I was wondering… how to get what I want
There’s no right way when it comes to getting the best out of life. Each of us may have dreams, hopes and ideas we’d love to come to pass, but making them happen can be tricky.
Not for my friend Mariel. When deciding how to spend a summer holiday with her dearly beloved she did what all true romantics do: arranged a mutually convenient time at which they would pitch their respective itineraries for a fun-filled vocation via the medium of PowerPoint presentations. Voting would then determine whose holiday choice was selected. Unsurprisingly – she had mentioned the possibility of costumes, logo and a theme tune – she (and, of course, spontaneity) won. A similar approach is often employed in the search for love. Glance over a few profiles:
“He must be…”
“What I’m looking for is…”
“She shouldn’t be…”
“No offence, but don’t contact me if you’re…”
Height, body shape, previous relationships, age, hair, children, the age of particularly hairy children – can these really all be, as some so charmingly state, deal breakers? Can anybody be so sure that skimming over the profiles of those who fail to match our perfect, imaginary princess / shining knight is really the best way to find a happy relationship? It becomes almost instinctive. “Not my face type” was the immediate response when I showed a picture of a lovely, interesting, intelligent person to another lovely, interesting, intelligent person I thought they might click with (I’m such a selfless soul). So now what?
I have news for you: you’re a flawed human being. Yes, really. Even you, who just thinks you’re discerning and careful, not picky or unrealistic. You’re flawed and so is everyone else. Even if the person you meet ticks off everything on your list, you’re going to hit bumps. Maybe not immediately when everything seems perfect and you can’t believe an angel has fallen from heaven into your life and declared love, but at some point. When you want different things at different times, when the pressure is on and the less-than-lovely side of characters show, when your communication styles aren’t naturally compatible, when you overthink, overwork, avoid, confront, when your past issues show up in the present. Even that clean slate of a match – who seems to have no baggage or pesky incompatibilities – is going to disappoint, and it’s not going to be the superficial things that matter but whether someone is kind, thoughtful, emotionally available and present, no matter what they look like, how much hair they have (or where) or what’s happened to them before.
I watched a pretty depressing documentary recently. Groups of men and women were shown pictures of each other and rated attractiveness. Then they met. At the end of the night they were asked to rate each other again. The women had changed their ratings based on personality and interactions. The fun, friendly guy who’d had good conversations was boosted to the top of the list. The handsome devil with little to say slipped down the league table. Then the men re-rated the women and nothing changed. Nothing. Appearances were all that counted. Now, dear people, I know you’re not that superficial. I know you look beyond the basic details on the profile, the blurry photos, the labels we have and wish we didn’t, to see the real people beyond. I have confidence in your ability to make interesting choices. So, take a chance, broaden your horizons, widen the search parameters of lurve and you might be in for a happy surprise.