Love Doesn't Come When You Least Expect It, but When You Lay Your Expectations to Rest
What is love?
Expectations of a "perfect relationship" will most likely keep you single.
Does it feel like you've been single for a really long time, and your friends and relatives are starting to question, "what's wrong with you?" You cringe when you find yourself explaining why you're holding out for the "right one" to come along, mostly because it's been over a decade and the "one" has been caught in traffic for the entirety.
We've been conditioned to "love yourself" before you can love anyone else, but you miss the kind of love you can give to that special someone, too. And social media doesn't help one bit with all the posts by friends who seem to have it all: the perfect relationship, honor roll kids, romantic anniversaries that they post frame by frame, and meanwhile you're wondering why you're the bridesmaid and never the bride.... or the divorcee who never found someone else even though your ex got married again before the ink even dried on your decree.
Love is a many a splendor.
Stop looking for the "one" and start looking for the one who makes you happy.
I'm here to tell you there's nothing wrong with waiting, assuming your standards truly are that high, and you're a righteous great catch who's worth it! But I've been in those shoes, and I've finally figured it out. I've shared your frustration with needing validation about your worth-- especially when friends would say, "you're still looking! Love finds you when you're not looking."
Literally, if you're on a dating site, you're looking. I found my current boyfriend on Tinder, but I wasn't looking. I swear.
I had pretty much given up on the flakes on dating sites after I stopped even meeting them before they ghosted me. My past couple of relationships bombed bad. I tried getting a restraining order on one after he left me with bruises on my thighs, and the other drained me financially to where I was almost $1000 in the hole, even as a single mom.
So needless to say, I was in no hurry to find another bozo. Then I met him. I thought he was "the one" after the first couple of dates. Shoot, after he showed up in person at all from Tinder, I felt like the Insanity quote finally didn't ring in my head anymore.
But he wasn't perfect. I was disappointed countless times thinking he had to read my mind and be the perfect gentleman. I'd watched enough Rom-Coms to know how he was supposed to win me over with his sweet-cute personality and we'd end up blissfully happy planning our own wedding.
Life wasn't meant to be perfect. Relationships are no different. OK, sure there are some of us who won the Powerball of Romance lotteries and are with the one who looks like they belong on a magazine cover, has countless degrees filling their office walls, and are generous to a fault. But some of us are just OK.
Connection is an underrated gift.
What is your highest priority?
My boyfriend and I have great talks. We like the same kinds of music: alternative rock and hip hop. We grew up Gen X and remember the same TV shows from our childhood. He's native North County San Diego and I'm an Angelino from the South Bay beaches. But we can be goofy, funny, and loving just like anyone else.
A lot of the friction we encountered at the beginning stemmed from my expectations of what a perfect guy would be like. I thought he should know when to pick up a hammer and fix something on my house. He should surprise me with random gifts of chocolate. He would be chivalrous and "save me" from hardship while I was going through it.
But he had to be told to fix something, and I never got chocolate. He's been there emotionally while I've been going through my challenges, but I'm the only one who can save myself.
Throughout the months we've continued being together, I've learned to accept that he is who is is, nothing more, nothing less. He's a good person, for the most part. He takes care of his daughter, which I respect. He treats my son respectfully, and I like that even more. We still have great moments together, which I love.
So I've uncovered the secret of love: Do you want to be happy, or do you want perfection? I want to be happy, and I have been just that with him.
What does love mean to you? Spending quality time with someone who brings joy to your life, or someone who checks off all the boxes of a "perfect relationship?"