I drove to
Virginia and back this past week, which meant I shared a lot of quality
time with my car. When Ava the Aveo and I get together we have great
discussions. Great, one-sided, self-involved discussions. Ava is a good
listener and the silence usually answers all my questions for me,
better than any living, breathing person ever could (besides White who
knows me too well and often answers my questions with , “you think too
much, dear.”) Anyway the subject of this autotherapy session was, of
course, relationships. Love. My history. My future.
Frankly, I was attempting to figure out why I always seem to find
wonderful guys who love me, who want to have a future with me. I
thought marriage minded men were supposed to be hard to come by, is
that normally true? Because my experience is just the opposite. All of
the men I’ve dated, every. Single. One. Have expressed sincere (at
least to my knowledge) desires of settling down with me in the future.
Which in a way is wonderful and amazing, but it’s also a little
troubling. I’m always a little hesitant, a little suspicious of the men
I date who, within a month’s time, are using the L-word and dropping
I can’t figure out if they think it’s expected of them, or if they truly feel that way. And
then there’ s the “perfect” thing. It always makes my skin crawl a
little when some guy calls me “perfect”. I immediately doubt their
sincerity because I KNOW no one is perfect. We all have our flaws and
the ability to love someone regardless of their imperfections is really
what makes a relationship work. Having someone tell me, a woman who is
constantly trying to improve herself, that I’m already “perfect” and
“don’t ever change” seems contrite and stifling.
Hand in hand with being told I’m perfect comes the worry that maybe
this person is into me more than I’m into them. I hate rushing the
L-word. I hate feeling like I have to swoon and constantly affirm my
affection. But I know I’m a hypocrite, and for as much as I dislike
having to reassure someone that I like/love them, I prod my Significant
Other to tell me the exact same thing.
During my time in the car I wondered, out loud, to myself, what I’m
looking for. I’ve had relationships that seemed almost perfect. I’ve
dated smart, handsome, funny, kind, romantic, (and other positive
adjectives as well) men who on paper, looked perfect for me. These men
loved me. And I loved them. And yet, there was always something
missing. Something I wasn’t completely satisfied with. Something that
allowed me to leave. I can’t help but wonder*, am I ever going to be
satisfied with the man I’m with?
Will I forever be searching for the mystical Perfect Man for Me?
What’s the difference between “settling” and “compromising?”
My mother has this saying, “There’s a lid for every pot.” And I
agree with her, in theory. But I also think there are some pots that
are made by Tupperware, and have multiple perfect fitting lids. And
there are some pots and lids that get warped in the dishwasher and
never find a partner that fits. And then there are those pots that you
lost the lid for, and you find a lid that just about fits, but won’t
completely close unless you struggle with it and end up spilling half
the contents on the kitchen floor.
And I wonder what kind of lid I should be looking for, or if, maybe,
I’m that simmer-uncovered kind of pot. The one without a lid.
*I’ve been watching a lot of SATC, can you tell I’m channeling Carrie Bradshaw?