How many times, after a relationship or even a brief dalliance ends, have you realized that the man wasn’t for you after all? Ahhh… the beauty of retrospect.
Maybe it was a day after…maybe it was months after. Whenever you regained your perspective and your rational mind kicked back in, it was clear to you that he was not Mr. Right after all. He didn’t treat you well, he didn’t share your values or have your must-haves, the sex was good but your conversations weren’t (or vice versa), or maybe he just wasn’t someone you could see yourself being happy with for any length of time.
But in the moments when you were waiting for his calls, trying to analyze everything he was thinking, being the woman you thought he wanted you to be, and focusing on him so much that the rest of your life seemed secondary…he seemed like “The One.”
Not only do I hear this from clients all the time, but I lived it myself. “Ed” is my best (but not my only) example. He brought me 2 dozen roses the first time we met. He lived in an amazing house in the mountains, and he had red hair (which I always loved). We dated for about 4 months. I thought I was in love with him.
When Ed ended it with me I cried my eyes out. Then, literally, within about an hour, it dawned on me: we had a terrible time together. We fought (and I’m not a fighter), he was controlling, he was stuck on his last psycho girlfriend, and he was just plain weird.
Ultimately, I realized that my tears were not for Ed. They were for my grief at thinking that I’d never find a man who loved me. After all, here was another one that didn’t. But here’s what I also realized: I had talked myself into loving this man because he was there, because he showed interest in me, and because I loved the idea of getting flowers and living in the mountains with a red headed guy. I had parlayed that into a true belief that I could be happy with this man; even though everything else pointed in the complete opposite direction.
How many times have you ultimately found yourself saying “I don’t know what I was thinking…he wasn’t any great catch after all?” Have you ever asked yourself what your life would be like if you hadn’t wasted the time with the idiots and mismatches, and you had used that time to meet other men who were good for you, made you feel good about yourself, and who you truly enjoyed being with?
Why not try to just save yourself the pain and the wasted time? That perspective and rational thinking that you seem to find after something ends…grab hold of it and keep it with you while you’re meeting men and dating. Keep your heart open, and enjoy the giggling, flirting, and unabashed attraction. But make sure that girl shows up along side the smart, wise woman who takes good care of herself.
Not sure who your ideal man is? Read my series on Time to Meet Your Grownup Man.
Are you sure you’re picking men based on what’s important to you as the woman you are today? Read my post on Your Ideal Mate: Designed Especially for you by Mom and Cosmo.
Wow! This really says it all. I know I have fallen in “love” with the idea of someone and what I think he could bring to me. Knowing full and well that he wasn’t treating me the way I deserved to be treated, not to mention not even equal to the way I treated him! Hopefully I can remember this each time I meet someone who I think “could be the one.”