Monday, June 22, 2009

Why does she ask me what I see in her?

Sometimes in this blog I write about what I know (from experience), other times I write about what I don't know (but want to learn about, from others). This time it's both.

My lady-friend of 3+ months has, on quite a few occasions, usually while we're chatting (via GTalk), since we live 500 miles apart, but also sometimes by phone, and even a couple times in person, asks me what I ever saw in her t hat attracted me to her in the first place.

I have to admit that my initial reaction to such a question is one of astonishment. It leaves me speechless. (Which, of course, is not a good answer to the question!) It's almost like a lack-of-trust issue, to me. It's like, Hey, give me some credit, I chose you because I really, really like you, does the reason really matter so much?

Of course it matters. A woman wants to be sure it's not all based on bullshit. Guys come, guys go. They want different things, say different things. I understand that.

So I tell her things like "I knew when I first saw you that I had to learn more about you, and the more I learned, the more I found that was exciting. I mean, where do I begin? There's no one like you. You're super-intelligent; that excites the heck out of me. You're attractive. You have a beautiful smile. You value the important things in life -- people, relationships, small mammals. Well, maybe the small mammals aren't that important. We can talk about it later..."

I prattle on like that until she gets tired of listening to me, basically. But the hard part is this: We're separated by hundreds of miles. For the first two months, we chatted (IM) without having seen each other in person. When you're talking to someone you haven't met in person or even spoken to on the phone, how do you explain what attracted you?

In my case, I wasn't planning on any of this happening. It was all accidental, or feels that way. I got into a Twitter exchange with this person. Then I started following her blog. I liked her picture, but not that much, really. What I liked about it was her smile. Her overall look was not screaming at me "You've got to have this woman, she's a knockout, she's beautiful," etc. (Not that I go chasing after every woman who has a pretty face anyway.)

But as I saw more and more pictures of her, I realized that in every picture, she was smiling with that infectious smile that leaps out at you, right off the screen. I finally IM'd her and asked her about it. "How come you've got that smile in every picture I see of you?"

She answered back something coy like "It's the outcome of a carefully planned succession of happy moments." (via chat)

And (via chat) I replied something like: "Ah yes. The Successive Happy Moments Pattern. I think I read about it in the Gang-of-Four book."

One thing led to another. Literally every time I found out a new fact about her, I was blown away. She has an amazing resume, an amazing mind, some huge career accomplishments, a huge network of amazing friends and colleagues, she's well liked by everyone who has ever come in contact with her, and yes, she's pretty. I've come to see her as beautiful now, truth be told.

But how do you explain all that in a few words? "Choosing" her was not based on some catalog of characteristics that I saw up front. It's not like buying a car. My "choosing" her was actually a somewhat lengthy and organically evolving process that happened to lead me to where I am now -- which is to say, thoroughly in love (although she is lagging a few steps behind).

She still asks once in a while why I chose her. I don't think she asks because she's insecure. She's a very strong, confident person, and she knows how I feel about her. I think she's either testing me, or trying to tell me "You don't know everything you need to know about me; be sure you know what you're getting into; be sure you want me for the right reasons."

It'll all become clear eventually, of course.


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