The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

This Post Could Be About You, But I Hope It's Not

Didjya ever notice that people complain about the darnedest stuff?

So here’s the thing.

We attract what we complain about. Now, before you start throwing things (like whatever device you are using to read this post) or close the site all together, hang with me.

After Christopher died, I joined a website for others who’d lost spouses and significant others. It was a wonderful support and has continued to be so, in that there are different pages for those at different stages. There are spots for those who have dealt with hospice, those who’ve remarried, and more.

One of the discussions is specific for people who are exploring the world of online dating. I saw a post in which the writer mentioned having received an online dating message from a middle-aged man who asked her if she liked haunted houses. Her response was to the effect of ‘yes, when I was a child’. She ended the brief post with something that seemed to indicate her annoyance.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of haunted houses, but what got at me about the post was the apparent negativity. I mean, if haunted houses aren’t your thing, that’s fine. However, maybe they are. In our neighborhood, there are several families whose haunted houses at this time of year attract people of all ages. They’ve been doing it for longer than I’ve lived here, with advertising and all. It’s a big deal and people love it.

My point is, if the person who posted that message is looking at online dating sites to … I dunno … go on a date, maybe being open to what others like would be a good thing?

Not being open to what others like might lead to fewer dating options it seems.

When I became interested in seeing someone again, I too checked out the online scene. It was crazy for sure, which is another story for another time. I was fortunate and met someone with whom I was open to building a relationship with and early on, we went on a date to one of those escape room experiences. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not keen on going into places that I don’t have keys for. However, it was something new and I was doing it with a person I wanted to have fun with. I wonder if I’d been closed to the idea if we’d be where we are today.

I know, building relationship is more than a date to a place that may not be identified at first glance as the most fun for both people. But being open to the possibility did two things for me:

  1. Most importantly, it enabled me to spend time with a person I really wanted to spend time with. Our church is in a series right now and as part of it, we’ve had the opportunity to read a book on the five love languages. I’d never read it before and have found it very enlightening. One thing that resonates through each chapter is the idea of quality time and getting to know one another on a different level.

  2. It became possible that by doing something I’d never done, I’d find that thing enjoyable. We later went on a date to the movies; it was to one of those swanky theatres, where you can get like a real dinner, drinks, the whole enchilada. We decided to order two appetizers to share. My date ordered something that I ordinarily wouldn’t eat, but I tried it and learned I liked it. A lot. So much so, that now I can make that same item at home for us as a side dish.

It’s important to be open to the possibilities, not just in the dating realm but in all facets of our engagement with others.

If you’re like the person who made that post I mentioned earlier, I encourage you to maybe think about the adventures, connections, and joy you could be missing.

Just sayin.

Still Angry, After All These Years ...

Timed Timelessness