Your most casual encounter could lead to something bigger, so treat those interactions with that level of respect. Even if it doesn’t blossom, treating the messages with that level of respect will surely make the person on the other end more receptive as well. There is no downside to it.
The model ultimately seems built to address the fact that passionate love cannot last long-term, and that the foundation of a strong relationship is not perpetual excitement and intensity but a deep, hard-earned emotional bond that intensifies over time. In other words, companionate love.
And I have a life partner who I think about all day long. And that’s not tragic. That’s not even disappointing. I have a life partner. We work together really well. We’ve built a fantastic life together. We’re both really, really happy.
I don’t want to make companionate love sound like a bummer. It is love, just less intense and more stable. There is still passion, but it’s balanced with trust, stability, and an understanding of each other’s flaws.
Companionate love is neurologically different from passionate love. Passionate love always spikes early, then fades away, while companionate love is less intense but grows over time. And, whereas passionate love lights up the brain’s pleasure centers, companionate love is associated with the regions having to do with long-term bonding and relationships.
The endless string of first dates where you just say the same shit over and over again in the same places starts getting tiresome.
Say what you will about casual sex and the substance and quality of that experience, but the more casual encounters I had in my own periods of singledom helped me grow as a person and brought me to a place to be ready to have a serious relationship. It also made me realize the true value of that sort of connection and better understand the advantages and disadvantages of a serious relationship.
While I was single in New York, the city of options, I found myself and a lot of my friends just exploring as many options as we could. There were a lot of first dates but not as many third dates. We were consistently choosing to meet as many people as possible instead of investing in a relationship. The goal was seemingly to meet someone who instantly swept us off our feet, but it just didn’t seem to be happening.
The attitude of these guys was to give people a chance. Instead of sampling a bunch of jams, they had learned how to focus on one jam and make sure they could appreciate it before they walked away.
That’s the thing about the Internet: It doesn’t simply help us find the best thing out there; it has helped to produce the idea that there is a best thing and, if we search hard enough, we can find it. And in turn there are a whole bunch of inferior things that we’d be foolish to choose.