When it comes to online dating, nothing sets the heart racing in frustration quite like the moment you accidentally dismiss a ‘What if’ that looked promising.
They may not be a total match but those ‘what ifs’ are still someone you match with on some level and eHarmony encourage you to communicate with all of your matches, including those that may be outside your comfort zone as you never know who/where your perfect match may be.
When you accidentally swipe them away, ‘what if’ suddenly takes on a whole new meaning . . . what if he/she was the one? What if they never pop up again? What if? What if? What if? Sure, they may not be a perfect match, but there’s been lots of times a ‘what if’ has turned into a ‘yes, yes, yes!’
I know I’ve done the accidental swipe goodbye—and all that was left was his first name and the memory of his cute profile picture. Where for art thou, Allan?
Missed opportunities seem to be my thing, possibly because I subscribe to the old adage ‘mates before dates.’ Therefore if I’m hanging with my girls and someone tries to have a chat, I’ll politely decline and get back to drinking cocktails and complaining about how no one EVER asks me out.
One of the biggest missed opportunities happened a few years ago when a group of girlfriends went to cheer on the Wallabies as they took on Ireland. The girls met a group of guys who had spare tickets for their corporate box at the game and in the blink of an eye, we’d been upgraded from our silver seats to a corporate box with food, beers, free Wallabies caps and a lot of laughs.
While watching the game from my perch in the window of the box, I started chatting with a Richard Gere look alike seated in the row underneath the box. He was smart, funny and as a Pretty Woman fan going way back, he was quite attractive. He had also offered to get me (non-beer drinker) a vodka from the main bar, passing it back through the window. When the final whistle was blown, the handsome lookalikes suggested we meet back at the bar across the road for a drink. I said yes, and then promptly badgered my mates to go to the pub, 100 meters up the road knowing the chances of running into him in a pub backed with beer-guzzling, dirty dancing locals was slim.
I hadn’t intentionally led him on. I actually wanted to have a drink with him, if only to repay the drink he’d bought me and check him out from my normal height rather than a meter above. But I had bailed because I was nervous and scared. What if I liked him? What if he didn’t like me? What if he did like me? Would it be awkward if I had one drink and then left? Was he too old for me? Was I just crushing on Richard Gere? Once again with the ‘what ifs.’
He soon disappeared into a sea of green and gold and I headed off to the second pub to spend the night dancing by myself and wondering if I’d done the wrong thing.
Five years on, I can tell you I probably did make the wrong decision. Not that we were going to go riding horses into the sunset like Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride (mostly because horses scare me), but I do regret not even giving him a chance. Him and all the other guys I locked eyes with across bars, saw in cafes while having lunch with my family or met on holidays while too busy day dreaming of someone back home who, quite frankly, had probably already forgotten my name.
Missed opportunities happen to the best of us; the key is in learning from the experience and making sure that the next time an opportunity arises, you seize the day. Even if nothing comes of it.
Whether you meet someone online or in a bar or at the grocery store, you have a small window of opportunity to make an impression and take a chance.
The moral of this story is to learn from my mistakes; take the opportunities that are presented to you – grab a coffee, go for a walk or a movie or dinner. Remember that it’s just a date, not a lifelong commitment (to start off with at least), but some people are worth taking a chance.
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