adventures in dating (or how dating is like riding a zip line)


I rode my first zip line this weekend. My fear of heights always stopped me before. But this is my year of yes, and Fear doesn’t get to tell me what to do anymore.

I’ve never experienced anything as exhilarating as flying through the air over the kayakers and white water rafters at the National Whitewater Center. Start to finish was 1,123 feet of pure adrenaline.

Dating is a lot like riding a zip line.

Most of your time is spent waiting your turn. The line for the zip line is the longest line at the Center. It’s strategically placed so that everywhere you look, someone else is doing something amazing.

Whitewater rafters and kayakers skim over Class III and IV rapids. Mountain bikers fly past on their way to the nature trail. Families lounge around at the outdoor café.

Dating feels like that some days. Everyone I know is in a relationship. Or going out with one amazing person after another. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for someone wonderful.

I brought the Genius and my nephew, Tim, to the Center with me. We spent our waiting time laughing, joking and teasing each other. Time flies when you’re laughing.

You have to figure out how to have fun during the wait, because the wait is the longest part of the ride.

My friends fill my empty evenings while I look for Mr. Right. We go to dinner together. We ride bikes at Pinckney Island or hang out at the beach.  Thanks to my friends, I have so much fun during the wait it doesn’t feel like I’m waiting for anything.

Before you get on the zip line you have to put on your equipment. Check and double-check to make sure everything is right.

Then comes the leap of faith. The moment you put all your trust in your preparation. Step off the platform and let gravity take over.

First dates are like that. I talk to men for weeks, vetting candidates from various dating sites. Trying to figure out who they are from their profile and pictures, from talking on the phone, texting and emailing. Then comes the leap of faith.

No matter how funny someone seems on the phone, there’s no predicting chemistry. The only way to know if you are a good match is to meet.

No matter how charming someone seems, the only way to really get to know him is to spend time together.

Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Spin around and check out the view from every direction. Look down at the whitewater raft as you skim above it. Watch the rafters furiously paddling while you effortlessly glide past them.

I love sitting at a restaurant with someone for the first time. I can talk about anything, so finding something to talk about is never a problem. And when you meet someone you have chemistry with? That’s as exhilarating as gliding across the rapids.

Wave to the people on the sidelines as you glide through the air. Some of them have already had a turn. Some of them won’t take a turn because the wait is too long. Fear stops some of them from experiencing the exhilaration of flying through the air.

I know people who have given up on dating. Their fear of getting hurt is greater than their desire to find someone. Their frustration with the wait keeps them from trying again.  I’ve been there myself, once or twice.

It takes courage to step up on the zip line platform. Courage and trust that your equipment won’t fail, that the employees do their job right. It’s a long way down from the zip line! If you fall, you die.

It takes even more courage to date. Courage to trust your instincts. To believe someone good is coming at the end of your wait.

When it was my turn, I told Fear to SHUT UP and leapt off the platform. I pulled my knees up, held on to my harness and flew through the air. It was amazing and worth every minute of the wait.

Question: Are you on the sideline of life? Or leaping off the platform?  What is Fear stopping you from doing?

3 thoughts on “adventures in dating (or how dating is like riding a zip line)

  1. Pingback: life would be easier if it were more like whitewater rafting | my balanced life

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