The “he’s-just-around-the-corner” problem

In Encouragement, Love and Romance, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on May 30, 2013 at 5:27 am

It’s kind of like the Konigsberg Bridge problem. Tons of people undertake to explain it, and most of them fail. Yesterday, I talked about the need for women (and men) to more honestly discuss our feelings surrounding relationships, dating, marriage, and being single.

I recognize that much of what I am about to say is aimed at heterosexual women. This is not because I think that men and homosexual persons necessarily experience relationship issues differently. Perhaps because I am a heterosexual woman, it seems like a host of tweeters, Facebook pages, magazine columns, and books are also aimed at heterosexual women. The targeting is not coincidental. I think it has a lot to do with marketing, disposable income, and other graphable/chartable group characteristics of women.

At any rate…

I see numerous posts basically telling the reader to be patient; the man of your dreams is just around the corner; you just have to wait; you just have to be happy with who you are right now; he’s a-coming. LE SIGH. I used to think like that, and I busily threw myself into being happy with who I was at the time. I busily threw myself into waiting.

Then, I realized. Life was trickling through my fingers like juice from uneaten, overripe strawberries–and I wasn’t enjoying the proverbial strawberries.

One day, I finally had the guts to tell myself: this dude may NOT be around the corner. Then, I started saying it out loud. To other people–and I got a spectrum of reactions from agreement to anger. But, I felt a little free-er 🙂 I decided to do some of that stuff I was waiting to do. Instead of trying to be happy with who I was in pause mode waiting for someone, I decided to put myself into motion. I realized that if the man of my dreams (side note: what does that phrase mean anyway?) NEVER showed, my life could and would and should and must go on.

So, I laughed. I cried. I spent less time doing things I didn’t like. I spent more time with people who I did like. I had crushes. I had dates. I took care of my mental health. I cut my hair. I grew my hair. I quit teaching. I started law school.

The problem with saying someone is just around the corner is that the phrase encourages you to wait in some fashion. Your happiness with you HAS NOTHING TO DO with someone around the bend. Patience is useful beyond waiting for someone who may or may not be there. You know that piece of lingerie you’ve been waiting to buy? You know that movie you haven’t watched yet? You know that trip you’ve not taken? Go ahead. Relish. Enjoy. Life is happening right now, and you can be happy with who you are, who you were, and who you will be!

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