Lately I’ve been obsessed with the TLC series, Say yes to the dress. Filmed in the famous Kleinfeld bridal salon in New York, it chronicles brides in search of their perfect wedding dress. For as many wedding dresses as there are brides, the stories, drama, tears, and “Yes’s” are endless. They typically walk in to the appointment with a laundry list of the things they want their dress to be and things they don’t want. Dealbreakers… mmmm… just like dating. But unlike real dating, the bridal consultant is there listen to the bride and help filter the “list” and translate it into a dress that brings everyone to tears. But in some cases they open the bride up to something completely different. Often they will bring in the unexpected dress choice, and ask them to keep an open mind. As with real life, the choice that ended up outside the box was exactly what they never thought they wanted. Some of the brides have already found their perfect dress in another salon and for whatever reason keep looking. This makes Randy, one of the stand out stars of the show, see red! “Stop looking!”, he yells into the cameras, “If you say yes to the man, you don’t keep dating, right?” Good point, Randy! Why keep looking? Let’s talk about that.
I knew a girl; we’ll call her Ann, who met a guy online who, by all accounts, was smitten with her. They were inseparable from their first date. He was full of drama, passion, and dreams. He mirrored her perfectly! Ann thought he was “the one” almost immediately. He had even hinted that his search was over…but was it? In a moment of uncertainty, she checked to see if he’d truly taken himself off the market. His recent activity on the dating site where they’d met, and updated photos of a happier and glowing man told her the truth. She’d been true to the process, opened herself up emotionaly and stopped looking completely. She asked the tough questions and ultimately walked away. The trust had been forever tainted and she could no longer see him as a long term partner. Has this ever happened to you or anyone you know?
What drives those poor souls in their exhaustive and ultimately disasterous search for perfection? It might be an unwillingness to keep an open mind, to live in the moment, and be happy with what’s right in front of them. They are likely the type who’s constantly looking around the room for the hottest person and wait for their date to slip away to the bathroom so they can make their move. We all want the best, we’ve been trained from birth to expect and take nothing less than everything we deserve. But sometimes that expectation gets so inflated, along with our egos, that we lock people out, break hearts of innocent victims, experience less, and have more forgettable moments. What a shame…don’t you think?
A friend of mine is looking for her perfect fit in a husband. The date, venue, and all the details have all been decided – by her. The groom is still a silhouette in the dreamy sunset wedding portraits, but he does exist. Right? It’s all a little too surreal for most of her friends to get their arms around. It’s a dream, but it’s her dream. Although I don’t always agree with her methods of finding this perfect man, I admire her moxy. Never has anyone been so doggedly determined to connect the dots and create her perfect man from a checklist of dating and relationships do’s, don’ts, and disasters. But she’s the ultimate optimist, and who am I to squash this beautiful dreamers search for her happy ever after? I’m sure I am not alone though in my concern that the man may indeed exist, but as her list grows, his chances all but disappear into the sunset.
I believe you can have it all if you open your heart and mind to the fact that nothing is just like the movies. No one is there to write the script for that happy, perfect ending. And who are we to say they lived happily ever after anyway? When the Director says “That’s a wrap!”, the actors go home to their real lives and leave the script in their dressing rooms. Maybe their happy ever after was waiting for them at their real home, or maybe it was just old chinese take-out, a cold Miller Lite, and a dog named Sam.
Are you willing to slow down your search long enough to find and commit to what might likely be a very satisfying relationship? By doing so, you will likely be enjoying the memories you will make together beginning with the dreamy sunset wedding and saying “I do” to the man who although isn’t perfect, is certainly perfect for you. BUT if you aren’t ever TRULY satisfied with anything and you get the itch to keep looking for something better, then it’s possible you might just have to keep that photograph in your head instead of your wedding album.
I recently accepted a position for a job I thought I didn’t want. They gently pursued me and convinced me to come aboard. As soon as I faxed over my signed offer letter, I quit looking. Did the job offers keep coming in? Yes, and I replied politely to each that I had found the job of my dreams. Never burn bridges, but don’t leave that door hanging open either. That’s another article entirely!
Finding a perfect fit means looking inside yourself to see what’s truly keeping you single. Looking ahead in the relationship is fine, looking outside the relationship isn’t. If you feel the need to keep looking for perfection, stop and tell the person involved in your indecision, and then look inside your heart to figure out why you are never satisfied. Keep everyone out until you do. When you find your fit, stop looking, analyzing, and looking for trouble that isn’t there. Be grateful that you’ve gotten the love you truly deserve. Period.