Holy Hiatus, Peeps! I apologize for the delay in posting, but I have been a very busy girl! Busy with what, you ask? Busy with lots, I say!
I have a home improvement project in the works, and I can't wait to share that with you (it's been a process, so I will hopefully have that post up in the next week or so). I have been SLAMMED busy at work, trying to get things ready for three huge projects that are all going on at the same time! I've been preparing for Beach Blast 2K10, which is a friends-only beach trip that will commence in T minus two days (we depart tomorrow)! I've been transitioning my clothes to introduce my fall attire back into the mix. And, I've been.....wait for it......wait for it.......dating. I know, put your shocked faces on!
That brings me to the actual topic of this post. Dating is an interesting concept, especially to someone who hasn't done it since she was 19. Yeah, that would be me. After the dissolution of the last major relationship of my life, I took some time to reflect - on both relationships and myself. I observed other couples I admire, took time to let myself think, and jotted down what I'd discovered was important to me, and also the things that my last relationship brought to light about myself. I discovered the qualities and habits I need to work on that will make me better able to deserve the next person I invest time and love in.
So, here are some interesting findings that I came up with that kind of surprised me.
1) Respect is a big deal to me - much bigger than I originally thought. Not only is it important to me that I be respected, but it's important for me to continually be respectful of the other person. I also want to meet someone that I genuinely do respect for whatever reason - I think it helps lay the foundation for an entire journey together.
2) Effort is key. Here's a fact, kids. Love takes work. Lots of work. Anyone who doesn't agree is honestly very naive or crazy. Not to be harsh, but that is one thing I know for sure. I always put forth effort in my relationships, whether it be with friends, family, colleagues, or romantic situations, and I would love to meet someone who operates the same way and is willing to do the work. The work isn't always pretty, but it makes everything worth it in the end.
3) I want someone who is as focused on the experience as me. During my self-reflection, I came to realize that what really speaks to me can't be labeled as a "thing." What really makes me happy is the experiences - the journeys from here to there, or the memories that you make. Gifts are nice and all, but I want someone to go on adventures with me. I want someone to discover new things with. I want someone who is willing to listen to what I want to do, be open to it, and then find a way to want to do that too. And I can do the same for them. I want to be out of my comfort zone, and I want to really live.
4) Giving back is HUGE. I have always made it a personal policy to donate my time and even money to causes that speak to me, and I never really realized how important that quality of service is to me. I don't do it because I want recognition. I've always had the fundamental desire to help people, and giving back has also been the perfect way to give thanks for all I have in this world. I am so lucky, and so blessed, and if I can do anything to make someone's life better, I want to do it. I'd love to meet someone with that same mentality. It's an exceptionally humbling and worthy experience, and it shows a degree of selflessness that is very appealing to me. It's enough to melt your heart when you see someone who really gets it.
5) Appreciation and gratitude go a long way. I feel like we all know someone who truly complains all the time about what's going wrong in their lives. If someone buys them dinner, they complain about the way the steak was prepared. If they get a promotion at work, they express their discontent for the longer hours and additional responsibilities. There are very few things that completely turn me off to a person more than lacking appreciation. I was raised to say 'please' and I was also raised to say 'thank you,' and I feel that is extremely important. Life is too short to wish for what others have or to waste your time away with complaints or resentment. I often get overwhelmed when I think of all the things that have been done for me throughout my life. As I stated before, I am so lucky and so blessed - and I am so happy! My heart could burst for the amount of blessings that have been bestowed upon me, and I am so grateful - it would be nice to meet someone who feels the same way.
So, this is the interesting and exciting thing about dating - you get to meet new people, and ask them questions, and learn things about them. You get to see the different ways they handle high-pressure situations, and you can see how they react to the things you say and do. For the first time in a long time, I'm completely out of my comfort zone and I am nervous! And, in all honesty, I think that's a good thing. I feel cautious, and maybe even a bit cynical, but moreso than that, I am very excited about the experiences I'm having and the memories I'm making! I'm finding it fun to walk down a path that I'm not used to, and the control freak in me is being forced to keep quiet and I'd have to say that I'm finding that refreshing. On the one hand, I'm used to planning everything and taking care of everything (it's just my nature), and dating has really slapped that hand. I'm not in control but, for the most part, I actually don't mind - how crazy is that? (I know it's scary - pray for me.)
So, here's to new experiences! Here's to making memories! Here's to meeting people, and being brought back to square 1! Here's to being uncomfortable, and stumbling, and most of all - learning to be okay with that! What can I say? It's a fabulous place to be!
Until next time,