L-O-V-E

So, I caught the bouquet.

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(It’s a beautiful bouquet, right?)

This weekend was a whirlwind of awesome for me, but the highlight was definitely celebrating the wedding of a dear friend of mine. Aside from it being a beautiful ceremony and reception, and getting to see many friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time, the wedding was really fun because it truly was a celebration of love.

I think most people have a few couples they always think of whenever “true love” is mentioned. They’re the kind of people that epitomize a healthy, loving relationship, and they probably nauseate you with how adorable they are. The bride and groom from this weekend are one of those couples for me. They met 10 years ago and have been together ever since. It’s impressive. It’s beautiful to watch. More than anything, though, it gives me hope that true love does exist and that maybe it’s out there for me.

So, as I watched the bride walk down the aisle and promise to devote her life to loving her new husband, I was reminded why I’m doing this whole online dating thing: I’m not just in this to get a few free meals, have a few awkward conversations, and put on too much eyeliner three times a week. I want what she’s got. I WANNA KNOW WHAT LOVE IS!

(See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9OGfBGOCpk)

So about that bouquet. Fast forward to the end of the reception. Lots of tears had flowed and many kind words had been said. Fifty-year-old women were gettin’ down on the dance floor. THEN, garters started coming off and the bride got ready to hurl a bunch of flowers through the air.

In so many movies (usually rom-coms, I think I own all of them), the bouquet toss is portrayed as a way for desperate single girls to claw their way to happiness, by somehow physically grasping onto the  promise of love and marriage. In those movies, the girls are portrayed in one of two ways: there are the over-eager girls who often resort to physical violence to come away with the bouquet, and there are the girls who despise the tradition and can’t get far enough away from the bride and her bouquet.

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I think most of those romantic comedies are a load of horse shit. There’s definitely a middle ground of regular girls. At least that’s what I told myself as I danced my way up to the bouquet toss to “Single Ladies.” I thought it would be fun to catch the bouquet, especially because I’m wayyyyy too superstitious (it can’t be a bad romantic omen to catch it, right?). I certainly did not intend to throw any bows or anything to get it, though.

I’ve been to several weddings, and the bouquet never comes anywhere near me. But last night, when the bride tossed the bouquet my way, it bounced  off a few outstretched hands and landed on the floor between me and my friend. It seemed like a sign, my GOLDEN opportunity. I exchanged a quick glance with my friend. I raised my eyebrow, hissed “I NEED IT! I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THIS!” and used my cat-like reflexes and monkey arms to snatch the bouquet away from her.

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So, I didn’t really catch the bouquet, but it landed at my feet. I had to take it. And actually, I think “catching” the bouquet kinda symbolizes where I am right now. I’m hopeful about my love life, and I’m trying to be active in it. I’m not afraid of being rude about getting what I want. And while I’m definitely open to finding a meaningful relationship, it’s not like I’m not PLANNING on finding true love tomorrow or anything. I’m just kinda going with the flow and seeing what lands in front of me.

I think being hopeful, rather than expectant, definitely makes meeting new people through match.com easier. I’m trying to keep my expectations realistic so I can either enjoy getting to know some of the dudes or cut them loose when I’m not feelin’ it.

Anyway, I scheduled two dates for today, after I got back from the wedding.

The first one went really well. I don’t know if it was my new “bouquet” outlook on life/dating at work during the date, but I liked the guy a lot more than I thought I would! He’s younger than I am, so I think that gave me a little bit of initial apprehension going in. But when I met him, his age didn’t bother me. To top it off, he was much cuter than his pictures online!

He’s also from Iowa. I have this weird thing for guys from Iowa. I love them for no good reason. I think they’re just midwest through and through: handworking, polite, nice, and not built like wimps. Seriously, I don’t think there’s ever been a hipster to come out of the state of Iowa.  As a midwestern girl, I can always appreciate a corn-fed Iowa stud. So, I liked Iowa Guy. He was really nice and cute and hopefully there will be a second date.

I JUST got back from the second date. I finally met Jersey, who I’ve been talking to a lot the past week, at a local park where they had tens of thousands of jack-o-lanterns on display as part of some seasonal Halloween event. The display was really cool, and the date idea was good in theory. HOWEVA, I think the appropriate word to describe the date is disappointing.

I really liked talking to Jersey online and by text, but he was so much different in person. Sure he was nice and everything, but he was also shy and quiet and awkward at times. It was tough just trying to sustain a conversation with him.

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Being shy isn’t a sin or anything, but I’m verbose and loud and animated and assertive. I find it hard to form any kind of relationship with people who can’t keep up with that. I don’t really have quiet, pensive friends. I think if I dated Jersey, I would constantly feel uncomfortable that I was being too dominant. I thrive on the give and take. I just don’t think he has the capacity to offer that.

My new bouquet mindset tells me I should probably just toss Jersey. He’s nice enough, but I don’t see him being a good match for me. I’ll probably give him one more shot, just to be sure, but my gut tends to be pretty accurate.

I hope my gut is just as good at letting me know when I’ve found someone worthwhile as it is at letting me know that a dude is a dud.

The journey continues, I guess.

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