Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dating mishaps and the quest for love

For the last few years, I won't say how many because it makes me feel a little old, and I don't like that feeling, Heather has been on a quest.  Aided by a bevy of friends, many psychics, and lots of alcohol (as a side note, coconut wine is not as tasty as it sounds), she has been searching for Mr. Right.

When it started in earnest, Heather's list of traits for Mr. Right  was pretty superficial.  Now, I make her focus on what she wants from the relationship, not from him.  It's evolved due to several dating misadventures, including Heather actually getting mad enough to punch one guy, and a whole lot of spiritual growth and self reflection. There have been love spells (one of which we almost set my house on fire doing), tarot readings, and hundreds of hours of phone calls in pursuit of Heather's long term happiness. Her questing beast, if you will.

Currently, she's thinking about taking a guy out of the friend zone, but she's afraid that he doesn't like her that way.  When she tells the story, it's a comedy worthy of being put on the big screen. Mixed signals, witty repartee, fear, desire, psychic predictions and good old fashioned sex make a pretty entertaining story, but that story is her life, and as her friend, I know it's uncomfortable and that taking the next step will be an incredible act of courage.  After consulting me, my husband (our faithful and put upon Kite String) and the cards (yes, yes we did, and no, she did not like the answer), she knows that she is going to have to come out and ask this guy if he's actually interested in that sort of relationship with her.  She's never had to do that before, and she's afraid that it could hurt their friendship.  On the other hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Physically, she's not his type, which is an uncomfortable realization for anyone.  This led to my husband uncomfortably, but honestly, telling Heather that I'm not his type, and yet here we are married for thirteen years.  When Heather and I talked later, I mentioned the same thing, and she had to laugh.  I know I'm not the type of physical beauty my husband is most attracted to, but I rarely feel slighted by that (when I do it has more to do with my attitude about myself then his attraction to tall, dark haired women).  My husband and I are also proof that you don't always know what you think you know about other people's feelings. The first time Colin and I dated, I broke it off because I didn't think he was interested, when in reality, he's just shy and was adorably awkward.  If it weren't for a friendly spring break visit, a pair of handcuffs (not in a kinky way), and meddling friends, we'd have taken forever to get around to discussing our feelings. We risked and we gained, and the experience has left us with a little wisdom to share. Even knowing this, Heather is afraid, and I don't blame her.

All of this movie worthy little story pales in comparison to what she's learned about herself and what she's inadvertently taught others.  Each relationship that didn't work out has forced her to look at herself and to change those things that she doesn't like.  The guy she punched helped her learn decide what she really needed from a relationship and to be clear in her communications.  Another guy, helped her decide how much she was willing to compromise on (remember the list?).  Focusing on her spiritual journey and family obligations let her see how parts of her past affect her choices.

As frustrating and oft insanity producing as Heather's quest has been, it has also been one that is helping her create a better self, one she is comfortable with and who is capable of fulfilling all her dreams.  She's learned compromise, learned her limits, and is currently working on swallowing both fear and pride to move forward in a new relationship with an old friend.  As always, I'm a phone call away with my fingers crossed and the cards ready hoping that this turns out the way she hopes.

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