Note: This story originally appeared Sunday, December 4, 2005
For the last day of the dating series, I want to leave you feeling positive.
I'm not going to give you a bunch of lines about how dating should be fun, or how only when you're happy with yourself will you find a partner, or lest we forget, love finds you only when you aren't looking.
You get enough of that from married folks.
Over the last few weeks we've told you how bad the scene is in Kansas City. We've explored why it's tough to find a lasting relationship in the '00s. And we've revealed how cold and mean and torturous being single can be.
And we singles are making mistakes.
We search for perfection. We jump into bed too soon. We distrust, we mistrust and we lose trust.
Through those mistakes, we learn. Some mistakes (maybe in the form of a sultry, dark-skinned foreigner who's leaving town the next day) are fun.
But single folks get things right, too. Here are some I've noticed:
You have faith. No matter how bleak the situation, you know eventually the right person will arrive - whether from God, Allah, the Great Dating Pumpkin or from plain-old human determination.
You take chances. So many readers have put reservations aside and asked The Star to help them find someone or revealed their dating issues in hopes of helping others. Take chances in dating. Something good will come, even if it's just another lesson learned.
You know what you want. You're not "too picky"- you have standards. Don't settle. But you know the one you turned down because you can't deal with tapered jeans/big teeth/short legs? Give 'em a chance.
You crave companionship. At first I was relieved I'm not the only one. Then I felt sad. If everyone's so lonely, why can't we get together? You're open to finding a meaningful relationship, and that's something.
You're OK being single. Sure, it'd be nice to find your perfect complement in the form of a bronzed intellectual babe. But it's not necessary, and you know it. You have church, sports, clubs, pets, family, work and friends. Who has time to fret about dating?
Next time you find yourself stressing - will he call? Is she interested? Is he serious about me? Will she think I'm desperate? - just throw up your hands and say you don't care anymore. Because that's when love happens. (Joking. I don't believe that stuff either.)
But wait. As with every saying that's repeated enough to become a "saying," it's kind of true.
The most successful daters don't dwell on any one person. They don't despair when a connection fizzles or when a blind date turns out to be a narcissistic drunk. (Who's been there?)
They don't care because at the end of the night, they can go home and laugh with a friend on the phone or chill out with a good book. They're happy with life just the way it is. Anything more is just (chocolate buttercream) icing.
I hate it when married people are right.
Andrea Lorenz is a features writer for The Star. Writing a positive story about dating wasn't hard for her at all. She loves single life and she's not interested in dating anyone fabulous. In fact, she's so busy not caring that she might just find the love of her life.