MIZ MATCH: Looking to the Past
To Find Our Future Love
BY SUSAN DUTCH
It has been said that the best way to predict future behavior is to look to the past. Therefore, in honor of Women’s History Month, it seems fitting that we examine our “love history” to determine how our past encounters with love have helped us find it.
For many of us, our father’s love was our first love. For others, it was their first disappointment. Either way we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge how that relationship has affected our pursuit of love — good or bad.
Next, came those crazy schoolgirl crushes. My first (of far too many) was on a boy in my kindergarten class who had rosy cheeks and a full, yet much defined upper lip (aptly named the Cupid ’s bow).
I somehow had the notion that you must look like the person you married, therefore I spent hours in front of the mirror pinching my cheeks until they were flaming red, and squeezing my top lip together to try to reshape it like his. Once I thought I had nailed the look, I got up my nerve to tell him that I liked him. Completely grossed out, he pushed me off the monkey bars and ran away.
That experience taught me just about everything I needed to know about love by the ripe old age of 5: Rejection is quite painful. Love can terrify to some men. Time (and a good cry) heals all. And most importantly: Never, ever change your appearance (or who you are) for anyone else but you.
As I continued on my journey to find love, I realize now that I let some good ones go along the way, sometimes for silly reasons (Can a guy actually be “too nice”?) and suffered through a lot of heartbreak and betrayal from those not-so-good-ones I thought were right for me.
(Note To Self: Never go into a relationship thinking you will change the other person).
But I have no regrets — because without risk, you learn nothing about who you really are and what you want or need to be fulfilled and happy in your life. I like to compare the pursuit of love to trying on a million outfits before figuring out which one we’ll wear that day, which happens a lot in my house.
Just like our quest for the perfect outfit, in our perfect someone, we’re searching for what fits us best, and makes us feel good about ourselves. In certain situations, we might push a tad outside of our comfort zone (who wants to ‘settle’ for boring?) but we try to avoid mishaps and malfunctions or those bright red flags. The outfit/potential love must accentuate our positive features and not cause us to obsess about our flaws. And more than anything, a really great outfit (and partner) will stick with us through thick and thin.
What’s a little crazy is that sometimes we end up going back to the first outfit we tried on. We trust our instincts, or our gut, which in the case of the outfit, is reduced by our favorite shape wear and other times we choose a combination of them all. The worst part of the process though, is hanging up all those rejects from your closet and people from your past. Next, you get into the mindset of not allowing yourself to look back, wondering “what if?” Chances are that until you finally find the relationship that fits you perfectly, you won’t truly understand why all the others who came before him didn’t work out.
What are the top 5 attributes you look for in your ideal mate? Go to www.mizmatch.com and join the conversation!
Susan Dutch is a freelance writer from Syracuse who blogs about love, dating, marriage and relationships at www.mizmatch.wordpress.com. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @mizmatchblog.