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Single +1

Sarah Fowler

There are certain things that every woman looks for in a relationship. Some women need love and affection. Some women need comfort and financial stability. Some women just need you to leave the toilet seat down. We all want and need different things but it’s been my experience that for the majority of women, honesty is key. We all hope for a relationship with trust and understanding but you can’t have those if honesty isn’t the foundation. So I started thinking. If we expect 100% honesty from the person we’re with, shouldn’t we also be honest with ourselves? When it comes to dating, we all have certain expectations from a partner. But the older we get and the more time that passes without meeting someone who not only meets those expectations but exceeds them, the more we begin to adjust our standards. Suddenly that certain quality that we once deemed of the utmost importance in a future mate doesn’t seem so important anymore as the dating pool begins to dwindle. Are we simply changing our minds? Or are we lowering our standards and fooling ourselves into thinking that, no, we aren’t settling but instead we are genuinely happy with the man/woman that we wouldn’t even have considered five years ago? I can’t help but wonder, when it comes to relationships, are we lying to not only our partners about what we want and need, but lying to ourselves as well?

I have been seeing someone for the past month. It’s been good, really it has, but it’s no secret that I’ve been hesitant since the get go. Between the differences in our age and our bank balances, it just didn’t seem to click for me and I couldn’t let go of that hesitation. Where our age difference was concerned, it’s my general rule that if you were having sex before I was born then chances are you’re too old for me. And as far as the money goes…his being obscenely wealthy just made me feel icky. The whole thing was a little too Anna Nicole Smith for my tastes. He’s kind and thoughtful but with my growing reservations it was like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. I had a nagging feeling that this just wasn’t the relationship for me. I had to be honest with myself and although he seemed to be perfect, in the end he wasn’t perfect for me. It just wasn’t what I wanted.

I have a girlfriend who is the epitome of a Southern Bell. She is a sweet, kind hearted woman with a laugh that lights up a room and has the face of a porcelain doll that can take your breath away. Simply put: She’s stunning. She’s also 35 years old and single. Because when it comes to dating, she’s just not willing to settle. Ever since she was a little girl, she has been proclaiming that she will one day be a doctor’s wife. Some people (let’s be honest, most people) tend to balk at her outright honesty and to tell the truth, I initially did as well. But then you have a conversation with her and you can tell that she genuinely believes that that is her destiny. I don’t claim to understand it, but I admire her. She’s not a gold digger by any means, the woman has plenty of her own money and then some, she is just a woman who has made up her mind and is being honest with herself. While yes, she is still very much single, she has this inner peace about her that only comes from knowing who you are as a person. She isn’t willing to settle or adjust her standards, regardless of anyone’s opinion or how lonely her nights become. For that reason alone, I am proud to call her my friend and god help me, will be in the inevitably gawd awful bridesmaids dress she makes me wear when she marries the good doctor, whomever he may be.

I first heard of the idea of praying for your future spouse when I was in 7th grade. I had the most adorable elderly Sunday School teacher who was well into her 70’s and had been married nearly 50 years. She told us that we didn’t nee to pray to God to send us a husband, He would do that in His own time, but to pray for our future spouse and that he make godly decisions. In 7th grade, that sounded great for a week or so and then N Sync came out with a new single and all bets were off since I was clearly marrying Lance Bass. (Worked out really well for me, huh?) But then recently, I started once again praying for the man that I might marry. I have complete faith that God knows the interworkings of my heart and I pray that He prepares not only my heart, but my future husband’s heart as well. If I’m honest with myself about what I want, I have faith that then, and only then, will everything fall into place.

We draw from our past experiences and if history has taught me anything, it’s that no one benefits when we pretend to be something we’re not. I don’t want to have to pretend to think Jim Carrey is funny (I don’t get it, I swear I don’t) or have to hide the fact that I get downright giddy on the day my TIME magazine comes in the mail. I want someone who shares my similar interests, has the same hopes and dreams for our future as I do. I want a man who doesn’t mind that I sing loudly and mostly off key whenever a Journey song comes on the radio. I want a man who is honest with me about the fact that he’s still paying off his student loans and has a vintage Ninja Turtle collection. I don’t care if you have hair plugs and can recite Planet of the Apes line for line ss long as you’re honest with me about what you want from me and what you expect out of a relationship. And if I promise to do the same, then we’ll be on the way to a solid meaningful relationship with an amazing foundation. For me, honesty in a relationship with a man and more importantly, honesty in a relationship with myself, is what I want and need. And of course, it helps if he leaves the toilet seat down.

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5 comments

  1. Living in the 21st Century

    Sarah,, I love reading your articles,,, and I have read the NASTY comments some people leave here. Wow….Columbus finest!! I can imagine them,, sports clothes on, baseball cap, kids dropped off at day care, and home they go for their first glass of wine,,,and on to the computer to read your story,, they wish they had your life,, yep ,, they are married,, to a pilot or doctor,,,have 2 kids,,, and are freaking unhappy!!!!!
    Sarah,,, keep it up, heck i say write a book,, you are good at this!!!

    • llp

      you are an amazing woman,and men just cant take that.The y never know what that want ens them want it at all ,because they can’t haveit ,i guess what you can have everything you dream.
      Go girl..

  2. Single -3.

    Honesty between couples is critical, I think. Men lie the most, but women are the biggest liars. Then you have the “perception” aspect. One of you perceives things one way, while the other perceives things another way; and, the truth is in there somewhere around the middle. The secret is if you can believe the ‘best’ in your mate. Because if you love someone, you will believe the best in them, no matter what the cost. You will stand your ground defending them because you believe that best… because in the end only three things will remain, faith, hope, and love. And, the greatest of those is love. Then you have the aspect of your “reaction” to the truth. For example, If you blow a gasket when your man tells you he is late coming home from work because he stopped by the neighborhood watering hole on the way home; then, chances are he won’t tell you that anymore. So, for the long term,, learn to accept the truth in a positive manner. I guess what I mean is,,, if you punish your mate, when they tell the truth, you will decrease the liklihood the truth on that subject will continue. The basic facts of behavior modeling apply to truth telling too…. Reward desirable behavior; Ignore or punish undesirable behavior. I know this is a tough concept but it’s true. It’s possible to turn the most honest mate into a pathological liar if they consistently punish them when they tell the truth. I said this so you will consider the impact you might have on other people….If a person wants your admiration, and you bitch about something people do, that person won’t admit to what you were bitching about. You seem to be a intelligent lady with a lot of love to give,, much too young for me, unfortunately, because I was probably having sex before you were born,,, or was I,,, but I believe there are plenty of men out there who would be proud to be yours…the trick is for every aspect of that relationship to be a 2-way street.

  3. C

    I think I might get what you are saying, but you ramble and babble alot in this column. Maybe don’t submit the rough draft. Honesty with yourself is very important and honesty with those around you and those who care about you. And even those who don’t. While your sentences are run on after run on and your thoughts are all over the place, I’m not the grammar police. The crux of the column is what’s important. Good luck. 😀

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