When Jenny was trying to describe who she was to a matchmaker she mentioned that she wants to be with someone who will, “Take me as I am.” In other words, what she was trying to say is that she didn’t believe she should need to make any effort to look especially presentable, or consider what came out of her mouth. She wanted to be able to present herself as she is without the added effort.
We all know dating isn’t fun for everyone. For some getting dressed up to meet someone new is fun. For others it is a tedious effort, requiring more time than it is worth. Both types of people are making an effort. Dating just feels effortless to the one who enjoys dating and meeting new people.
Anything we want to achieve in life takes effort. When we search for a job and go on interviews, we put on a happy face and look professional. If we want to run a full marathon we need to train so that we can achieve our goal. If we want to be healthy, we need to be disciplined in our eating habits. If we want to buy a car, or a property, we need to save and have a plan. Creating a successful relationship leading to marriage is no different, as it too requires discipline and a solid game plan.
Some might say that preparing for a marathon is easier because at least there is a known end point, finishing the marathon. What many don’t realize is that with any goal, there are many sub-goals along the way. No one just wakes up one morning wanting to run a marathon. People who run a whole marathon successfully plan goals and targets along the way towards running all 26 miles. Their body needs to acclimate and adjust to the rigor of running further. It is not only about the running, it is also about the mental ability to drive your body that hard.
When it comes to dating, the sub-goals include learning about your needs through amassing different life experiences along the way. Exploring your parent’s relationship and processing what you picked up from them about being in a relationship. It involves piecing together all the bits that make you who you are so that the expectations for making a relationship work fall on you and not the person you randomly end up with.
The concept of being “taken as you are” implies that you are a finished product and that there is no more work to be done. Thinking this way can be dangerous as all marriages require effort in order to succeed. If you go into the dating world thinking that someone just has to cope with you as you are and that the onus lies on them to figure you out, you may find yourself on the lonely road heading nowhere.
It is challenging to think that we have flaws (some of us have tempers, some of us are untidy, some of us struggle with time keeping, etc.). However, by acknowledging your flaws and working on them to the best of your ability, you may find that you are in a better position to meet the right someone sooner than you think.
Micki Lavin-Pell is a Marriage Therapist and Relationship Coach. She may be reached via her website: http://www.mickilavinpell.co.il.