He’s tall, dark, handsome, a successful banker and has an adorable dog. He treats you like royalty in every way. But you asked for a blondie who doesn’t bow down to the corporate world in a suit and loves cats. Oh crap. What now?
Even the most open-minded dater in the world has imagined what Mr. Right will be like. I know I did. And I remember thinking, way back when, at the beginning of my romance with Jason, “Sure he’s fantastic but he isn’t what I imagined. For crying out loud… he’s divorced with not one, but two kids!”
Here’s the thing about preconceived notions and types and boundaries of all other kinds… rigid beliefs limit us… and in turn, they can easily close the door on a rich and gorgeous love experience.
I get it. From a very young age we have been conditioned to determine our preferences… not just in love but in the rest of our lives. From food to fashion and everything in between, knowing what you want with a certain precision is for some reason an esteemed attribute. In some way, knowing what you like means knowing yourself. To a large extent, I agree… but the problem is, that logic flow doesn’t leave much room for evolution of self, now does it? As we grow and change, it is important to be flexible with our preferences… and often times, in fact most of the time that means changing the overall criteria set. For me, my fashion preferences have changed as I’ve gotten older, more financially conscious, become a parent. My selections aren’t worse, they are just different, now adapted to what I consider to fit my lifestyle of today, not my lifestyle of my teens.
And so is the process, or rather so should the process be, for dating. When you are young in love, what matters is different to you than when you mature in love. When you are young in love, it is natural to emphasize the importance of physical qualities, status or interests. And then something happens. You date men who “qualify” – who check off all the boxes on your “list,” yet still you are unfulfilled. That’s when you realize, there is more to my man selection than what I can see. The real good stuff, I can’t see, I have to feel it.
Yup – you have to feel out love candidates… and yup, that can take time… at first. But the more curious you get – the more you try on a variety of “types” and the more you know yourself and what you need in a partner to feel love, the quicker your radar sounds when it is or isn’t right… when there is or isn’t a chance for compatibility. Trust me, I’m living proof that opening up your pre-determined ideas can open up a world of possibilities in love.
Do you bend your ideas of perfect? Are you open to the possibilities? Or are you concrete in your perception of what love is? Do you judge on how you feel or what you see?
Live and love largely (and open-heartedly!)<
This article was originally published at http://tristancoopersmith.com/2011/04/04/oh-crap-hes-not-what-i-ordered/. Reprinted with permission from the author.