Remember the book The Secret? Of course you do. It taught us all about the power of thought.
We learned that if we think about what we want with enough intensity it will magically appear before us while we’re sitting on the couch getting caught up on “Mad Men.” We could just create a dream board with magazine cutouts and one day those pieces of paper glued to posterboard would come to life and we would live the fairytale life we had always dreamed of…or visualized.
This phenomenon taught us that anything is possible. And anything can be possible if we are open to receiving it. If we want to fall in love we just have to let the universe know that we’re ready and that person who we are meant to fall in love with will casually stroll into our lives when we are truly ready. We took this to mean that we could play Dr. Frankenstein and create the perfect person. We would painstakingly pick every feature of this person until we had a clear picture of our favorite celebrity. We just knew that eventually we would be united with our David Beckham lookalike and live happily ever after in a mansion in our city of choice.
We were so adamant that our dream mate would have sea green eyes and a strong jaw that we overlooked many kind wonderful people who we were compatible with. Whenever we met a potential mate, we would go through our checklist and if they didn’t meet every last bit of criteria, we would quickly dismiss them. We never got to know these people because they didn’t fit the physical requirements of perfection we were so attached to. I’m not saying anyone should settle for less than a loving relationship with someone they’re attracted to. I do think, however, that a quality person you have chemistry with is something worth exploring.
I live in Los Angeles where meeting a good man who doesn’t live with four roommates in an adult frat house is like coming across a unicorn. It almost never happens. So the notion of limiting myself based on a few superficial qualities I came up with after a romcom marathon leaves me at a standstill. If I’m looking for a preconceived ideal of perfection, then I must assume that I am an utopian woman with no physical or emotional flaws. If I’m looking for a man who comes with no baggage and who will agree with everything I say all while taking out the trash and providing me with a comfortable lifestyle, I’m setting myself up for a lonely adulthood.
Standards are good. Knowing your non-negotiables will help you narrow down people who are not right for you. Holding out for a person who is so flawless that you are never put out of your comfort zone and forced to grow is a sad concept. I learn something new and become a better version of myself with every new person I meet.
Every time I’ve opened my heart to a man who was different from what I had in mind but unassumingly attractive, I’ve walked away with a broader perspective of love and who I am. The last time I was truly in love was with a man who was dressed like a teenage gamer the first time we met. But he was intelligent, funny and sincerely interested in getting to know me. Because I was willing to put aside my desire to be with a man who dressed like an adult, I ended up in a relationship that changed the course of my life for the better. We didn’t last that long because I was not ready to be in a serious relationship at the time.
But I’m grateful I had the wherewithal to overlook one dimension for something meaningful.