Relationships, essentially, are of two types: A) Natural and Organic and B) Forced and Practical.
A) is delightful. You meet someone and the attraction is instant. Bells ring, hearts pound, eyes meet, other body parts too do their jobs, and soon you are dating. All of these happen in Valentine's Day releases.
B) is equally delightful. You decide what and who you want in life. Draw up a game plan. Calculate the pros and cons. Enlist necessary resources - friends, family, websites...and go for it with single-minded dedication. Soon you are dating. All of these happen in real life.
Between A and B is the third variety - where the subjects are too practical to be organic and too organic to be practical. Predictably, that's my group.
Now, since a relationship wasn't happening naturally, I have often been advised to 'make it happen' - put myself out there, give the hints, catch the hints given…so on and so forth. The fact that I am a poor fielder who can't even catch a football, let alone signals from an interested man, is another debate for another day!
My well-wishers aren't wrong given that I have had many examples to emulate. For instance, I recall this gal pal whose life mission was to get married. She would regularly scour matrimonial websites, pick and choose, research, analyse and chat. Luckily, she found the one (I have no clue whether it was 'THE’ one or just 'a' one but one, nevertheless!) and married him. Happily or not, again, I have no clue.
Then there was this potential boyfriend, a self-proclaimed sales whiz who explained that securing a relationship was like making a sales pitch. Target identified, moves made, deal signed. It's another matter that his deal with me crashed! There were also sundry relatives who took the dotcom route, invested time, money and emotions (in that order) in the journey towards the hallowed altar.
The moot point: making an effort works if you go about it in a planned manner. With all these experiences to bank on, a couple of years ago, I decided to get off my high horse, and 'go for it' rather than wait for him to fall from the skies.
So I went out on dates set up by others. I tried not to drive away wooers with my alleged opinionated self. I attempted to give and receive the right signals. I also did the unthinkable, something I hadn't done all my life, thanks to my 'let it happen organically' stance - put up a profile on a marriage dotcom. I carefully chose the words to describe myself, selected a photo-shopped image to complement it, hid my political affiliations and views on sex, and opted for a 'premium package'.
The responses started pouring in. The next step was research and analysis. So, in between putting a magazine to print, I'd steal time to answer the gentlemen. Most were serious about marriage. Some even took the reverse route - deciding on a deadline (how about end of the year, are you visiting India, I will be there...) and then moving on to 'what are your interests?' I indulged them. When something didn't click with one suitor, I turned to another. At times, two of them would pop up on the chatline simultaneously writing similar opening lines!
After three days, I got bored. Seriously, massively, bored. The idea of chatting with a Display Picture with a marriage date in mind just didn't work. I wanted to be approached, wooed and attracted...you know, the organic way. Three months later, the dotcom account expired. Practical effort failed.
I have also been trying the romantic route. Recently, I met a guy; he was sweet, charming and seemed a wee bit into me. I gave just the right signs to indicate that I'd be interested in exploration. He is still sweet and charming but hasn't taken up on the offer. Organic effort failed.
The thing is, I am plain lazy to plan a romance. It also stems from being a journalist which makes you oscillate between the pedantic and the romantic. As a hack you are trained to be objective, base your writing on facts and cut the mush. But as a writer, you are expected to be creative and possess a certain flair. If the balance between fact and flourish doesn't happen, your article goes for a toss. That's what happens to me in a relationship…there is zero balance between organic desire and practical action.
So where do people like me, who don't fit in A or B, go? Nowhere.
There are enough alphabets and a long life to live! In the trial and error that is romance, a new alphabet might crop up, in another language. All you need is a translator. And when you find that, dear singles, get ready to write your own story.