Kate Kotler and Elliott Serrano write for Bleeding Cool;
Kate is out sick this week, so sit back as Elliott shares some thoughts about waiting, Doctor Who and the mythos of "soul mates" and "love at first sight" with you…
"You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they're as dull as a brick? Then there's other people, when you meet them you think, "Not bad. They're okay." And then you get to know them and… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality's written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful."
-Amy Pond – Doctor Who Episode 6.10 "The Girl Who Waited"
After that particular episode of Doctor Who aired, I noticed some discussion on the web about the relationship between Amy and Rory, the married couple that has been traipsing about time and space with The Doctor. For the longest time, there have been those who question the compatibility of the two, wondering aloud why a firebrand like Amy would be so in love with Rory, who to them was such an un-extraordinary fellow. Of course, people who watched the show regularly would know the depth and breadth of the relationship these two characters. Episodes like Amy's Choice and The Big Bang would have the characters demonstrating their true devotion to each other, showing that the attraction was something much deeper than just a physical one. And over the past few weeks I've read comments on message boards and Twitter from geeky gals who would proclaim that they wished they had a Rory of their own.
Which brings me to ask: how do you know that you don't already?
The way Doctor Who fans greeted Rory initially is emblematic of how we sometimes treat certain people in our own lives. Too many times we meet people who fail to readily meet our expectations. But let's be honest, sometimes those expectations are unrealistic. When we first get to know them, they fail to impress us according to some irrational standard that we're holding them to. It's not always about looks, although oft times it is, but some undefined intangible that we're looking for in that person. For example: I have a female friend who has been on the dating scene for quite some time. She's pretty, funny and intelligent. She's had a few boyfriends, but none that have worked out in the long term. After some dating disappointments, she got impatient and would just dismiss subsequent dates by saying "there wasn't any spark." Because she didn't feel an immediate, emotional jolt on meeting the guy, she just decided that he wasn't worth seeing again. Now, I can understand not falling head over heels for someone at first blush (although, if you ask me that whole 'love at first sight' scenario is for the birds), but to dismiss someone out of hand because they didn't get your motor revving on the first date can be pretty unfair. What about those qualities that go beyond physical attraction? How can you expect to determine that you're compatible with a person on an intellectual and spiritual level after a few drinks and a burger at the pub? I'm of the opinion that the idea of finding one's 'soul mate' has been so romanticized that people forget that successful relationships aren't the result of being shot by a cherub with a charmed arrow, but of a willingness to be open to all the possibilities another person presents, without prejudice.
And that doesn't apply to just the gals, but us guys too. Heck, I know that I'm guilty of the crime of rushing to judgment myself. Early in my dating life I typically tried to approach the women who were – let's face it – out of my league. I fixated on having a physical attraction to a person. At the same time, I found myself surrounded with female friends. Mind you, these were all women who I dismissed as 'relationship worthy' because I just didn't feel that "spark", that initial sense of sexual arousal. Of course it should come as no surprise that while I was out trying to hook up with the prom-queen types, I had a friend in my circle who was genuinely interested in having a relationship with me that was deeper than just friendship. She has since moved away and we'll often talk about those days and what could have been. Sometimes we're so busy looking for something off on the horizon; we don't notice what we have right next to us.
And I've also been on the other side of that equation. Even today I have a female friend who I am very fond of who laments that she can't find a "nice guy". She's been in relationships with men who were the typical alpha-male types, strong, attractive, and domineering. Each time she hit a bump in the road with each of these guys, I've listened to her and given her a sympathetic ear, all the while wanting to say to her "there are nice guys out there, you're talking to one." Sigh.
Of course, it goes without saying that sometimes we just can't help the way we feel. Sometimes the heart wants what it wants, regardless of the circumstances. And sometimes we close ourselves off from certain people because – quite frankly – they just don't make the best first impression, or don't seem to fit some unrealistic standard.
But consider this: if it took Doctor Who fans nearly two seasons to figure out what was so great about Rory Williams, and for most geek gals to fall in love with him, do you think you're really giving that Rory in your life enough time to prove themselves?
Think about it.
Responses? Rants? Raves? Send them to us along with your dating queries at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next week, KYPO! (Say it "KAPOW," it's the feeling Amy had in "Let's Kill Hitler" when she realized Rory was in love with her.)