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Fantasy and Reality

July 20, 2021 (368 words)

When it comes to romance, we all have a rich inner life. If someone strikes our fancy it’s easy to imagine what they might be like, how you might speak to each other, and what sort of things the two of you might do together.

But it’s all going on in your head. The initial texting that occurs back and forth doesn’t do anything to help break through your dreamscape, and neither does talking on the phone a time or two.

When you eventually find yourself face-to-face with this other person, that rich inner life of yours can actually get in the way of seeing this complete stranger for who they really are.

Getting past the polite, best-foot-forward facade is a slow and methodical process. It’s hard to know what someone is about, even after a couple of dinners together.

It’s not until you get out in the world with this person, away from what can be a stage-y atmosphere of a nice restaurant, that our true colors start to reveal themselves.

Try a little day trip where the GPS steers you wrong. Or you’re hit with a last-minute change to the itinerary, because something is unexpectedly closed, or the line to get in is absurdly long.

Real-time problem-solving works wonders for bringing everyone’s senses to full attention. It can tell you a lot about the temperament of the person you are riding with.

Next, start to meet and interact a bit with this woman’s four grown daughters. Or spend a summer evening with her on the neighbor’s back deck, checking out the raised flower beds, and chatting with a couple your own age who you are meeting for the first time.

Such activities will help you see your potential new love interest in her natural habitat.

The secret to developing any sort of intimate relationship at this (or maybe any?) stage of life seems to be finding a woman who is grounded enough herself that she can help you transition from only living in your head, to living in the world, as well.

Someone whose innate sense of practicality will infuse your thought process, so your rich inner life can emerge as a rich outer life, too.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
July 20, 2021

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