I saw a woman at dinner tonight who I haven’t seen in a couple of years — and I felt the same electricity from her that I experienced six years ago when she first walked into my office.
I vividly remember that day. I was working at a college and she needed my help with something. I have no idea what we talked about, but I remember the day clearly because I knew — from the moment I saw her face — that she was one of those women.
I’ve never tried to explain this to anyone, because it’s been such a gut-level thing that I wasn’t conscious of it for a long time. All I know is that there were a very tiny number of women who come into my life who are “one of those women.” They are some very small group in which my gut recognizes something and says to me, “This is one of those women who might be a right partner for you.”
It’s completely from the gut. If my gut tells me that, I need to pay attention to the woman. If my gut doesn’t tell me that, I’m never going to fall for her, no matter how great she is otherwise.
I’ve spent years trying to figure out how our hearts and minds decide who to fall in love with. It’s always seemed like a mysterious process to me. I’ve known people who tried to approach it very rationally, but that approach doesn’t work for me.
Here’s what I’ve come to understand — at least for me.
Let’s say that one out of every thousand women has some mysterious internal thing — a gene or psychic aura or blood type or whatever the heck it is. Let’s say that it’s some rare undefined substance that means she’s a Type Q. (Or X or Y or whatever. It’s just a hypothetical “something.”)
Something in me recognizes a Type Q — and something in me knows that I will only fall in love with a Type Q. That doesn’t mean I’m going to fall in love with every Type Q. It doesn’t mean that any particular theoretical Type Q is going to fall for me. It doesn’t even mean that every Type Q is a match for me. It just means that something in me knows that the one I’m looking for will necessarily be among that tiny group which I recognize as a Type Q — or “one of those women.”
Every time I have ever fallen in love with a woman, it’s been someone who I recognized as “one of those” from the beginning. Even before I had consciously realized what was going on, I can look back and see that I felt some sense of identification — some sense of knowing — those women from the first moment I came across them.
I’m thinking about this tonight, of course, because of the woman I saw at dinner. She was one of those. She’s one of my theoretical Type Q women. I subsequently learned enough about her to know we weren’t a good match for other reasons. Our values are different. Our goals are different. We have too many fundamental differences to ever make us a good romantic match.
But something about her made her among that small group of possibilities.
I could tell you a similar story about every woman I’ve ever fallen in love with. From the moment I encountered her for the very first time, I knew she was “one of those” — which I’m calling Type Q here. And in other situations, there have been women who seemed like amazing potential partners — even some who have wanted me — who I never could make myself fall for, simply because my gut didn’t tell me that they were “one of those.”
The more I understand the way my mind works, the more I suspect that our gut already knows far more than we give it credit for.
I like to think of myself as a rational person, but the times I’ve gotten into trouble in my life have been the times I’ve disregarded what my gut knew — and tried to be overly analytical instead.
I can’t say for sure whether this is true for other people or not. I suspect it is, but I suspect most people are badly out of touch with what their gut is trying to tell them. Even after all these years of trying to understand, I’m still struggling to be able to hear it.
There aren’t many women who my gut recognizes as being Type Q. I haven’t run across one in a long time. They don’t share any particular looks or other outward characteristics. It’s just something my mind recognizes.
Just because a woman is a Type Q — and just because I fall in love with her, which sometimes happens — that doesn’t mean we will end up together. I might make stupid decisions that lead us apart. She might make stupid decisions that lead us apart. Lots of things can happen.
But I know that when I find the woman who wants to be my partner — who’s willing to choose me and I’m willing to choose her — my gut will have known from the beginning that she was “one of those women.”
I need to meet another one of those very soon. My gut will tell me when it happens.