I answer questions on Quora, mostly on relationships. (Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. ) One very common question is “how do I meet a partner (or person of my dreams, or a true love or . . . )” It got me to thinking about how I met the important people in my life; my husbands (4, I like weddings) , my girlfriends, my boyfriends and my poly partners.
One thing I realized after thinking of the most important people, is that I met no one who lasted more than a date or two at a bar or club or somewhere I was partying. I did meet some at bars, but only when I was working at the bars. In fact, my shortest and worst marriage I was a bartender at The Sloop Tavern in Ballard and he was a regular.
So, short version of how I met my husbands (and others). My first, Michael, was my neighbor in San Diego and my LSD dealer. I knew I’d get free acid if I went on a date with him. My second, was Gary at the Sloop Tavern. My third was Fred, who was a regular at the Maverick Restaurant in Renton that I managed. And my fourth? Well I met Steve because my current boyfriend and I answered a bunch of ads in a swingers magazine because we wanted to meet other kinky people (this was 1989 before OKCupid, etc) and it turned out Steve worked close to my first restaurant, Back Alley Jakes in Auburn, so we met. I met Sandy, the first woman I fell in love with, because we were dating the same guy (Glen who I met at an alcohol treatment center in Maple Valley — a long story there) and I met two other long term partners, David and Jake, in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) . And I could go on and on. I met partners at work and at play. Since meeting Steve and becoming part of the kink community, I’ve met most of my other partners because of being part of the community. And through my last café, Beyond the Edge, which was also part of the community. It’s how I met one of my most lasting partners, Jim and many others who are still very important to me.
And what do all of these meetings have in common? I was not looking for a partner when I met any of then (well, except Steve and Jake and I were looking for play partners together and that’s not what Steve ended up being). In fact, the few times I was actively searching for a partner, I couldn’t find one. All the amazing people came into my life when I least expected it.
That’s why I’m writing this today. If you are someone who is actively searching for a partner, maybe you should take a break from searching. Enjoy your work and your play. Don’t worry about finding “the one”. Date casually and volunteer at places that feed your soul. Learn to be alone and enjoy your own company. Spend time with friends and guess what? People will see that you are whole and complete, just the way you are. And that’s sexy. Don’t worry about being single or being in relationships. Relationships will find you when you least expect it. And that for me, is part of the fun and adventure.