How many women err on the side either of caution or of recklessness when we begin new relationships?
I was speaking to my dear friend, Red, yesterday and we identified our initial list of potential sure to fail strategies we have either executed ourselves or seen our friends and family undertake in their pursuit of happiness. Our list grew throughout the day as she polled her vast Facebook army. By the end of the day there were so many it will be impossible to address them all individually!
There were some common themes though, in no particular order (yet) here are the top deal killers.
- Giving up our own life (family, friends and interests)
- Playing mind games (manipulation)
- Carrying our baggage into the new relationship (matching luggage though might be fine)
- Suffocating the new relationship or person
- Chasing Perfection (are any of us perfect)
- Lack of Ambition or Sacrificing Ambition
- Money Honey (keeping some of our own)
- Beginning a new relationship to soon
- Not being our authentic selves
- Moving too fast (sex, I love you and all that jazz)
- Not hearing what is said (Listening with our ears instead of our notions)
- Failing at trust and failing to trust
- Talking about the previous relationship or ex ad infinitum
- Trying to change ourselves, worse trying to change him
Number 1 on the hit parade seems to be ….Chasing Perfection
Building the Perfect Mate in Your Mind and Leaving no Room for Adjustment
It is my suspicion that many of the others fall under this one. Nevertheless, to start the ball rolling let’s explore our propensity to build our Dream Man, our Perfect Mate and our seemingly constant desire to mold our latest and greatest into that icon of flawlessness.
When we are little girls we dream of our wedding day, we have a picture in our mind of what we will wear, how many attendants we will have and even what colors we will use. We see the groom standing at the front of the church in our fantasy wedding; usually he is one big tuxedo with a blank face. As we enter our teen years our imagined wedding matures with us, of course. We now have access to greater fodder to fill our minds, including the blank that is our future groom. No longer is his face blank, no indeed now he looks like our latest crush either the school hunk or the latest movie idol to hit the market. We sigh; we sign our names on multiple pages of our notebooks “Mrs. TwiddleTwaddle”.
Eventually we grow up, we reach some magical age of maturity where we recognize that Sir TwiddleTwaddle is unlikely to sweep us off our feet and marry us; or do we? Indeed, it is almost certain most of us have not only by now filled in the blank face of our childhood
but have also made a list of attributes we require of our future mate, some of which may be non-negotiable. In keeping with the idea that we have defined our perfect mate, identified all his required characteristics, filled every last portion of his personality with our desires, I must ask is there any man that will fulfill our wish list? Will we always be settling in our heart and mind for ‘less than’? Is this what any man who enters our sphere of influence has to look forward to when they hope for a relationship with us? Really, are we always going to be this hard to please or have we left some room in there for our future mate to be their own authentic selves and for us to be happy they are there without equivocation?
There are certainly some things that are non-negotiable or should be at least. From the very beginning of a relationship we should be able to nix any of the following as deal breakers:
- Abuse of any kind – kick this one to the curb immediately and without thinking twice if he is verbally abusive it will without doubt escalate eventually. Run; don’t walk to the nearest exit.
- Liars – if someone will lie to you early in a relationship, whether on the big stuff or the small stuff, they will always lie to you. See the exit sign over the door, yes the one that is flashing red; make your way to it and leave now.
- Cheaters – if you agreed between you to exclusivity and he failed during the early days of your relationship, he won’t change. Forgive him, sure it is always nice to be forgiving nevertheless, get out he isn’t going to stop cheating.
Those are my own hot spots, there are surely more and likely others can add theirs.
The real point is though; men and women are imperfect in their design. If we have built up our perfect mate there will be no one who will measure up, no opportunity for us to explore our options and find that person that just might be perfect for us rather than simply perfect. If we shut the door there will be no opportunity for us to find that future mate that brings their life lessons and experiences, ones that balance ours and help us to live more fully together than apart. If we fail to open the door to imperfection we lose our chance at future love.
More on common themes in future posts, for now I think I will end this with one other thought; when we find that imperfect possibility and our first thought is how we can change them we have already lost.