I’m struck that many men’s online profiles say they want a spontaneous woman. It’s made me look at my own level of spontaneity.
My experience of spontaneity is that someone else (a friend or suitor) calls or shows up and says, “Hey, I’m on my way to XXX. Wanna come?”
More often than not, I have my morning, afternoon, or evening planned so I have to quickly sort my day’s priorities and see if I can shift things if I want to accompany them. If I decline, I usually hear disappointment or even chiding from the other.
While I appreciate they wanted to spend some time together, I feel much more special if they take the time to think ahead and invite me the day before. Then I can have time to rearrange my activities and look forward to the outing.
Being invited at the last minute feels like I’m an afterthought. This isn’t very appealing.
In fact, I’ve come to think of these impulsive invitations as selfish. The inviter has had time to decide that the activity is something they want to do and arrange their life to do it. There is no forethought of my schedule or priorities. It is all about them and their desires, and my attendance is not just secondary, but way down the list.
So how does one allow some spur-of-the-moment activities in a planned life? The key is to not be so rigid that you can’t occasionally say, “I’ll do my projects tomorrow.”
And I try to educate my friends and suitors that I do well with planned spontaneity. Although it sounds like an oxymoron, it means that we decide to spend the afternoon, evening, or day together, perhaps float some possible activities, then agree to decide when we’re together. This allows for the proper clothing to be worn or brought or other items that would fit with the activities offered.
For example, a friend stayed with me over the weekend to attend a meeting Saturday. She had Sunday to play. Saturday night we discussed a handful of options that encompassed what she wanted to do. Sunday morning we set out on our top priority, then at transition points throughout the day I offered her options. The day unfolded wonderfully as we ebbed and flowed based on the weather, our mood and our hunger. We were spontaneous within a loosely planned day.
How do you feel about spontaneity in dating? Are you the one offering spur-of-the-moment activities or are you more on the receiving end? If the latter, how do you feel when someone you’re dating only seems to offer to get together last minute?
Want to read about more situations that need to be negotiated in dating? Download your copy of Ironing Out Dating Wrinkles: Work Through Challenges Without Getting Steamed.