It’s so easy to get stuck in the monotony of “trying to date,” especially if you’ve been stuck in the dating pool for far too long.
We often show up to our usual places, i.e. church meetings, parties and friend gatherings, feeling bored with the people there. We’re pretty sure that nothing new, good or exciting related to dating can happen from being in these familiar places.
Getting stuck in this mindset is almost unavoidable, even for singles with the most optimistic attitudes.
But…What if…There was someone incredibly interesting or extremely valuable that you somehow overlooked? What if there was a knock-your-socks-off person, you NEVER KNEW was there???
A few weeks ago, I had a radical experience that led to an important dating metaphor.
My family visited the High Uintah mountain range with some neighbors. We set out for a day of hiking, picnicking and good times. We take this trip every year, sometimes several times.
I’m very familiar with all the trails and the lakes we visit. I thought I knew everything about our familiar paths. But on this trip, I found out I was wrong!
We went about our business hiking and having a good time. Near the end of the day, the kids felt they had done enough hiking and rock skipping.
They kept asking when we were going to be done and how much longer until we went home.
Can you relate?
- Do you ever feel bored and ready to go home when you’re out “trying” to be social?
I thought the end of the kids willing attitudes meant our fun was over, but…
Shortly after the kids whining started, we spotted an older woman carrying a large, brown paper sack. She stepped off the trail to let us pass. I wasn’t sure, but she looked skittish about seeing us.
Earlier in the day, on another trail, I noticed a young family, also carrying a large, brown paper sack. They seemed to be searching for something they had lost. I started feeling bad, assuming it must be a wedding ring or car keys.
As I watched them, their searching patterns didn’t quite match what a person who lost an item would be doing. I kept watching. Finally, they found something. Eureka! As they lifted a low lying pine tree branch, they picked up…a…Mushroom.
How strange, I thought. Why would anyone want mushrooms? They taste mostly like nothing and some of them could kill you. I watched as they placed the mushroom in their brown paper sack and then I quickly lost interest and enjoyed the rest of the lake hike with my group.
Upon seeing the woman, also with a brown paper sack, my interest surged. Two mushroom hunters? They must know something I don’t know.
Even though she seemed very uninterested in talking, I asked her if she was hunting mushrooms.
She quickly asked me if I was hunting. “No,” was my reply. “I don’t know anything about mushrooms.”
Relieved, she explained that she WAS indeed hunting for mushrooms. She told us all about how she used to collect bags and bags of mushrooms which were incredibly tasty and valuable. I also found out there’s a market in Salt Lake City that pays $80 a pound for them.
She then showed us two giant mushrooms, the size of a loaf of bread. The kids were stunned! We enjoyed hearing her story and getting a lesson on mushroom hunting. After the encounter, we continued on our way.
This time we KNEW there were mushrooms on this trail. Valuable ones. Tasty ones. And we knew how to tell the difference between poisonous mushrooms and edible mushrooms.
All of a sudden, the kids, who were so bored and ready to go home, were fully invested in the hike! They had renewed energy and interest in seeking and finding mushrooms.
They joyfully scurried up and down the trail, lifting branches and checking in the places where the woman told us she’d found them hiding.
Knowing these valuable little gems were all around us, changed everything. We all found some hidden mushrooms. It was the most fun we had all day.
When it comes to dating, you need to know there are metaphoric “mushrooms” everywhere. It’s your opportunity to discover where they’re hiding. Other people have found and will continue to find great people to date in all the same familiar places you’ve sworn off.
They’re online, they’re at church, they’re friends of friends, they’re at work, etc. The key to discovery is to tune into what you’re looking for, and to have an excited, willing, mindset ready to lift branches to see what’s really beneath.
The delicious ones aren’t usually out in the open where anyone can see them. They require searching and sleuthing. Some hunts are more successful than others, but persistent hunters always find treasure.
As you become more in tune with what you’re looking for consider revisiting some of your most familiar paths. If you look through this new perspective, you may find a connection you had no idea was there.