You’ve heard the saying “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” It goes along well with “You snooze, you lose” in my world. The idea is that there is something out there for us that we want and need, but it’s a fleeting something. We need to hang onto it when we find it. But, good golly, we need to find it.
If we want it. If we’re looking for it.
For those of us wanting and looking, where do we go? More bars than ever are welcoming to wherever people are on the spectrum or the Kinsey scale or the Purple-Red Scale of Attraction (go ahead, Google it…it’s new). The more open and welcoming churches are, the more of a chance there is to find your love in a pew. Book stores, the gym, the light rail platform, the mall, Lavender events (because why not throw in a shameless plug?), sports leagues, performances, volunteering, and Meet Up groups are also good options. They’re the same options we always hear about that work for some people, but those of us who are still looking apparently didn’t find what we wanted at those events.
Looking at the current and past wedding issues, the couples in our Wedding Story features met at a Coming Out event at school (Hannah and Lindsay, pg. 38), at work (Jason and Craig, pg. 46), at work (Ania and Molly, Spring Wedding Issue), and at political organizing events at school (Kevin and Justin, Spring Wedding Issue). Last year’s wedding issues featured couples who met online, among other places.
As someone who’s spent more than her fair share of time shaking my head at the false-positives set up by online dating, I have to admit that I find comfort in knowing quite a bit about a potential date before ever meeting in person, that our politics line up and our personal life choices might be in sync. But, past that, our trajectory is going to be either a hit or a miss, which may or may not be obvious right away. Especially if the electronic matching system has a weird algorithm or the person answering the questions is not truthful. Or, you know, the match was based on a swipe, left or right. (I don’t judge.) It’s a $2.4 billion online dating industry and is it serving us well? Are we too quick to swipe left or right? Are we honest with our expectations and answers? Are there too many options that suddenly there are no options?
I think I nailed it with that last question. In today’s world of over-stimulation, we have way too many thoughts and options and decisions that keep us from making mindful and intentional moves in life. Do I need to pick out a date or should I figure out what I’m making for supper after I figure out which market to go to based on which route is open according to Google Maps? I was all excited about Instacart coming to the Twin Cities and hopefully delivering groceries and other items to me at my loft when a married friend said, “I just don’t get this excitement over grocery delivery.” The answer is in the statement. It’s grocery delivery. It’s one less thing I have to do in my day to make my life work. Because I’m it. I’m the only person in my life making it work. And it’s a constant state of triage.
So, what else can we outsource? Matchmaking. I’m totally down for that and I’m not even kidding. You do the work for me; I’ll outsource my love life to you in a heartbeat. And I’m not talking about Yente from Fiddler on the Roof; today’s matchmaking is more savvy than that. As said by Elite Private Search (“Making Yourself Marriage Material” on pg. 20), they’re “personally recruiting the most qualified matches for our most selective clients.” I’d swipe right for that (translation: I like that).
But what’s the end game? It’s not always marriage. If there’s something we now know, it’s that people can figure out what their own style of relationship and commitment is…which hopefully agrees with what each other’s better half is thinking. If it is marriage, what kind of marriage might it be? Lord knows, this world is full of grey; particularly the rainbow world. When traditional gender roles aren’t the easy (and sometimes horrible) way to suss out who does what in a marriage, what do we do?
Luckily for us, today’s marriage is a hybrid of roles and expectations, arguably for whichever genders are represented. I’ve often wondered about how to be in a long-term committed relationship when I am so self-sufficient that I literally don’t need anyone. Literally. I do everything myself, and not because of being a liberated woman. The people I’ve dated have been single when I’ve found them, which is how I prefer to date, so they’ve had to be self-sufficient, too. It’s hardly a political campaign or demonstration of liberation to do things as an independent person when there is no other option.
And then. But then.
The trajectory of a relationship is still our responsibility. After we’ve found them, we must keep them. Roles will be evolving based on the needs and direction of the people in the relationship. Grocery delivery gets cast aside for a fun evening out with the beloved at the local co-op, because the need for food has also taken on a flavor of want…wanting to spend time together, wanting to please each other, wanting do some menu planning in the aisles. Or, grocery delivery still stays at the top of the list because you two would rather be out hiking or catching a show at the theater. Your choice. Either way, life is no longer such a chore as it is when flying solo. Or at least that’s my view of the greener grass from my side of the pasture.
My hope for us all is that if we want them, we find them. And that when we find them, we keep them.