Waiting for The One
I’ve met many women who tell me that the reason they spend so much time sitting across the table from uninteresting men, laughing at jokes that aren’t funny and eating a dinner salad when what they really want is a big juicy steak topped with bacon with a side of bacon is that these dates, no matter how horrid, help them create a checklist of they are looking for in a mate.
- Bob may have been obnoxious but he had great teeth.
Image by occhichiusi via Flickr
- Seth had bad breath but he held the door open for me.
- Tyler slurped his soup, talked about his ex-girlfriends all night, tried to grab my breasts when we got in the car, and ate my cucumbers, but he has a job.
- James dresses great, talks to his mom three times a week, loves musical theater, has never been married, offered to take me shopping, give me a make-over, and set his roommate Brian up with my best friend . . . wait a minute.
I view dating from a different perspective. I believe dating allows you to create a list of things that you don’t want in a life-long mate. Once you find someone who doesn’t match that list, you know he (or she) is the one.
Since this may be a new concept for you, let me illustrate with my personal example. Other than my husband, I’ll use descriptors rather than names. However, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind.
- These examples are 10-15 years ago (I was very young when I started dating).
- Most importantly, just because I (or you) place something on this type of list, it does not make the associated person bad or flawed (barring physical or verbal abuse). It just means they weren’t The One. When it comes down to it, most of my ex’s could list a flaw or two of mine (I’m not eliciting a challenge).
The Things I Didn’t Want In The One - As Learned From My Ex-boyfriends
- High School Obsession – Drank too much.
- Long Term High School Boyfriend – Didn’t get my sense of humor.
- Short Term College Boyfriend –More interested in my body than my mind.
- Long Term College Boyfriend – Wanted me to be a mild mannered, size 4, blond, Southern Baptist vegetarian.
Then I met Richie and he wasn’t all of the things I didn’t want.
We met in college, so I won’t tell you we didn’t enjoy a few cocktails on occasion, but there were distinct differences between him and my High School Obsession. First, he was 21 not 17. Second, he knew the difference between having a drink, and drinking to get drunk.
Not only did he get and appreciate my sense of humor, he made me laugh.
Richie and I both majored in Communication Studies, which provided a common interest, but even outside the academic realm there never seemed to be a shortage of areas for discussion. I won’t say he wasn’t interested in my body, but he always respected my decision to wait until I was married to have sex.
Richie and I were friends before we started dating, which has its advantages, one of which is by the time we started dating he had already seen the real me. The loud, silly, bacon loving, frizzy haired, charismatic, size 8. That is the girl he fell in love with.
The advantage to creating a checklist of traits you don’t want as opposed to a never-ending list of must haves is that you enable yourself to see your potential mate for who they really are and not who you want to make them into. Because the truth is, as much as you may believe you can, you cannot change another person, no matter how much you love them or how much they love you. That is why, whatever your expectations, if a potential partner does not meet them, you will both be much happier if you cut your losses and move on than if you spend the next ten years trying to change that person. I tell you that as someone who spent three years a very miserable size four, blond vegetarian.
But, then it happens! You find someone who isn’t all the things you don’t want. It may be someone you have known for years or it may be someone you just met. All you know is that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. And you should. Because when you know, you know. And when that happens, I promise, you won’t need to date one more person to figure it out. Because your list will be complete.
How did you know he or she was The One? Share your thoughts.