Propinquity in dating
The trouble with that strategy is that if it works, you’re left feeling false and uneasy; and if it fails, instead of seeing the encounter as just another interesting episode in the elimination process, you get to feel bad both about yourself and about your performance skills. A very nice man who’s been sharing his online dating adventures with me wrote about a woman who corrected his table-manners in a restaurant.
Meanwhile, Marshall and I took walks and ate meals and wove an endless ribbon of conversation, hard to stop at the end of a day, easy to pick up when next we met.But it’s hopeless: we are as smug and pleased with ourselves as canary-stuffed cats. The way I see it, there are two kinds of success: the outward kind that involves attaining or exceeding a measurable goal; and the inward kind, remaining rooted and whole while pursuing your desires, so that setbacks don’t throw you.Driving home from dinner with friends last week, another bout of self-congratulation ended with a protracted silence. Honestly, I can’t credit anything but blind luck for my present happiness.Judging by the prevalence of advice books on the best-seller lists, a great many of us believe there’s a formula for success in almost every endeavor, and that we can learn it from life’s winners—sports heroes, self-made billionaires, box-office stars, famous lovers.In one way, it makes sense: since they’ve done may be), they ought to be able to say how. Almost every advice guide comes down to the same few principles—work hard, believe in yourself, work to your strengths, calculate your risks, know your competition, keep your promises, and so on.Perhaps the woman’s reply would reveal an attractively ironic self-knowledge, bringing them closer: “You are so right!
I’ve been nagging my teenager about this so much lately, I forgot for a second where I was.” But if she was defensive or self-righteous, that would be an important warning to heed.
People don’t necessarily know how to evaluate their online experience. Do you really expect that more than a few would have the right combination of qualities to interest you in exploring a real relationship?
The main job of the online love-seeker is to find a way to eliminate people who are truly unsuitable, not because they have the wrong hair-color or profession, but because—for example—you are seeking an intimacy that opens over and over into depth, and their profiles seek only a golf partner who also loves tennis.
Marshall sent me links to the onling dating profiles of women who seemed promising, and I visualized his happiness as I vetted them on his behalf.
I fantasized that he would find the perfect woman who would magically be a perfect friend to me as well.
In relation to each other, we became our kindest, most generous selves, leading with our hearts. It makes sense to look at this enterprise as an occasion of serendipity, not just matchmaking. I was impressed by the obvious charm, attractions—and number—of eligible women online, and by how many emails Marshall had received from these delightful women in just a short time online. I’d received a steady stream of emails, but compared to his volume, I was a piker.