Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em

One thing I've come to realize that happens as a result of a self-imposed, almost year-long online dating (again, who am I kidding? Dating, in general, is a better way of phrasing that, but I'd like to keep at least a semblance of dignity.) hiatus is a lot of free time for reflection. Not having to juggle jokers with bad screennames and worse profiles who desire nothing more than to take up permanent residence in Text Land leaves one with plenty of spare moments for pondering and evaluation. And believe me... I've been thinking. Writing, not so much. But, thinking, yes. Danger zone.

So, as my ever-faithful readers (if you are still there considering the ridiculous gaps between posts and even more inexcusable lapses in my own original material...fingers crossed anyone is actually reading this), you get the extreme pleasure of being the beneficiaries of said ponderings and considerations and helping me unravel the unending streams of consciousness that seem to only complicate my already over-analytical thought processes.

During my year of nothing year of loneliness hiatus since last October, I've tried dilligently to focus on meeting people in what I refer to as "the real world." Online dating, regardless of how successful your endeavors may be, just seems so... well, not real world... to me at least. "The Real World" consists of those standard meeting opportunities, like bars (blah), coffee shops (only happens in the movies), being introduced to each other by a mutual friend (potentially dangerous) or playing 'damsel in distress' at a hardware store (I have yet to attempt this one, but I'll keep you posted.). Judge me if you will, but I still think that most people would prefer to meet their significant other in one of these more traditional ways. Online dating is great (did I really just say that?!), and I know it works on ocassion (except for yours truly, the world-reknowned Serial First Dater), but it's still my Plan B. At this point.

So, this desire to focus on men in "the real world" got me thinking about my approach and style when it comes to interacting and building relationships with the male species. I think we've talked about this before, but I'll explain for the newbies. Throughout my entire adolescent and adult life, the men that I've been most attracted to have started out as my friends. And eventually, their charm, wit, and all around fabulousness caught the attention of my heart (and/or my eyes... and... I'll leave it at that.) and I was smitten. Years ago (like, we were 12), a friend with whom I am still extremely close and who maintains this sentiment to this day, told me that she was sure I would end up marrying someone who was my best friend first. And I knew instantly that she was probably right. I feel like I have to have that foundation of friendship first. I don't want to build a relationship on physical attraction and then try to create an emotional bond and connectivity after the fact. And I'm not sure that I want our first date to technically also be the first time I ever lay eyes on the guy either. At 30, I don't want to jump into a dating situation without knowing some non-dating background on the person first. What if I find out he buries kittens up to their necks in his backyard for giggles on Saturday afternoons after we've been dating for months? Or something as dreadful as (dear God) he's not a Braves fan??! (Gasp in terror.) Time wasters, people. And this girl and her biological clock cannot withstand time wasters.

The problem here is that most of the men who have become the object of my affection following months or even years of friendship don't seem to have such an easy time turning the Friendship Boat around to head upstream toward Coupledom. More often than I'd like to share, I get the "I don't want to ruin our friendship" line. Here's my question to you, Singletons and Marrieds: When is the potential for a fantastic relationship worth the risk of losing the friendship?

Read the rest at Lost in Singledom...

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Tags: dating, friends, relationships

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