True And Everlasting Love
EVERY year around my birthday I realize how many more of my friends have gotten engaged or married, or are having a baby. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here don’t you?
I too am an independent, confident woman, who still wants the happy ending. Facebook reminds me every day that I don’t have it yet. Come on, you know it’s true! It’s not that I’m not happy for them, because I am, but my dating life has proven to be full of ups and downs, (a lot of downs), and never has it involved a beautiful ring on my left hand as a result.
Therefore, I’ll admit that every once in a while, when I start dating someone new, I ask myself, “could this be a relationship that goes all the way?” For everyone, “all the way” means different things. For some that’s marriage and kids, for others it’s a committed long-term relationship. If you know me at all, you’ll know that my ideal relationship is not incredibly typical, but it does involve finding a life partner, someone that makes me laugh, a confidant, a lover, a brother, a father and most of all a FRIEND.
Because I am interested in finding someone to share my life with, I have to be careful not to get stuck in the trap of seeing their potential, and looking too far ahead without enjoying the ride. If all I can think about is how this new guy will fit into my life as a potential partner, I don’t notice the signs along the way that will answer that question for me. Therefore, I need to remind myself to slow down, take the relationship one step at a time, and most importantly not rush into anything. If that means suppressing my feelings of jealousy over all of my friends’ perfect engagement stories, then that’s what I’ll have to do.
Perhaps you’re wondering what’s so bad about imagining how your new boyfriend or girlfriend will fit into your ideal life? I’ve been down that path before, and here’s what can happen:
You miss the red flags.
Don’t overlook important warning signs like frequent lying, overly charming behaviour, or too much too soon. If someone’s not being themselves, or rushing things along in the relationship, make sure you take some perspective to fully ensure that you’re not dating a narcissist, or someone who will end up to be quite different than who they appear to be later on.
You skip or rush through milestones that you’ll never be able to get back.
If you rush through the different dating milestones without taking the time to enjoy each one for what it is, you run the risk of suddenly living together because one person’s lease was up and it was convenient, for example. Don’t rush through anything, because you won’t have another opportunity to get back any firsts, so enjoy them while you can.
You ignore problems.
If you ever think something like, “oh, that’ll work itself out when we live together”, or “when we’re married, he won’t do that anymore”, you need to stop and ask yourself if you’re secretly wanting to change anything about your partner. If you’re just waiting to get some sort of commitment out of them before asking them to change, that’s a huge problem, and honestly, a mistake you don’t want to make. I’ve pretended to be fine with a lot of things when I really wasn’t but I learnt to be more vocal because I wanted change. But change is left for that person not for you.
While I happily admit that I too want the pretty ring to show off to the world that I’ve found my guy, I’ve also been through enough heartache to know that it’s worth taking things slow, making sure that the person I see my new partner as is someone I actually want to spend the rest of my life with. That includes all of their annoying habits, their lifestyle choices, and the way they raise their children (or want to in the future), their extended family, financial priorities, and so much more.
So I plead with the single ladies waiting on that special man to take the time to get to know all of those things about someone before getting ahead of yourself. And another thing I’ld like to share with you is while waiting for the right person, have fun with the wrong one. It’s worth it! Trust me.
To our happiness. Cheers.