I always thought of myself as more of a cat person. Non-cat people may see cats as aloof and impersonal; I saw them as independent and self-possessed. That was the pet for me: cool, unattached, implacable.Read More
Unrealistically High Expectations
You’ve been exchanging witty, charming, intelligent emails with a virtual stranger, whom over the course of the communication comes to more fully embody all your hopes. Your sense of optimism is fully stoked and you become certain—certain—that this is the one. You enjoy the sweet rush of inevitability and you put on your best dress and you go for that first meeting, ready to swan dive into your glorious fate, because this is the first day of the rest of your beautiful new life! But then you walk in the door and spy them across the room, all lumpy and weird, and definitely not as tall as you’d imagined, and you know it’s never going to happen.
Feast or Famine
It’s been weeks since you’ve had the smallest whisper of a response, and your confidence is flagging. You troll the Internet, looking for any hint of affirmation, something to sink a hook in and sigh with relief, knowing someone, anyone wants you. But there’s only a gaping, ragged wound that was once your sense of purpose and belonging. Just as you’re wondering if your new habit of eating your own hair has some deeper psychological connection to your listlessness, an email or a phone call or chat bubble appears, and with it, your hope returns! But within two days you’re inundated with more opportunities and appointments than you can handle for the foreseeable future, and while you hate to gripe about getting what you wished for, you’re truly overwhelmed and losing sleep and your hair-eating habit has taken on a new dimension.
Take It Because It’s There
No, you don’t really want it. You don’t even really need it—yet. But you’re not exactly sure when the next offer will come along. A bird in the hand, et cetera, et cetera. So you remind yourself that its merits are not wholly absent per se, and you know that with a small attitude adjustment on your part you can certainly make the most of the situation—at least for a little while. So you do what you need to do.
You’ve spent some quality time and you’ve had some great conversations, and now you’re pretty darn sure this is the one. They’re hitting all your sweet spots and you’ve got that sort of intangible feeling of awesomeness, like you know this has just got to work out. And even better than that, they seem to really like you too. They say wonderful things like “You’d be a really great asset here,” or “You’re at the very top of the list.” All your worries are over! The search is done! Except, maybe it’s not. Because suddenly they’re not calling you anymore. You send out a witty email that’s confident (without being at all presumptuous) and reiterates your great interest (without seeming at all desperate). The relief you feel when you get a response is tempered somewhat by the barely discernible downtick in enthusiasm compared to previous communiqué. Did they meet someone else? Who could be better than you? It was such a perfect fit—or seemed to be. You agonize about whether to send another follow-up email—or god forbid—call them on the phone, until you realize it’s been three weeks and if you haven’t heard anything by now, you’re probably not going to.
You begin to eat your hair again.