Monday, June 30, 2008

Because it's been a while since I polled the Internet on how to live my life

Hello, friends. If there is one thing I have learned since starting a blog, it is that the Internet loves to help. OK, that's not entirely true. I have actually learned lots of things, and "People type some weird ass shit into search engines" might actually rank significantly higher than that whole "helping" thing on any sort of scale.

Regardless, I know you like to help. I also know you like to talk about yourself. (It's OK; we all do. If we didn't, we wouldn't be here, right?) So this post is sort of a twofer. You get to share your own life experience, and you maybe even get to help me in the process. Deal? I thought so.

My question today is for all of you happily coupled folks out there, and for all of you who have ever been happily coupled (for however brief or lengthy a period) in the past. Tell me: at what point in the pre-coupled, getting-to-know-you process did you decide that the person sitting across the table from you on those early dates was someone you wanted to continue getting to know? Were you pretty sure from the start? Were you ever not sure and decided you were later? I'm not even asking when did you know you wanted to marry the guy (or girl). I'm just asking when you knew that another date (and another, and another) was something you were definitely interested in.

I am certain I have asked variations on this same question before (and I remember some of your answers*), but obviously I've still yet to figure out what seems like should be a fairly simple formula. Am I making this too hard? Am I making it not hard enough? Am I wrong to think a small spark or connection of some sort (be it physical, conversational, or intellectual) has to be there very early on or it won't develop at all?

Discuss amongst yourselves. I'll probably follow up with the context behind the question tomorrow. And as usual, thanks in advance for your undoubtedly witty and helpful insights.

* Yes, 3Cs, I'm talking to you. I know you've said you weren't particularly interested in your husband when you first met him. What I'm wondering is how you knew you should keep going out with him.


Anonymous said...

I know within the first five minutes if I want to continue dating someone...though I'm not sure you should take my advice because I'm 32, single, living in my parent's basement and the most significant relationship in my life is with my cat.

Unsure about the guy you're dating? Or just a general question?

3carnations said...

I love getting singled out. :)

Hubby and I had gone on several dates. I kept saying yes because I couldn't come up with a real reason (a reason to give him or to give myself) to say no. I wasn't NOT interested, but I wasn't at the point where I was super excited about getting together. One night we had plans to get together for dinner, and we got nearly a foot of snow during the day. I called him at the end of the work day and said I wouldn't be able to get together because I had to shovel my driveway. A legitimate excuse. It was still snowing, and I needed to get through the snow we already had before more got piled on and before the plow made that bump at the end of the driveway any harder to navigate. He said he understood, and we may have even rescheduled. I started shoveling as soon as I got home and got changed. A short while later, he showed up, straight from work, in dress pants and dress shoes, and proceeded to finish shoveling my driveway for me. After that I made him dinner, and we ended up having our date after all.

You have to understand that at that point, the last half dozen or so guys I had dated were the kind of guys who would have been much more likely to come dump a pile of snow in my driveway than to help me remove it. The fact that he showed up very spontaneously to help and probably did a number on his shoes in the process, for no reason other than he wanted to help...Well, that had a lot of significance at that point in my life. From there I started to get more and more excited about getting together with him, and within a few months, we were talking about moving in together.

To say it all stemmed from my driveway getting shoveled sounds really ridiculous, and obviously that's not what our relationship was built on...But sometimes it's a gesture, or something that makes someone stand out, even just a little, that makes you realize they are special and worth getting to know.

shelleycoughlin said...

I knew with Chris right away. Honestly, from the first minute I met him. I had no idea whether he felt the same way, of course, but I definitely felt that he was someone I wanted to spend time with.

I found that the guys I was unsure about right from the start usually ended up being wrong for me- as evidenced by the fact I am no longer with them.

Then again, maybe I'm atypical?

Sizzle said...

I knew I wanted to get to know the Fella more from the first time I talked to him on the phone, well, really, from our email exchanges (we met on line) but when I met him in person? I wanted to touch him pretty much immediately. And haven't really stopped for about a year (and going!).

I tend to react from my gut so I usually know within the first hour of meeting someone, sometimes less. The ones that I gave a longer chance to warm up to never actually ended up clicking.

lizgwiz said...

Well, obviously nobody should be taking relationship advice from ME, but looking back, my most successful relationships have been with guys who struck SOME sort of spark with me pretty much instantly. Even if it was just thinking "hey, this guy doesn't suck." ;)

(Also, 3car--that story is so cute.)

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

I typically know very quickly. I can tell you on the first date if I see us having a relationship or not. Generally it's that I find something that I don't like that that turns into a no rather than finding something I do like that turns into a yes. It's relationship before proven not relationship. But I can tell you in the first five minutes if I'm looking for an excuse to get out of there.

Noelle said...

My mom had to convince me to go on a second date with Birmingham. And honestly, during our first month of dating, I just kept doing it because I felt like it had been so long since I dated someone, I shouldn't be picky. There was no exact moment where I knew I wanted to be with him longer. Our relationship was almost on a date-to-date status for the first year or so. Then it just became habit. But a highly enjoyable habit.

Anonymous said...

As I have mentioned before, when H sang the 3-inch bee song on our first date, I thought- ok, this is a fun guy to hang out with. But I wasn't really sure that I wanted to keep dating him until we had been dating for about a month. At the one month point, I think I decided that I should end it if I wasn't really into it, and I realized that I really liked hanging out with H.

Mair said...

I do not have anything fabulous or wise to say (perhaps I am waiting on the context), but right after I read your post, I skipped to this one.

Anonymous said...

Having never ventured into the online dating scene, I have never had the connection with someone over email first. I have heard this helps stop the immediate dismissal that might otherwise occur upon meeting. (is this the case?) Like others, I have to say I usually know within the first couple minutes of meeting someone whether it should continue. That said, I try to give guys a couple dates just in case I missed something (or the opportunity to do something outstanding like 3C's experience). I have had many, MANY dates that look wonderful on paper and we should have this great connection, but for some reason he doesn't do it for me and it is hard to get excited once that happens. My last relationship had many early warning signs, but after the frustration of 2 years of constant dating and setups I was desperate to believe my intuition was off and I needed to give this decent guy a chance. Now after this last awful breakup and finding myself single once again at almost 28, I am realizing I need to listen to that voice (even if it is just a 'not very interested meh' instead of a warning siren).
I am just not sure I am ready to face it all again. Might be time to make the internet work for me and help with this screening process. Maybe the dating stories will be enough to push me into finally making my own blog instead of just commenting on yours. :)
Looking forward to knowing the context.

Anonymous said...

Well, he was the first guy I didn't have to wonder if he liked me, he just did and the way he showed me wasn't annoying as it had in the past with other guys. I felt really comfortable with him and we just had so much fun. That was pretty instant. I knew I wanted to marry him within a month.

L Sass said...

I knew I wanted to keep going out with AS right away. I had a lot of doubts and fears, but I guess I always had a gut feeling about him.

Of course, AS was one of those guys who didn't really seem to have any flaws behind baldness and dorkiness for the first six months of our relationship. Not all guys are on their best behavior for so long!

Anonymous said...

In a weird way I knew before I met him. We had a mutual friend and I always thought he sounded like a cool person. So I got a penpal in him one day (I really wanted a pen pal and just got email) and we started writing books to each other. Two weeks later he called me and we talked for HOURS and the second he stepped off the plane a week from our first phone convo to meet me for the first time and our eyes met it was "magic" as Meg Ryan would say. That was it for me. We both knew. He moved here two months later. It's been easy and wonderful. I think it helped that we built a friendship before we got all lovey dovey.

With other guys I pretty much knew if I liked them right away. The more I ignored those nagging negative thoughts, the worse the relationship ended being.

does that help?

I say go with your gut and DON'T COMPROMISE! You are worth it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was going to type my very long comment here, but then I realized that it may be a perfect blog entry. Give me a few minutes, and then head on over to my place.

metalia said...

It's funny--For me, it was all about timing. I met J when I was in an awful, awful relationship (which I obviously didn't realize while I was in it), and we became good friends in about five seconds. About 2 years later, when I was out of the bad relationship, we were hanging out after not having seen each other in months, and I was all, "oh, my god! how did I not realize that I am totally supposed to end up with this guy?" Less than a year later, we were engaged.

Poppy said...

I may have met your soulmate in NYC this weekend! Unfortunately he's married.

Wait, is that a problem?


As for your question: You know my relationship wasn't traditional to start. I saw Dawg for the first time in a video with his son in April 2007. I fell in love instantly with his son and had a very large celebrity crush on Dawg, but in a platonic way if that makes any sense. And then time progressed and life circumstances changed and suddenly my forehead got slapped that I reeeeeeally liked him a lot in the middle of January so I told him. He came over to my apartment that weekend, just to visit me for a few hours... drove through the night to see me, arrived at 6am. When I opened the door to see him standing there that's when I knew he was "the one". :)

So, I dunno about that whole getting-to-know-you process, because he and I got to know each other and become good friends online first. No awkward in-person stuff for me. Even when we met in October at the airport to do the video I didn't think it was awkward.

Why am I bothering to leave you a comment that doesn't help you at all?

Whiskeymarie said...

I never really knew he was the "one", I just hoped for the best.
I never knew if getting married was the best thing to do- again, I just hoped for the best.

Twelve years later, I still sometimes wonder who the hell this guy is I'm married to, but I think it has worked out pretty well so far.

Ask me again in another twelve years.