On a scale of 1-10, you should ask yourself just how important is finding that love connection that has nearly all the important qualities and characteristics you desire. If it’s not a 9 or better yet a 12 on that scale, most likely, you will never be truly happy and/or fulfilled and you will continue to make the wrong choices in your dating life. Things like character, respectfulness, and honesty, hardworking, caring, and trustworthy are foundation builders of a strong relationship and should rise to the top of your list. If your list reads tall, hot, has six pack abs, his second car is a BMW and makes $100K a year you may want to revisit that. None of those things scream I’m looking for love. It actually screams I’m afraid of getting involved and surface and superficial is the best way to keep my emotions in check and not get hurt.
In my previous dating life, I made a promise to myself that I would not settle for anything less than what I want and was unwavering in my own desires. I wrote about it in my journal expressing the things that were important to me at the core of what I required in a relationship and believed that in time, she would present herself. Years ago I was told, “Sean, you are 36 and not getting any younger” or “Sean, if I was your mother I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a grandchild from you by now”. I have to laugh because as a great man once said to me, “Judging is above my pay grade” so who were they to think they knew me best? If I listened to that amazing unsolicited commentary, all I would have been was unhappily married. No big deal.
I would always rather be single for the right reasons then together for the wrong ones. I refuse to settle for anything less than what I deserve because I worked hard to become the person that I am. Because of this, I met and later married an amazing woman who completely aligned with all that I had been looking for without even looking. She is smart, caring, affectionate, hardworking, honest, sarcastic and funny and she treats me just the way she wants to be treated, with respect and love. On top of that, she has killer eyes and is just as beautiful at 9am ready for work as she is at 10pm with her hair up and make-up off. I’ve got the best of both worlds and all because I refused to settle and held true to what I valued most.
Love is not meant to be negotiated at a desk. Love is meant to be expressed at its highest forms and you should never stray from what you believe in most. I’m not saying that there isn’t wiggle room for things like his extreme dislike for mushrooms or that he listens to country music. However, defining a man’s traits by his expensive car or his killer body is a sure fire way to ensure you will not only be disappointed but be left with a bad taste in your mouth from the lemon you just negotiated for.
Relationships are like anything else in life; they don’t come exactly they way we want them. It isn’t like going up to the fast food dollar menu and ordering exactly what you want and then having the option to biggie size it. Relationships are about compromise. Negotiating on what your nonnegotiables are, but being willing to accept that we may not get everything on our list. We have to be able to determine what we can and can’t live with.
There is no perfect person, but there could be the perfect person for you, but what are you willing to look past, to deal with, to accept when it comes to another human being. If we constantly hold everyone to a standard that is unattainable we will inevitably be disappointed no matter what. Perfection in anyone is not something anyone can live up to. We don’t like the way he chews or the that he snores or that he leaves the toilet seat up, but possibly these are things that we can overlook because the person we are in love with is worth it. What are the things you can’t live with? Can you live with someone not being honest? Can you live with someone who isn’t true to you or themselves? Maybe not, but can you live with having to put the toilet seat down in the middle of the night so you don’t fall in?
What is it about another human being that we love with all our might that makes it so we can’t be together? Maybe they aren’t tall enough or smart enough or make enough money. Or maybe, our expectations are too high. If we expect someone to accept us as we are, why would we not be willing to accept another? Compromise, communication, negotiating through the ebbs and flow of a relationship is what in the end makes it work, makes it last. We can never say to someone to change themselves if we aren’t willing to change ourselves as well. Not change the core of who we are, but deal with our demons, deal with our pasts, deal with who we want to be in the future. Once we have those things, and have the trust that another human being is in it with us, able to listen and work with each others growth, then we have hit the jack pot.
In a world where everyone is looking for love, looking to be loved, to be accepted, to be understood, why would you create a list of things that you aren’t willing to work with? I guess it comes down to that there are things in life that we don’t get to choose, like who our hearts yearn for, but we do get to choose what we do about it. If you find that person, that other half to yourself and there are things about them that you can’t live with, leaving is an easy out,but what about trusting that person enough to talk to them about it? To let them inside us, like really and truly let them in? What if we weren’t scared to negotiate on things that were important to us? What if we were vulnerable enough to compromise on some of what we think we want in order to get exactly what we ever hoped for? Trust, communication, compromise, honesty; these are the things that make our relationships worth it. These are the things that could quite possibly turn those lemons, into lemonade.