When it comes to the ‘Pursuit of Love’ there seem to be two schools of thought.
One says that if you wait, the man of your destiny will come to you. The other, opposite view says if you don’t make your own destiny, you will never get what you want.
I’ve never been a big fan of the first school of thought or of the idea of ‘The One’. I don’t like the thought that if you miss ‘him’, you are doomed to never love. Or that meeting someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is down to luck.
From what I understand, being in a lifelong relationship with someone more often than not comes down to making choices, some of them pragmatic, some of them emotional, to tie your destiny together with someone. Not so much that Fate has pre-ordained that person for you.
Books like HJNTIY are based on this school of thought – you have no control. A woman’s job is to look pretty and to wait for a guy to be interested in her enough to take action. Liberating or depressing?
But then the second school of thought leaves so much responsibility in your hands it’s almost impossible not to feel overwhelmed, or to become slightly obsessed, or to stop yourself from doing some slightly ridiculous things.
Talking to strangers on the bus to work, for example. Or going on a date with a guy who had a pizza tied to his face when you first met him. Or sitting at a guy you’ve got a crush on’s exam table instead of your own.
I’m not a massive fan of this school of thought either, because if things don’t work out in your favour then you are wholly responsible, leading to endless analysis of what you could or should have done differently.
The Rules subscribes to this school, instructing the dater in sure-fire methods to date and keep a bloke.
Surely there has to be a school of thought somewhere between these two, where you play an active role, but if it doesn’t work out it’s not your fault? A line you can tread where you can roll with it (as Oasis once sang), take things as they come, and still be proactive, without being controlling or, worse still, desperate?
And if there’s not am I allowed to have a foot on both camps or do I have to pick a side?