I would like to be on the committee that is publishing the next edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Because I don't think the words I need have been invented yet. The reason I say this is because I am sitting here with so many things I need to express but simply cannot come up with anything to write. And it's not a case of writer's block nor is it due to a lack of focus or clarity. I am just at a loss for words.
I'm ... looking ... for ... a ... word ... that ... means ...
I vividly remember the morning I woke up and realized that my parents weren't omniscient. And from that moment my life changed. Part of me was sad and part of me was relieved. From that day on, I began writing my own history and learning things for myself -- and usually the hard way. But it was better than just thinking something was true because "they" said so. The same kind of enlightenment happened when my parents got divorced after 25 years of marriage. It changed every idea I had about marriage, relationships, and family. And now, after being divorced myself for eleven years and having a pretty unsuccessful relationship history, I am trying to figure out the amalgam for my happiness.
What if I stop looking for the qualities I want in a partner and start looking for the qualities someone needs to love me? Most relationship experts say to make a list of characteristics your ideal soul mate would have. Maybe that's where we go wrong. Maybe our lists should contain characteristics our ideal soul mate must have to live with us. I mean, if you're going to live on a beach, you don't need a heavy coat and snow shoes. You need a swimsuit, some sunscreen, and a hammock. If you're going to live with me, you don't need a fast car. You should pack your sense of humor, patience, and a blow-up mattress.
Case in point: If you ask all of your friends, ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends, and family members if you are easy to get along with, the answers are likely all over the map. Not because you act differently around each person but because of their personalities and characteristics.
For example, I get along with people who are patient. I get on fabulously with people who have experienced both sides of patience and have mastered it; genuinely patient in the sense that they understand I am not deliberately trying to upset them when I do inconsiderate things. Meaning, I am aggravating to a flaw. I am always late, I am indecisive, I need space, I like to be alone, I am stubborn, I obsess over things, I blow up sometimes, I change my mind. But I have good qualities, too. Those who are patient - truly patient - let the flaws go and don't hold them over my head later. It happens, it's forgotten, and we move on. There is no drama, there is no fight, there is no argument.
Sure, I'd rather list "stunningly handsome" on my wish list, but "patience" is probably a better ingredient. So after I write Dr. Phil a letter and tell him about my groundbreaking new therapy, I am starting a list ... not a list of qualities I am looking for, but a list of qualities that someone looking for me should have.
The best news of all ... I have plenty of time to craft the perfect list. The way I see it, I have quite a while before I will be ready for any kind of a relationship.