When you're single and going on lots of unsuccessful dates, you're told over and over again "you'll find someone when you're not looking". But when you stop looking and take a break from dating, you feel frustrated that you aren't being proactive about trying to find someone to date. It's difficult to find a balance.
I tend to swing from one extreme to the other in a "feast or famine" pattern:
a) A flurry of online dating leads to many first dates, few or no second dates, and eventually I burn out.
b) I take a break from dating and forget for a while that I care about finding a life partner, but eventually decide that I would not like to be alone forever.
c) Rinse and repeat.
Right now, after a slew of bad or simply "meh" dates, I am finding myself with a "feast" of seemingly interesting and date-worthy men to choose from. I have gone from being the girl who goes home after work every night, watches tv and goes to bed, to the girl who actually has to check her calendar regularly to be sure she doesn't forget about a date. It's nice to feel proactive about my dating life, but it's exhausting too.
As it stands right now, I am going on a third date with "Jim" this Sunday night, a second date with "Daniel" next Tuesday night, and a possible first date with "Mike" on either Saturday or Sunday during the day. Plus, I'm going to a singles night at a bar in Harvard Square with my friends on Saturday night.
And hopefully one of these men is someone worthy of a second, third, and perhaps the all-elusive FOURTH date.
But if none of these dates pan out into anything, I'll give myself a break and put a pause on my formal search. And maybe then my special someone will unexpectedly show up and sweep me off my feet.
And if/when I get tired of waiting around, I'll go back to online dating.
A friend recently commented that she admired my stamina. It's a delicate balance of optimism, determination, energy, and reality that blend together to keep me going. And seeing so many others who have found their partners. Yes, sometimes it makes me jealous, but mostly it makes me hopeful. And the hope is what keeps the cycle going.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.