In the 12 hours after that New York Times Modern Love blog came out about the 36 questions that can make you fall in love with anyone, ten people sent the article to me. Basically the premise is this: You’re supposed to meet with a stranger, ask each other this list of questions – which are grouped into three sets – and then stare lovingly into one another’s eyes for four whole minutes. (You can blink – I think?) Twenty years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron put two straight people in a room in a lab, had them ask each other these questions, do the whole creepy stare-thing, and six months later they were married. (Wow!)
I was intrigued enough to try it myself.
If there’s anything being single for the past three years has taught me, it’s that I’d rather be happy by myself then unhappy in a relationship. Maybe it’s because my parents’ almost-30-year marriage is a beautiful example of what I think a great couple is, or maybe it’s because my friends have managed to date really amazing guys. But when it comes to love, whomever I end up with better be the bomb-diggity—or I’ll pass.
That being said—if you ask anyone who knows me pretty well, they’d say that I was pretty picky.
My parents met and married in FOUR months. (Crazy, I know!) In February, they’ll be married for 29 years. And though I know it hasn’t all been rosy for them, when I think of the kind of great, big, amazing love I want to have one day, all I have to do is check Facebook and see their latest kissing photo. (Gross, yet adorable!)
After playing the single dating game in NYC for the past three years, I would say I’m a little bitter (read: a lot, especially when I don’t have any wine), but thanks to the example of my parent’s marriage, I’m still hopeful about that one-day man I’ll meet. And when that magical time comes in my own personal romantic comedy of a life, there are a few things that I absolutely have to have in my future relationship. They aren’t big things, but they are the things that make or break a marriage.
A year ago, I was out with friends when a cute guy started to talk to us. In many ways, he was the type of person I’ve gone out with so many times before: educated, handsome, tall, in banking, a little bit of an asshole and a whole lot of charming. It might have been my frustration with dating at the time or that I saw so many ex-boyfriends in his eyes, peering back at me over his vodka water – but I just wasn’t into it.
He, however, was relentless.
We bantered for a while, but as soon as my friends gave me an exit, I turned away. He stopped me and I smiled, as I calmly said, “Look, you seem great, but I just don’t think I’d want to continue this. I’m trying to be smarter about who I go out with.”
He looked shocked (rightfully so), but he grinned as he replied, “I was about to ask you for your number. But you’re right, I was mainly trying to sleep with you. How long have you been single?”
Like clockwork every single night, I get a text message from my dad. It’s usually a mix of “I love you” or “I miss you” coupled with a few sentences about being proud of me (awww). But a few weeks ago, his message read:
“Your mom had a busy day today, and she fell asleep on the couch. She’s so beautiful, Linds. She’s been so good to me. I’m a lucky man. You’ll find your lucky man one day, too. Goodnight, daughter.”
Now, before you get misty-eyed (it’s OK, I did, too), know this: my parents’ relationship and their marriage is not typical. It’s one of those stories that people write about—the kind of love that could be made into a movie (after being a best-selling Nicholas Sparks book). Theirs is a marriage that’s more of a goal rather than a standard.
In response to a blog I recently wrote, a man named Mark from Denver wrote to me to share the male perspective. I’m excited to share this inspiring blog with a message that I try to send through this blog, and one that I think all women – single, taken or otherwise – need to be reminded of. It’s even more refreshing to hear it from a single guy. Thanks for contributing, Mark! Check out his blog here, ladies.
“There is always someone prettier”
I heard this come out of my friends mouth as we were walking down the streets of NYC last week. She had flown in from Hong Kong for work and I was in town visiting my potential place of residence. We met up to hang out and spend a few days together.
This was originally published on eHarmony’s blog.
If you’ve been single for a while, you’re probably used to the first date dance by now: he asks where you’re from originally, you ask about his job. He asks if you prefer red or white wine, you ask about his hobbies. It usually feels like the same ole’ conversation just with a different person, unless you stumble across a truly magical (and rare!) amazing date.