by GG of The Write Curl Diary
Let's face it: Sometimes we want the relationship more than we want the man. We want someone to buy us a ring, put us on a pedestal and be our "plus one". We think that we need someone to save us from the doom and gloom of being the last one of our friends to settle down. It's no wonder that we get so frantic! I've heard guys say that there's something wrong with a woman over a certain age that has never been married. I have heard that the pickings are so slim that if you don't get yours now, there won't be any good men left. Nonsense, right? Maybe so, but many of us conduct ourselves as if these things were true.
Thanks to this culturally induced sense of urgency, women naturally begin to lose sight of what a meaningful relationship is really about and why it's worth the wait. So, I ask you the question: Do you want a partner or a placeholder? Of course most of us would say we want a partner. But our actions don't necessarily align with what our mouths say.
If you have a list of prerequisites, you are seeking a placeholder. If you have a certain type and won't date outside of that type, you are seeking a placeholder. If you are more concerned about the size of your wedding ring than your partner's hopes and dreams, then you don't really want a partner. You want a placeholder.
Our unrealistic beliefs about relationships set us up for disappointment and downright misery. Too often we think that personal fulfillment should come as a result of our relationships instead of being a foundation upon which to build them. Even if you are fortunate enough to find a man who fits your requirements and wants to be with you; happiness will still elude you if you are more concerned with the surface qualities of your union than the honesty and intimacy that is necessary to sustain it.
And what about how he feels? Is he supposed to be content with just showing up, picking up the script that you've written and delivering passionate lines of devotion to you on cue? He's a human being with needs, fears, strengths and weaknesses; not a faceless, dreamlike image that goes through the motions of loving you without any complexity or surprises. A healthy relationship is not about playing roles and meeting expectations, but about finding a middle ground on which both people feel respected and treasured as individuals.
If you are a woman looking for love, I challenge you to take a step back and evaluate your search criteria. Get into the habit of partnering with yourself and loving yourself unconditionally first. We cannot live in true happiness, single or not, when we entertain false assumptions and fail to value the things that really matter.