My friend Alex (and her adorable guy) insisted that I set up an online dating profile.
After a few weeks of hesitation, I put my skepticism aside and decided to just go for it.
I put quite a bit of thought into writing (and re-writing) my profile. I carefully selected my pictures and then I sat back and waited for the avalanche of men-folk.
There wasn’t an avalanche, but there was Mountain Man.
Physical attraction that makes you want to straddle him? Check.
Witty with just a touch of smart ass? Check.
Likes to read? Check.
Doesn’t want to live in the heart of a city? Check.
Loves dogs, trees, mountains and large bodies of water? Check, check, check and check.
Ohmygosh, guys! This it! It’s haaaaappening!
I acted on impulse. Click, message, now, you, me, YES.
And Mountain Man replied (yippee!) and we traded a couple messages about Tom Waits and then…
He never wrote another word.
And I could see he was still active on the site, so no, he had not fallen in a ditch somewhere. (I know that was the first thought that crossed your mind.)
I was crushed. Ego = badly bruised. Sad face, galore.
And for weeks, I hyper-analyzed those messages. What had I done wrong? What had I said? Did he conclude I was too tall? Too curvy? What the HELL?
And then, I figured it out.
I was boring.
For the most part, my messages were dry and sounded like a forced ‘this-is-how-you-online-date’ conversation. There was very little lightness, humor, playfulness, and hardly a drop of the holy grail herself: flirting.
So, why was I so boring?
Because I was waiting on him to take the lead.
I was waiting on him to ask an intriguing question.
I was waiting on him to seduce me.
I was waiting on him to open the door to Flirty and Funny.
I was waiting on him to set the tone.
And I was waiting so long that I forgot this truth:
In every conversation, in every email, every time you look someone in the eye, you are setting the tone.
You can’t control or take responsibility for how other people respond to your tone. You can only choose it consciously and deliberately.
And waiting for a man or a colleague or the salesperson to decide for you, well, that sounds like stunted living and I hope you’ll decide to pass on that.
Instead, I hope you’ll start to notice the opportunities that already exist for you to take more initiative, so that you can jumpstart the experiences you want the most.
I want a tall hunk of must-love-dogs intelligentsia to make word play, belly laughs and sexy snuggles with me.
So guess what?
I HAVE TO BE THAT.
If intelligence matters to me, I need to explore and savour mine and that of the people around me.
If playful word banter is what I want, I need to initiate some of that.
If I want to laugh, then humour should be leading the way in most of my conversations.
If sexy snuggles are high on the priority list, some self-snuggling needs to take place. And, stat.
Sure, Mountain Man didn’t take any initiative and he didn’t ask me a single question about myself, so it’s probably for the best that our ships passed in the night.
But he drew my attention to an important point:
Don’t wait on the guy or the car or the promotion to transport you into a magical land where all your heart’s desires are met.
Take responsibility for creating what you desire. Here. Now.
Play the note you want to hear. And soon enough, someone will come along to sing harmony with you.
Photo via Death To The Stock Photo