I had a conversation with a dear friend a few weeks ago. She would love to meet a great companion who shares similar interests to her. She’s very active and constantly on the go. She’s not interested in getting married. She would simply love to meet a man who enjoys the same activities she does so they can do these things together. She was lamenting that she is always surrounded by the same people and that she never seems to meet new people. This was a problem for her as she hasn’t found the companion she is seeking in the current crowd she hangs out with regularly.
I didn’t have a whole lot of sympathy for her situation, and merely suggested, “If you are always fishing in the same pond, you are always going to be catching the same fish.” Period. End of story.
She chuckled as she clearly knew what I meant, but I’m not sure she was inspired to go find any new ponds in which to fish. She is comfortable in her current pond. She knows what to expect out of them. They are predictable and safe. Going to find new ponds might take her outside of her comfort zone. It might require a bit of planning. It may induce a bit of anxiety. It could even be uncomfortable the first time she visits another pond. For many people, it’s human nature to avoid making ourselves uncomfortable and pushing outside of our comfort zones.
No one said fishing in new ponds was going to be easy. No one said it was going to be worthwhile. Who knows!? Some ponds may not be stocked with the kind of fish she wants; others will be full of great fish! The challenge is that she will never know which situation she will encounter if she doesn't at least try fishing in a new pond. The old adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” makes all the sense in the world in this case.
Find a new pond
She became more intrigued by my pond analogies, and asked me how one would go about fishing in a new pond. Great question. I suggested that instead of always fishing in the work pond, or the Friday-night bar-scene pond, that perhaps she might want to switch it up and also fish in the volunteer at the animal shelter pond or the local community college digital photography course pond every now and then.
Great dates aren’t just going to show up on your front porch. Admit it, if someone just showed up on your porch and said he was there to take you out to dinner and to play golf, you would slam the door shut and call him a creeper. You have to be visible to let people know you are available. You have to be out there meeting people — and meeting new people — to stand a chance of catching new fish.
I’m hoping the fish and pond analogy works because when I suggested to my friend a few months ago — albeit much more directly — that she step out of her normal routine, that she switch things up a bit, and that she get involved in some new activities, she bluntly told me that she was far too busy to add anything else to her plate. OK. She can be too busy doing what’s not working for her, or try something new. She didn’t see it that way.
I’m hoping the pond and fish analogy might have done the trick. Only time will tell.
What about you? Can you share your stories of when you switched ponds and found the fish you were seeking?
Monique is the author of "The High Road Has Less Traffic." She is the founding partner of ISHR Group. Monique is a leader among women, having received many awards. Follow her on FB and Twitter @highroadthebook. Monique writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org and FamilyShare.com.