We live in a world with numerous modes of communication at our fingertips—but there are many of us unable to find the right person to connect with.
There are so many boxes to tick. We are doing our best to ensure all of them are checked—like packing our bags for a trip.
We forget to see the additional assets in a person, which could make that checklist longer. They may be introducing us to traits we never even were aware of. They may just be the ones sent into our lives to broaden our definitions and change our perspective.
And yes, every relationship is a journey to be embarked upon, but we do not always have to be so well prepared. There is nothing to stop us from picking things up on the way from our destination—perhaps even duty-free. Maybe we pick up new things or new ways.
We are constantly evolving. Why is it that we are so set in our ways, placing hard and fast rules on what our partner should or should not be like? We all have the perfect picture of what our partner should be, but how do we know that the version of perfection we are seeking is the only version of perfection there is?
What we could swear was perfect for us 10 years ago—most probably—does not match any of our current real-life expectations. Sometimes life fools us into thinking something was perfect. When we get to realise that it does not fit our frame well, we call out for the bill and leave the table. Of course, there are times where our intuition kicks in, and every fibre in our body screams, “This is not right.” Trust it.
However, in not-so screaming circumstances, we have to let our guard down. Until we expose ourselves in the way we expect our partner to do, we cannot attract that person or personality. This asks us to become more vulnerable. That is okay too.
Dating is not a game to be played—it is one to be understood. It is human interaction in its simplest form. Other than attraction, why would one connect with another? Leaving romantic relationships aside, why do most platonic relationships exist? Generally, it is because we share a common interest or experience. At some point, we lived some of the journeys together and became a support network for one another.
Putting all our burdens and obligations aside, if we find the potential to connect with somebody, we need to trust our gut feeling. It is the only thing guiding us. We should not let this feeling dilute itself with all the noise being made out there by those passing fleeting judgments.
This reminds me of a time when I met a good friend of mine for the first time. I met her at work. I had heard a lot about her from different workgroups. I was minded to stay away as a result because, frankly, I did not have the time to sit and verify things heard on the grapevine.
Then one day we bumped into one another in the office kitchen, making ourselves a quick coffee. We started to chat about how overstretched we were about an upcoming event. We shared our vulnerability. Exchanged our genuine feelings about how we felt.
No one was hiding. No one was playing games. We realised we both saw a glimpse of authenticity in one another. Since we could not keep talking for hours on end on work time, we ended our brief conversation, mesmerised by the knowledge we both had gained in those five minutes in the kitchen—and more so because we seemed to have used similar strategies to overcome them.
We bonded on another level. A level no one could understand. What left me struck was the way she would pause to dissect new information given to her, which would then trigger her to rethink everything she felt she had already figured out. Her mind was the sort to always run into overtime. I was the same too—we could relate.
Now, if I had never spoken to her and opened up to her because of what I had heard and what I thought I knew about her, I would never have known what I do know about her. In the midst of a dialogue with her, I chose to trust the realness in the feelings at the same pace as I received them, bit by bit, and simply chose to open up.
Remember, it is not always in the grandest of gestures that we will find what we really need. Sometimes we are guided by what we need. As much as we think we know ourselves, there is a force out there, greater and more knowledgeable than us.
We need to use our instinct as the basis for turning away something knocking at our door, rather than basing it on different criteria like profession, physical appearances, the need for him or her to fit around our life, or what others may think or say.
There is no need to be so rigid. Trust your instincts and live—and believe—in the process.