Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Meet Someone New

Written by JosephJanuary 23, 2015

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One thing you ought to know about me is that I was raised knowing nothing is guaranteed. That in a nutshell should explain a lot about my childhood. My parents, being the cynical people they are, taught me to never put all my eggs in one basket. I have to admit, it’s gotten me out of a […]

One thing you ought to know about me is that I was raised knowing nothing is guaranteed. That in a nutshell should explain a lot about my childhood. My parents, being the cynical people they are, taught me to never put all my eggs in one basket. I have to admit, it’s gotten me out of a lot of close calls, but unfortunately it’s totally messed me up in the love department.
I wasn’t expecting to fall in love. Hell, I wasn’t expecting to fall in like. I was single, far from open, and desperately trying to find my place in the world. The last thing I needed was a distraction from the grind. There was too much discipline for my own good, especially when it came to men. I viewed them like I viewed my projects – pact full of must-haves and non-negotiables. Anyone who lacked something on the list was put to the side, forever.
They needed to have a sense of style, a great body, a passion for travel, an apartment of their own, a flare for poker, a sense of humor, and at least an appreciation for Joni Mitchell – minor things to entrap my untamed heart. Over time, the “list” became more than a boyfriend tracker. It turned into an excuse to push people away.
You see, as much as we want it to be, life isn’t a fairy tale. We can’t plan it out as if it’s guaranteed to fit inside a blue print of our own making. Sure we can try to adjust it as best we can, but life thrives on the turbulent waves of chance and risk. If we’re too busy saying no all the time, we’ll never truly embrace our rewards. If two people decide to spend a great deal of time with each other, it’s because they unconsciously sense the benefits. They make each other feel good and they feed off each other’s supportive energy. That, surprisingly, has nothing to with being a fan of Joni Mitchell.
When I first saw him, I wasn’t impressed. He had a sexy smile, that was guaranteed, but everything else wasn’t nearly as forthcoming. First of all, he was new to they city. I knew from past experiences that dating LA newcomers always brought me disappointment. They deserve to spread their wings in the dating pool, not settle down with the first person they meet off the bus, especially when they’re from such towns as Tyler, Texas. I kept my guard up.
He was a friend of a friend and, quite frankly, a total asshole. The only thing he had going for him was his smile. The sweat pants and Batman t-shirt weren’t exactly pressuring me to get to know him. He wasn’t the kind of person I enjoyed having around my circle. He was cocky, inappropriate, and a bit of a snob. He made an effort to let people know how rich his parents were – some kind of oil family.
You’re probably wondering when and how I started to fall in love with him. The truth is, I didn’t know it was happening while it was happening. Our mutual friend had continuously been trying to hook us up since that faithful night we first met. He did everything in his power to make us be at the same place at the same time – parties, movies, mixers, happy hours – if he knew I would be there, he’d bring him.
One night after work, I went to go meet some friends at my favorite bar for a drink. I couldn’t find parking, so I had to sneak into one of the neighborhoods close by. When I came around the corner, I saw him. He was alone. Before he could see me, I did a James Bond move backwards behind the wall into an ally way. I heard him talking on the phone, no, singing: “Hush Little Baby” to be exact. I wasn’t sure why, but he sang the whole song from beginning to end. My curiosity got the best of me so I edged the corner and saw that he was Facetiming a little boy (his nephew).
“Good night, my angel,” he whispered, “I love you.”
“Bye, Uncle Jeff.” He answered back, kissing the screen, “I love you.”
In that moment, all the judgment I held against him, every last inch of it melted onto the scummy ground. I felt so foolish. Why did I have to be so cynical? Why couldn’t I look passed the artificial things from the beginning? Why had I been so eager to cast him aside as a loser or a good-for-nothing or a snob? It was as if I shed my skin and began to awaken a whole new perspective of not only him, but also the world in general. He was a human being, not some project. The tears welded up, and with them,  my pride. As he came around the corner and saw me, he stopped dead in his tracks.
We didn’t go to the bar, instead we walked to the coffee shop across the street and asked each other everything we had always wanted to ask all these months. Our favorite color (Mine: Blue. His: Green), our favorite band (Mine: Maroon 5. His: Rolling Stones), our favorite city (Mine: Venice. His: Chicago), our favorite artist (Mine: Joni Mitchell. His: Joni Mitchell). I was in heaven.
The truth is the last thing any one of us ought to do is spend our lives keeping people at bay because of made up ideas. Whether we realize it or not, we’re closing ourselves off to unbelievable opportunities. Being vulnerable is difficult, but it’s in this kind of state that we truly see what lies beneath the surface of people. Our differences don’t keep us a part; they’re what attracted us together.
Don’t be afraid to stretch your legs and meet someone outside your list of must-haves. Our imaginations are more powerful than we think. As soon as we have an idea about someone, it’s much easier to dismiss him or her. I’m thrilled I learned the lesson sooner rather than later, but more so I’m grateful to be able to share it with you.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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