We all have our routines: we get up in the morning at the same time each day after hitting the snooze button the same number of times even though we told ourselves we were giving up the snooze button habit, run out the door without a minute to spare (unless you’re more of a morning person than I am then maybe you don’t do that), drive the exact same route, walk into the office and probably say the same greeting to our coworkers. Our week is mapped out with events, meetings, commitments, work outs, even TV shows. “Yeah lets grab dinner this week, when were you thinking? Ooohhh Tuesday . . . Tuesday I spin. Are you free any other night this week? No, I could do Friday as long we end the night on the early side because I have a pilates class Saturday morning and then I’m catching up on errands and housework. Sunday? I mean I usually grocery shop Sunday evenings, cook lunch and dinner for the week and then watch Downton Abbey but I’m sure I could rearrange some of that stuff . . . Sunday it is”. Have you ever had a conversation like that one? Where you make someone that you DO want to spend time with think that you would rather watch paint dry or have a pap smear instead of grabbing dinner with them because you’re worried about veering from your weekly routine? Songwriter Christine Lavin once said, “There’s a very fine line between a groove and a rut” and boy was she right. As a single girl, I try to remind myself that almost anything on my to-do list can be done a day or even a week late without any major consequence. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t vacuum or clean my car or take the time to stuff the comforter back in the duvet cover properly (which is a giant pain in the ass by the way, struggling with that one as we
speak type). It’s important to leave room for fun, to shake things up and prioritize living a life that I enjoy over living a life in a spotless house and being current in all my favorite TV shows. For the most part, I think I have a pretty good balance. But I do have to admit that this winter, I have found myself being a bit more of a homebody than I would like. Don’t get me wrong, a little wintertime hibernating now and then is never a bad thing. We all need to camp out on our couch for awhile with a glass of wine and a chick flick but I have been doing that mayyybbbeee a little too much lately (substitute chick flick with trashy reality shows and it might be considered wayyy too much). So I’ll admit it, I’m in a winter rut and for that matter a dating rut.
I have not gone on any dates lately, and I keep telling myself that it’s because there isn’t anyone that I’m interested in going out with but really I think it’s my mindset. I’m not interested in meeting anyone who contacts me because I’m not giving them the chance to get me to be interested in them. These days I have a hard time getting excited about any guy until I meet them which wouldn’t be so bad except I don’t really care to meet them because I’m not excited. Catch 22, huh? I talk to a guy long enough to hope to become interested, maybe even give them my number then when they ask me out, come up with some excuse as to why I can’t go ( and I mean with a life planned out with tedious activities for the week, it’s not that hard to convince yourself that you really are too busy right now to go on a date). I start responding to them less frequently and eventually they lose interest and I stop hearing from them. Yup, my rut’s turning me into a DB (that’s douchebag for those of you who don’t weirdly abbreviate words like I do).
I read an article recently about the negative effect that technology has had on dating and while I think that technology has made more of a positive impact on dating overall, there were definitely some valid points. Being behind a computer screen or smartphone has increased the safety people find in the anonymity of it all. You wouldn’t approach someone out in public by saying “Sup” and winking at them without anything intelligent or thoughtful to say to them (well, most people wouldn’t) but online, “Sup ;)” is totally not an uncommon message to receive. You wouldn’t try to play 20 questions with someone because the conversation wasn’t flowing and then still try to ask them out if you were face to face but again, online, it’s a definite possibility. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m any better. Just because your smile hasn’t given me butterflies because I’ve only seen a photo and not gotten the opportunity to experience it first hand, that doesn’t give me the right to treat these guys in a manner that I would find insulting if it was directed at me. Wasting someone else’s time isn’t okay and it’s about time that I cut the shit. Another example that the article gives is that we are all sure that there is someone or something better just around the corner and it makes it hard for us to want to commit to a date because we don’t want to be unavailable if a more desirable invitation comes along. I have definitely been guilty of that one in the past, I don’t want to book myself with Mystery Date A when I might get asked out by someone that I am more attracted to or think I might be more compatible with and have to turn him down.
So how am I going to turn this around? How am I going to pull myself out of this rut? Good question. “Sometimes the fountain runs shallow. Sometimes the pen is short on ink. Sometimes we just need a kick in the head. No matter the reason for your temporary slump, you know you have to get out of it if you are ever going to get anywhere” – Terrence Williams. The answer is NOT that I am going to give everyone a chance and go out with every guy that asks. I once tried that as a way to get over someone I really liked but who just wasn’t interested in me and let me tell you, it is a terrible idea. There’s nothing quite like being on a date and realizing that your new resolution has prevented you from screening the guy sitting across from you to make sure that he’s not a creep. And he is. And now you’re stuck spending the evening with him. What I will do is make more of an effort to get to know the person contacting me, try harder to put a personality to the messages and pics and if I really don’t think there is any kind of connection then I will explain that even if it does make for uncomfortable conversation. The ones that I do see a possibility of having chemistry with, I will actually agree to go out with – novel concept, right?
I’m going to get out of my rut and back into my groove. I’m going to stop letting routines dictate my life – will I still spin on Tuesdays? Sure. But if I’d rather grab dinner with friends once in a while, that’s okay too. I’ll remember to enjoy myself, duvet cover-less or not. I’ll stop substituting responsible for fun and instead be a better mix of the two. I’ll start giving people more of an opportunity to catch my eye and spark my interest. It’s time for my pen to stop being short on ink.