I'm on my second round of espresso this morning. Is it pathetic when they start making your drink when you walk in? I mean, this Starbucks is BUSY -- near HP and Apple, and you're telling me I'm their addict? Okay, onto other things, like what's been plaguing my mind so that I cannot write today.
I saw yesterday that someone is publishing a book on dating and "Mr. Right" in the Christian industry, and while I think all of these relationship books can be helpful, I think we spend far too much time thinking about "Mr. Right" and this perfect connection that will mesh perfectly into our lives. The whole concept is flawed. As you grow older, maybe your list grows longer...and maybe you haven't spent enough time becoming the person YOU should be while you're focusing on some imaginary friend's perfection.
1. There is no perfect person -- and even if there were, then you'd be the one to screw things up. Humans are innately flawed. The secret is, to find those flaws that you can live with and vice versa. Let's say you find that perfect Christian who has never slept with another and has no skeletons in the closet -- he's perfect right? Well, Christianity and values can be different things in different Christians. An example? My Christianity trends toward acceptance and meeting people where they are -- because of my background with a mentally retarded brother, I'm pretty good at nurturing people where they are in deep need and because I'm impulsive, I'm not as good with long-term commitments in ministry -- I'm better in a crisis. My husband lived in East Palo Alto (the hood) and worked with kids who are now young men that he still knows and keeps up with and coaching -- his ministry skills trend towards consistency.
When we first got married, he tried to mold me into his view of ministry. Let's just say, this went very badly. You cannot and never will change who a person is at their core. Do not try this at home.
2. Don't ignore flaws you find cute now. Look at their roots: I'm a slob. I try to be neat, but messes seem to grow around me without my even trying. When I had my husband over for dinner in my cute, little spotless studio, I opened the closet and things burst forth - I believe it's called reality. My reality burst forth. Clean is only my image. My reality is that I hate dirt, and my house may smell like bleach, but I'll have trouble finding two shoes when I need them.
In sharp contrast, my husband's house had dust bunnies the size of farm animals and he had a clean laundry basket and a dirty laundry basket, but is bathroom drawer looked like a dentist's tray with all its utensils laid out. In other words, in my future I was going to be folding until eternity. Luckily, I don't mind that. It gives me an excuse to watch bad reality TV. It's a "flaw" I can live with.
My husband will not share toothpaste with me though. I squeeze the thing to high heaven, he only squeezes from the bottom. Whatever.
3. Shared hobbies won't save you. If you look on most guys' list of wants, they want someone athletic (read: skinny) who wants to do the things they want to do (read: bungee jump and skydive.) Here's what I've seen in couples who have the same athletic prowess when they get married. Eventually, there will probably be kids, and someone will have to stay home and let the other one have their adrenaline rush while they sit with the kids. This causes resentment. So unless you have a grandparent close by, and you're okay with leaving the kids, wipe this one off your list. Give your hubby his time. You have your time, and then decide together what your shared activities will be. No one wants anyone without a life to be near someone else. It's stifling.
I know of an older couple who are together now, and exactly alike in their hobbies and interests. And they are AWFUL to each other because guess what? They don't let the other have the attention they need, and there's things within themselves they hate -- and it's only magnified in the other.
Not to mention, let's say you are beautiful and thin and your husband looks like Colin Firth, when the going gets rough, trust me, this will mean nothing. It's what is inside that matters. Of course, there's the initial attraction, but if you're going to face cancer, it's not going to be pretty, so make sure you love the SOUL of the person and that's what you find beautiful.
4. Wealth solves nothing -- it only helps you mask your troubles, so if you think Mr. Darcy's 10,000 pounds a year will fix it, I've got news for you. Let's face it, if you watch any of "The Housewives" shows, money can mask things pretty well. But what people need is relationship. Money is a poor substitute. And if the money disappears, you won't face that together if you have used money to mask issues. You will resent one another.
I'm a spender. If I had $1,000, I'd take the kids to Disneyland and say, the heck with milk, we'll have funnel cakes! If my husband had $1,000, he'd put it in an interest-earning CD and make sure I couldn't touch it. And you know what? That would be smart. We balance this by having an agreed-upon amount in the bank. He is never going to want to spend money the way I do, and I'm never going to believe there's enough rainy days ahead to warrant all that "hoarding".
5. What you want may not be what you need: This is what I worry about with the current Bachelor. He is clearly attracted to the "wild" girls. The one who have a lot of life in them and live life to the full. But he is boring as all getout. I mean, he spends his weekends in his backyard and he's not a big adventurer. He thought rolling down the hill in the sand was an "event". If you're attracted to the ADD sort, who craves excitement and the world around them (like Vienna and Gia, for example) are they really going to be content changing diapers and making you mashed potatoes when you get home from traveling? Not only that, but girls like that, who crave a lot of attention, are not going to be fond of staying home alone while you're galavanting all over the world. So it's something to think about. If you want a haus frau, stay away from the bikini models. If you want to be on the back of a Harley, don't marry an accountant.
6. Look for someone who brings out the best in you: Have you had boyfriends that turn you into a raving lunatic? And the drama escalates because let's say your weakness is abandonment because your dad left your mom. Do not find some guy who is going to go off on his own and tell you that you're paranoid for worrying. You may not have a right to tell him what to do, but if that's a weakness, be honest. Don't find the guy who is going to make you question your sanity all the time. Find the person who makes you your best person. Which brings me to this...
7. Be honest about your own flaws and work on them: Love, like money, brings out more of what we already are. So if you're impulsive and think that having fourteen babies is a good idea, learn to live with the desire for awhile. If you're bad at making decisions and sticking with them, learn to make a few impulsive choices and see if your life was really destroyed by deciding chicken instead of beef.
And here's yet another excuse to use this picture. LOL He was on "Charlie Rose" yesterday and I love this, he wanted to be an actor because he can't get up in the morning! See, one would think we'd be perfect for each other, except my husband being a morning guy gets the kids off to school when I stay up until two to write. Weigh your choices.