Sunday, January 12, 2014

Similarities and Differences

I heard a woman today say that before meeting her third husband, she had reached a place of satisfaction with her life, and with herself, and she wasn't looking for a relationship. She had, however, decided that were a possibility to present itself, (himself) she was at the very least, open to the idea. In the spirit of that, she decided to sit down and make a list of what she required in a man. When she finished, her list contained 70 items.

I was awestruck. Several months before meeting Robert, while out walking one day, and talking to my Higher Power as I often do on solitary walks, I had said that if I was ever to get involved with a man again, I'd like him to have integrity, be capable of loving me, be someone I could love, and be a man I could trust and respect.

This woman and I were similar, in that we each felt that were we to get involved again, we needed some fundamental character traits to exist in a potential partner before we were willing to even consider becoming friends with him. My list was considerably shorter than hers, but that may have more to do with my having been in Al-Anon for many years, and having discovered that in order for me to be happy, I need to be more focused upon who I am and what I'm doing, and less upon what someone else is doing.

I have grown to like simplicity. This doesn't make my list right and hers wrong, it just makes them different. But I like to believe that there is more similarity between the two of us than there is difference. In our middle age, we each learned that we could be happy in ourselves, that we didn't need a partner to feel complete and satisfied. Neither of us was actively looking. That's also the case for Robert - he wasn't out looking for a partner.

So many times in my life, it has been when I've finally let go and accepted that I don't have something, and decided to be content and satisfied without it, that it will appear for the taking. I don't know how this works, I just know that it does. And pretending that I'm fine without it doesn't fool the universe in the slightest, I have to have truly turned it over, and let it go completely.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Some stay around for a while, some drop in and have only a few things to impart before moving on, and we may never see them again. This woman today felt like a teacher for me, and delighted me with her ability to impart her message with clarity and humour. Life is grand.


  1. I think that integrity, trust, ability to love and have empathy for others are essential in a relationship. Oh--and have a sense of humor!

  2. I did one of these lists after my second engagement went bust. I am now married to my best friend (I actually use that for my list. I want him to be one of my best friends first). Three years of dating and 3 years of marriage I couldn't be happier. I think most people never really sit down and think aobut what they really want and that's why so many relationships end up the way they do.

    I even though about making a list like that for close friends. I know it sounds bad but after years of feel drained, betrayed and drama I don't think that's a bad idea either.