Are you enjoying the banquet of dating?

Dewitt JonesMy friend, world class photojournalist, author, former National Geographic photographer and Academy Award-nominated director, Dewitt Jones is also an entrancing speaker. His presentations are illustrated with his riveting photos as he makes his points on creativity, leadership, vision and passion.

dandelionIn a presentation I heard over 15 years ago, one of his phrases still reverberates: “The banquet is laid, though nobody comes.*” When I recently asked about him about it, he said, “I use it to refer to the banquet nature/God sets before us everyday.” Yet, as he points out, we are often too stuck in whatever is in front of us to step back, look around, and see the bounty of beauty before us.

A banquet often involves a buffet — a display of yummy food from which we choose. We are given the opportunity to not only select known favorites, but to sample items we might not normally pick. If we try the new fare, we may come back for seconds and add it to our list of delectable delights.

When women tell me they haven’t gathered the gumption to start dating even though they want to, I think of Dewitt’s line: “The banquet is laid, though nobody comes.” The “banquet” is a plethora of interesting men to be met, and among them, we hope a delectable delight or two. Ideally one who will become our all-time favorite and last a lifetime. Yet many are afraid to start, settling instead on their current lives — as fulfilling as they may be — even though they long for a mate to share their lives and add a dimension they feel is missing.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that to be single is depriving you of the banquet of life. We are using the metaphor here specific to dating. Dewitt uses the phrase in the context of enjoying the beauty of nature. I’m using it to encourage those who are a trifle trepidatious about tapping the terrific treats of dating.

If you’ve decided to get back into the dating scene but haven’t yet made the next move, think of the banquet that awaits you. Just as at a banquet, not every “dish” will be to your liking. Dating allows you to “taste” dishes you might not have tried before. Don’t turn down an invitation from someone who doesn’t meet 100% of your criteria. If he’s 85-90% what you’re looking for, at least have coffee. Even if you aren’t drawn to him — or visa versa — you can now say, “I’ve tried X and it isn’t to my taste.” But if you don’t even allow yourself to try something new, how will you know?

But know that perhaps one of these “tastes” will result in your establishing a new preference — something you may not have thought you’d like. I thought I’d only want someone with a certain type of job. But I’ve become fond of someone who works in an industry that wouldn’t have been on my desired list.

So get out your plate and be willing to go through the banquet line with an attitude of openness and inquisitiveness. You never know what delicious bounty you will discover.

* This loosely references Luke 14:23 from the Bible.

(Dandelion photo is copyrighted by Dewitt Jones. Used with permission.)

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One response to “Are you enjoying the banquet of dating?”

  1. Gatti Avatar

    More good quotes for the file from Dewitt Jones’ website:

    Creativity is falling in love with the world.

    When we believe it, we’ll see it.

    And the key to success: Continuously finding the next right answer.

    Don’t know if this helps with dating, but it’s certainly helped me find some badly needed focus in my work!