Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dining (or Dating ) Outside the Box

A reader recently encouraged me to think outside the box when it comes to dating. Doing so, the anonymous poster suggested, might help me find Mr. Right. (Those of you who know me well are, in this moment, cringing and perhaps saying out loud, "Oh no... here we go.")

Often, I write about longing for love or my desire to settle down with Mr. RIGHT-FOR-ME and the quandaries that fill my head which are related to these subjects. But rest assured, my friends, while I may not have stumbled upon my forever love and settled into happily ever after, it is not for lack of searching outside my comfort zone.

Dating is a lot like dining. When you come across a restaurant that you like, you visit frequently and, if you are like me, you try to order something different from the menu every time you go. Once you have had a fair sampling of the menu, you normally settle into an ordering routine. You spend the rest of your visits dining on your favorites. The dishes that please your palate and that do not wreak havoc on your digestional tract become your staple in that dining experience.

Much like dining out, in the dating world, you find a place that you like. Perhaps that place is MEN... as in my case. You sample the menu available, as I have. Tall, short... Older, younger... Black, white, etc... Rich, poor, unemployed, professional, athlete, musician, numbers guy... And then you turn 30. And by 30, if you are still single, you have experienced a rich sampling of the MAN MENU. That sampling has developed into your list of likes or wants or wishes for the man you'd like to spend the rest of your life with. Your favorites.

In any person, man, woman or child, I have learned to see potential. Potential for what? That varies from person to person. But my experience has taught me that I love people. And, quite frankly, I love men. I love plumbers and ballplayers and bartenders and CEOs. I love 'em short and tall and fat and thin. I love them driving a BMW and waiting for the bus. (That one I may need therapy for...)

The point is that your 30s are not for sampling the menu. Your 30s are for being open to every possibility, which I am. Your 30s are not for chasing down every Tom, Dick & Harry. Again, this time in your life has been designated for being open to WHAT COULD BE while keeping in mind your sampling experience and being honest with yourself about your findings.

If there are any single men reading who are waiting for the right girl to come to them, let me make a suggestion to you. There is one assumption you are allowed to make when it comes to women. ASSUME that by 30, we have done a sampling and we are sure of what our favorites are. Women of this age are confident in what we can handle and what we can't and I, for one, am open to almost anything. So, if you think you are Mr. Right-for-her, you need to do something about it because one of the things she has almost certainly discovered in her taste testing journey is this... SHE WANTS TO BE PURSUED. That's the ultimate favorite.

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