*I wrote this article for a magazine over two years ago under another name. I pulled it out to see how much I've grown. I like the content, but I would make a few changes today. Enjoy.
How many times have you complained to your friends about being fed up with the whole dating scene? Have you cried out to the heavens “Why can’t I find Mr. Right? Where are all the good men?” Why are my friends and I sitting around having coffee with most of our conversations dominated by this enigmatic topic?
We have relied heavily on blaming others for our misfortunes in romantic relationships – sister’s counsel, friend’s accepted wisdom, mother’s advice, grandfather’s expectations and more specifically – MEN! On numerous occasions we have had conversations about how the ‘good’ ones are taken, too immature or do not know what they want. Oftentimes, I have caught myself singing the proverbial “I am a strong, beautiful, highly- motivated, educated, successful woman” only to be disappointed in men I dated – it was clearly their fault. I had come to the conclusion that men were either intimidated by me or would prefer - based in my mind - a less attractive, less educated, yielding woman. I had it all figured out, so I thought.
|J. Paul Getty Museum|
I realized that I was being trivial and disingenuous – with myself. The thought of someone loving me only for the way I looked would be hurtful to me but, that was the very – admittedly juvenile - comparison criteria I was using. It caused me to have an intimate assessment of myself and my wants. I made a quick list of what I wanted in a partner - a smart, loving, intellectual, honest, thoughtful friend etc…. Ironically, physical attractiveness was closer to the bottom of my list. Don’t get me wrong, I am not ignoring the value of attractiveness and understand the need to be physically attractive to your partner – men and women are visual. However, my untainted, internal conversation simply clarified my priorities.
I noticed that my thoughts, intentions and actions may well have been the culprit in blocking me from attracting that ‘good’ man. Even my definition of ‘good’ had to be analyzed. What did ‘good’ really mean to me. What does ‘good’ mean to you? You may be surprised at how you arrived at your definition. Was it some outdated notion that we had let years of external superficial influences shape. Or, was it really something internally searched and a result of what our souls were telling us.
I have an old friend who always complains about attracting ‘gold diggers’. As I scanned his garish jewelry, I remembered this is a man who pulls out a sheaf of money to pay for rounds of expensive vodka and rare champagne for several ladies at trendy night clubs. That is when I had another epiphany. He was attracting exactly what he put out. I know him as kind, witty and charming but he was not relying on those attributes. No matter how many times he tried to convince himself how good of a catch he was, he did not believe it because he expressed his self-worth with his possessions.
Without even thinking, I was able to rattle off the obvious reasons for his romantic faux pas, but in the past had been clueless about my own. It is funny how you can’t see the picture when you are inside the frame. Light attracts light. Selfish attracts selfish. Insecurity attracts insecurity. Money attracts opportunist. Shallow attracts shallow. When you draw from a place where you love yourself and abandon all the negative thoughts, superficial feelings and actions that influenced your approach, you will find the romantic path that will lead to your partner of fate.
The partner I desire is out there! This, I truly know. Going forward, my girlfriends and I will be having conversations about the quality relationships we have had and are going to have. Even if the relationships do not end up with ‘The One’ initially, we now revel in the fact we are self-aware and are on the proper course in finding Mr. Right since we have done away with Ms. Blame!