Dating: A Process of Elimination
After being encouraged to start dating, not only by friends and family in Wisconsin but also by my mother, I wondered about taking that scary step. I hadn’t dated in a decade. Back then we didn’t turn to Facebook and dating sites. Few sites even existed. (Maybe I’m naïve, but I don’t think sexting took place back then either.)
All I knew was this: anyone I dated would have to be the opposite of my ex. I call him RB, which stands for Rat Bastard. I would be looking for an anti–Rat Bastard. Although I’d always had an affinity for Latin men, maybe I needed to go for someone who had fewer cultural differences. My mother stressed I should go on eHarmony and look for a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). Yes, that would be an anti-RB, who was a dark Brazilian with a Catholic upbringing. But I also needed someone who was successful—a professional, someone already living his dreams. I didn’t want to have to prop up my next guy. And I didn’t need another adult child.
I also wanted someone who cared to be fit and active, an adventurer, and definitely a nonsmoker. How I put up with RB’s smoking for so long, I’ll never know.
I knew online dating had become popular for putting out lines to eventually catch desirable fish, but I didn’t want to do it. I had heard nightmare stories of fake profiles, torturous dates, and the like. The only person I knew who developed a long-term relationship using the precursor to online dating—the personal ad—was my mom. (Maybe that’s why she encouraged me to take that route.) However, I resolved to find dates the old-fashioned way offline but would investigate potential suitors online.
Plus I knew I’d look a little rough around the edges with my recently broken neck, my divorced status, and being unemployed. Yet, I also knew I could deliver a smooth story while weeding out the losers in person. Depending on the spin, some suitors would only hear single and available, right?
It didn’t take long to relearn that dating is a process of elimination. I could hear my mother saying, “Make a list of what you don’t want. It’s almost as important to know what you don’t want to make the best decision on what you do want.” That fed the process of elimination.
So, in the summer of 2010, I dove into the pool of South Florida dating. With the help of my single girlfriends, I met men of all shapes, sizes, ages, and defaults at the beach, at concerts, or out dancing. By dating a bench full of losers unlike RB, I quickly learned there were many undesirable traits that even RB, the supreme douchebag, didn’t have.
However, these losers served a purpose. They helped me hone my list of what I don’t want.
Title: With New Eyes: The Power of Perspective
Author: Heidi Siefkas
Genre: Memoir / Inspiration
Heidi Siefkas lost her health, her career, and her marriage after she was struck by a one thousand-pound tree branch. While she made great strides in her physical and emotional recovery in the months that followed—an arduous process that she chronicled in When All Balls Drop—Heidi wasn’t content to merely survive her setbacks. The time was right to build a new life. One she could live on her own terms.
But what would a redesigned life look like? In her quest for answers, Heidi returned to her childhood home in Wisconsin, dove into the South Florida dating scene, revisited old flames in New England, sold her first home, jumped out of a plane, and traveled alone to South America. Every leg of her journey provided a healthy dose of perspective.
With New Eyes is full of mishaps and bold decisions, all seasoned with sassy humor. Through her signature down-to-earth vignettes, Heidi inspires you to conquer your fears, head for adventure, and be the captain of your own ship.
Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently writing her third book, Cubicle to Cuba, which features a humorous collection of stories about her travels to Cuba, Peru, New Zealand, Italy, and other far-flung places.
Heidi invites you to share photos on social media that show where you are enjoying With New Eyes (#withneweyes). You can connect with Heidi at http://www.heidisiefkas.com, Facebook, and Twitter.