open wide


The clock has struck 5 and you have nowhere to be and nothing to do, at least not until about 9:30pm when you’re scheduled to meet a long-lost friend over sips of bubbly at one of your favourite haunts. But until then, all you have is time. You’re lounging at a spot one of your other girlfriends works at, and as you sip your drink and see the restaurant/bar start to fill with the dinner rush, you begin to look for a form of entertainment to tide you over.

Because how tempting it is to go home, strip down, fluff your pillow, flip your covers, hop on in, line up Netflix and call it a day. But it’s a Saturday eve and the night is young and so are you. You’re a young, single, pretty little thing, and so, you rally. You re-apply your make-up, you have a starter cocktail, and you tell yourself that – though bed might be calling – you won’t be into it for a very, very long time (and perhaps not alone, at that). This becomes even more so a necessity for you when you’re out of town doing a short stint in another city saturated with a select group of people from your squad and time is money.

And so, what prey tell can keep you occupied until your plans begin? Why a date, of course! And with this thought, you get right on it. You re-activate a dating app you haven’t used – you’ve written them off because you’ve either had bad luck in the past or because you’re a girl about town and meet people on your own –  and start hunting. Because that’s what dating apps – especially Happn – do best: they connect you with strangers that are nearby and allow you to find a potential partner or playmate with the press of a button, and just like that you’re set for plans, and perhaps some entertainment (or maybe a hasty makeout) while at it.

And so you look through the profiles of the people available for your using pleasure, and it’s then that you see the face of a fella that catches your fancy. He could be bearded. He could be clad in a cute shirt that makes you think ‘i’m down,’ so you decide to click the tell-tale heart (or swipe right) and then – to your surprise – an alert pops up informing you that you guys are a match.

So what now? You make immediate plans. Because, as I always say in my on-air segments and penned pieces, it’s key to move an online connection into IRL as quickly as possible. So many of us spend minutes, hours, days and weeks talking and texting and connecting via social with someone, developing some sort of an emotional connection and relationship, oblivious and unaware to whether there’s a physical connection; an innate chemistry and attraction, let alone, a sexual one. We often let our ideas and ideals get the best of us, making us get caught up in the idea of somebody, oblivious to whether there’s that necessary element of attraction. And so, you let this other know that you have a few hours available now and won’t be available the next day or week. Perhaps because you’re flying out of town on your next jaunt. Perhaps because you have things to do and people to see. But by making your time restraints know, you’re putting this other in the position to choose whether they want to make time for you or not. And if they’re interested. And if they’re intrigued, you can bet on a Jays vs Texas playoff win, they will.

So you choose a convenient spot for you both, ideally somewhere somewhat loud, somewhat casual and sit up at the bar in case the date goes to shit (TVs + bartenders are the perfect distraction!) and hope for the best as you look up and over your bare shoulders every time you hear the door open. And then, you catch his eye. Lucky you. You know in that instant, as he approaches you with those big blue eyes and babely masculinity and strong sense of self, that it’s game the fuck on. A grand slam. Thank you dating apps. Thank you universe. A W was all you were going for, at least for 3 hours or so.

Isn’t it interesting how we either have a connection with someone or we don’t? It’s not just something that comes up with potential romantic pursuits, but with all those whose paths we cross. The bartender or server tending to us. A new manicurist or hairdresser. A new partner of one of your parents. A friend of a friend. It’s immediate. It’s a sense that comes down from your core, your gut, your intuition, that says whether you click with this other or not. They feel it too – that energy that either connects you or pushes each other away (that comes before words are even uttered and shared between you both) – and whether it is there or not will determine the timeline of your entire relationship.

And so, listen to that initial voice. Is it sensing darkness or lightness? Telling you to run or to stay? To test or to hold tight? That this person is bad news or good news? Do you sense your feelings are mutual and that you’re on the same level? If so, embrace it.

We tend to write off warning signs and red flags, and we also tend to run when we meet someone we click with so goddamn soon, because the idea of intimacy and monogamy and connection is scary to us. It’s hard enough to accept some of our own baggage and bullshit and so – when you meet another and you click there’s the knowingness that they’ll see these vulnerabilities and that they might run from ‘em. And you know what, they might. And if that’s the case, then they weren’t really meant for you, were they? Their loss. But not yours. Because you, my dear reader, can only grow if you trust your gut and run with it and give it, you, and others a chance. You can only grow if you let go of some of your boundaries and ways of being and allow space for another to embrace you for who you are, flaws, perks, and all.

So clue in. Listen to that inner voice. And if you have that rare opportunity to meet someone who catches you by surprise, who makes those butterflies in your tummy flip – even if your initial intention was to hang with this person to just kill some time – and they throw you for a loop and make you feel like they’re worth investing in in some way or another, then just drop your guard and go for it. Don’t just go for it, but open yourself up to it and stop making excuses in your own head on why it’s just destined to fail and live it instead. Open wide in all sense of the word. Let them in without conditions and without expectations and just see where it goes; see where it takes you. Sometimes having the knowingness that you’re solely following your intuition is all you really need to take and experience things as they come. And so, let them come.

The world works in mysterious ways and only throws us what we need when we’re able to handle it. Take in what’s right in front of you when presented with it and soak it up. You deserve to be happy too. You deserve to grow and have fun and learn more about yourself and your wants and needs in the playful process of this thing called life.

– Jen

Photo credit.

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