I was reading this NPR article (I’m obsessed with NPR, for the record) about interracial relationships, and I want to discuss one line in particular: “A common story went: I always thought I’d date one type of person, but I ended up falling in love with another.”
I think about this whenever I think about online dating. (Aside: no idea why I think this much about online dating but I’m always thinking about random things, including baby names although I have no intentions of pursuing motherhood for a good couple years!) Because I’m seriously convinced that people are not good at accurately predicting what it is they want/need in a mate. There are things my husband does and qualities he possesses that I wouldn’t have thought, prior to our meeting, to put on a mental list of attributes I wanted in a life partner, and we so perfectly complement one another precisely because of these qualities I couldn’t have anticipated.
He’s super patient when I’m anxious, and he’s so loving and kind whereas I can be ruthless. Had I been asked what is important to me in a boyfriend at the time, I would have prioritized the “on paper” match, and yet that ignores any spark when you just click with someone. Basically, it’s scary for me to think, given how arbitrary our first meeting in high school was (we didn’t even go to the same school and met at swim meet, in which neither of us was participating), our chances of dating had we tried online dating could have been even more tenuous. There are so many intangibles that can’t be captured in the “This is what I want” list. I find myself often wondering what happens in this situation; anyone watch the Bachelor this season? I feel like Sharleen has had this curse on her this season. Juan Pablo didn’t match the idea in her head of with whom she thought she would end up, but she said how just….happy she was with him… and then promptly left the show. I obviously don’t know whether there was more to that story, but it makes you wonder how much people hold themselves back.