One of the biggest problems with trying to date in DC is that everyone’s busy. Busy with work. Busy with school. Busy with social lives and current friends. I’ve recently had two experiences that have reminded me of this.
A few weeks ago, I started emailing with a guy on OkCupid. After a few messages there, he gave me his email as an easier way to continue our conversation. The email looked familiar. I checked my Gmail and sure enough, we had chatted before.
About 2.5 years ago, we met on Match.com. We had chatted for a while, and then moved the conversation to Gmail, where we spent several weeks trying to arrange our first date. It never happened because of work schedules, and other events. And then I started dating someone and we lost touch.
Now that we’d reconnected, we finally went out. The first date was nice. On the second date, I don’t think either one of us was feeling the magic. But, it took about 2.5 years from when we first met to find that out.
I met Guy #2 in January of 2009 through a mutual friend that I see occasionally. We traded information and became Facebook friends. Again, we tried scheduling a date, but conflicting calendars didn’t allow it. At some point, we stopped trying. Over the years, he’s popped up on my newsfeed and I never thought much about it, other than the fact that he’s really cute.
A few weeks ago, we ran into each other at an event, but didn’t talk. When he got home, he emailed me on Facebook and asked if I had been at the event. We chatted until a few hours past my bedtime, and set up a date for the next Friday.
It was a really nice first date. And it only took 3.5 years to happen.
Is there a solution?
If you’re single, you can’t spend all your time cruising bars and dating websites trying to meet people. But, it is so easy in DC to get caught up in all the activities of a busy urban life. So how do you resolve the conflict between wanting to meet someone and our current social lives? When you’re loving your life (and hopefully your job), how do you make sure you’re making space and time to let someone else in?
And how weird is Fate that it reconnected me with two guys within a month?
Would love to hear your comments below.
That’s not really news since I’ve been 40 for a little over 8 months. (Shit! I’m closer to 41 than 40 now?) But, because a good friend of mine had his 40th birthday two days ago, we got to talking about The Big 4-0. Turning 40 wasn’t a big deal for me.
The only birthday I had a problems with was my 25th. I was still in school, and felt like I was waiting for my life to begin, but had already wasted a quarter of a century! Turning thirty was fine. That doesn’t divide into 100 evenly.
My 40th was actually good for me. The last two years of my 30’s had some rough spots and as I was approaching 40, it felt like things were finally turning around and going in the right direction. I had a quiet birthday with a few close friends, but really didn’t do a lot of celebrating. I wanted to just focus on the really good things in my life and enjoy them immensely. Quality over quantity.
But now that my friend, Gary (not his real name because he doesn’t want me to tell his real age), turned 40, we got to talking about what it meant to us. For me, there were two realizations that came with being 40. I call them realizations even though I had thought about both before, but hitting 40 made them sink in.
The first realization was that since I remember when my parents were in their 40‘s and they were old then, I must be old now.
The second was that there were a lot of things that were never going to happen in my life. That’s the hardest part of getting older. I’m not sure that some of these were really things I wanted to happen, but it was nice to know there was the possibility of it happening. But, now that I’m older, even the possibility is gone. Here’s a partial list.
- I’m never going to be a college or professional athlete. (Let’s face it. If it’s an activity you can learn and excel at at 40, then it’s not a real sport.)
- I’m never going to have kids in my 20’s or 30’s.
- I will never be an astronaut. (I guess this is ok, since I hate to fly.)
- I’m never going to just up and move to San Francisco and work in a coffee shop or bookstore.
- I’m not going to get married before I turn 40.
- I will never compete in the Olympics.
- I’m never going to be the “hot, young thing” walking into the gay bar. (Unless I go to the bar above Dupont Italian Kitchen.)
- I’m not going to backpack across Europe for the summer.
I guess some of this is ok. I’m actually in some of the best shape of my life thanks to the gym and my trainer. I’m actually feeling more athletic than I ever have (more on this in a future post). I have great friends. I had two first dates this week, both of which went well. And when I finally finish school and pay off student loans, I may have enough money to have a kid on my own if I want to. (Is 75 too old to be a father?)
Overall, 40‘s looking pretty good.
Well, week #1 is done! Whew! As I mentioned in a previous post, it was kind of rough getting back into the swing of things. The week went pretty well, except in an effort to save my back, I only took one of my Civil Procedure books with me. Of course, we spent time reading directly out of the other two books. And, since I have to read them on the weekends, I can’t just leave them in my locker. Oh well. That’s why they invented chiropractors and massage therapists.
So, this weekend was about catching up, regrouping, and — hopefully — getting a little ahead.
A month ago, I had booked a reservation for Friday for Restaurant Week. Since Friday was the only night I could do dinner, the choices were somewhat limited, and I booked on OpenTable: DC Restaurants as soon as they announced the dates. I like to use Restaurant Week to try restaurants I wouldn’t otherwise spend that much money at. I’ve had great experiences at 1789, for instance. This time, my reservation was at Chef Geoff’s Downtown. I had heard very mixed things about it, so I ended up canceling the reservation.
I stayed in on Friday and got my reading for Civil Procedure and Criminal Law both done.
Saturday was the trainer (that’s why everything hurts!!), and a really wonderful second date.
Today, was reading for Rhetoric, as well as cleaning off my desk.
But It’s Not Over!
Wait! It’s a 3-day weekend! I get an extra day to enjoy.
Actually, tomorrow will be spent first working on my next Rhetoric writing assignment. Then, I need to run to Target and the grocery store. I’m going to cook some chili so I have something healthy to eat this week.
Speaking of healthy cooking, I started reading An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler. I’ve only read two chapters, but it makes me want to cook in a very simple, filling, and tasty way. I’d recommend picking it up.
UPDATED 11/21/13: OpenTable asked me to update their link to go to the DC restaurants.
I’m an Introvert! There, I said It.
Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to this article by Jonathan Rauch, called “Caring for your Introvert.” It links to several related articles including, “Introverts of the World, Unite!“, “The Introversy Continues,” and “Jonathan Rauch comments on some of the feedback he’s received for ‘Caring for Your Introvert’…” They are a great collection of article on what it means to be an introvert and how the rest of you should deal with us, to keep from driving us crazy.
I’ve known I’m an introvert since at least early medical school, but the signs go back much farther. During my first year of medical school, I took the Myers-Briggs personality inventory as part of leadership training for an organization I was involved with. I’m an INTJ, and at that point my Introvert scale was almost pegged to the extreme. We spent most of an afternoon discussing our different types, what they meant, and how we would work best together. That was when I first started understanding that introversion is not the same as shyness.
I may be a little shy at times, but introversion means other things:
- I need time by myself to recharge and re-energize, even if I can do fine in a social situation.
- Getting up and giving a presentation in front of a large crowd is less draining than a small party.
- Extroverts think out loud. Introverts think inside, and when we finally get around to saying it, you should listen. We’ve thought it out and mean exactly what we’re saying. And we may not say it again if you steamroll over us.
- You may not notice we’re an introvert, especially if you’re an extrovert who hasn’t shut up since we met.
After Admitting It, the Next Step is Accepting it.
Over the last 18 years (Yes, it’s been that long since I started medical school), I’ve gotten less introverted. My last Myers-Briggs test had the scale much closer to the middle (but still an INTJ). But, I still consider myself an introvert. The last two weekends, I spent Friday night at home, alone. I’d been out every night during the weeks, and just needed some quiet time to read, watching a movie, and not talk to anyone. I didn’t feel guilty about it. I’m an introvert. I don’t need to be out every night of every weekend.
Now, Learning to Live With It.
In, “The Introversy Continues” (see link above), several readers wrote in to discuss romantic pairing between introverts and extroverts. Been there. Done that. The last two long-term relationships I’ve been in were with extroverts. That was part of the attraction, I’ll admit. They were outgoing, so easily social, talking to anyone, anywhere. Even though I’ve admitted an introvert, I still — at times — envy the extroverts. But there was such a difference in us, that it was often a cause of friction. “Do we have to go out, again?”, “Can’t we just sit at home quietly, staring into each other’s eyes lovingly, while watching reruns of the Golden Girls?”, “Do you know everyone, here?”
From here on out, I’m looking for a guy who’s just a little extroverted. Maybe I do have a tendency to spend to many nights at home, so it’s good that someone’s encouraging me to go out. But, don’t push me too hard.
Time to get ready for work. Go on! Read the articles! We’re out there. We may blend in at first, but once your introvert-dar is working, you’ll see us. And now, you have no excuse for not treating us better.