When you know

I walked into the bar. There was a feel about the place, as if the universe had been waiting for me to be there are that exact moment on that exact day. Something exciting was going to happen. I looked over and was transfixed. Instantly I knew I had to have her. The thought of her on my lips, the spice of how she smelled, the promise of heat to come. There was no way I was going to be able to leave that place without even a taste of her.

“Any cocktail which has fire is one I want. I’ll have the flaming rum thingy.”

Yep. Choosing cocktails is easy for me. I take a look at what other people are drinking, or glance at the menu and just know what I want, and it’s usually right. No dithering, no mucking around, no looking at alternatives, I just know.

There are many other things which I make up my mind quickly about too. It’s easy to form opinions on almost anything. I can reach a conclusion pretty quickly, though it often then takes me a very long time to work out how I got to it and why I’m so sure it’s right.

The same, alas, cannot be said of dating. More’s the pity, as for so many people it appears so simple. Many are the tales of happy couples who just knew right away. “It was like a bolt of lightning. Our eyes locked across the bar and we both just knew.” “From the first moment I saw her walk into the restaurant I knew I’d spend the rest of my life with her.” “We just clicked, like Lego blocks.”

It’s not that I’m sick of hearing this. For some people it really does appear true; they felt a connection with someone from the start and it turns out it was right. I never point out all of the times they probably felt a connection with someone else which turned out to be nothing as that would undermine the magic and mystery of it all; no, better to just smile and wave and feel envy welling up inside.

To date I’ve never had that instant feeling of connection. I’ve had people that I’ve connected with physically from the start, but known as soon as I started speaking with them that they weren’t A One. Others I’ve bonded with intellectually superbly, but simply didn’t fancy them enough to take it further. The few relationships I’ve had as a single man haven’t always started with a bang (as it were); they’ve been slightly slower burners which then led nowhere.

On the contrary, I’ve known instantly which dates would lead precisely nowhere. I’ve known instantly that she definitely wouldn’t be A One, or even A One For Now. Sometimes within seconds I’ve known clearly and unshakably that the only hammer that’s hit me after seeing them is the hammer of vague disappointment.

Does that moment of “just knowing” happen to everyone when they meet the love of their life? I don’t recall it happening with my ex-wife, but we were teenagers when we got together so didn’t really know any better. Do all other people refer back to the moment when they realised they were leaving the dating pool for good with absolute clarity?

I don’t believe so, but that doesn’t make me want to experience it any less. I want to see someone and have a full-on Waynes World “She will be mine… Oh yes, she will be mine…” moment.

Should I wait for that moment? Should I hold off until I just “know”, working out how I know over the course of getting to know her? How many women would I then dismiss due to a lack of initial magnetism? Is it a myth, told by couples to reinforce a romantic tale of seduction and courtship and make them seem more destiny-led soulmates?

But if there isn’t that moment, how long is it right to date someone in search of that connection? I may not know it’s a definite yes, but if it’s not a definite no then it would be easy to sleepwalk through days, weeks, months or even years as working out whether or not it’s worth continuing with.

Donald Rumsfeld once confused the world with a brilliantly simple explanation on intelligence and what we know and don’t know. I’ve spent my life relying on being right about my unknown-knowns. Just once I want to have no idea why someone is perfect for me, but know with absolute certainty that they are. Hopefully they’ll know it too, otherwise things will get real awkward real quick.

I’m going along to join thousands of people at the Dating Show Live 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham. It’s going to be awesome, and I’d love to see you there!

If you want to come along please book your ticket using my affiliate link – would mean the world to me, and I promise to say hi if you’d like to do so in person!

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