How'd you meet your wife/husband/partner?
October 24, 2008 8:31 PM   Subscribe

This is sort of a personal question, so I don't know if anyone will really want to respond or not, but here goes. I'm at a point in my life where I'm seriously starting to cast about for a real relationship. But as I try and try to find somebody, I'm noticing that most of my ideas about how these things go down play out in my head like sixth-generation bootlegs of hokey '90s romantic comedies. I've never had a real relationship before. I think it would be easier for me to find one for myself if I knew what they looked like at the start. So my question to you is: How did you fall in love?

I'm asking for personal stories, so I'll share a little more personal information, in the interest of fairness.

I am a male in my mid-twenties. I am nerdy and sometimes feckless the way young nerdy guys are. But I'm nice enough, I guess. People don't seem to hate or avoid me. Some of them even like my sense of humor. I can't get much deeper into myself than this without leaving the world of fact. All I know is that I am seldom shunned and sometimes appreciated. Therefore, I can only assume that I am an average sort of guy, who could probably be happy with an average sort of girl.

I had a girlfriend, briefly--my first and only. This was recent. I leapt into the relationship about as fast as I possibly could, seeing a rare chance, only to discover shortly afterward that I really needed to get myself out. I think we were both just way too enthusiastic at the prospect of having found someone else. The whole thing was sweet while it lasted, but it's a little embarrassing to think about now.

And so now my head's all straightened out again (I tend to take my time recovering from emotional strangeness) and I'm once more surrounded by attractive, available women my age. Some of whom seem to like me. And yet... I can't seem to picture, with any of them, the path between point A (boy meets girl) and point B (boy and girl discover a mutual love of reading in bed/crisp apples/each other).

So how'd it go for you and your husband/wife/long-term partner of either gender? What did that path look like? How did you locate the trailhead?
posted by AAAA to Human Relations (45 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
Don't look for it. If you look for it, you'll screw it up when you find it, guaranteed. Find you first, be happy with you, and just talk to people that appeal to you. Sooner or later, you'll meet someone that is good to talk to and makes you want to leap on them naked, too.

If you try to find this before it finds you, you will fail. This is a fact.

In the meantime, leap on people that make you want to leap on them (assuming mutual agreement) so that when the crucial leaping occurs, you know what you want in a leapee.

This is simplistic. This is also, for the most part, all there is to it.
posted by Brockles at 8:43 PM on October 24, 2008 [17 favorites]

It takes practice, and unfortunately the only way I know of to do it is to try and fail a number of times before you get it right.

And every failure hurts like sin.
posted by Class Goat at 8:48 PM on October 24, 2008 [4 favorites]

You are entirely normal in this regard and questioning yourself in ways that every person questions himself or herself. Most of the "Point A -> Point B" stuff is a series of happy accidents: if people were predictable enough to allow planning this, presumably our society would not have such a divorce epidemic. I know it's difficult not to think about it, but try at least not to worry about it. You're young and seem to have good insights into your own thinking; both traits put you at a comparative advantage in finding and taking advantage enough the sort of social situations that contain the aforementioned happy accidents. And don't feel that you need to go head over heels into anything either, as the worst that will happen if you take things slowly is that anticipation will build - which, in several ways, is a good thing.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:55 PM on October 24, 2008

Here's how it works, when it works:

Person A notices something they like about Person B, be it physical attractiveness, intelligence, sense of humor, a talent, a vibe of coolness, generosity, etc. Person A decides they'd like to be around that trait some more, and so arranges to see /talk to Person B more often, be that at work, in groups, on dates, over the phone, IM, etc. Each time Person A has contact with Person B, Person A continues to like them.

Meanwhile, the Person B is experiencing the same thing about Person A. It starts out either as noticing the likeable trait(s) from the beginning, or as a feeling of, "I don't know, I guess Person A is okay so far, I will hang around a bit and see what is revealed in time."

40 years pass. Persons A and B still like each other.
posted by xo at 9:13 PM on October 24, 2008 [17 favorites]

I've never been truly happy except with women who chose me. No coyness, no pursuit; sort of 'here I am, let's see how far we can take this thing'.
posted by jamjam at 9:13 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I met my wife in college. We lived on the same floor in the dorms freshman year. I had a crush on her but made no move. (I had never dated before.) She dated my roommate for a few months, which caused me to question her judgment.... Then sophomore year, my friend was interested in pursuing her so I made no moves, other than attending church with her regularly. He didn't make any moves, either. (He had also never dated before.) Finally, junior year I asked her out by leaving a type-written letter at her door after walking her home from church. So tacky, in retrospect, to the extreme, but that set off a series of events that eventually led to our marriage.

I have no regrets.

All you can really do is go about your life, ensuring that you find yourself among other human beings often, preferably in social situations. Even the most socially inept people end up in relationships.
posted by pmbuko at 9:25 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Totally what Brockles said. Stop looking, start looking for yourself.

I moved home in my early 20s after college and a series of rough, failed relationships, terrible jobs, and just what felt like complete failure on my part to make it as an adult. I swore off dating and got in touch with what I wanted out of life and where I wanted to go. And then, in the middle of all of that, I suddenly found myself in one of those happy accidents that Inspector.Gadget spoke of.

I can guarantee, though, that my other half and I would not have clicked if I didn't know who I was or what I wanted. Meeting him and talking to him was like finding someone I had known all my life, and who completed me. But I had to be as completely me as possible before I could know what it would take in another person to make it work. Before, I would get in a relationship and try to figure out which parts meshed and which didn't, but I didn't really know which parts of myself were worth fighting for, and which parts were still developing, and in turn, which parts of another person I really valued and which parts I could overlook.

I don't think it's about being on top of the world or having all the answers (I don't think we ever really get to that point), but more of being solid in what you know/feel/believe and what you don't know/feel/believe. And you definitely can't have a happy accident if you're trying desperately to make one happen. That's just not how accidents work.
posted by messylissa at 9:25 PM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]

The non-romcom story you ask for:

My wife was my second-best match on didn't work with the first one. We talked via AIM once ever three or four weeks for about a year before we met--I thought she was a homeless gutter punk, and she thought I was a bit of a jerk. Then, one day, we were both bored at about the same time. So, I asked if she wouldn't like to have some coffee together.

We met for coffee, and wound up talking for six hours. I asked her home, desiring to have sex with her. She claimed she was sick and got in the cab. Then I went away for a week to a conference in San Francisco. We chatted a little more. I thought about her throughout the conference, and turned down the chance for some very fine man ass on the off chance that I'd feel bad about sleeping with him while I wanted her. (There was certainly nothing exclusive. It just seemed a bad idea to shag somebody else before we'd established anything.)

I returned and we went out again. That date ended far more like I wanted it to. Chinese New Years no less... the fireworks were the perfect segue to fireworks of our own. (Holy crap! The best sex ever!)

We dated for about a month before I realized she had practically moved in already. So, I sat her down in the park and told her this wasn't working and we shouldn't probably see each other again. So, she started crying. Being the sucker I am, I tried to comfort her--not really my job as the ex, but I was dumb. Then we talked... and I explained that she was suffocating me already, after just a month. She said she'd work on it if I'd give her another chance. So, she backed off, gave me my space, called before she came over, etc. (Holy fuck! This girl actually listens and adapts when I talk to her about something bothering me!)

So, after another two months, she was practically living with me again. And this time I found that I rather liked and needed having her around. So, maybe a year in, when it became apparent that she wasn't really using her apartment, she dropped her lease and moved (the rest of) her stuff in with me.

Somewhere in here, I'd told her that I wasn't going to marry her. That I'd be perfectly happy living with her forever, but that I didn't think that codified marriage was necessary or desirable--look up James Joyce's views on marriage, since I lifted them from him. She contented herself to that, and we were doing great.

And then, last summer, I had one of those just-waking-up hallucinations that feels a thousand times more real than any dream. In it, I was fighting with (and threatening to hurt) a doctor who wouldn't let me into her room at the hospital, on the grounds that I was just a boyfriend and not family. So, a few days later, I mentioned to her that I would be willing to consider marriage if we drafted a mutually agreeable prenuptial agreement that made it easy, quick, and fair to get out of the marriage--well, as quick and easy and fair as getting out of any long-established relationship with mutually-owned material stuff can possibly be.

This hypothetical conversation soon turned into her asking if I'd marry her. My answer was, "Probably."

It's been about three years since I met her in person, and our first wedding anniversary will be on February 29th (which doesn't occur next year, but we'll pick something around there).
posted by Netzapper at 9:29 PM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]

As Brockles said, don't look for it, it'll come to you. Concentrate on becoming a well rounded individual and being comfortable in your own skin.
I too was feckless, had a few relationships, some deeper than others, some where I wanted the hell out the moment I got into them. Being feckless, sometimes they ended friendly, sometimes I was an idiot, sometimes I got my heart broken.
But pretty much all the relationships and experience were worth it, because they made me who I am, and into the person that my much better half saw the potential in and eventually married.
New romances are extremely intoxicating, you want to spend every minute with that person. Now if you can wash/rinse/repeat that for 40 years, like xo says, then you're on to something.
Good luck, work on being comfortable with who you are and it'll happen.
posted by arcticseal at 9:45 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I met him in our local dive bar. A year of growing acquaintance and drinking together before we started dating. But yeah, I knew right away upon meeting him that I liked him liked him.

I was totally and completely not looking, and neither was he. Neither of us took our budding relationship terribly seriously for the first couple of months, until all the sudden we were, and we did, and we weren't confused at all.

(Weirder for me is that I'm had not necessarily assumed either monogamy or a male partner, but hey, I like him better than everyone else.)

Anyway, been together six years. Bought a house last year. Still like him better than everyone else.

We didn't even meet until late twenties/early thirties, though. I like this. I like that we came battle-scarred and wise. Don't sweat it. Stuff happens.
posted by desuetude at 9:47 PM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]

We encountered each other randomly several times and had mixed opinions. Then we randomly had lunch together at the college cafeteria and had a good time talking, so then we started periodically having lunches and doing stuff together, which progressed to making other plans together, and after going to junior year banquets and stuff together, he asked me out one night over ICQ (yeah...this was 9 years ago). We could see it coming because it was just so wonderful to spend time together. We didn't want to be apart. It took longer than it could have because we're geeks and fail at flirting, so there were a couple of abortive attempts to signal blatant interest. We were a couple through our last year of college and then moved for grad school together, and now we've been married for a little over 5 years.

I like the way it progressed. We were friends first for several months and got to know each other. We're still best friends and still want to hang out every day. We're still in love. I can't say if it was better or worse that I was his first girlfriend and he was my second-and-half relationship (don't ask), but that's just how it worked out. When we met, I had given up on relationships because of my geographical locations, by the way--I was planning to wait till grad school in California, but then I suddenly fell into this great friendship. He had just figured people probably weren't interested in guys as geeky as he was, he says.

So like several other people have said, I wasn't looking. I was definitely remaining open to the possibility, which I think is vitally important, but I wasn't evaluating each possible friendship for romantic possibilities. I was concentrating on my honors curriculum, making plans to travel to Asia, etc.

I think people who think you have to look at each other and feel Instant Hot Attraction the first time you see each other are crazy, by the way, but everyone's different.
posted by wintersweet at 10:10 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

I could tell you my story but Henry Miller's is better.:

Read the Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, Sexus, Plexus and Nexus.
posted by philip-random at 10:34 PM on October 24, 2008

I met my husband when I was 14 and got along great with him in high school, but I dated someone else for two and a half years until high school ended. That relationship ended terribly because my boyfriend was dishonest, avoided talking about problems, and thought that because I like video games, I would be happy to never spend time with him alone, and instead with all our mutual gamer friends. This made me realize what I definitely don't want in a relationship, which became important. Meanwhile, though I hadn't thought of him as boyfriend material, I was always ecstatically happy around my husband-to-be and got along with him great.

We ended up going to the same college. My ex did too, but since he trashed me to all our mutual friends I wasn't comfortable around most of them anymore. My husband-to-be felt sincerely badly for me because I was a mess and he's a typical nerdy nice guy. Every single day he offered to hang out with me and we'd go do stuff to take my mind off it, like play pool or watch movies or go to free classical music concerts on campus. (I wouldn't have done any of those things if he hadn't offered.)

Even though we weren't dating he wanted to spend time just with me. Even though he liked video games he was into much more, including things that were important to me, like politics. I realized my ex was a bad match for me intellectually; he was naturally intelligent but didn't have any intellectual curiosity, so it was wasted. He would brag about how he would "bullshit" his essays instead of saying anything of substance, and as a writer, this appalled me in retrospect. I was blind to this while I dated him, though. Not the case with my husband, and I was blind to that too. My husband-to-be and I were on the debate team in high school and worked together on cases, and worked together to manage events in our school's tournament. My husband is finishing up his master's in rocket science now, and I hadn't fully realized until hanging out with him just how important and sexy intelligence was to me. The greatest thing about him is he's far more than math/science smart, or book smart; he's the single most rational person I know and is well read on current events -- he knows way more about foreign policy than I do, and I'm a political junkie.

Also, most importantly, was that my husband-to-be was always completely honest with me, even if it was likely to hurt my feelings. He treated me like an adult. If I hadn't dated my ex to know just how bad dishonesty, even well-meaning dishonesty could be, I know I wouldn't have been mature enough to fully appreciate my husband's honesty. His honesty with me also made the relationship feel equal.

So after a few months of hanging out nearly 24/7, my husband-to-be asked me out. We celebrated our six year anniversary this month.

Since we started dating, I came to appreciate a lot more things that make our relationship so wonderful. First is that while we're both intellectually curious and have some overlapping areas of interest, we also read up on a lot of different stuff the other wouldn't normally bother with. This gives us a lot to talk about and learn from each other. Basically, our personalities are very similar, but the parts that aren't complement each other.

Now, I'm not telling you this to say that my ex was a bad guy -- he isn't, he was 17 -- or that being super smart or spending lots of time together doing new things is key to falling in love, or that it's important to be similar or to complement each other or whatever. None of the specifics matter. What mattered is a couple things:

- My husband's personality meshes with mine very well.
- I would not have realized that if my prior experience had been different, and I probably would have broken up with him over stupid crap early on.

I also didn't know if the relationship was likely to last when he asked me out.

What this means practically is that you should try dating whoever, and it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out. If the issue is just lack of enthusiasm on your part, it may turn out that one of those girls is the one for you after all, if you generally like her. There's no harm in trying. If you're seriously repulsed or something, of course, then that probably won't change if you date them.

What I'm also saying is a lot of it is the right person at the right time. You go along and you rack up experiences, get to know what worked for you and what didn't, and you start to get a more solid appreciation for qualities that you value in people. Relationships that don't work out are valuable, so get out there and date.

One thing I observe in a lot of people that have never had a long term relationship is that they're picky about every little inconsequential thing and use it as an excuse not to date people. So if you find yourself critiquing something like, "She wears those awful shoes," you might want to ask yourself what you're doing and why.
posted by Nattie at 10:38 PM on October 24, 2008 [8 favorites]

He was a young confused nerdy guy. I guess I was an average sort of girl (but with self esteem issues).

We lept into our relationship overly fast. In fact, we got pregnant around the first time we slept together, about a month into dating. We were young, and had come out of not so good first relationships where our partners had cheated on us, and rushed everything. The first years were really tough. We neither of us were sure we'd done the right thing, and we struggled with a lot of growing up issues & behavioural stuff and gameplaying. We had a couple of separations (2 years in total). It was pretty messy.

There was falling in love (the exciting bit at the start where I thought he was hot, and he thought I was, and we were both willing) and then there was a deep, bonding love, moving away from all our family, being broke, developing agoraphobia, going through pregnancy and birth together, building a business and having it fail, and that was in the first two years. It was during that time that we started to realise with all the shit going on around us that we could really count on each other to be a best friend, no matter what happened. We did split (hey, it was pretty tough) but he followed me 1000 miles and worked through a bunch of issues, and we moved on, stronger.

Now, 18 years later, we're brilliant together. We still have things to work on, individually and as a couple, but I feel like we have one of the strongest relationships I've ever seen.

So, what I'm saying is, you don't have to do it like in the stories. It can be all messy and full of crap, because in the end, nothing makes a couple stronger like adversity conquered together.
posted by b33j at 10:48 PM on October 24, 2008 [10 favorites]

I met the man who eventually became Mr. Adams in 1988. He was from the deep South and several years younger than me; I was from the Detroit area and something of a trendoid. I was co-hosting a fan club convention for a particular band and he was an attendee. We locked horns on the second day because he questioned the answer to one of the trivia questions I'd written. I drove all the way back home (30 minutes) to pick up my reference book and brought it back to the hotel to verify my answer. He later told me that he thought I came across as a "know it all," and I confessed that I'd complained about him to my friends "get a load of this hick who thinks he knows everything."

We'd see each other once per year as the annual conventions continued on, and struck up a cordial but not overly-friendly relationship. Then in 1992 my convention co-host and I planned our annual trip to England for the huge Official Fan Club Convention. Co-host indicated that she'd heard from three guys who wanted to tag along with us and share expenses, and it was only after I'd agreed that I found out one of the guys was Him. I was dreading this trip overseas with Mr. Uptight Know-It-All, but as it turned out we started chatting on the plane ride to England about various things (things unrelated to the band or the fan club) and found out that we had a lot of stuff in common, despite our age difference. We'd had a lot of the same toys as kids and he had a flair for puns and the same cutting sarcastic remarks that I regularly employed. We both felt a "spark" during that trip, but it wasn't until we'd returned home that he called and asked me out (and he lived five hours away at the time). He drove up to Detroit and took me out for a nice dinner, and we ended up talking more than eating. We went out for drinks and then later coffee and talked and talked until the sun started coming up.

In summary, romance was the last thing I was looking for on that fateful trip, but I guess the Fates had something else in mind, because next April Mr. Adams and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:33 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

What I'm also saying is a lot of it is the right person at the right time. You go along and you rack up experiences, get to know what worked for you and what didn't, and you start to get a more solid appreciation for qualities that you value in people. Relationships that don't work out are valuable, so get out there and date.

One thing I observe in a lot of people that have never had a long term relationship is that they're picky about every little inconsequential thing and use it as an excuse not to date people. So if you find yourself critiquing something like, "She wears those awful shoes," you might want to ask yourself what you're doing and why.

I couldn't agree more. You've got to get out there and meet people one way or another, and you need to not be searching hard for deal-breakers. Yes, you should have standards, but they need to be realistic, and you should be searching for the good in people, not the bad. Everyone has their flaws, and if you dig hard enough you will find them all.

So I've met girlfriends at parties, as friends of friends, at conferences, in classes, and as coworkers. Probably other places, too. Online dating didn't work for me, but I was single today I'd probably give it another try and see if I couldn't learn how to make it work.

A lot of things that seemed like impossible deal-breakers when I was younger just don't seem like such big deals now. I don't know if everyone needs to get as mellow about things as I feel like I have, but think carefully about what you are setting up as criteria and ideals; like Nattie I've seen friends use these to reject perfectly nice people who are no more flawed than they are.

And be open to "falling in love" in very different ways. Sometime it really is an instant chemistry thing, where your eyes meet and all of a sudden your heart is beating fast and your palms are sweaty. But sometimes it's totally different, where attraction builds over weeks, months, or even years. I've done all of those, sometimes at the same time. There just isn't one template for how this works, and focusing too much on the process obscures what is actually going on, I think.

The foundational questions, in my mind, are "is this person treating me well?" and "am I by and large happy in this situation?" Answer yes to those questions, and you are doing pretty well, while a "no" should be a big flashing sign that you need to move on. Although people will always change, it is a big mistake to enter into a relationship planning or hoping for how you will change the other person -- if they aren't treating you with kindness and respect at the beginning, they are pretty unlikely to start treating you well later on.

I can't get much deeper into myself than this without leaving the world of fact. All I know is that I am seldom shunned and sometimes appreciated. Therefore, I can only assume that I am an average sort of guy, who could probably be happy with an average sort of girl.

This, though, seemed a little strange to me. Are you really that disconnected from yourself and from your social world? If you are approaching your life with as little emotional affect as you display here, I can see why you would be having trouble forming connections and relationships. People want (and need) partnerships with people who are grounded, and who are comfortable in themselves and their world. You need to inhabit yourself and your environment before you can share them with someone else.

I guess the charitable reading of what you wrote is that it is that particular self-deprecating style (sort of self-consciously faux-irony, I think) that people often use as a self-defense mechanism. But that in itself is not usually a great mechanism for attracting people, because it's function is to obscure and confuse. It's sort of the full-body burka of autobiographical writing, you know?

So if this style of writing reflects how you are presenting yourself in real life (or in online dating, if you do that), consider adopting a more open and self-confident mode of presentation.
posted by Forktine at 3:49 AM on October 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

Surprisingly enough, I met my wife on a blind date setup by a mutual acquaintance.

I had been in a very serious and intense relationship in college that exploded spectacularly and took several years post-breakup to get out of my system. By the time I was ready for another relationship I was in my mid-twenties and my social life was busted. It was a low period, and I was pretty lonely.

At this time I was teaching at a high school, and one of the other teachers -- a tall and commanding red head who was way out of my league -- chatted me up one day after classes. Was I single? Why, yes I was. Would I be interested in going out on a date...a blind date...with a friend of hers? Well, seeing as how I had absolutely *nothing* going on and was beginning to feel desperate about ever meeting someone...sure!

I gave my colleague my phone number and got her friend's in return. When I got home that evening, I stared at the number for a while before I made the call. I this woman's name and not much else, and had no idea if we even had any common interests, or how my colleague had presented me. But I called, and we spoke, and I somehow managed to get through the conversation well enough to set up a date for the following weekend. And she even sounded like a nice person! I was hopeful, but struggled to keep my expectations low, as I didn't want to become despondent when the inevitable happened and things didn't pan out. I also didn't want to come off as a stalker.

When I picked her up for our date, and I could tell from the moment she met me at her at her door that she was unlike anyone else I had ever met. She was sweet, and very smart, and a little bit nerdy in a really charming way. And she had a great smile, and was very genuine. Even more surprising, we had a lot to talk about, and to my great surprise she seemed as taken with me as I was with her. We hit it off very quickly, and the evening flew by. I honestly believe I fell in love with her sometime that evening, but I worked really hard to keep those feelings in check, as it just seemed too crazy good to be true. By the time I dropped her off, my head was spinning, and I couldn't wait to see her again. I remember feeling totally buzzed on the drive home, and wearing a stupid happy grin. It was one of the best nights of my life.

By our second or third date we knew we had some very special chemistry between us, which was blossoming into a rich, loving relationship. That was in 1991. We've been married since 1993 and just enjoyed our 15th anniversary. We still love each other deeply, and our relationship has grown as we've matured. Life hasn't always been tough at times, but our love for each other has made even the most difficult times better.

I look back on that blind date 17 years ago and still marvel at how close we came to not meeting one another, and how different my life would be if we had never met. And I say a silent thank you to my former colleague, and her belief that two random folks from different areas of her life might have enough in common to enjoy an evening together. Our love may have been inevitable, but meeting each other on a blind date was anything but. Thanks again, Tracey -- you did more good in that one act of setting us up than you'll ever know.
posted by mosk at 3:57 AM on October 25, 2008 [6 favorites]

Drunken office Christmas party hook-up. Three years later: Father of my child.

Can't wait to tell the grandkids!!!
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:57 AM on October 25, 2008 [5 favorites]

I was clicking on the keywords in my new Facebook profile. (This was back when Facebook was only open to 7 schools.) My now-wife miagaille was the only person in all of Facebook besides me who mentioned the book Cryptonomicon in her profile.
I emailed her, she said she was busy. I ignored her and asked her again. We met up in the library, read Griffin and Sabine together, and moved in together the next day.
posted by dmd at 5:08 AM on October 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

Okay, I was being flip above: drunken office party hook up, then totally recreational phoned-in relationship, break up, then getting back together and realizing when we were together it felt like home (yeah. sorry.), just being at ease with each other, making lots of jokes. Also the realization I missed him when he wasn't around. I'm pretty introverted and that was surprising to me.

Normally what I feel when people leave is relief.

I wasn't expecting or looking for a long term relationship when we started dating -- I was very happy with my life after several years of being quite unhappy. I didn't want a relationship and when we started dating, I kind of just treated it like it was a hobby I'd picked up. I didn't give it much space in my brain. It took a while for me to realize it was actually Something, and that what a good time I was having actually Meant Something.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:10 AM on October 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

I was breaking up with someone else at the time.

I thought he was cute, the first time I met him he was talking to some other girl and I interrupted them and inserted myself into the conversation (I'm not shy, ha ha). I insulted him a couple of times accidentally but could tell he was a nice, cool guy.

We saw each other a couple times after that and got along pretty well, just friendly. At every party we bonded because we were the last people to leave the bar. WOO! We both had pretty shitty, slacker jobs at that point.

At some point he gave me his card and I looked at his myspace. It was really nerdy and I was turned off by it. I didn't really listen to the music. I think I ended up emailing him to tell him to go to a mutual friend's party because he hadn't RSVPd and gave him some schmoozy line about his music being good.

He took that as a semi-date request and bought me a drink, etc. I dressed to impress (tight shirt) even though at this point I wasn't really into him too much. At the end of the night, when everyone else was gone (as usual) he bought me another drink, we started chatting about bra sizes (this gets romanticer and romanticer), he thought I was hitting on him.

So he walks me to the train and I offer him half of my piece of gum. I was just being nice but, again, he thought I was hitting on him. So he asked me if he could kiss me and I said no. I was in a situation (still breaking up with my ex). So he was like, ok, whatever. We were both kinda drunk and the communication wasn't clear that I liked him, but wasn't into boinking him at that point.

Then I emailed him and said that he should call me when I was sober. He texted me, I texted him "NO CALL ME, thanks." and he did. He told me we could get together when he got back from out of town. I was all of a sudden really into it because he was just a cool, mellow guy. While he was out of town I texted him something dirty so that he would know my intentions.

We went on several dates, he actually had just starting dating someone else whom he ditched to date me.

We both entered it thinking it would be more of a casual thing, and we didn't really get along that well when we were first dating. The first 6 months were kinda meh. He was (is!) hot as hell which kept the momentum going and the emotional/mental part really lagged. But it did get there eventually, and we really love each other, get along amazingly, and make a great team.

The rest is history. But you can see it's not always roses and butterflies and trumpets. It actually takes quite a while for some people and had we made different decisions, we wouldn't have ended up together, and we wouldn't have thought it was super tragic, either. We just would have moved on. So don't worry if a relationship doesn't work out that it was THE ONE. You will have a lot of chances.

Good luck!
posted by sondrialiac at 5:59 AM on October 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

We were walking into a frat party, she and her friends were leaving. A 30 second shift in schedules and we probably never meet. She knew one of my friends and they started talking. Beyond the initial introduction I don't remember really talking to her that night. She asked him to go to her sorority dance. He said yes. The next morning upon sobering up he remembered that he had a girlfriend and backed out of the date by setting me up to go in his place.

Our 17th anniversary was in August.

There is simply no way to know how and when you will meet somebody. So relax and go with the flow.
posted by COD at 6:26 AM on October 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'd known her casually for about a decade -- we met thru a mailing list we were both on and saw each other occasionally at parties and such. without really thinking about it, i sort of assumed that this long haired (nearly to her knees!) sandal-wearing hippie chick had some long-haired hippie chick gf or something. whatever. so at a party (the post-con 'dead dog' party for folks who've been working on the arisia science fiction convention in boston - yes, we're both THAT nerdy), we got talking. there was a bit of flirting. then there was a bit of kissing. i am startled to discover that she is not just hot, but available. and apparently likes me enough like that for there to be some making out. *awesome*

i strongly considered dragging her back to my hotel room for some opportunistic sex, but then i figured it might be a bit too awkward since i was leaving early the next morning to fly back to seattle, where i was living at the time. in retrospect, this is one of the best decisions i ever made in my life. i'm sure if we had, there would've been fun nookie, and then awkwardness, and then maybe another date or two when i was in town again, but probably just fade away as a one or two shot thing.

instead, we started talking more online. the next time i was back home in boston, we had a date which ended quite well. more talking and then more visits followed. we eventually both fell in love. i felt her out about moving to seattle. then i realized that 1. all my reasons for wanting her to be the one to move were pretty chickenshit, and 2. i really wanted to move home to be closer to my family (my dad was getting noticably older, and i wanted to see him more often) anyways, so i should do that. so i did. that was 7 years ago. we're still together, and it's still really good.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:06 AM on October 25, 2008

It really sounds like you need to date rather than look for a capital R relationship for awhile. At least until you get the hang of that?

If a Relationship happens to happen, let it be by accident. You can't do it on purpose anyway, but you'll probably be less frustrated once you embrace that you can't control it.
posted by rokusan at 7:11 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wow. Thank you, everyone.

I think part of my worry was that I wasn't worrying enough. It's nice to see that the prevailing school of thought is "just relax." That's actually something I think can do.

And as for this comment:

Are you really that disconnected from yourself and from your social world? If you are approaching your life with as little emotional affect as you display here, I can see why you would be having trouble forming connections and relationships.

It's weird when a stranger gets your number. In my defense, I was trying to restrain myself a little bit when I was writing my question. I think it's easy to veer into unproductive self-pity when thinking about these things. But I'm definitely more unemotional than most in everyday life. And my sense of humor has been described as "dry."

I think the women that are able to jolt me out of dry-land are the ones I'm mainly attracted to. Not that I'm incapable of doing the jolting on my own.

I guess I'll just try to be a more connected, relaxed, happy guy. Worst case I'll be connected, relaxed, happy, and alone.
posted by AAAA at 7:42 AM on October 25, 2008

I am here to strongly dissuade you from not trying. If anything, that's the romcom fantasy - that you can live your adorably quirky life, and someone will fall into your lap without any effort on your part.

That's romanticism - thinking that a magical fate will take care of you and doing nothing to advance your interests. Advisers suggesting this have one thing right: that you have to be a well-developed person who likes yourself, is comfortable with yourself, has a full life, and enjoys spending time with yourself. Definitely invest in your own life. But Part 2 - the idea that once you do that, people will come to you - is not reliable.

I wish someone had told me, in my 20s, to act on it when I liked somebody. I wish I had known to be more assertive about pursuing relationships. Perhaps because most people in my family had a lucky moment where their SO just "came to them when they were ready," I assumed it would happen too, and went about life just grooving on my general awesomeness. Unfortunately, not only did I not pursue relationships enough, I was also oblivious when others were trying hard to pursue a relationship with me. I ended up dating only rarely and then only people who were extremely clear about their pursuit. I missed a lot of great opportunities and was slower to accumulate relationship experience because of this.

The way to learn to have relationships is to have them. Pursue people you like, gently but clearly. Make it as much of a conscious activity as looking for a job or learning a new hobby is. You are in a place where you're ready for relationships and feel a need for more relationship experience. You are absolutely right about that - your instincts and self-knowledge are spot-on. Don't doubt or second-guess them. Get busy. Start asking people out, try online dating, tell your friends you're looking, strike up conversations with strangers, smile at women. There is a whole set of behaviors that show you're available. Do them. Of course you're nervous; everybody's nervous. The thing to realize is that all relationships contain risk, and everything worth getting takes risking in the pursuit. Even if you get a terribly crushing letdown, you will ultimately be all right in the end. No big deal. Romantic ups and downs are part of everyone's lives - that's why the rom-com genre is so damn popular. We've all felt vulnerable and all had our disappointments as well as our joys.

The risks are a little scary. But the scarier risk is never developing important relationships because you're unwilling to take the risk of being a little vulnerable.

But don't just wait around for things to happen. You want something, there are ways to increase your chances of getting it, so go to it. (Usually, when people say something just 'fell into their lap', it was an illusion - one of the two parties was actively pursuing it, while the other was passive. The passive person's advice is not the advice to listen to right now. It leaves too much up to chance.)
posted by Miko at 7:58 AM on October 25, 2008 [36 favorites]

I think the women that are able to jolt me out of dry-land are the ones I'm mainly attracted to.

Yeah, that's leaving a lot up to other people. Try not waiting for someone to "jolt" you, but put yourself in the active role.
posted by Miko at 8:01 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

I met my partner on the train. There was just something about him, I felt like I NEEDED to talk to him. It took me a while to come up with an icebreaker to actually *start* a conversation, but once I did, we talked for an hour. Mind you, this was in no way "romantic," I was actually with my husband at the time.

I was on my way out of town (out of the country, actually) and when I got back, I emailed him. Turns out that when I got back, I also became separated from aforementioned husband. (Him choosing to leave, having nothing to do with my having spoken to some dude on the train.) So, coffee turned into a pretty intense sort of chat, which turned into more coffee-dates/long talks, which after my husband was totally moved out turned into watching movies and snuggling...

You can see where that goes.

It was a really natural progression. I started staying over at his house pretty often, which turned into just about every day, which after three months it became clear that it was really kind of ridiculous for me to still keep my apartment seeing as how it was only used as a gigantic closet. My cat actually moved in with 'moonMan before I did since I was worried about the complete lack of human contact she was getting back in my apartment that I "stopped by" at every day, but never stayed over.

We got a bit of flack of ZOMG!TOOSOON! both from the "Clearly, you are rebounding from your divorce!" and also "Moving in after three months?! You are CRAZIES!" camps, but it's worked for us. We've been together over a year and living together for 11 mos. and everything's peachy. Better than peachy, really, everything's pretty awesome.

So, I guess the moral in terms of looking for a relationship would be - don't look. It'll find you.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:49 AM on October 25, 2008

in addition to all of this wonderful, amazing first hand advice (metafilter, you are beautiful :), i'm going to suggest you occupy your questioning mind with the sounds of the savage love podcasts. maybe call dan [206-201-2720] and ask the alt.relationship guru for his 2cent.
posted by tamarack at 10:16 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Working on yourself is the best advice. Start something new that's active, get the blood pumping. Online dating isn't a bad idea just in the sense of getting out there and talking to new people, get used to taking girls out and not take things seriously. The ones that matter will creep up on you.
posted by mattsweaters at 10:44 AM on October 25, 2008

So, I guess the moral in terms of looking for a relationship would be - don't look. It'll find you.

You see, I read your story entirely differently. I'd say the moral of it (and so many others, as Miko suggests) is that you have to seize every opportunity with both fists, and see where it might lead you. You went up and started talking to a perfect stranger, you took the initiative to email him after your trip, and I'm sure that a careful timeline of the next few months would show innumerable times where you or he made an effort, took a risk, or otherwise put yourself out there where the other person could have rejected or ignored you.

Yours isn't a story of passivity or of love coming and finding you -- it's a story of risk and effort on both sides. The lesson here is to go up and talk to strangers, and follow up that initial chat with more contact, and so on as long as it seems to be worth the effort, risking rejection at every moment.
posted by Forktine at 12:59 PM on October 25, 2008 [3 favorites]

That's an interesting point you raise, Miko and Forktine, vis a vis chance as opposed to seizing opportunities.

What I take from all this is that the best policy is just to relax and be watchful until you KNOW something needs to happen. A Bruce Lee, "be like water" sort of thing where you're loose enough to take what comes at you, but strong enough to completely kick ass when the opportunity comes.

I guess ultimately if two people want to be together, and both continually follow their desires, there's really nothing short of disaster that can keep them apart.
posted by AAAA at 1:28 PM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

My ex-husband and I got arrested at a protest together, were friendly enough, met again a year later at another protest, became inseparable, fell in love, had babies, and eventually fell out.

My current sweetheart and I were both involved in organizing efforts for another protest, met at a series of conferences, hooked up at one of them, and now he's sitting across the room from me.
posted by streetdreams at 2:16 PM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

I met my mid-twenties, nerdy boyfriend at a science fiction book club when he moved to my neighborhood. After our first meeting, he emailed me to ask me out for lunch, but the email got lost in the intertubes. At our second meeting, he asked me to dinner, and we've pretty much been inseparable for the last six and a half months.

That said, we both have some significant dating experience. He's had two serious relationships, I've had three serious relationships (one of which included a foolish engagement). We had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for in a partner and were delighted to find that the other person encapsulates those requirements pretty well.

As others point out, meeting someone is both chance and seizing opportunities. I had stopped going to the book club because of grad school, but went one night when class got out early--this was his second meeting. He had joined to meet friends in general but was worried he wasn't jiving very well and thought he might not come back. Just thinking how close we came to not meeting gives me the shivers.

But in addition to a chance meeting, he took initiative. He emailed me asking me out for lunch (and I swear I never got the email!). Despite my lack of response, and having no idea about my relationship status, he asked me out for dinner the very next chance he got. He didn't let the chance go by.

So, short version: put yourself in a position to meet people who share your interests and/or who you find interesting. Be open to possibilities, and jump at every chance you get.
posted by purplecurlygirl at 4:53 PM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Not sure if anybody's mentioned this yet, but getting right down to pragmatics, almost every couple that I can think of (on a quick mental scan) originally got together through a friends-of-friends situation.

Either that, or through work, school or a shared extracurricular interest, which often amounts to friends-of-friends anyway.

Romantic comedies I think are quite big on the totally random stranger encounter, but I haven't seen many examples of that working in real life. You're better off using work, school, interests & friends to expand your social circles far enough that eventually somebody within your orbit will be both interested & available.

In that sense, "it will find you" but only because you've made the (relatively trivial) effort to get out of your bedroom & be sociable in the first place. Like they say about lotteries, you've got to be in it to win it.

(i leave internet dating out of this because i honestly don't think i know anybody who has found a relationship this way. i realise it works for some, probably just not in my social circles)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:20 PM on October 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sorry, on afterthought it occurred to me that I might not have exactly been answering your question.

Actually, you seem to have three overlapping questions:

1. How did mefites meet their actual partners?

2. How does one meet potentially eligible prospects?

3. Having met those prospects, how does one make the jump from person-I-know to partner?

I'm not answering the first one, because it's redundant for me at the moment. My response above was mostly around Q2. However, you say you already know some eligible women who seem to be attracted to you, so I'm guessing you're really after the answer to Q3.

The thing is, I'd say that once you have Q2 sorted out, Q3 usually resolves itself automagically. This was what I was meaning to get at earlier: there's a tension in the answers here between "don't try to force it, just be yourself, something will happen" and "you need to make some effort", but in my view & experience, you don't need to be making all these romantic-type efforts all the time for something to spark.

Just get out & socialise with your friends & meet new people, and sooner or later it will turn out that you and some particular person will tend to gravitate towards each other, which makes perfect sense if you enjoy their company & they enjoy yours. You'll probably find that you cross paths more & more, and move towards one-on-one communications & outings instead of group things. This normally happens more naturally & easily than some of the earlier talk in this thread, which was more in terms of struggle & effort. It should be more like a mutual recognition than some sort of fight or contest.

Unfortunately, this model doesn't quite explain how you go from Q2 to Q3 except to state that it just happens. We humans have been doing this stuff for millennia now, so you just have to trust that deep down you already know how it's done without having to overthink it too much.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:03 PM on October 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

I met my actual partner on the internet. We were both abducted onto an ego mailing list by a person who thought we were intelligent but whom we didn't like. We met because we independently spent a lot of time flaming the guy in an attempt to get taken off the list (we are both hardheaded and at that time were hardheaded about not wanting to have to be responsible for the killfile we could have set up to block the e-mails).

At some point one of us contacted the other privately and we corresponded for a long while. In the beginning we were both lonely, recently burned by a previous relationship, and looking for company and solace. We seemed to be very emotionally close and very intimate, even though our relationship was non-physical for a long while and difficult to negotiate (for both professional and personal reasons).

So for a long time it was a close, emotionally intense, mutually comforting friendship.

When things changed (within a year or so of when we first met), our first in-person meeting was a week-long date. Lots of sex, lots of time spent with each other. We found that we were quite compatible.

Then there was rockiness on the romantic/relationships front. We broke up and got back together a couple of times before we discovered that living with each other smoothed it out a lot, and further that committing to a mutually exclusive relationship was the best thing for both of us (we had each been making do with nonexclusive dating/loving for each other before then, and both felt equally awkward about it, even though she was better at it than I in general - from the point of view of staying emotionally stable and feeling reassured).

We have been partnered now for 12 years, have lived together for 10 of those years, and are both very happy and contented. This month we've weathered/are weathering first visits from relatives to us in our new house. Last week was my Mom, and this week is hers and her Mom's new husband (a stand-up guy). We spend a lot of time and energy cherishing and to some extent parenting each other through difficult emotional times (as well as some minor or controlled health issues).

Mind you, it's not that we don't fight or argue. We do feel like we have "true" love, but it's something that we constantly work very hard on keeping close, trusting and sometimes romantic. But when we do fight or argue, we make sure we do it fairly. Not necessarily non-passionately, mind you, but fairly. We do not personally attack each other, we do not physically express the anger or frustration. It's hard to do that, but I think we both find it ultimately worth it.

It takes time to build this amount of mutual trust and affection and it's something I've found I can't just wish into existence. It's something that I build and make grow over the long term.
posted by kalessin at 4:50 AM on October 27, 2008

I was lucky-- met my husband of 30 years in college. But I have also met so many wonderful men since then that I always think, if I hadn't met DH, I'd have met this person, or this one, or this one. You have no soul mate, but you have a huge world of possibilities that, as Miko said, you need to be not only open to, but to actively pursue. I watch this sometimes with my son, just a little younger than you, and the women he knows. He's a little nerdy and a little too self-aware, and I think that he has no idea how much these women like him so he tends to dismiss their romantic inclinations and even their honest friendship, which can lead to romantic inclinations. (How many AskMe's do we read that go something like "I think I have romantic feelings for my best friend, etc. etc.)

Stop "looking" and start "doing." It's okay to offer friendship that doesn't "go" anywhere-- friendship is a worthy end. And I think you'll meet not one, but many women with whom you can have your Harry Met Sally adventure. And with one of them, you will.
posted by nax at 5:34 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

My domestic partner (DP) and I met in college. He was a senior, I was a freshman. 3 different mutual girlfriends introduced us 3 times before he actually remembered me. ;) I remembered him, and liked him as a "big man on campus" who threw the best parties and such, but I was not at all romantically attracted to him (due to the fact that he weighed about 220 lbs at 5'10". Harsh I know, but I had several other more attractive prospects at the time. He's lost a lot of weight since then, but not because I pushed him to- he came to it on his own.). However, we started hanging out a lot because we liked to have the same type of fun (hanging out in our dorm rooms, having deep conversations, video games, listening to music, partying). We became close friends. But I was JUST starting to emerge as a viable dater myself, being pursued by several men at the same time for the first time in my life (ok, just 3 including him!), and I was not at all willing to give that up. I enjoyed being single and not desperate for a date or some semblance of a relationship! In fact, it was right when I stopped being desperate and started being comfortable with myself that all the guys started sniffing around...

He began actively pursuing me, but I ignored it. Until my girlfriend (the one who introduced us the third time) started probing me for my feelings on his behalf. She said he was interested, and I said I wasn't. Then she told me that he had given her the best head in her life (they hooked up once or twice but it didn't go anywhere). That little factoid changed my... willingness towards him. I wasn't planning on getting into anything serious with him, but thought I could at least have a little fun. ;) (How selfish! I was planning on using him for sex!)

Once I opened up and dropped my "standards" (which were really just inhibitions and meaningless qualifiers), we started hooking up and hanging out more and more. We resisted being called boyfriend and girlfriend for at least 3 months, because neither of us wanted to be serious. But when you spend 99% of your time with one person, it becomes pretty clear that it is serious! Finally after some emotional turmoil and hair-pulling, we admitted we loved each other. And we've been together ever since! 9 years and growing.

I think the important points here are:

*Don't be desperate for a relationship. Try to find happiness being by yourself. Once you do, suddenly everyone will be a lot more interested in you.
*Cultivate and build many friendships (esp. with the opposite sex), because they might turn romantic or lead you to someone who will
*Drop all your ideas about attractiveness and qualifications for your ideal partner, and be open and receptive to everyone, especially if you have a good time with them

And another thing we did which I think really helped was we agreed to be completely honest with each other at the beginning of the relationship. We said, "Hey, if you're losing interest, just tell me! I'd rather know so we can deal with it properly rather than have it fester away and end badly." And that's pretty much our guiding principle. Anytime our relationship starts to turn downward (because they all have ups and downs), it's usually due to some sort of emotion that one of us is suppressing and needs to be expressed. Just try to be fair, and admit your own mistakes and faults, and express your feelings without being accusatory. Usually when you give in, the other partner will too because it's a relief for both of you. :)

Oh yeah, and maybe it depends on your partner's temperment, but I've found that I can NEVER get him to do anything if I push him towards it... even if he sees the value in what I'm asking, it's like some rebellious attitude turns on immediately if I "mother" him. If I want him to improve in a certain area, the best thing I can do is lead by example. :)
posted by thejrae at 12:12 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Two last points I forgot:

Don't try to FORCE the relationship, by discussing the relationship or labelling yourselves before you're ready ("So what are we? Are we dating?"), or issuing ultimatums if it's not progressing like how you think it should. I think many women fall into this trap and scare men away before the relationship has a chance to develop. Me and my partner were the opposite, we resisted being anything to each other until it was quite obvious that we were. :)

Sometimes your interest in each other won't be at quite the same level... you have to use your best judgment to see whether it just needs more time to grow, or whether it's never going to match.

And also, the REAL relationship doesn't start until the honeymoon period is over, which you will know when your have your first real fight, or when all those "cute" things suddenly start getting annoying. Our honeymoon period lasted about a year. I wouldn't make any committments or decisions about your relationship until the honeymoon period is over.
posted by thejrae at 12:20 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

In my (limited) experience, the tightrope to walk is this: you should be as calm as possible, and as honest as you dare. Be yourself, but be the version of yourself that is not a caffeinated tornado of hormones and fantasies. When someone comes along who makes you lose your cool, you take a small chance. Be a little less calm. Be a little more honest. Maybe there's nothing there, but this is your opportunity to find out. Perhaps the other person reciprocates: first a smile. Eventually, something more. Maybe you date, or maybe you don't even call it that, yet. Slowly, you find something like comfort, or something that you didn't know you couldn't live without. Whatever it is, the other person has to find it, too, and hopefully you find it at the same time. Days or years may pass. By far the worst and most terrible fate is to find that thing when they don't, or vice versa. The best fate and the whole reason for the game is when you both find it, and you have both gone so far out on a limb that you just can't see any other way but to admit that your lives would be incomplete without one another.

My first girlfriend was a great six-month relationship that dragged on for three and a half years. The first one never works out, so chalk it up to experience. At least yours was brief. My second was (is) a girl I made friends with while my hormones and fantasies were otherwise occupied; if I'd been infatuated with her while she was getting to know me, I certainly would have screwed everything up. But I wasn't, and I didn't (haven't yet). As far as the path and the trailhead and all those metaphors go, the thing is, you're already hiking. Enjoy the sun and the air and just live.
posted by Chris4d at 1:11 PM on November 6, 2008 [5 favorites]

Glad I checked this thread one last time. That was beautiful, my man.
posted by AAAA at 1:18 PM on November 15, 2008

It's funny how I had a similar experience as you AAAA, except that I was the girlfriend in that situation and the break up was brutal. The guy was a complete jerk and the most self-involve person I have ever met! Not only he dive into the relationship without thinking, but he also later came up with a dozen ridiculous lies to get out of the relationship and completely betrayed my trust. That's not the worst part, the worst part of this whole ordeal was that he refuse to tell me what happened and the reason of the break up. I think that coward should have stay in his barn for as long as he should. That experience was to me the most humiliating and embarrassing thing I had ever experience, all thanks to him - the "I never dated anyone because I am a selfish coward jerk" guy.

I am very glad to be out of the relationship but hope that he doesn't once again ruin another girl's dating experience. I understand when one never dated before the process could be difficult but as a HUMAN BEING being sensitive to other is just common sense.

I think that there's no right or wrong ways in finding love. My only advice is that before you ask someone out, please do think what you are really after and be honest and kind. I can't stretch enough that there's always karma in this world. If you think just because you have decided you don't want to date that person anymore and you treat them like a piece of trash, the same thing will happen to you eventually.

Just be kind, honest, sensitive and considerate. Woman these days have enough struggles to go through with work, family and dating. A jerk who only cares about what they want and need and view woman as someone who would "babysit" them should grow up before they really start dating.
posted by agogo_2 at 12:14 PM on December 2, 2008

I do apologize, since in order to answer this question, I've got to go back a ways to before I met my husband. I grew up in a very sheltered environment, in an affluent famliy. The school I attended was small - my dating life in highschool was relatively non-existent. The dating that did occur was with boys from very similar backgrounds, and it was extremely innocent, mainly because we were way too fearful to do anything about it!

Then, along came college. I quickly discovered the thing called "hooking up". I will be honest, I had a good time, I was promiscuous, and I was quite lonely. I can't say any of the activities I participated in were particularly good for me, but everyone (in the crowd I was in) was participating in the same activities, and therefore, I really wanted to fit in.

Fast forward a few years...after college, I found dating quite difficult, and boring. Until, that is, one day, my husband walked into the room where I was. It quite literally felt like lightenning. Something shifted. It felt like I was 12 again. The interesting thing is that I didn't meert him until after college. He's had very similar college experiences as I did. We learned to date together. We were brutally honest about everything. Love came gradually. We spent a lot of time building our friendship. We've been together for almost a decade, and I can honestly say he is my best friend. We also both realize that if we'd met in college, we probably would've just "hooked up" a few times and gone our separate ways. Timing, I guess, is everything.

There is no formula for finding love. Just be honest, and open yourself up. My husband knows me better than anyone else, and I him. Don't try and follow any one else's timeline but your own.

Sorry for the long post, and maybe for sharing too much info. Good luck!
posted by slualum at 2:09 PM on December 19, 2008

(this is from jeremias's wife) I actually met my husband through his mother. I was in graduate school with her, just broke up with a long-term bf, she broke her leg, and asked me to help her out on her horse farm. I arrived and he was finishing his "shift" of helping her out, and I was taking over for the 2nd "shift." This continued for a number of weeks which included several dinners in between shifts. Finally he asked me out and the romance began from there...
posted by jeremias at 11:11 AM on December 27, 2008

« Older Anosmic reversal--can you smell again?   |   How to make Gas company pay for water damage they... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.