writing

Swipe Right

If you’ve been single at any time in the past few decades, you likely have heard of, if not joined, some sort of online dating site. These sites have you build profiles, highlights of yourself, answer questions, all that good stuff, to help with the matching of your profile with someone else.

I haven’t had use for these sites in well over a decade, but recently, someone from high school reminded me that the concept was not anything new and harkened back to a time in high school, long before the internet, where kids filled out questionnaires and were “matched” with three potential candidates.

I’m sure it was all innocent, meaning to help people meet each other. But they reminded me of the fights that broke out when the matches were, well, unexpected. Established couples broke up, boys got in fights over girls, and vice-versa, and people were disheartened when their crush didn’t show up on their list.

I didn’t immediately remember this, but I thought about it for a while, and slowly, some details came back for me. Was I honest on the questionnaire? Most likely. Did I get matched up with some people? Sure. But, here’s what I really remember.

See, I was an introvert and I had a good relationship with my folks. Anyway, I had the results stuck in my English book and showed them to my Dad one day. He laughed, then scoffed at me. “Just get rid of that list. If there’s a boy who likes you, he’ll come look for you. You don’t need to be seeking him out.”

With that, the list was taken from my book, and tossed. The names, forgotten. My dad was old-fashioned in that way. He felt girls should let the boys come to them. To this day, I think this is one reason why I only went out on a few dates in high school. Boys didn’t seek me out.

I learned from that lesson that sometimes, you have to initiate contact or ask for what you want, contrary to what my Dad believed. Heck, I had to ask my senior prom date, a friend only at the time, to take me; otherwise I would have probably not gone.

I love the fairytale where the knight in shining armor rides up and sweeps a lady off her feet just as much as the next; but I also learned I wouldn’t have companionship if I sat back and waited. I did wait at times. I waited much too long, but my knight didn’t show up. Sometimes, you just have to make your fairytales work with what you’ve got and who you can. Otherwise, life just passes you by.

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