- Posted May 3, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
Is Anyone Out There Right for Me?
by: Lucy Connor
This has “been a week”! There has been little time to write, but somehow I have managed to do quite a bit of thinking. I have mentioned before that I love to listen to the Oprah station on the satellite radio in my car. This week she did a couple of interesting shows, but one thing she said over and over, stuck in my head. “Love does not hurt.”
Wow. Just let that one sink in. As strange as it seems, this statement goes contrary to what I have believed my entire life. I figured love was kind of like the refiner’s fire. No one who has love in his or her life does it without pain…lots of it. It is all part of the process of loving. You love, you fight you hurt. You love you ignore, you hurt. You love you complain, you hurt. You love you are selfish, you hurt. This thought of love being like a warm and comforting cocoon, a safe place, was actually rather foreign to me.
Let me clarify all this by saying that I was in a marriage for a very long time that was full of passion. When we loved, we loved full out. When we fought, we fought till one of us was in pain. There are not many times that I can recall in those years that our love was a warm, safe cocoon. Love and hurt were synonymous for most of my adult life.
Since I have been single, I have made a series of choices that were unwise, bad or just plain hasty. I have put time and energy into relationships that were not passionate on any level, and into relationships that were simply not what I have always desired. I have given up on having a romance, I have settled for less than what I want, I have gone on countless first dates that never went any further and I have gotten more and more frustrated with romance in general.
I got two other pieces of wisdom this week as well. I love Ted talks and have been watching talks on love since I have been writing this series. One lecture I watched simply drove home that point that I did not have to be anyone’s second choice. Hmmmm…another interesting concept for me. I am a classic people pleaser in many ways. When I meet someone I really like, my first worry is “Does he like me back?” In my past, I have allowed the fear of being rejected control my actions. As a result, I have settled for being someone’s second choice. I have been second choice to mood altering substances, second choice to church singles groups, second choice to hobbies, second choice to other women…just to name a few. I have given up my own dignity, thinking that I was not worth being that person’s first choice.
Another Ted talk I watched was all about being picky. The theme of this talk was that while our loved ones tell us we are being too picky, the fact is we are usually not picky enough. If more people paid attention to red flags and actively looked for the person of his or her dreams, there would be less heartbreak. So many of us ignore the warning signs that this person is not the right one, or we settle for someone who does not meet our “criteria”. In the end, these relationships are doomed to fail.
The take away for me was basically this. I have shortchanged myself and love for most of my life. I have settled, have ignored warning signs, have allowed myself to be second on my love’s list and have made a boatload of mistakes in the love department. I do not however, believe for a second that I will continue making these mistakes. Somehow, the experience of being a middle aged single woman has made me a strong, confident woman. I no longer believe that I am not good enough to experience true, pure, unconditional love. On the contrary, I know I am deserving of receiving and giving that kind of love.
When I look at the kind of partner I am seeking, the list is not unattainable, not lofty, but it is what I want and I will not make the mistake of settling for less again. Here it is, in case there are any takers out there!
He must be kind and understand the saying that it is better to be kind than right. He must be considerate of my feelings and my time. He must understand that I feel love most fully through words of affirmation and physical touch. When the words are not there and he is not around to hold my hand or hug me, I do not feel his love. He must be smart and value education. He must love the arts and have the ability to be spontaneous about attending things like shows and galleries. He needs to have a life, but be excited to share with me all of the things he does in his life. He needs to value family, mine and his. He needs to communicate with me…just text or call now and then and let me know that I am still in first place in his heart. Maybe more important than any of these, he needs to be able to accept my love and teach me how to love him completely. Things like money and looks are temporary…I am interested in the character, heart and integrity of my forever.
Impossible? Is my Mr. Right out there? Something tells me, he just may be.