as forgetful as we think.

Melissa said...

This literally made me want to reach through my computer screen and either hug you or high five you or both! I can relate to this so much, even though we're 8 years apart in age. I'm a nervous dater and I'm SO WELL KNOWN for convincing myself into pushing things away because it's not the right time, when the truth is I'm just anxious about it, but I DO want to meet someone. I've been doing my best to turn my 'not now' answers into 'Yes' answers when the opportunity comes up. I'm trying to work through my anxiety over it and I'm finding myself in a much happier place than if I was continuing on the path of convincing myself I'm still "not ready". I'm super happy for you and I think you're doing all you can right now! It's so great that you don't have any expectations but are merely putting yourself out there. We're so similar like that and I feel like a lot of my friends don't understand that mentality whereas I'm THE EXACT SAME.

I really do hope you meet someone before Dec 21st though, you really deserve it! :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

good luck!

Elizabeth said...

I love this...for many reasons. 1) Part of this year of 30 for me is finally tackling many of things I've been wanting to do for years but have been pushing to the back burner. 2) Reading about you getting back into the dating world gives me hope for when I will eventually someday be ready again myself--not anytime soon though. Hope you continue to share and I hope that you meet someone who deserves the wonderful woman you are.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I want to hear some of the "I can't believe this happened" stories! I think the deal breakers are usually something that gets less and less as the years go by, and also, if you like a guy, you learn to overlook some things that you didn't think you would.

I put off going back to school and am still, because I can't figure out what I want to go back for and I want to have a clear picture before wasting my time for 3 or 4 or 5 years. BUT, you are right, it may make it so it never happens!