Okay, I have my second cup of coffee now, so I’m ready for my continuation from part one of “the process.”
Imagine if my not-yet-husband and I went through all the trouble of communicating online and meeting in person, only to sit in a coffee shop and play Candy Crush on our respective phones. What would have been the point of the entire exercise if we were not willing to give ourselves fully to the process?
Why are there so many failures with online or traditional dating? The common denominator is the person who is selecting their potential mate—you. You are the common denominator. Allowing an unbiased individual (or group) to do your searching, might yield a successful match, instead of slipping into the same pattern of only looking for your “type.” My husband, visually, was not my type; but I later realized that it was because his profile photos were not flattering and he had a hairstyle that did not appeal to me.
The table below is a 15-day timeline comparing the season three contestants to my journey to coupledom with my husband:
Note: MAFS couples timelines are approximate.
|1||Future hubby sends me a message. I reply with a polite “thanks but no thanks.” He gently persists with his communication.||They meet for the first time and marry. Some kiss, some don’t. Some express regret over their decision to participate in the experiment, and claim not to feel an attraction to their spouse.
None consummates their marriage.
|2||I reply to his trite banter with the hope that there is something I can say to make it clear to him that we are not compatible. I am a coward and cannot pull the plug.||They leave for their respective honeymoons.
Rather than spend the entire honeymoon getting to know one another, most revert to negative behaviors stemming from either their reservations over participating in the experiment, or their past wounds.
2/3 of the women put up walls so high that they do not allow themselves to “see” their new partners. All of the men make valiant efforts to woo their new wives without making them feel as though they are only doing it to get them into bed. All three men are perfect gentlemen.
None consummates their marriage.
|3||Online conversations continue and the getting-to-know-you exchanges still do not make me want to meet him. I continue to attempt to discourage him.|
|6||Something he says strikes a chord with me and, although his photos are not appealing, something in my heart softens and I have a curiosity to meet him.|
|7||I agree to meet him the next day and we exchange cell numbers. He texts me fifty times!|
|8||He calls me, and I hear his voice for the first time. I get butterflies in my stomach. |
When I see him for the first time, I attempt to mask how completely gaga I am for how gorgeous he is.
We have a four hour date spent talking (an even amount from each of us) and getting to know one another.
|Couples return home and 2/3 of which sleep in separate homes.
All women continue to express some form of regret or reservation regarding the validity of their respective pairing.
2/3 of the women state that their husbands are not the kind of guy they usually go for.
|9||He invites me for another walk. We laugh and talk endlessly and act like school kids by making silly attempts to make physical contact with one another. He finds an opportunity to hold my hand as he leads me across a busy street. We walk hand-in-hand for an hour before we arrive at my house.|
After more talking, laughing, flirting, and me coyly avoiding his attempts to kiss me, we finally lock lips and proceed to make-out for two hours by the light of a street lamp.
|Couples view each other’s homes and discuss finances.
All three men agree to bear the brunt of the financial burden of their pending shared accommodations.
Couples all find a neutral home despite some individuals hoping they can sway the other to live in their own neighbourhood.
|10||He texts me and asks if he can come over for a quick visit after work to give me a kiss. We make out like teenagers for an hour.||Couples move in and begin to get settled.
2/3 of couples are still not communicating effectively and the women continue to blame the lack of connection on either their past experiences/wounds, or the experts’ poor choice of a mate for them.
None “christens” their new home.
|11||He stops by his friend’s office and tells him that he’s met his future wife. I text him and ask if I can come over for a quick visit after work to give him a kiss. Instead of making out like teenagers, we talk, cry, and express our deep feelings for each other.||Couples spend time with each other’s family and friends and attempt to form bonds. All participants seem to bond better with the extended families than they do with their new spouses.|
|12||He makes me dinner at his house and we sit and talk for hours. We “consummate” our relationship, and I spend the night.||1/3 of the couples consummate their marriage.
2/3 of the women will still not allow their spouses to make the slightest physical contact. The only contact is silly swatting or a sporting “high five” on occasion.
The men all continue to invest their time and energy into trying to win their wives’ hearts.
|13||He gives me a key to his house and I float to work. He texts me consistently all day and we finish our day by talking on the phone for hours.|
|14||I drive to his house and leave a heartfelt card for him while he’s out. He calls me that evening and we talk for hours.|
|15||He takes me to watch the sunset and asks me to move in with him. I say no, but tell him that I think I am falling in love with him.|
I think my comparison is a glaring example of how a new relationship can unfold when a couple fully commits to giving in to the process.
Don’t get me wrong, I did go on other dates, but our personalities were not a match. Although I only had me to rely on, I vowed to do the opposite of my knee-jerk relationship habits and investigate men who were not my usual “type.” My “type” garnered me two failed marriages, but the minute I turned my back on my usual habits, I was able to open my mind and heart to a man who was just waiting to come into my life.
So will the season three couples find their “happily ever after?” Not if they weren’t completely honest about their intentions for participating in the experiment; and not if they don’t get out of their own way and commit to the process.