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an ode to online....the things you learn in the dating world

let it be known: i have been dating. online. THREE YEARS AGO, i would not have had the balls to tell anyone that - actually, i woudln't have even thought about putting my name and picture on any site anywhere for fear of someone seeing it and outing me as 'online' - a status that most definitely i was TERRIFIED of being associated with. TWO YEARS AGO, i more or less wore the 'i'm online, i'm rad, i'm gonna be findin' me a boyfriend right quick' tshirt and was quick to tell anyone how i was leaping into the dating pool - quick to share juuuuust in case they might, again, see me online and beat me to the punch of telling other people. again, blokcing mechanism. and, a loud one. ONE YEAR AGO, i had a lingering profile and was actively waiting for someone, anyone, to knock on my proverbial dating-door (ie: message me with a witty note that might spark an interest because, gosh knows, i was all to caught up in being 'busy' to take a stand for what i really wanted in a man and make a real effort to attract that....)

since then, you'll be relieved (maybe not as much as I am) to know that my outlook has shifted from the 'hell no!' to the 'hallelujah online!' to the 'meh' to a very healthy place - of curiosity, connection and confidence. most of the time. haha.

and so, in this seemingly life-long experience i have recently reflected on a couple things i have learned and feel compelled to share. because, there is a 'silver lining of learning' and opportunity for reflection around every date - even the ones where the sweet man wears corduroy pants and a Metallica t-shirt.

learning point #1. you get out what you put in. for every 'dang, still no messages', i could only look to how actively - or inactively - i was involving myself in the process. trend in the jess-life is when busy-ness gets the best of me,  my me-life gets the worst of me. the times i had the most fun on dates and met the most interesting people were the times i spent time being interested - and connecting with people that i was inspired by.  good reminder in how to be present to what i want and not auto-pilot my way through life.

learning point #2. i've got a good gut - and it's time to listen to it. that weird pitty feeling in my stomach when something doesn't sound right or something in a profile rubs me the wrong way? LISTEN to it. stop forcing a conversation if all signs point to 'run the other way - don't even stop at the front door to get your shoes!!' - and trust what i know and how i know i want to be engaged. #nuffsaid

learning point #3. life repeats itself, if you let it. goes hand in hand with trusting my gut. when i feel myself not being really 'me' to catch someone's attention - i need to stop. not only am i repeating a bad habit and trying to 'fit a mold' - i'm not valuing mine or their time - which ends up in one too many coffee dates (and normally it truly is just one) and a feeling of 'womp womp' upon departure. i'm moreso me in every interaction now than ever - and have to remember in every split-second-of-doubt to be me, in every moment. all ways, always.

i might be done with the online thing for now - and know that these wee lessons-on-life apply as much in the off-line-love-life - if not moreso. practice, practice, practice.....right?

#workinprogress.

takin it back to vball at beav.

time travel with me - back to the days of high school volleyball games (yeah, THAT far back....). the sights and smells - ick - of the teams coming together to compete in sport. the energy of the space as the teams warm up and get ready to square off on the court. then, the teams launch into their cheers before taking their positions on the floor and settling into the first serve. but before that - a light din - a murmur almost - starts to tremble within those glowing white lines. it grows in volume and intensity - each player constantly throwing numbers, positions, encouragements, chirps and digs and continues ..... for three. whole. sets. all that noise - in the name of being the loudest one on the court.

guilty confession: i might have been that border-line-obnoxious literal cheer-leader that put the lungs behind the Lord Beaverbrook cheer each and every game. Yeah, i was THAT girl. and still am - trust me to drop an often times too loud 'heck yeah!' in some of the most inopportune times possible.

i digress.

i look to my high school athletic career and see why we were coached to be constantly talking - always, always talking. while in the moment i really did think that it had everything to do with psyching out the other team (which it often did) and was a way of calling out who we were covering on big swings, etc, i can see now how it was us, as a team, calling it like we saw it. we were functioning in the moment, creating clarity on where we all were and what we could all rely on one another for. we were using our voices to really make that floor work - and work it, we did.

our banter created workability in that setting - so i look to today and where i might be holding back in communicating and being more vocal - where i could be talking about what i am seeing and experiencing. and, while i don't want to be in a constant state of chatter, i know that there is heaps of learning that can take place through sharing what the is-ness is - in the moment.

we all process very differently. some out loud, some internally. we are introverts, and we are extroverts - and all recharge our batteries in different ways. i need to talk some things out. i know moreso now that i share to stay in the present and to surface those gross-ish feelings that are lead-indicators for requests, questions - all those things. and i'm good with that - especially seeing as it doesn't involve all the yelling and cheering and what not.

i ask a LOT of questions to hear how others are experiencing something. sometimes we need someone to ask.