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.
Amen, Sister Nikki. You just took it to chruuurch!
I agree with this wholly. I have overall always aimed for a partner in life, definitely not a placeholder. And I'm still pretty young, about to be 26, but I feel that I have found that partner in a wonderful person that I call an exception among men. I had never met anyone like him and I don't think that I ever will again. My partner is he is everything that I could want and nothing like I had ever imagined. I never really had a list, but as our relationship developed, I discovered that he met the majority, if not all of my wants and needs. And that is part of the fun that women deprive themselves of when they build a boyfriend on paper.
I appreciate this post to the fullest even though I am not single there is still something always that I can learn for myself and to pass on. We do have to becareful of what we put out when it comes to relationship. If we want love respect faithfulness patient kindness then we have to learn that foundtional things can not be defined with superficial things. What is in our hearts will determine what we get when we seek for that. Such a beautiful post and thank you for be so kind to share.
@Curlynikki as a side note I have read your blog for a while now and I just want to say what a beautiful woman you are from the inside out. Your knowledge wisdom form of blogging and personiality is so refreshing beautiful and different. I love how you take your career training and who you are and bring it all together to create something so beautiful deep and wonderful. I strive to do the same to take my life lessons the wisdom God blessed me with the knowledge from school and soon the lessons from my career and bring it all together in a way that will reach others in ways I can not comprehend. Thank you so much for adding to my inspiration.
Great article and very well said dvaaunaturel.
This was on Oprah.com today.
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
— Eckhart Tolle
This is so well said. I am 40 years old and had almost given up on finding a partner. For many years I had all of this criteria (tall, college educated, etc.) that I set in what I thought I wanted. But once I started focusing on me and asking God to prepare me for a mate (husband) and deal with my issues (attitude, finances, etc) and open my mind did I find someone. I joined an online site and was VERY open to the process. I was willing to give people a chance, more than I ever have in my life and met the most wonderful man. A lot of women say they want all of these things but they aren't those things themselves. I couldn't agree with you more about focusing on loving yourself and working on you so that when that special man finds you you are ready to receive the love that is being offered.
Girl you better preach!
Anon 2:41 PM
I totally agree with you. Not all "prerequisites" are unreasonable, or proof that you're willing to move on to the next one as soon as someone with a slightly more favorable combo shows up.
Having a long list of deal-breakers is probably going overboard (and definitely closed-minded), but having a few good personality "bullet points" is pretty reasonable, as far as I'm concerned.
I just wanna say PREACH!!! No need to answer your questions at the end bc u said the exact same thing I am always telling my girlfriends. Love yourself first and you will view men and relationships in general (family, friends, man)from a different perspective.! LOVE LOVE LOVE this article!
I agree with the comment at 11:43am. I'm actually at that stage as well (loving myself). However I do have a question…what prerequisites are too much? I wasn't sure if we are talking extreme like how many cars/houses/material stuff, because I don't care about all that. The original poster made some awesome points, however is it wrong to want someone that is on a similar level spiritually, financially, and etc? It's just that I've been disappointed so much with past suitors. I tried to step out on a limb and be more opened minded. Meaning, I have given people a chance that I normally wouldn't give the time of day, but unfortunately it back-fired lol. I'm talking anywhere from the guy has a hidden "tribe" of children he doesn't take care of, to hidden substance abuse problem, to (insert issue here)….that's way too much of complexity and surprises for me, you know?
I love this post. I have been single for some time now. I was this person when I was in a relationship. Now, that I'm no longer in one, it made me reflect on myself and work on me. I am now so in love with myself and I'm patiently waiting for my partner to enter my life. But, for the time being, I will continue to work on me, so when he does come, I will be ready and really allow a true bond to nature between us.
I love this post
I love this post. Definitely food for thought.
This is an awesome post. I will keep its message in mind.