Waiting on Love? Two Things You Probably Don’t Know (But Should)

on September 12, 2011 | in Relationships | by

love in the cards

Truth be told, I’m not an extremely patient person.

I want my nonfat, triple grande pumpkin spice latte— and I want it now. I’d rather get hit by a truck than wait in line at the stupid grocery store. And when it comes to wi-fi, don’t even get me started.

It turns out that I’m not too patient when it comes to love, either. “Just have patience,” people tell me. “The perfect person will come into your life at the perfect time.”

Sometimes I want to kick these people in the face.

The thing is that I can’t, though, because they’re absolutely right.

Today, let’s get a few things straight: (1) When the time is right, your person will come into your life (please don’t kick me in the face, K thanks?), and (2) When your person does come into your life, (s)he will not save you, complete you, nor make you whole.

1. WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, YOUR PERSON WILL COME INTO YOUR LIFE

An aunt of mine just got engaged for the first time at the age of sixty, and I couldn’t be happier for her.

Yes, sixty.

For all of those years that she’d been on her own, George was out there for her all along.

In a way this makes me feel like a really big wuss, because I’m not even thirty yet and I’ve only been single for about… oh, three months now.

But even so, sometimes fear starts to take hold of me, as do the habits of seeking and reaching that I’ve held my entire life.

“What if all the good guys are already taken?” I begin to wonder (which I know isn’t true, because I’ve already met some wonderful guys). “What if by the time I meet my person, I’m too old to have kids? What if there’s something wrong with me?? What if I’m gonna be alone forever?!!!” I find myself in a fearful frenzy, ready to seek and to grasp and to search at all costs, and at the same time feeling sure that this person I’m seeking doesn’t actually exist.

But then perspective quickly washes over me and I realize how completely ridiculous these thoughts really are.

“Ye of little faith,” I suddenly find myself thinking (isn’t this a quote from the bible or something?), “why do you doubt?”

Something within me begins to chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all, and my fear and doubt are instantly shattered.

The next day I serendipitously run across a site called TMFS (To My Future Spouse), run by the wonderful and insightful Corey Copeland. It’s a place where people can post anonymous notes to their future spouses.

“To My Future Husband,” reads the note at the top of the page:

I will no longer search for you at the clubs, on the streets or at the mall. You are so one of a kind that [Life] will bring you to me when the time is right, whenever [She] so desires.

Something within me instantly relaxes, and in this moment I know that this is true. It’s not up to you or I when the time will be right– it could be in ten days, ten months, or ten years– but we can rest safely in the knowing that we’re always taken care of. We can learn to relax into the perfect mystery of it all.

Take a deep breath, my friend. Trust. Have faith. Your person will come when the time is right— no questions about it. You are OK. Everything is in perfect order.

2. WHEN YOUR PERSON DOES COME INTO YOUR LIFE, (S)HE WILL NOT SAVE YOU, COMPLETE YOU, NOR MAKE YOU WHOLE

When you begin having faith that your person will show up at the perfect time, something funny happens:

You realize that you’re OK on your own, after all.

In fact, you realize that you’re more than OK on your own, and that you don’t need anyone to complete you.

You begin living from your own true center instead of seeking some center that lies outside of you. You stop looking everywhere else for happiness and you start being happy right where you’re at.

Sure, you might still miss the companionship or the other things that come along with being part of a couple. But even so, you are overwhelmingly content to be right here, loneliness and all.

And if you’re like me, you realize that you aren’t quite ready for love yet, anyhow.

If I were to write a note to my future husband today, it’d go something like this:

To My Future Husband:

For years, I’ve searched for you in bars, in classrooms, and in Brad Pitt’s Malibu beach house (Brad? Are you in there??). I’ve hoped that you would swoop in and magically complete my life, and I’ve imagined that I couldn’t be happy until I found you.

But then I realized that this isn’t a fair thing to ask of you. Why should anyone hold the burden of making a half-person feel complete, of holding me up as if I couldn’t stand on my own? Why should a single person be wholly responsible for the happiness of another? That’s a big task for any person to take on, one that’s bound to result in a muddled entanglement rather than in a love that’s pure & free & real.

And so I’ve come to realize that I won’t truly be ready for you, or be able to give you what you deserve, until I’m able to gain a sense of completeness on my own.

For the first time, I’m ready to stop seeking completeness in being one-half of a whole. I’m ready to start being that person I’m meant to become, the one who’s whole and complete on my own and who you can’t help but love— that person who you deserve.

For the first time, I think I’m OK on my own— suckiness and all.

When our time comes, I’ll be ready. And when we do find each other, you won’t complete me or make whole a severed half. Instead, you’ll add a new and beautiful depth to the completeness I already have.

Love,

Therese

p.s. I hope you are hot.

As I wrote this post on Friday, I came across a blog post of Corey’s entitled “Being Single is Okay, OK?” His words mirrored my thoughts exactly:

“Being single for a season, so that we can be worked on and molded into something lovely and whole, is wise and responsible. Once we do meet the lucky individual who gets to marry us, wouldn’t we rather be that rounded, emotionally stable, fully evolved person they deserve?

I’m content in knowing that I can be fulfilled in God and in my own path without having to desperately cling to another beating heart.”

Finally, here’s the kicker:

…we can breathe easy in knowing that, while we may ache for the completion of another, being single is actually OK. Within those somewhat lonely nights full of painful growth, we are being made whole.

You won’t often hear me say this about anyone, but Corey said it better than I ever could have.

And so with that, my friends, I’ll bring this post to a close.

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[Image by Photo Javi]

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  • kels

    can’t wait to read your note to everyone at your future wedding, schwenk!! good post. :)

    • therese

      Thanks Kelster :)

  • http://www.diaryofagrownwoman.com AGW

    Right on point. I’m waiting for love to find me!

    • therese

      Love has already found you… you’d better believe it! ;- )

      p.s. I clicked on over to your blog, and I must say that I love this quote that you posted: “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”

      Love it, love it, love it!

      Thanks for dropping in.

  • http://ensojourney.com/ Alejandro Reyes

    Wonderful thoughts Therese!

    It is true the love of our lives in not meant to be the end and forever happiness. it will require our attention too. I always think about love as something like caring for a garden. It’s a lot of work but seeing it grow is simply awesome.

    There is no rush to find it either. Love comes when it must and you need it the most. So you will value it as a treasure.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • therese

      All very true, Alejandro. Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts.

  • Pingback: Are You in Control or Being Controlled? | Becoming A Game Changer

  • http://analyfe.com Erin McNaughton

    I absolutely love this post, and your entire blog! I’ve always been the “happy on my own” type and when I’ve dated it’s felt so contrived, which is awful. Relationships should be about complementing, not completing one another.

    • therese

      Thank you Erin! Ooh I like that phrase: “complementing, not completing…” yes, yes :)

  • http://jenniferbryant.me Jennifer Bryant

    I came across Cory’s stuff recently (TMFS and Mad to Love) and I absolutely love it. He’s got some great stuff out there.

    And yeah, I hate it when people tell me it will happen at the right time. Mostly because I know they are right!

    • therese

      Cory does have some great stuff. And yes, people are absolutely right… :/

      :-D

      • Jim

        Therese You are actually a very cool person; you seek to help other people and you see the value in being an individual. That is coolness personified…

  • http://twitter.com/wanderinglizzie Elizabeth Hudson

    Yeah, I’ve had that urge to kick people, too. But it is the truth (even if I don’t want to admit it). I hope the fellow I meet isn’t looking for completion . . . because I’m still quite the beautiful mess :)

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      :-) We are all quite the beautiful mess, and we’re OK that way… perfection is overrated.

  • Alice

    Therese, that is such a wonderful post you wrote. I think the waiting process is the spiritual growing process also :)

  • Ricenomynous

    Emotions are complicated. I definately can agree, and reading this does help me to be more relaxed. But oh well. We’ll see.

  • Taholahbeaches

    Now I do not feel so bad being alone even though my heart aches to love and be loved

  • Elsa09

    brilliant there’s hope for me yet…well said…xo

  • Shane

    I just got my heart broke. Dumped by a girl for another guy and they are in love. We were only together for a short time but I really thought she was the one. Watching her be in love isn’t fair. I feel like she doesn’t deserve to have it right now after what she did to me and the guy before me. She’s 31 and he’s 35. That’s when they found each other. I’m going on 36, And I got nothing. What sucks is I’m a very good looking man so I don’t know why it isn’t easier. If you saw me you would think I’d have the ladies lined up. No. It’s so unfair.

    • eve

      Shane…if you’re character is as good looking as you look, you will find the woman of your dreams in no time. Life always makes sense in hindsight…things didn’t work out with her because it just wasn’t meant to be, but the woman that will be with you forever will be worth so much more…it will be worth it. I promise!

      • Zaj

        Shane you’re not meant to be , even you are a good looking man It’s not the cover but the content… that is how the girl maybe found to that guy what you don’t have.. There’s a lot of girl better than her so move on :)

    • Star galang

      Dear Shane don’t be self pitty for dat
      Ur not the only one
      Mybe it’s ryt
      If it is URS dey can be URS no matter how pain and no matter how long
      Gud luck be a man my friend

  • Sparky 779j

    I think it is almost funny that we are so alike… I wonder why it is so difficult to find what we are looking for when we are all looking for the same things?!? We all feel the same fears, the same loneliness. We all want the same thing but none of us seem to find it…
    We must all be blinded by our own vanity and personal perspective. We get in our own way!!

  • realistic

    The chances of finding that person you’re really drawn to in an abiding way, attracted to, admiring of, and totally willing to be loyal to (assuming YOU have the personality and character to hold such feelings) are just that…CHANCES. The more selective you are…which is NOT a matter of choice, the lower the chances. If you have a LOT to offer such a mate, and they come along, then if the timing is right, it will be commensurately easier. If you have relatively less to offer, it will be commensurately harder. Or you may not find them. Or you might find them, and THEY may lack the ability to truly love, to have empathy. If they have character / personality problems like BPD, high narcissism, etc., though they may otherwise possess all you want and need in the right person, you won’t get that love back. You could be very fortunate, or unfortunate. If your standards are quite broad, it will be easy…there are about 7 billion people on the planet. People HATE to face the idea that there is chance…a lot of it, involved in finding the right mate at the right time. When we’re all younger, prettier and predominantly single, it’s easier, but few know enough to navigate love, if they even FEEL mature love. Later, they may have greater capacity, but the field narrows, as people accumulate kids, age, baggage, etc. It takes great resolve at times. Faith and hope are good things, but there’s no benevolent force guiding you to happiness…that’s a timeless fantasy like believing in Gods and spirits. Fantasies. Wishful thinking, which may carry you through life, but actually produces nothing. You go about, and find what you find. It’s not a matter of being “good” or being “worthy.” People don’t get what they deserve…life is not fair. It simply is. Face that and get with reality. It can be scary, but at least your eyes will be open. And this comes from a romantic who values love as one of the two or three highest prizes in life. Drop the nonsense, shun the Dr Phils and the Oprahs and the holy books and the preachers and the palm readers. They are full of crap. Seek, try, live. All the talk the charlatans spout is just a soporific to calm you in your time of need, and their source of power and income.

    • Amb

      Yes indeed! The field does narrow because the eyes should be wide open. Nobody is coming to save you. You are wonderful for taking the time to post this. Just wonderful!!

  • realistic

    In seeking a very special partner (assuming you’ve very specific standards, which is in no way bad, except it places higher demands on YOU), be aware that all the love in the world is unlikely to change a lover’s character…their personality. They may be truly lovable and really what you want and NEED in a partner in some ways, yet still hard-wired to be too narcissistic to really be there for and with you. People with Borderline Personality Disorder, strong Narcissism, for example, really CAN’T feel, hold, understand or return love. The BPD will have an incredibly complex, confused, even fascinating and alluring set of emotions that seem to suggest a deep heart, but they are hollow at the core, and it’s not very subject to change. Just because they cry and need love, just because they express passion, does not mean they truly feel empathy. They may WANT to, or act as if they do. But they are lifetime abandoners, users, cheats. They are consumed with fears of abandonment, and usually abandon those who love them, or make it necessary for their lovers to leave them, by which time they’ve usually set up a rebound. Or they get one pronto, and try to erase their previous lover…and go through this without end, even if some relationships last years. They have emotions and beliefs that change by the moment, and try as they might, cannot find the simple security and faith that comes naturally to most people. They can ruin your life for a long time if you commit to them. Though often complex and genuinely attractive in many ways, though sometimes highly intelligent and sophisticated, they are maladjusted two year olds in their hearts. Even age, while it may ,mellow their crazy acting out, does not bestow upon them the capacity to really have faith and love and empathy. They just settle down into a cold, often distant relationship, and remain unavailable in any permanent sense, for they never have the ability to hold love…it’s hard wired, and all their stories of abuse are often fabricated or at least overblown. Like sociopaths that lack the capacity for empathy, like narcissists who truly BELIEVE they are superior and entitled, the BPD truly lacks the basic capacity to love. If you fall in love with one, look at their history of broken relationships, they way they write out their exes, the way they found you while still in some way tied up with an ex, or even juggling several others. Consider it’s unlikely you’re the very special one that they will finally settle down with one. You won’t win the big prize…you are the current victim, and after you, be it in two weeks or ten years, the next victim will look at your corpse and imagine THEY are going to be the one who finally wins the true love of this complex, tortured but beautiful soul. BPDS are VERY adept at their wiles, and in fact, some are not trying to deceive…or actually WANTING to, but they justify a fundamental dishonesty and lack of loyalty when their disease pushes them to total despair and fear. It’s their survival, or so they feel, and they sacrifice ANY love to avoid their fear of abandonment…and abandon that love, in the delusion that the next perfect partner will make them happy. I know. BPDs are the people therapists most fear and loathe. This is because they are essentially untreatable, and wreck even the therapist. What they do to lovers, children and spouses is close to murder. They are unfortunate, but they are perpetrators none the less. Don’t walk…RUN. A sociopath is easier to leave; they have no real emotion. A narcissist is likewise easier to leave; they really think you’re less than them. A BPD has a very complex web of defenses and intense emotions, including passion…but if you keep your eyes open and add up their history, and their treatment of you, you can spot them.

    • Amb

      You just kept it so real, I can’t even deal with it right now! We must be twins or something! I could have written this verbatim. Bless you! People need to know the truth. Sociopaths are predators and they are out there, and if a person is so hungry for love … they will find the illusion 99 times out of 100. The sociopath is always looking for a victim. Well Aware!

    • Leia

      Omg i am sitting here in tears. You just described someone who i dated for 3.5 years to a Science. OMG OMG. He has an alluring charm and personality, seems SO LOVEABLE but at the core is really an unlovable person. During a conversation he can change his mind so easily. My heart has broken for almost a year after he left me. Not anymore…….. omg this is truly frightening. You really did describe him.

    • Ariadne

      Borderline Personality Disorder is a recognised psychiatric condition. Are you saying people with BPD are not deserving of finding someone to love? What about people with other mental health problems such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder? I think it’s very wrong to write this things like this online, it perpetuates stereotypes based on fear and ignorance. Everyone has some sort of issues, some more serious than others, but to write people off due to mental health problems is just plain discrimination. Everyone deserves love.

  • Zaj

    Wow very nice thought Therese…..

  • babar anggoro

    Beautiful mind

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    HOW MY RELATIONSHIP WAS SAVED BY DR BRAVE!!!

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  • Maria

    I’m here mostly because I just finished watching a teen romance movie and I’m lonely and in my feelings I just wanna cuddle and do cute things with a cute boy. I’m 17 and I’ve never had a boyfriend or my first kiss.I’ve never even been on a date with a boy. I’ve been very close to having a boyfriend, as in we “talked” like boyfriend and girlfriend, but it was never official and nothing really happened. I usually start to realize things about them I didn’t realize before, while in my “love trance”. You think the guy is perfect in every way. But they’re not who I’m searching for. So I immediately open up and move on. I guess I’m just extremely picky, and I’m impatient waiting for the perfect guy for me. I’m not saying he has to be a flawless person, because I myself am far from it. I’m just saying I want some as perfectly imperfect as me and we share the chemistry and bond I want. Also, can I just say how much I love/hate romance films? I wish every guy was as perfect as the fictional characters writers make them up to be!

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