So a few days ago, we spoke with a friend whom we’ve helped revamp her dating profile and dig through the messiness that is getting back into the lesbian dating world (she knows who she is!)
She had been on the shelf for a while and is ready to dip her toes back in these sometimes very cold dating waters, so she’s been dabbling a bit in online dating. We asked her how it was going.
As we listened, I thought about a process that Pam and I went through just 6 years ago).
No, we weren’t dabbling in online dating (cause that’d be weird, since we’ve been together for 12 years).
What we did was buy a house.
When we first moved in together, I moved into Pam’s townhouse. After a couple of years, it was obvious that we needed more space. Besides, Pam really wanted a yard (we won’t discuss what has happened with the mowing she was promising to do. But I digress….).
So we set out looking for a house.
A house. That’s all we really knew we wanted. We had very few criteria. We wanted a 2-car garage and central air conditioning (neither of which is a given in New Jersey, so both have to go on a wish list). That’s it.
We knew nothing of home styles, floor plans. A house with a big garage and central air.
As our agent started showing us homes, something happened, though.
Slowly, we figured out what we really liked. We figured out what we needed.
We learned that we liked ranches, but not really colonials (which I termed “cheese tray houses,” because of their tendency to have everything roomed off rather than open).
We learned that we liked midcentury ranches specifically.
I learned that cape cod homes make me gag.
We were reminded that we needed a home that was convenient for commuting into New York City, as we both work in Manhattan.
We learned which things were deal breakers (hot tub in the garage?!), and which things were not.
That is, by going to many houses, we learned what we liked, what we needed, what was a turn off and what was tolerable.
So when our friend was telling us about her foray back into dating and the women that she had met – none of whom had turned into anything special – this experience came to mind.
We pointed out – and she had realized a bit too anyway – that, though these women weren’t what she had in mind, she was slowly learning what she liked and needed.
She said she had gone into the process not fully clear on what she wanted, but she was learning.
The moral of my tale is this: not all of the women you meet will work out. Even if you take our sage online dating advice, finding “the one” is a process, and it often takes time and patience.
But every woman that you meet who ISN’T the one still has something very important to teach you about yourself, your desires, and your needs.
If you see these encounters as opportunities to grow in the process, then they’re never a waste of time.
Oh, yeah. And we found our house. Two-car garage, central air conditioning, midcentury ranch and, of course, around the corner from a commuter bus to New York City 😉
Your turn: what are some things you’ve learned about yourself from relationships that didn’t work out as you had hoped?