My girlfriends and I established a curriculum for us to abide by when dating called, "The Catch and Release Program." It's a tool to help us navigate our adventures in dating and the basic structure is committing to the plan that if, after three dates, you can definitively say that you could never imagine bringing this person to meet family or close friends for dinner then it's time to "cut bait" and throw that fish back out to sea for someone else to hook.
I recently hit that potential "fourth date" moment and simply could not decide what to do. My head and heart were feeling two different things. My head was saying, "You're in your late 20s, so this is not the time to be picky," and my heart was questioning the passion. I turned to my go-to girlfriend who is always full of brilliant insight and often knows me better than I know myself. She tells me when my blouse isn't the most complementary shade of red for my complexion and she responds to every breakup announcement with, "We are going to get through this together." - (We should all have a friend like that in our lives and make sure that we are an equally good friend in return.)
As I described to her my situation, she asked me what my gut intuition was on the probability of getting serious with this person. I hesitated to respond and she told me that right there I had my answer. I complained for a moment as dating can be so much work and how do you ever know if you are making the right decision - especially early on in getting to know someone. Her response quickly became my new personal mantra, "Dating is like shoe shopping, except this isn't a clearance sale at Barneys and he's not the last one in your size."
She was spot on. Dating and shoe shopping, for those possessing any element of a Carrie Bradshaw persona with a love for shoes, can be incredibly similar experiences. It's fun at first, tiring as time wears on, discouraging when you have tried on so many but nothing seems to fit, and then incredibly rewarding as well as exciting when you find that perfect pair. It might have taken four malls, putting up with some cheesy salesmen, and more patience than a five-year-old waiting for Christmas morning this time of year; but it’s so gratifying to put on shoes that fit like a glove and possess the style that brings with it a desire to throw back your shoulders and stand a little taller when taking on life.
To all of my single and twenty-something friends; please know that you don't need to rush this process. Be patient and above all, follow your intuition when deciding whether or not the shoe fits.
Images courtesy of Threeinchheels.com, Shopsland.orgRemember to head over and check out Brittany's engaging blog!