Disclaimer: this blog post will not tell you about the first date I had with a guy from het ballenboekje. It might, however, answer your ‘but why a date project?!’-question.
In the last week of May, I flew out to the United States for yet another wedding. It was a beautiful celebration of love (with very few singles around). After the wedding, I went on a road trip with three couples. One of these being my parents, and all of them having been happily married for decades. Mike (62) was one half of such a couple and had been reading about my date project. (He is a fan of Star Wars ànd my blog. I think that’s a good thing?). He had three questions for me:
  1. Q: Did I secretly want an English-speaking man because I write in English? A: No, I just want my international friends, like Mike, to be able to read it.
  2. Q: Had I thought about going to places where I would find men engaging in an activity I enjoyed? A: The problem isn’t so much in meeting men, as it is in finding the incentive to date them. 
  3. Q: Could I be overthinking this whole dating thing? A: Could I be?
[NB: I like to think. Sometimes I do too much of this. I tend to overthink which career choices to make, how to best celebrate my birthday, whether to buy a new plant or not, etc. I thought I wasn’t overthinking this date project because it’s just a fun experiment. Or does the act of making a project out of dating equal overthinking it? Anyway, this blog has got me talking a lot about singlehood, dating and love. And thinking about it too. As you can read here.]
I explained to Mike that a few months ago I read a famous quote: “you can’t win if you don’t play.” It made me think about the game of love & attraction. I realised that I assume I will win, but had stopped playing. (Winning being the fairy-tale of living life with a man I love, and maybe some kids and a dog.) But if you want to win, you should never stop playing. Take the Dutch soccer team Feyenoord, my family’s favourite, which doesn’t have a great track record of winning. This year they finally won the National Championship after 18 years of trying, getting out on that field time and again.
Mike asked me another question: was I afraid? And I suppose a part of me is. Liking another comes with vulnerability, and could mean a loss of control. Control over self, independence, and my life as I live it. So maybe this project is not about winning. Maybe it’s about not being afraid to lose.
Dating can be horrible: you feel nervous, have to dress up, judge and be judged, get rejected. Dating can be fun too: you meet new people, get to dress up, hear perspectives, tell your story. So I’ll play that game. Cause it can be so much fun. And maybe one day I will win.