It always seems to me like knowing what you want will make things so much better. And yet, once you get there – no matter how long THAT takes – you soon find that knowing what you want is more like a first step in a process. And getting there is the real nightmare.
I remember in my 20s when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. If only I could figure it out, I reasoned, then everything would be so much better. I ached to be rid of the quest to figure out what I wanted.
Then I discovered that I could go to film school and so decided it would be possible to become a director. Which put me on a path all right. It was a relief to know what I wanted. But it was just the beginning of a journey that is full of many more challenges beyond just figuring out what you want. Turns out that was the easy part.
Still, though, I thought that when I figure out what really mattered to me in a relationship, surely *that* would be a huge relief that made all the difference. No more indecision and uncertainty! Easier decisions! How could this make things anything but better, romantically speaking?
I read a book once where the author posited that when you break up with someone, if you look back you’ll find that you experienced the reason for the break-up in the first month or two of the relationship. I believe that that’s true.
And, I know what’s important to me and what I want in a partner.
How else can you put it besides cost/benefit analysis? Sometimes I don’t hit everything on my must haves / can’t stand lists from eHarmony (yes, I totally printed them out because I think they’re the best thing I ever got from eHarmony), but when I give one up there’s a damn good reason. That I considered thoroughly before moving forward.
Of course, some things by necessity reveal themselves later. The holidays, for example, land when they land. Ripe with opportunities to learn new things.
It’s true that I can’t really look at the first few months of my last relationship and surmise that he would get all the way to October and then not be excited about spending the holidays with me. That one is a stumper, and so I have to believe that it’s more to do with us and me and what he ultimately wants, than the holidays really.
But see, that brings me back to my original point. I know what I want. I’m making decisions within the first six months of a relationship. I’m doing the cost benefit analysis. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that something new might present itself later in the relationship that changes my position. And yes, I realize that perhaps this is what happened - something I did,
something about me that wasn't evident in the beginning? But me, well usually, I’m a first 3 months dumper, maybe 6, even more likely: 1 month in.
Man, is that weird? My point is, though, that even when YOU know what you want, your partner may take longer to figure it out.
And then you may find yourself heartbroken for the holidays in what would have been month 11.
So exactly how much good does knowing what *I* want ever do me?
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Contributing editor Liz Rizzo also blogs at Everyday Goddess.
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