Finding the Love of My Life ©

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Are you one of the lucky ones when it comes to relationships? Early on, you found that one special person and are living “happily ever after”.

I have not been one of those lucky ones. Before we even tied the knot, I suspected that my first love (I married at the tender age of 18) was not the love of my life. But he provided a safe port in the storm at that time. In the eight years we were married, I was able to safely grow and blossom into a much more confident young woman. My dad said, “Well, he never did you any harm, but he didn’t do you much good.” (Dads are so protective!)

After a couple of years of trying to figure myself out and figure out what love was all about, I fell in love with a man whom I thought would be my happily ever after. We raised a wonderful son together and had some good years. But stuff happens. It’s not unusual for relationships to founder because of life circumstances and various traumas. My second marriage lasted over 23 years, but then it ended.

Four years passed before I felt ready to date again. This time I figured, “third time lucky”. And for awhile, I felt lucky. We met on the shores of the online dating pool and were delighted to discover how much we had in common in so many ways. Here I thought was my soul mate. Although I invested heart and soul into our relationship, I was ever so sad when it ended after five years.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating throwing my hat into the ring yet a fourth time. As I reflect on what has gone before, what I don’t want, and what I do want in a new partner; I’ve had an epiphany about the love of my life. I finally realized who it is – it’s not Mr. Right –

It’s me!

All my relationships to this point have been amazing reflections of who I have been in any given moment. Each person showed me facets of my mind, body, and soul that I might not have paid attention to otherwise. Sometimes it felt like the movie, “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”, but really, it helped me to fall in love with myself all over again.

I grew enormously because of each relationship, which of course prepared me for the next relationship.

Today it dawned on me that all of this learning and growing within my relationships has been propelling me toward affirming again the most important relationship of all, the relationship I have with myself.

If I allow it, I am my own best friend. When I treat myself and honor myself as I deserve, I come to trust and value the love that I am.

I can never physically abandon me, because I’m always here. When no one else is there for me, I’m right here to comfort and rock myself to sleep. I can call on me any time of the day or night. I can surround myself with all the love I have inside.

Does that mean then that we have no need of relationships? Not at all! Being in relationship is the way we see ourselves as we couldn’t if we were alone. A totally white wall cannot know itself as white until a black thumbprint shows up on its surface.

A woman does not experience ultimate femininity without the presence of ultimate masculinity. Contrast through connection is vital to our own growth.

So now where do I go? Well, part of my plan is to keep honoring my own magnificence as a human being. I’m not any more magnificent than you are, but I am unique – as you are unique; I plan to keep celebrating that uniqueness and keep cherishing the fact that I truly am the love of my life, just as you need to be the love of your life.

And if I’m blessed enough to find someone new and special to share the love of my life with, that will be spectacular!

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“I’d Rather Stay Single than Settle!”©

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“What’s with these guys, anyway?” a friend recently lamented.  Single again after a nasty, long term relationship, she had cast her line into the online dating pool.

Bemused and disgusted, she related tales of guys with lengthy lies, poorly written profiles, and lousy pictures who railed at her because she dared to question and test out whether or not they were for real. One man accused her of being a man, not a woman.

Her reply, “Well, I have been told that I have more balls than most men, but I’ve never been accused of having a penis!”

Another man wrote her that once they met for the first coffee date, he expected her to commit permanently – no testing out of any kind would be allowed. When she shut him down, he tried to re-connect using a different name (but the same photo – duh!). At that point, she was pretty sure he was ready to be committed alright – to a padded cell!

Then there was the guy who penned story after story about all the women he had dated in order to convince her that he was God’s gift to women. He’d already been married four times.

My friend got super diligent with her tests. If the guy was from far away, she requested a photo of him holding a newspaper from his city with a current date. Some actually complied, others she never heard from again.

I shook my head in amazement. Not much had changed in the ten years since I’d tried online dating. Who needs to watch contrived ‘reality’ shows on TV when you can just fire up your computer and participate in the electronic dating scene. That brand of truth really is stranger than fiction!

Is it any wonder that we develop trust and commitment issues when faced with a big puddle of whiners and losers? Is the single set so desperate to connect that any lie is justifiable in the battle between the sexes?

After I related a couple of my own horror stories, my friend and I talked about the necessary, but somewhat painful sorting process. I was relieved when she told me that she didn’t take it too seriously, and was actually having fun testing out these guys whose stories made her laugh in amazement. She was accepting the occasional coffee date, but made sure she was safe while doing it.

Too many women I’ve talked to are so frantic to hook up that they shut off their creep-o-meters and suffer through the inevitable dating disasters. And that’s not just younger women, it’s women in their 50’s and beyond.

It’s scary to think about living alone because Mr. Right is in hiding. I get that – been there – sent that t-shirt to charity. But I’ve also experienced  the pain of the high price tag when I settled for Mr. Wrong.

Since I’m not willing to use my precious time right now in my own ‘single again’ life to re-enter the dating pool, I will live vicariously through my friend’s dating adventures. Where else will I find such great material for my next blog!

Photo courtesy of clickintobusiness.com