In a city the size of Denver, filled with activity, bustling with people, and opportunity just around the corner, why are so many struggling when looking for love? I believe that Aziz Ansari summed it up in his new book Modern Romance when he explained (and I paraphrase); “with the entire world at our finger tips through the internet and online dating it’s no wonder we can’t make up our minds”.
Although there is plenty to do for everyone on any given day in Denver; enjoying the outdoors, watching live entertainment, and endless bars and restaurants, the overall theme seems to be that it is incredibly difficult to meet new people. It is no secret that as we get older, meeting new people that we feel a connection with becomes increasingly more challenging. In a world where young people are striving for autonomy and dedicated to their careers (me included), dating feels more like a chore and each drink and/or dinner more like an interview.
I will admit my occasional dabbling with Tinder…Bumble…Hinge, or whatever the app du jour may be, but the inauthenticity of building a relationship based off a picture and “interests” does not lend itself to me. That is not to say that for others it is just what they need to help sort through the overwhelming amount of choices out there. Sitting on the couch, ruling out potential lifetime partners with the swipe of my finger sounds a lot easier than actually engaging in a conversation with a stranger, however I have found it no less exhausting. It seems that there is a “grass is always greener” mentality among those in the dating scene, whether that grass is right around the next swipe or in another relationship. I will highlight that this type of thinking contributes to the exact opposite of creating an authentic connection in a relationship.
My desire for independence, coupled with hopeless romance creates a bit of a dilemma when it comes to dating. However, I am a believer in these three necessities when finding a partner; timing, fit, and attraction. Whether my Mr. Right is to be found online, on a mountain, in a yoga studio, at a restaurant, is already in my life or not, I hold out hope that one day our lives will collide. The timing will be impeccable, the attraction will be undeniable, and our overall fit irrefutable.
Why put ourselves into new situations when we can sit on our couch and judge potential life-long partners based off how cool they look in their pictures and what their “interests “are?
I like to believe that I exercise just the right balance of risk taking, while maintaining some comfort level in new situations. The reality is probably that I stay in my comfort zone much more than I know. You see, I am outgoing, but rarely the person you see making friends with everyone in a 5 mile radius. I call myself an introverted extrovert. Within my comfort zone, naturally I have no problem taking risks, putting myself out there or being assertive. On the contrary, put me in a room full of strangers and you’ll find me in a corner with a “deer in the headlights look”. Like the time I went to Toast Masters with a friend and they called me out personally to present an improve speech on some topic they would choose (cue red face, knot in stomach, profuse sweating) or the time I went to a networking event with 100+ attendees and hovered in the corner turning in my free drink tickets at an absurdly fast rate.
But, I digress. My point is that although I think I put myself out there the reality is I may be at “new places”, surrounded by “new people”, but I rarely take this opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone unknown, much less a cute boy