Sunday Edition #28: My Column in Yellow
My roommate is always giving me a hard time about not putting myself out there to meet people and date. But dating apps are just not my thing. She also always pressures me to get dressed up and go out more - like to the gym and to the coffee shop and whatever. She wants me to go out on dates for the sake of dating. And I just don’t feel the same way she does about it. Like, if I’m meant to meet someone, I’d rather meet them when I’m being myself and not forcing myself to be social. I’m not worried about ending up alone. I mean, I WANT a partner and I do crave love and attention. But not to the point that I’m actively out hunting for it.
What jumps out at me from this discussion with your roommate is a debate about looking for love verses patiently waiting for love to find you.
I had many heated conversations on this topic with my Therapist. I was firm on the idea that what is meant to happen will happen so I don’t need to be on dating apps or do anything different to facilitate love. She quietly smiled from across the room waiting for me to step down off my soapbox before challenging my perspective.
She asked me what I was doing instead to open myself up to someone. I fumbled with my words because I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t have an answer because I wasn’t doing anything. What I was doing was avoiding dating.
It became clear that I was using Fate as a defense mechanism and excuse as to why I didn’t need to do the work towards opening myself up to love. If Fate’s got my back, I don’t need to make any effort at all, right?
Not so much. Being at therapy was part of my path towards healing so I could open back up but I slowly realized there is more I needed to do.
I needed to show up for Love.
Let’s look at the other side of the debate of actively searching love out. I’ve known so many people addicted to the swiping game of dating apps. I’ve been there myself. It is a full time job to be constantly looking for faces that appeal to your senses and bios that don’t make you cringe. Not to mention the conversations that lead nowhere and fade into the darkness of the lost-connection-black-hole. If you make it to meeting in real life, it is usually awkward conversations, more drinks than you should be having on a Tuesday night and more than likely no chemistry.
I’ve also been the outside person looking in on people who seem desperately seeking companionship. The energy put out by someone who is afraid of ending up alone is yucky and tends to drive people away. It also doesn’t feel authentic. Are you asking me out on a date because you are curious to know me or simply because you hear your biological clock ticking and are looking for anyone to fill the space next to you?
You might think I’m anti-dating app but I’m not.
After I realized my Therapist made sense about my lack of effort at opening myself up, a friend convinced me to give apps another try (actually she pumped me full of tequila, took my phone and set up an account for me). What happened next was interesting. The world didn’t turn into chaos and burn up into flames.
Date-by-date, I got more comfortable with the idea of someone standing next to me. No lasting love connections were made, but each time it got easier to open up and be more vulnerable. It gave me opportunities to practice healthy communication and learn areas on which I still need to work.
Your roommate does have a point about getting out more and placing yourself into situations where you have exposure to new people. But there is a huge difference between making yourself available and going out for the hunt. Showing up can be all you need to make a connection as long as you continue to have the confidence that Love will find you when it is ready.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.