With the weekend looming, I find myself still completely clueless to dating. Dating rituals actually get in the way of my having a real relationship. Truly! I wonder how I ever got married and divorced in the first place…
Dr. Alex Benzer, author of Tao of Dating, suggests that the smarter you are, the more clueless you will be, and the more problems you will have In your dating life. And I tend to believe this – at least this way I can continue to be smart somehow. 🙂 For something as simple sounding as dating, it would indeed take someone smart to really screw it up!
So here are some of the real problems I have experienced and that Dr. Benzer discusses:
Smart people have probably spent more on achievements than on relationships when growing up. As for me, yes, Valedictorian, Honor Society, Writing Contests…then dealing with leukemia by the age of 19. Having overly protective father and brother only added to my isolation from people especially male suitors. So instead of chasing boys, learning how to swim, drive, partying with sorority sisters, I spent time studying, reading, getting straight As, writing in my journals, throwing up and losing my hair. Dating was not even on the list of extracurricular activities. Is it any wonder that at times I am socially awkward still??? I definitely need more practice in the art of successful dating!
Another problem: Smart people may feel somewhat entitled to love because of their achievements. Okay – I will go with that for a bit… work hard, get good results (or, in the case of really smart folks, even if they don’t work hard, they still get good results). Good results could mean kudos, strokes, positive reinforcement, respect from peers, love from parents, etc. So it should make sense that in the romantic arena, it should work the same way. Right? The more stuff I do, the more accomplishments and awards I have, the more boys will like me. Right? Please say I’m right, because I’ve spent a LOT of time and energy accumulating this mental acuity….sigh…alas…it does not…
I do get a lot of first dates. But not too many real second dates. I lose interest, they lose interest, whatever. And it certainly won’t bring me lasting love and fulfillment.
Something I have painfully and slowly learned: Romantic success has nothing to do with your mental IQ and everything to do with how you make the other person feel. And making someone feel a certain way is a somewhat nonlinear process that requires a different kind of mastery than that of Shakespearean English or calculus. Who would have thought?! So now I have tried learning how to earn love and yes even lust. Unfortunately, no one really teaches us the power to flirt or how to give a compliment, how to be romantic, or how to dissuade others (hence why I have probably had one too many stalkers). I am still learning the art of giving attention but not too much attention, being caring without being needy. Harder than I ever realized!
Okay yet another problem:
I, for the most part, do not feel like a fully-realized sexual being and therefore do not act like one. Being sick at such an early age, being too thin, bald, rashy just didn’t make me appear or feel pretty. At some point too I got pegged as a smart girl. Boys talked to me when they needed help with algebra or help writing English papers. And I was the youngest of three older sisters – who were already identified as the “pretty one”, “athletic one” and the “the funny, social one”. So yes my identity was tied in with being just the “sick but smart one” – not a good identity for dating and building relationships. So for years, I never paid much attention to my looks, or appearance. I never bothered to cultivate my sensuality as a woman. So I have been learning how to be more feminine to actually attract a suitable partner of the opposite sex. Its still a work of progress but I think I have made big strides the past couple of years. Determined to use the good genes my Mami gave me…Lol
I do think I tend to seek out other smart people to hang out with, otherwise I get too bored and not even give anyone a chance. But really how many smart, single, good looking, tall, non-smoking, local men are out there for me?! So I have very limited choices – I know I need to loosen up, I may have to go on yet another dating site, or move to Duesseldorf. I think joining a convent is out of the question at this point of my life.
Ah the practice of loving…No one is perfect, alas not even me, far from it. I am learning how to appreciate others for what they have to offer, not dismiss them on what they don’t. I am not willing to settle, nor lower my standards but am willing to revisit my standards. I am learning that by opening my heart again to the possibilities of love – I am finding joy in ways I never even imagined possible. It’s like that first time one tries sushi or wine despite some trepidation, found it surprisingly alright, and expanded their personal choices of pleasure. Taking that into consideration, given a choice between happy-go-lucky and picky-but-lonely, happy sounds like more fun….yay! So these days I am focusing on yes – thinking less, well more wisely; feeling more, and acting more feminine…beware…♥