I was eating breakfast at a Panera Bread this morning and I noticed a woman who came in and got in line. She was with her two kids and husband. (My assumption at the relationship between the four of them.) And there was something about her… I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the attraction was, but it felt familiar.
And a month ago I had a first “hello” date with a woman who was cheerful, full of life and boisterously funny. Her wit and energy were infectious and almost a challenge. Like she was daring me to be boring or unentertaining.
I want that. I want some enthusiasm. It’s what I bring, I know this. But I am ready to have some of it reflected back at me. And when you see it, when you notice the happy person in the room there is something that draws you in. The woman this morning wasn’t stunningly beautiful or amazingly fit, but her vibrancy radiated out from her, even as she stood in line with her brood. There was nothing amazing about her, or the moment, but there was “something.”
What is the quality of joy? How do you quantize someone else’s happiness?
In a simple online dating exchange today, a woman thanked me for the positive vibes. I had to check out her profile and see who she was and what she was talking about. I think I gave a thumbs up to one of her photos yesterday. (The most passive of “hellos.”)
And then the banter was so easy, and so simple between us, that 4 emails later we are set for a glass of wine in two nights. It was easy. It was fun. It was different from most online dating interactions and very different from most interactions overall.
I’ve just pulled back from a relationship I was pretty stoked about. I was becoming more and more concerned with the “work” we were needing to do to maintain even our casual relationship. And what I noticed in this release is a re-commitment to “what I’m looking for.” I’m not looking for a project or even a work-in-progress. I’m looking for a fully alive and empowered woman, who brings a joy with her. That joyful attitude is something you can feel. Even as I was aware that the woman this morning was married, I was fascinated by her radiant joy. How her life force, or something, some glow, was capable of nailing some happiness radar in my heart and letting me know, “HEY HERE IS ANOTHER HAPPY PERSON.”
It’s a bit like looking for your tribe. I’ve been a joy-generator for a long time. And I am looking now for my Joy Tribe. The happy people. The women who glow with something intangible but palpable. I could feel it, but I didn’t understand it at first. And then my whimsical exchange with the online dating woman reminded me. It’s playfulness, it’s banter, is something easy about the flow of information and a building connection.
I don’t have any real data about the woman who I’ll be meeting in two nights. And I should go back and examine her profile a bit closer, but… I’m okay on giving in to whimsy every now and then. Heaven knows my calculated strategy hasn’t worked out so well so far.
In imagining the next relationship (I’d count my post-divorce relationships at exactly TWO) as something from the Joy Tribe. I want a woman who is full of herself, and full of some extra little magic touch of joy. Let’s start there.
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