What Your Favorite Love Story Might Say About You

Twice a day, a group of work friends and I go for a walk of about 1.5 miles. During this time, we talk about literally everything from Socialism, the French Revolution, to current real estate trends, fashion, and Sherlock. We’re a diverse group of ages, races, and backgrounds, yet we all work in a pretty small universe. Today, we were discussing our favorite movie love stories, and about halfway through our walk, it occurred to me that you could tell a lot about each of these women by the love story that was most important to them.

For one woman, her favorite was An Officer and A Gentleman. Easy enough to see, she wants to be swept off her feet. Another woman liked Only Lovers Left Alive. Again, I could totally see how it related to her – she and her husband love each other dearly, but they live pretty separate lives and each pursue their own hobbies separately. However, when my turn came, I couldn’t see the connection with my love story as clearly. Or, at least, I could see it, but it didn’t seem as romantic to me.

My favorite love story in a movie is Before Sunset. Quick synopsis – a guy and girl meet in Vienna and spend a wonderful evening together. The next morning, the guy is flying back to America, and they agree to meet on the exact same spot in six months (actually that’s the synopsis for Before Sunrise, the prequel to Before Sunset). Nine years later, the two meet accidentally in Paris, and spend 90 minutes walking around the city catching up and wondering at the outcome of their lives. There’s a lot of talk about destiny/fate, what happiness really is and if people are capable of being truly happy, missed connections, growing up. The movie takes place in real time, so you follow the two around from the moment they see each other through without any breaks. The movie asks if true love and soul mates are really possible, and if it is possible to fall back in love with someone – or maybe it questions whether these two ever stopped loving each other.

So for me, obviously there’s the connection between overthinking/overanalyzing, talking about a myriad of subjects, and always wondering what if. I think part of the reason I love it so much is because the female character, Celine, thinks very similarly to me. At one point, she talks about why she doesn’t have one-night stands – because she cannot be intimate with someone, and not connect to them on some deeper level. She talks about how after a relationship is over, she is completely wrecked, and how everyone she has been with has meant so much to her, and she can’t just let that go. I’m also a pretty big believer in fate, and so the question of “was this always meant to happen in just this way?” really gets to me. Can you screw up your life accidentally? Can you miss out on true love because of some fluke accident? That just feels too random and scary. It would be bad enough knowing that I could miss out on a chance for love and happiness because of my own stupidity, but to miss out because someone’s uncle passed away, or because some car wrecked (ala An Affair to Remember), that idea is absolutely too much for me to bear. I need to believe that everything is fated to happen the way that it happens, that every decision I have ever made was already written down somewhere, was already known to some higher being. I need to know that everything will work out in the end.

Also, these characters were 32 in the movie, the same age I am now. So if my true love could hurry and show up and we could be together forever, that would be great.

  • Finch

Reruns of shows and love

I’ve been rewatching the first three seasons of Vikings (great show, go watch it now). As with most second (or third or fourth) viewings, I’ve noticed things this time around that I missed the first time. With some of the clues I’ve caught, I really had to know what happened later to see how it paid off. With others, I just missed some pretty obvious foreshadowing.

I realized that it works the same way when you revisit old relationships. As you know, I went back and dated Jay THREE more times after we initially broke up in the fall of 2013 (what can I say, I’m a masochist). Each time that we got together afterwards, I would find myself discovering new things about him, but I would also find myself being forced to acknowledge things that I had glossed over previously. Just like with the show, some of the things I figured out I could’ve only realized because I had already seen our ending once (or twice, etc); other things, I couldn’t believe how much I had been deceiving myself to not have seen it before.

I’ve written in the past about euphoric recall, that phase we find ourselves in when we can only remember the good things about a relationship (or job, living situation, what have you), and we wish that we could reclaim what is, in reality, only a fantasy. Then, if we do get that relationship back, we are struck with how it does not mesh at all with what we remembered. In a way, I feel this rewtaching/reliving is similar – we only remember certain aspects of things, and when we have to go through them again, we find ourselves confronted with ideas or thoughts that we blinded ourselves to before.

I write all this to say, some things are worth rewatching. Watch The West Wing until you can recite every line. Listen to Frank Sinatra until you know every beat. Make your favorite dish until it feels as regular as scrambled eggs. But maybe leave relationships in the past. We never remember them clearly anyway, we will never be able to recapture whatever it was that we loved then, and that’s okay. It ended because it was time to end.

– Finch

I’m sort of the opposite of a serial-monogamist

Another Sunday, another OKcupid date. This one didn’t leave me wanting to dig my eyes out with a sharp stick, although I did go home and pass out for two hours. Let me explain…

We met up at two, but the bar he had picked was closed. We convened at another bar, got some drinks, and proceeded to start talking. We actually had a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I had four beers on an empty stomach (I wanted to look extra thin for the date – no judging!!), all in the course of about two and a half hours. I literally lost track of the time. When I got back to my car and saw that it was 5 (and I had previously told this guy that I had other plans at 6), I was shocked. I had not thought that we had hung out that long. So yes, I stopped at Maudie’s, got some insanely good breakfast tacos, and then went home and passed out until about 8. I’m too old for this!

The date was certainly fun, and even if I never hear from him again, he gave me a great piece of information. We were talking about our past OKC experiences, and he said, “I’m sort of the opposite of a serial-monogamist. You know, so many of my friends can’t go five minutes without dating someone, but I’ve only had one serious relationship in my adult life. The rest of the time, I date a little here and there, but mostly, I’m happier when I’m single.” PEOPLE! This is literally me!!! I’ve only had one serious relationship in my adult life (okay, or maybe two – Tripp and Ex). I will date for a couple of months here and there and then be single for a year or more. I stated all of this to him, and told him, “I thought I was the only one.” He replied that nope, there were plenty of us out there.

And here’s why that is so important to me. I live under a constant fear that I will never be with anyone ever again, that I will never fall in love again, and that there is something seriously wrong with me because I don’t constantly have a boyfriend. However, this guy gave me this nugget of truth that I am not terminally unique, and that it is perfectly normal to find more happiness and contentment in your own company rather than in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I love being unique and one of a kind, but it truly sways my fears to know that there are other people out there like me in this regard.

As for the guy himself – I don’t know. That’s not true – I do know, but it’s a scary feeling. He was cute, incredibly smart, had similar interests, and was really great. But I just can’t picture anything with him. Okay, yes, I can picture some drunken sex with him, but that’s not exactly the basis of a relationship. I think there’s someone out there who is a better fit, and it will be difficult to find him if I spend my time with someone I’m not crazy about (and sure, feelings could grow, but there are other factors there that I don’t want to get into of why I won’t be pursuing this). So, my Sunday Date, thank you for a lovely time, and showing me that four beers is way past my limit when I haven’t eaten anything, but most especially for showing me that I am not damaged and that there is hope for me yet.

– Finch

Quick thought: OKcupid is the Forever21 of dating

It is!! Picture it – Forever 21 (which I have loved since I was 16) is chock-full of cheap pieces, in a variety of colors and styles. Like that shirt, but wish that it came in blue? No problem, it’s over there. Think that skirt would be cuter with an exposed zipper? Yeah, that’s over in that section at the front of the store. Inevitably you end up with an overflowing pile of clothes to take back into the dressing room with you, wondering how on earth you are going to afford everything, only to discover that not one thing looks good on you. It’s either too big, too small, too sheer, too short, too much! And you leave the store wondering how you could have spent 90 minutes in there with absolutely nothing to show for it. But you know what? A few months later, that same store will lure you in with a promise of new styles, only for you to discover it’s the same old crap with new zippers.

They might as well rename OKcupid “Cupid21.” It leaves you with exactly the same emptiness.

– Finch

The problem with online dating

So I’ve ventured back out into the world of OKcupid. No, I am not a glutton for punishment, I just felt it was time to get back into the mix, and this is the way I chose to do that. I’ve had surprisingly good luck thus far – I had one date yesterday (no go there), I have two more lined up for this week, and one for next week. The two of the three remaining guys are so completely and totally my type, it is amazing. One even looks like Joshua Jackson!! The third one is pretty cute too, just not in my usual vein (which may be a good thing).

However, here is something which I have discovered during my time online, and which may prove detrimental to my participation in further online dating. It seems that people never stop looking, thereby never really giving anything a chance to develop. Right off the bat, let me express that I am not necessarily talking about my current experiences (it’s too soon to expect anything there). Just hear me out. For those of you old enough to remember meeting people in the bar – you know, there was always that guy who would hit on every single girl, just waiting for one of them to actually pay attention to him, and then, once he had found that girl, he would talk to her until either she blew him off or until he got her number. No one would hold simultaneous conversations with five different people at the bar, and yet that is *exactly* what is happening now! We start these online conversations, and then they either peter out or go forward to an actual date, and we either don’t like each other or we start dating, and all the while, we’re still checking our OKC profiles to see if we have any new messages or potential matches. I’m not advocating that we settle, but at some point, our dating world has became way too ADD-like – we need to focus on one person at a time.

Back in January of last year, I wrote about dating a lot of different guys to try and find who I felt most comfortable with. This wasn’t necessarily about finding “the one” – it was more about finding which style of guy suited me. And I did it all in a one off. In ten days, I went on 15 dates. Now, again, I was trying people on for size. I didn’t continue dating multiple guys after the ten day period was over. I was also up front with them about what I was doing, and the feedback was pretty positive. While I was dating Jay, I still got messages through OKC, and I checked them, and I even talked to a couple of them. But Jay and I were not exclusive yet, and I wasn’t fully committed to the relationship. And therein lies the problem. I stayed with Jay because it was safe, and I was still (for the most part) getting my physical needs met while I was looking around for someone else. Of course this has been happening for ages – I’m not saying that it’s a new phenomenon. However, online dating has made it much too easy to scope through potential matches and see if there is someone out there who is better for you than your current companion.

A friend of mine asked me this morning what I would do if I went out on these three dates I have lined up, and I liked all three guys (and they liked me back). Would I date all of them at once? Would I let them know I was dating multiple people? I told her that until it got to a physical point, I was just going out and hanging out, and I didn’t think that it was really an issue. However, I know that I don’t have the energy to keep it up for long. Dating one guy is tiring; dating three would take me completely out of the game.

– Finch