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Uncommonly candid observations on relationships: Stop searching for Mr. Right

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By Marcia Gloster

 

Stop Searching for Mr. Right

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” —Unknown

We’ve all grown up with romantic movies, magazines and books where the hero and heroine know they are meant for one another and yet all sorts of obstacles are put in their path. Somehow, in the end, either love triumphs or the hero or heroine dies. It’s all wrapped up neatly and plays to our emotions. We know it’s fiction, but don’t we still get that little jolt when love conquers all?

Most girls, myself included, bought into these romantic fantasies early on and made them part of our lives, which was fine until we grew up and realized it just wasn’t so. Unfortunately, those who move into adulthood clinging to the concepts of pure romance and ideal love are likely to find themselves disappointed when their expectations remain unfulfilled.

One friend in college woke up every day saying, “Today is the day I’m going to meet the man I’m going to marry.” Whew. Optimism? Expectation? Certainly not reality. She finally did meet that guy, and has since been divorced—twice.

Several good friends over the years have held on to that same belief, albeit less vocally. When they didn’t meet their one-and-only in college, as expected, they carried their fantasies into the workplace, still continually on the lookout for Mr. Right.

So what is it that we seek in a partner that continually seems to elude us? And while it’s true that many people meet the person of their supposed dreams, I’ll bet if you ask, few will say they fulfill their fantasies or even their desires. Maybe we need to look at one another with less stringent eyes and more realistic expectations.

Back in the dark ages, we went on blind dates where we had little advance knowledge of the person we were about to meet. (I would go to the door barefoot to see how tall they guy was before deciding which heels to wear.) If nothing else, it allowed for a bit of serendipity that online dating often precludes.

Perhaps the best one can do is to keep an open mind when meeting an online “match.” I have one friend who, on planning to meet someone new, is at first excited. She gets all set for the date but then suddenly, right before she leaves, decides her date is a loser. Her expectations and insecurities over take her optimism: he’s not going to be Mr. Husband so why bother?

Meeting the (supposedly) right person and getting married is an everyday expectation, but it is also one that is likely to disappoint. Rather than dwelling on what you “expect,” think about opening yourself up to all possibilities. Each of us has our own expectations and insecurities, and no one is ever as confident as they wish they could be. No matter; try leaving your expectations at home, if only briefly (you can always return to them) and go out to meet people with an open mind; you just might be surprised.

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Marcia Gloster is the author of 31 Days: A Memoir of Seduction

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On January 29, 2015
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