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My response to the Weekly Writing Challenge

Dear Abby

Photo: goodletterwriting.com

Photo: goodletterwriting.com


I’m a 26 year-old single woman and I’m getting tired of waiting for ‘Mr Right’. Most of the guys who ask me out are just not my type and when I’ve got up the nerve to ask out someone I like, it usually turns out to be a disaster. I always imagined getting married before 30 and having a family while I was still young enough to run after them! Where have all the good men gone and what should I do to bag one?

“Getting Worried”, UK.

Dear Getting Worried

Don’t! Don’t get worried and don’t lose patience. Many people might advise you to relax – a single life isn’t so bad, but I’m afraid I’m old-fashioned. I believe in marriage and I believe that we are genetically programmed to live as a couple and procreate. I can therefore fully empathise with your predicament.

You say two things in your question which set alarm bells ringing for me. Firstly, never assume that there is someone, only one, who is out there somewhere waiting to be found by you or to find you. There is no such thing as a special someone for you in this vast world. Believing there is a Mr Right is a myth perpetuated by our preoccupation with the idea of ‘Romance’ with a capital R. There are millions of men out there who can live up to your expectations and prove to be a good love match, ideal father for your children, and life-long partner.

Secondly, I strongly believe that adhering to the belief that you have a ‘type’ or that someone is ‘not my type’ is a huge mistake. Trust Auntie Abby, I am speaking from experience. Let me give you an example. A good friend of mine was in your situation and refused to even consider dating my cousin who is not only gorgeous, but a body builder. ‘No way’, said my friend. ‘All those muscles are a total turn off. He’s just not my type.’ Fast forward two years when they meet at my father’s 70th birthday party and bingo! They share a love of Shakespeare. The guy my friend dismissed as a beefcake, a bone-headed fitness freak, now sits in bed with her, reading Shakespearian sonnets aloud while she breastfeeds their baby daughter.

Why is this relationship working despite the fact that she didn’t believe he was ‘her type’? I believe that a relationship will work if there is mutual agreement and shared values in the majority of four areas – emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual. My friend may not have been attracted to her husband in the physical sense to begin with, but on further exploration, she has discovered that they are emotionally attached (in love), have a spiritual connection (both believe in an afterlife although they come from different religious backgrounds), and intellectually, they have a similar level of intelligence and share cerebral activities such as literature, philosophy, and Sudoku (don’t laugh!)

I dare not attempt to mould the human capacity for love and the forming of successful relationships into a mathematical formula, but let me try to sum up my theory. We relate to others in the following four spheres:

EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, INTELLECTUAL

Instead of concentrating on just one of those aspects of a relationship (usually emotional) consider all four. Ask yourself – do I feel a connection and share values and beliefs with this man in all four areas?

4 out of 4 = A match made in heaven!
3 out of 4 = A relationship that should last and give much satisfaction.
2 out of 4 = A challenge – you will have your ups and downs.
1 out of 4 = An opportunity to buy him a gift and go your separate ways.

Remember, love is like a butterfly – sometimes when you are searching intently for the most perfect flower, the butterfly chooses one you have overlooked. And sometimes, when you try to catch that butterfly, she escapes and later, when you’re not looking, she comes and lands on your shoulder.

Good luck, Getting Worried. I hope my answer encourages other readers to add their comments in response to your question.

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