I’ve noticed something strange these last few months so I decided to ask around and see if I could make some sense of it. What I found was that for many people there is this strange, backwards occurrence that I have dubbed ‘Supply & Demand’.
Looking back over my last six years or so as a single person there have been times I spent single without any prospective long-term relationships (LTR) in sight, times spent in a LTR, and times when I just didn’t want to be bothered with the whole scene. But the odd thing is that during times that I was actively open and seeking a steady dating relationship that it was often like looking for an oasis in the desert. Mirages appeared and vanished on almost a daily frequency. I had the same schedule of eating lunch out, going to work, etcetera as always.. but to put it in fishing terms.. not a bite. The same occurred if was occasionally dating someone, but not to the degree that we were in a committed relationship. We each had the option of dating others, if others were to show up on the scene that is. But what struck me as strange was that as soon as I was really committed into making a LTR work and had made up my mind to build a relationship with one particular woman.. suddenly women began showing up with interest out of the woodwork. It were as though letting it be known you were available, or interested, in dating someone somehow acted as an invisible repellant. But as soon as you considered yourself ‘unavailable’.. the opportunities just kept approaching out of nowhere.
There is only so much of you to go around, but if you’re smart.. you keep yourself invested in one relationship at a time. So once the ‘supply’ is no longer available on the market.. it’s as though your value increases.. just like stock prices or something. I know it sounds strange and if it weren’t for the same thing happening to friends around me as well I’d have written it off as just some cruel joke of fate. I’ve tried to pinpoint a theory as to why this happens and have come up with the following possibilities.
One theory is that of a pseudo-spiritual nature. The idea is there exists Cupid’s Evil Twin who doesn’t pay you much mind until he sees that you’re trying to make a relationship work. Then he starts throwing you one attractive person after another to either test or tempt your resolve. When you’re back to being totally single again, he brings all those “Hey, what’re you doing this weekend?” incidents to a screeching halt. It’s a fuzzy, unprovable theory, but plausible.
Another theory I had was that perhaps it’s some sort of psycho-biological, pheromone reaction occurring in our bodies. The idea being that when you are consistently ‘with’ someone your brain tells your hormones to start secreting the “I’ve got somebody” pheromone to let others of the opposite sex know that you are already spoken for. But due to years of solar radiation, genetic wandering, sun spots and bad soap operas it instead triggers the opposite sex to want you even more instead of taking the hint that you’re already taken.
My other theory is a socio-reactionary one. This operates on the idea that perhaps some people need to satisfy an inner question for themselves.. “Do I still got IT?”. To satisfy this curiosity they ignore those who already are jumping at the chance for a date and take on the challenge of those who show no interest to see if they can lure that person away from their resolve to stay faithful. Once they have lured that person along to satisfy that question they no longer have any need for the targeted subject and drop them like a bad habit.
Maybe it’s a combination of all three. Or none at all. But what is sure is that many people find themselves with a plethora of possibilities when they aren’t ‘looking’ and vacuum of visitors when they are. That often times being the case it would be wise to observe a rule of thumb about how to handle such situations.
“What to do with those extra opportunities?”, you ask yourself. Well, I know some people really think they can handle three pots on the stove with only one oven-mitt but it’s safe to say you can pretty much count on getting burnt sooner or later. You may be screaming inside to yourself, “Where was this person eight months ago when I couldn’t land a date to save my life!?”. But if you’ve already got something going with someone you really care about you’re better off just letting that opportunity go it’s way. There’s a reason the phrase, “You never know what you have til you lose it.” has stuck around so long. If you’ve got a good thing going, don’t ruin it for what you think might be a ‘shot’ at something new.
“How can I side-track the system?”, might your next question if you’re not currently involved and are seeing more desert than oasis. Well, from personal experience I can tell you it does no good to mentally think you can fake people into thinking you -are- with someone so as to lure in the opposite sex. If it’s not because you’re aren’t putting out the right pheromone or people know you well enough to know better.. it’ll be because Cupid’s evil-twin is hip to your scam. I’ve been out on ‘pseudo-dates’ (like a date, but not really a date) with female friends (simply because I enjoy their company) but that didn’t cheat the system. If anything I got the impression that if there was some woman in the vicinity interested in me she probably thought my friend was my girlfriend and assumed I was ‘taken’. Not wanting to be a home-wrecker, she probably just went her own way. Again, another one of fate’s cruel jokes.
And so I am currently at the time of this writing with one wonderful woman, three theories on why I’ve recently had four perfect opportunities thrown my way and left in bewilderment why it didn’t happen back when I was available seven months ago. Perhaps one day science will advance such that it can answer these mysteries. In the meanwhile, I’ll stay close to the oasis at hand while remembering the trek through the desert it took to get there.
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.