Lacey and I went out to dinner last night with a friend. He’s a great looking guy. He’s single, straight, smart, good job, athletic, funny. Yeah….a total catch if you’re a straight woman. The kind of guy NYC has in short supply. All in all, the kind of guy that never has a problem getting a hot date for the weekend.
Want to know what we talked about? How hard it is to find that special someone who has all the qualities on our list. This hot guy, who according to the media, men’s magazines and TV shows, should only be focused on getting laid; this is what he wanted to talk about. However we identify and no matter who we’re drawn to, everyone has something to say on this subject. Why is it so hard? Why is there always so much drama, or not enough?
How some of us… most of us, seem to be looking, seeking, searching, WAITING for the day we find that person… OR whether it’s even possible to find them? If “The One” can really exist or if our list just gets even more specific, while we get even more set in our own way of doing things, until no key could quite fit into the narrow lock that really wants to be opened. Until finally we quit the whole idea of a long-term successful relationship altogether. Or we become tired of being a serial monogamist, a “one and done” multiple dater, or a sassy singleton, and choose to ‘settle.’
Is it unrealistic to hold out for that idealized individual, that great romance that some of us have in our minds eye? It makes me wonder which is the greater disservice to us. Giving up on the chance of true love? Or the risk of looking past the person we could be so happy with because they don’t fit the criteria we’ve decided upon in our heads? What does it mean to find your perfect match?
For me, falling in love with Lacey didn’t feel at all like what the story books, movies, and love songs had led me to believe great love would feel like. Honestly, it was like my brain or my heart, or whatever I could think of to blame had dropped a great big ‘L-Bomb’ into my body. I was scared. I felt vulnerable. I was angry because I felt scared and vulnerable. And… I don’t think Lacey was all that happy about it either. :) Those first six months, the first year, isn’t it supposedly all loved up lust, sunshine and fairy dust? Well our first year was tough. We both had baggage… (who doesn’t?), we had very different relationship histories, we had incompatible social circles, We had DRAMA. A friend of mine still laughs about the day she asked me how it was all going and I replied in all seriousness… “Actually it’s great, we’ve got the drama fests down to every couple of weeks now.”
So why stick it out? In my opinion, all externals aside, she was (and still is) the most interesting person I know. She’s the first person I think of when I wake up in the morning, she’s the person who I can’t wait to talk to about my day, she’s the person whose opinion I respect beyond belief. And if I’m honest about the truth I’ve learnt from my journey through dysfunction to present happiness… Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
When I first started working out again after years of under-eating and chain-smoking cigarettes I couldn’t run more than 20 meters without wanting to pass out, literally. So everyday I ran just a few meters more and walked the rest until eventually I could run the mile long circuit without stopping. The first time I had to lose weight healthily without any destructive behaviors I had to get focused, get educated on how to eat and develop a support system, friends, coworkers, gym buddies, a therapist that would help the new me stay disciplined.
Why would the same be any different when I fell in love with another person… someone as independent, and stubborn as me? Especially as ‘independent’ I need someone like that, that was way up there on MY ‘list’!
I believe that it can be like it is in the movies, at least most of the time. IF both people want it, want the relationship enough to work for it. Is there one great true love out there for each of us, OR are there many depending on where we are in our lives? If I hadn’t jumped off the treadmill and asked Lacey out for coffee (yeah, I know… I’m bold ) would I be single now?
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, all I know is that the best relationships I see are when the people are committed to making it work… the bumps in the road come, just like the cookies sometimes call to me from the supermarket aisle, it’s how we choose to respond to life and our relationships that matter.
And after all… Who would watch a drama- less movie?
What do you think about the idea of true love?