Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Blame Game and why I don't play

Alternate title: The one where Nat finally talks about Dating

For the most part, other than a few exceptions here and there (that I'll have to mentally catalog at some point in the not too distant future), I don't play the Blame Game. I can take ownership for how I'm feeling, how I'm behaving, and I can admit that I'm wrong. Or that I'm unreasonable. (Or that I don't stand too close to black lights because my front teeth are capped and it's mortifying to have them glow in the dark brighter than the others.)

I've noticed an alarming trend in both real and fake Facebook life. It seems that everyone is blaming everyone for everything. E v e r y t h i n g. I don't even have to give you outlandish examples because chances are good you've seen them on your own. Have you noticed it? Are you as bothered about it as I am? Or am I noticing all the red cars on the road after I too purchase a red car?

In the last few weeks, there's been an inordinate amount of dating and relationship blame game happening on Facebook; some of it no-doubt prompted by some of the talks given at a General Conference my church has twice a year. What a disaster. Rarely, if ever (and if by ever do I really mean never) do I discuss dating here. Well surprise! I'm 9 days from my 5-year blogavversary and I finally have something to say. Raise your hand if you agree with me. Or leaving me a scathing comment if you don't. But I can't handle it one second longer.

Love is a miracle. The hows, whys, and whens about two people loving each other the same unconditional amount to settle down and commit to each other for eternity--well boy howdy, I don't think that's something you can manufacture. (Ignore the nuances between can and should for the sake of my argument.) I'm over the hump of feeling sad I'm not married and so grateful that some of my closest friends, and sisters, and parents, and people I use to go to church with, and classmates, and swing bandmates (another story for another day), and host of ex-roommates, and sister-cousins, and Boston friends, and Arizona, Utah, and Oregon friends and my friends' parents... how grateful I am that they've all experienced a miracle! BECAUSE OH MY GOSH IT WILL BE A MIRACLE WHEN IT HAPPENS FOR ME TOO.

You see, I'm what I like to consider a niche person. If the population of people represent a bell curve, I'd most definitely lie closer to an outlier position. (+4 standard deviations! and there ends my statistics knowledge.) It doesn't mean there aren't other people like me in the world, it just means there are less of me. And here's a fun fact into a world I never crack open on this blog--when it comes to men, I either immediately connect and we hit the ground running and we never stop talking and ohmygosh the banter goes back and forth and we're basically living the version of what would happen if Aaron Sorkin ever decided to write a Romantic Comedy. Or we don't hit it off and Welcome to Friend Zone and I'm not too broken up over it.

These revelations shouldn't completely surprise you as I've nattered on for five years about next to nothing--and it's either your type of writing or it's not. (Congratulations readers, if any of you were dudes, we mighta almost had it all. And married dude readers, you missed this catch but CONGRATS ON YOUR MIRACLE.) So, in a very long-winded round-about multi-hyphenated way, I'm saying I don't blame anyone for me not being married yet. I don't blame the men of the Church, the men of the world, and I definitely don't blame myself. So I've had it with the Blame Game. Can't we all just accept that you/I/insertSingleAnyoneHere haven't met the right one yet?

I, like many of my readers, and friends, know the state of the single state. It's not much different here in Boston than in California, or Utah, or anywhere else as an active Mormon. There's no silver bullet destination for optimal miracle cultivation. You just wait, and live your life, and love who you are and do fun stuff. I mean, that doesn't sound so bad, right? You enjoy your job, and you watch some TV and read some books, and stamp your passport, and work on ironing out the kinks in you for awhile. You make, cultivate and curate meaningful relationships. You wait, hope for, and continue to believe in miracles.

Am I being naive about this? Married ladies, let's hear it. How much about your marriage had to do with what you were doing to lure him in? How much was it that you just ::cliche alert!:: clicked? Singles, I'm hosting a Royal Brunch for the Royal Wedding in two weeks. Consider joining me, because I do nichey things when left to my own devices. Believe in miracles!


Alaina said...

Love this. And yes, blaming the stereotypical other does nothing to actually get people hooked up. It's a miracle, and more likely to happen when you've become the person you should be. And you're right, focusing on the other doesn't do anything to help you become who YOU should be. Well said.

Shauna said...

Bravo! So true. Amen and amen.

i wish i lived in Boston because i can't wait to watch a royal wedding on tv too.

Alicia said...

Man, I just love you more all the time.

And, personally, I love having an outlier for a friend. You're witty, charming, and you sure can carry on a conversation like no one else can...

Ugh for living in KS. Would die to be at your brunch!

Charone said...

Living your life and loving who you are is so important. Me getting married had literally nothing to do with luring him in and everything to do with timing. And timing is different for everyone, isn't it?

Everyone has an opinion on this, and here's mine: no one knows when he or she will get married, but making yourself the best person you can be is something everyone should do, married or single. Work hard, serve others regularly so you aren't completely selfish with all of your time, be as happy and upbeat about your life situation as you can. Loving yourself enough to want to be your best emotionally, physically, and spiritually is not just for single folk trying to nab a spouse.

And you are completely right--blaming others is far from a viable solution to anything! Loved this post.

B said...

Nat I agree with you that you should be pursuing fun, interesting things in your life, and I don't think it's about luring men in. I do believe that it's about desire. I liked Elder Oak's point that we can get caught up with our careers, travels, etc and not make it a priority. Don't put your life on hold but do say yes to every date and give boys you don't think are your perfect match a chance. It took me 4 years before I realized my 'friend' was someone I could potentially like. Even though he did the work and pursued me, I always said yes and let him into my sometimes closed/vulnerable self.

Gogo said...

Yes. To all of this.

Would it be nice if people asked other people out more often? Sure. Would it be nice if people asked hypothetical me out more often? Definitely. But whether or not that's happening strangely has little to with finding a whole-life-love. That's chance and grace and, yes, such a miracle. Plus, if you really want some dates you can ask for them yourself.

And me, well, I'm getting married in a month. And I'm totally an outlier. And I met J at a perfect point in time, but a time that should have meant dating disaster (confusing?). And a million other things that mark this impossibly encompassing love of ours as improbable, inevitable, and miraculous. But I couldn't have MADE any of this happen. Because the only thing any of us can control is our selves (coincidently at the time I was working pretty hard on me).

I am convinced that we could arrange enjoyable marriages of convenience for ourselves based on commitment, desire for family, and compatability. Just date through and poll the appropriate population until you find a match. But love love happens beyond any degree of reason or design. That's why it's such a b****.

The Carlson Family said...

Ahhh, a sigh of fresh air. Timing and clicking, timing and clicking, TIMING and clicking. There may not be "THE ONE", but I have certainly seen enough to admit the Lord has a massive hand in all of it, if we listen. Heck, Mike and I realized we had been at 3 to 4 functions together without realizing it before we really met. If we had met at any of those I never would have dated him, for various reasons, let alone become engaged 6 weeks later without a single regret. 5 years later I can also say if you try and play the blame game in your marriage you are playing with fire, because it's a sure way to put in a a path to ending it. Love, be loved, fight when you need to, as patiently and lovingly as you can, and then LOVE again.

Lindsey said...

Long time reader, first time commenter here. I loved this post! Love yourself and the life you're living right now. Don't ever take the life you're living today foregranted. Because one day you'll look back and say, "Those were really good days I wonder why I was so stressed all the time and bought into all the drama of dating." Just know there's a plan out there and you're not really in control of it all. I certainly didn't plan on meeting my husband when I did and yet it was the perfect time for both of us.

Nat Attack said...

Thank you thank you all of you for your thoughtful comments. So we're all mostly in agreement -- I knew there was a reason I chose to be friends with most of you. WINK.

Lindsey -- thanks for your two cents! I love anonymous readers, they make me feel like the world is a small, happy place.

Danielle -- I talked with J the night after your first date and I teased him then that you were the one. He didn't disagree! So there you go, a MIRACLE!

Shauna -- the Royal Wedding is on at 3AM your time. Considering how early you wake up, this shouldn't be a problem, right?

Rachael -- LOVE your last line. Also, has it REALLY been 5 years? I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when you called with engagement news.


Erica said...

This post generated so many posts for me. Thank you for reminding me what a miracle love is. Now that I've been hitched for five years, sometimes I equate the word "love" more with the word "work" than "miracle." Man, it is a lot of work, at least for us! Maybe that means that we did too much luring when we first met! haha

I absolutely love your perspective and who you are.

k8 said...

nat, i couldn't love you any more than i do right now. all weekend in HB we were getting in relationship discussions and my friend Emily would end every single one with "it's an act of God." My new mantra. It's a miracle when it happens and trying to force it, or classify it, or figure out who to blame for it, is like demanding that your agency create a video that can "go viral". It does or it doesn't. End.

Nat Attack said...

Eck -- I've reread your entry several times because I think it's so profound! And I love you too, thanks for the boost.

Katie -- I kept waiting for you to weigh in here, we've had too too many conversations about this before. Also, the "go viral" video example is CRACKING ME UP. Especially because I was telling someone JUST yesterday that you can NOT force anything to go viral. ALL PARTS OF MY LIFE COLLIDE BASICALLY ALL THE TIME!

Christy Cropper Photography said...

Nat this is great. Just perfect. I love it. And I wholly agree.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!