Single ladies with fish: Should we lose our lists?

Mid-way through your post on whether or not pheromones are the driving factor in attraction, you suggest the possibility of becoming a single lady raising birds. Birds have feathers, Emily. And feathers mean work. If you ever become an eccentric version of a stereotype, it’s going to be with a low maintenance animal. Like a fish. Or how do you feel about plants?

To get to your question: No, I don’t believe partnership only hinges on smell, or other pheromone-related phenomena. Partially, I’m suspicious of theories of attraction that are purely biology-based because:

1. They often, a little too conveniently, let adults off the hook for their actions, and

2. They tend to oversimplify the texture of life. Despite what Axe commercials want you to believe, attraction and romance and sex and partnership are complicated.

But, maybe, they don’t have to be as complicated as we make them out to be?

When I read that you just want to “feel that je ne sais quoi, that intangible connection,” it got me thinking about my own shifting relationship to the intangibles, and how I have been living on the complete opposite side of the fence as you and your ill-fated pheromone-driven dating adventures.

I have yet to dismiss a potential suitor because of a Hotmail account (because, full disclosure, I still have and use my first Hotmail account so that would be, you know, pretty hypocritical), but I’ve definitely done the opposite: I’ve gone on second, and (cringe) even third, dates where I felt no connection. How did this happen, you ask? Basically, they looked good on paper, so I spent multiple walks and coffees and drinks and a movie or two hoping the intangible would suddenly materialize.
Spoiler alert: it did not. In the end, I made things complicated when they weren’t.

Now, in theory, I’m more interested in connection than packaging (by which all the box-checking categories like career and interests and tolerating my incongruous love on both musical theatre and the Raptors). But, I know the list is still in the back of my mind somewhere, haunting my future dates with all the things I’ve ever thought I wanted in a partner.

So, my question is thus: How do I genuinely let all that go? (If you tell me to “just leap,” I’m going to throw something — maybe one of your birds — at you).

Published by emilybeers

Emily Beers is a freelance health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009. A former college basketball player and rower, Emily became heavily involved in CrossFit after finishing her Masters degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. She competed at the 2014 CrossFit Games and also worked with CrossFit Inc.’s media team for 8 years. You can also find her work at Precision Nutrition , the Whole Life Challenge, OPEX, amongst a host of other fitness and nutrition companies and media outlets. Follow her on Instagram @emilybeers7 and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/emily.beers.37).

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