A Distracting Click

I call it the “click.”

Others refer to it as chemistry, shared interests, similar backgrounds, or an unparalleled connection. It’s that feeling – or maybe it’s a moment – when you’re just starting to date someone and you recognize the “click.” It’s that little voice or that nudge in your tummy that says, “Oh! This could be something. I like him!”

I think the click is different for everyone and specific to each relationship. The click with Mr. Idea was on our first date, while the click with Mr. Possibility took a few months to develop. Anything can ignite the click, a sentence, a discovery, a trip, an intense sex session, and the list goes on and on. Regardless, the click is important. It’s the beginning of the lifeline of a relationship-that-could-be and it’s when any eligible bachelor steps up from courter to, well, possibility.

My friend K has an exciting dating life, and I’ve often told her she should be writing this blog instead of me since I’m no longer making the Manhattan rounds. She’s an equal-opportunity dater: tall, short, older, younger, religious, unaffiliated, foreign, All-American, this or that. Her stories are wildly entertaining and her optimism is refreshing, no matter what she holds her head high and goes onto the next one if this one doesn’t fit. She’s quite level-headed when it comes to dudes – a trait I only developed through this blog – so when she Gchatted me first thing this morning to ask for advice in a somewhat frantic manner, I was a tad surprised.

She had the click with someone.

And this time, instead of just being another guy on the roster, he’s stepped ahead in the rankings and now a bazillion questions are running through her mind (and being asked via chat): how do I not get jealous over his ex? When is a good time to express that I’d be fine with not dating anyone else? How do I not peek over his shoulder when something piques my interest on his BlackBerry? Why does sex suddenly mean something because my emotions are tied to him?

Attempting to put things into check for her while still being a good friend – I felt like a hypocrite. I’m advising her to take it slow, to calm down, to keep her options open since it’s only been a handful of dates, to not worry, to be herself, to let him fall for her, and all of these cookie-cutter trite words of wisdom. But the truth is – once you click, it’s hard to compromise.

Because that feeling is intoxicating. It takes over all of your rational thought and turns you into an obsessive, crazy gal who wants what she wants right when she wants it. It makes fun sex have strings attached. It makes us want to stalk the ex-girlfriend by any means available. It makes us want to pull him so incredibly close that he can’t seemingly get away. It makes us want to lock him in as boyfriend, pray insistently that he isn’t tempted by the fruit of another, and more than anything, it makes us deathly afraid. We know the click doesn’t come along often and when it does, shouldn’t we capitalize on it? And not compromise what we’re feeling because we love it so damn much?

But we kind of have to. We have to slow down. We have to tell our heart to have some patience. We have to not get too attached too soon. We have to not let our hope rise too high because we know what it feels like when it falls too low. We have to put up some protection because we’ve been burned before. The click is the first indication but it isn’t a signal of longevity or a promise that love is in the making.

The click is just what it is: a brief feeling that sparks something. And that something, if we can swallow our fear and stomach the process of dating until (or if) casual turns into concrete, the maybe, that click will click into an actual something. Something that’s more defined and dependable.

We have to tuck away that obsessive nature and focus on something more important than the click, even when it seems like it’s the most valuable thing in the whole world.

You know, distract ourselves. Because if the click is going to distract us from everything else, the only compromise that makes sense is to distract it right back.

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