About a year ago, and one too many dates later, I adopted this laissez-faire attitude myself. Maybe it was exhaustion or maturity, I'd like to think the latter, but what happened after was unexpected. Rewind a year and a half. I met Tom online. We had some fun chats with some weird banter about hobbits, with little promise of real-life banter about hobbits, because that's what online dating is like.
For one reason or another, probably having something to do with some bad fast food, we never went on a date. Advertisement Almost a year later, there I am on another dating site, and whom do I find staring back at me? And so we start chatting. And the banter continues. Thankfully, expanding to topics beyond "The Lord of the Rings. And there we are, finally out together, and I'm not taking things too seriously, which is very unlike me, because I always take things too seriously, which is part of the problem.
But with this one, I decide to just let things happen or not happen at all. And I think it's when we do this, when we're not trying too hard or thinking too much or over-analyzing every text and word exchanged, that we really open our hearts and our minds and are able to let someone embrace us for who we are, rather than for the awesomely charming and funny person we're trying to portray in our online profiles.
Things developed organically, without pressure or rules or timelines, without the need to play an impossible role. Tom was always who he was going to be, a person comfortable with himself, even around a virtual stranger.
I, however, had to actively make a choice. And the decision to stop being so serious, or at least try, is really what allowed me to be with someone like Tom. A few months into our relationship, I found myself in London, staying with Tom's family, there to attend his mother's funeral. He wanted me there with him, and I wanted to be by his side. So as you can see, something that started so light, quickly developed into something far more important than I'd ever imagined.
Given where we are now and all that we've been through in a very short time, it's hard not to fall into old patterns and think about societal pressures and rules and being a serious adult in a serious relationship, because these are all things we're told we should be thinking about.
But then I remember what brought us together, what this whole relationship was built on. And that is all the reminder I need to chill out, preferably over a double-double with fries. Lauren Otero is a TV writer in L. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles.
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