Growing up in the “western” world has provided ample examples of our ideal “Mr” or “Mrs” right. It has been drilled into our heads from a young age that our ideal romantic partner is supposed to be beautiful/handsome, tall, fit, wealthy, funny, successful, funny, and caters to our every whim and fancy. These people exist right? On top of all those luscious images we’re also influenced by our family and friends. So when we look for that perfect partner, are we looking based on what we’ve been told or what we truly believe (that feeling that comes from deep within you that leaves doubt crumbled on the floor). I realized, after a few failed relationships that trusting yourself will guide you to the right person.
If my parents had their way, Id be married to a respectful and dutiful doctor/lawyer/accountant/CEO of a Fortune 500 company. When I was in my 20’s searching for the “one” – I had those things in the back of my mind, but also, because I like to think I’m a bit of a rebel (albeit a teeny, tiny one) I wanted to try to break out of the mold. I thought I had found the right one in my mid 20’s and ended up marrying him but then he turned into someone else after we got hitched which heavily affected all aspects of my life, including shattering all semblance of what I thought I knew about myself and what I wanted in a romantic partner. My ex husband wasn’t a doctor or lawyer or anything remotely close to those types of career choices. Instead, he was an “artist” of sorts and at the time, somewhat of a free spirit, which I loved.
It wasn’t love at first sight though, it took some time to develop and blossom, and when it finally did, I was so sure I found my soul mate. For a while it was so wonderful, but here’s the problem, if neither partner knows or truly believes in who they are, it’s pretty much doomed. I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted, but then I moved with my husband halfway across the world because I thought it would be fun and exciting and I would discover new things about myself. Instead, we both pretty much lost ourselves and in the process, lost our relationship. After getting married, we became different people and instead of trying to find our way back to who we were or to understand and try to embrace the change in each other, we (well more like he) decided to call it quits. To me, it was a huge betrayal and it affected me more than I realized and put me on a path of confusion as to who I was and what I wanted out of life.
I left that foreign city and my ex husband behind and moved to a completely new city to try and start fresh, but I didn’t know how to do that. I certainly wasn’t looking for a new partner because I was so heart broken over my divorce. I just wallowed away for about 6 months crying away on my sister’s couch watching sad romantic movies in my pajamas. I finally got out of the slump and realized I needed to get a start on my life, and so I jumped into find a job and a career and that’s what I focused on. I got a job in marketing with my ultimate goal to get into an ad agency and I did that. I was on my way. Unfortunately on the romantic side I was headed the complete opposite away.
My divorce left me feeling ashamed and embarrassed and feeling undeserving of anyone good. So who did I choose? People who were undeserving of my love and affection, but I gave it anyway because I thought that was what I deserved. But I realized now that I had to go through these terrible relationships to get past all that shame and embarrassment. I had to realize that I could have what I wanted as long as I knew that I was capable of loving and being loved by someone who deserved me. It took a long time to come to that realization, but I finally did.
The last disastrous relationship was my last straw. It was a wake up call for me to get myself in order and stop dating unavailable guys. I was dating these guys because I in fact, was also unavailable and I didn’t know what I wanted and was scared to commit to a solid relationship for fear of being abandoned yet again. So I’m partly to blame for picking these guys too. I stayed away from the nice guys who liked me and always backed away when I saw that they were starting to fall for me.
The first step to my awakening was to learn to trust myself again and to believe in me. I had to step away dating in order to figure out what it was that I wanted and start committing myself to finding the person who I knew would be right for me. I made a list and focused on the type of relationship I wanted and how my ideal partner’s personality would help fulfill my goals. I really got down to the heart of the matter and not so much about material things or physical appearance because for me I really wanted a soul connection.
Afterwards, I just left my list alone and went away and didn’t date or try to meet anyone. I just focused on living my life. And then one fateful summer while I was visiting my parents in Vancouver I met him. Our first meeting was nice and I we talked for a long time and it felt so comfortable. I remember thinking, he’s really nice, but I’m not sure I’m if I’m attracted to him. And it made me think about how I pushed away all those other nice guys away for the same reason. I also remembered my list and admitted to myself that I did feel a connection to him on a deeper level.
Had I looked at him through the eyes of everyone else who has influenced me, I probably would have walked away. But instead, I looked at him from within myself and trusted that feeling deep down inside of me and I’m so glad that I did.