Matching your dates to the “List”
Posted by Rossana | September 09, 2018 | Blog
What do you want in a mate? We are baited into making a list of all the things that we think will bring us the perfect mate. We put together the list of the fantasy partner and believe that if all these criteria are met, off we go into the sunset with Mr. or Ms. Perfect.
George, a 45-year-old man, is my desperately seeking love client, who knows all about the seduction of the list. He came to get support recovering from heartbreak number four post- divorce. He decided the best way to get over his last love was to get a new, more perfect version. He was the classic case of looking for love in all the wrong places - a list.
“I can’t believe it. I thought I had the right one this time. I’m not like those other people; I’m super clear about what I want. My list is specific! I know what her teeth should look like, down to straightness and color! I’m not playing around here! I wrote it down. Everything, including the quality of her fingernails, her toes, height, weight – it’s specific. I’m working on the law of attraction here, so I’m giving the Universe details.”
I asked him, “So how is your list working?” “Well I thought it did this time. This woman I was dating matched it perfectly. We had so much in common and my daughter loved her! It was great. I met her kids, she met mine, everyone connected. It was everything that I wanted. My list finally worked. I was so happy.”
“Sooooo, if everything was so wonderful, what happened?” I said. “That’s it. I don’t know?” he answers totally perplexed and hurt. “All of a sudden I get a text one day that said ‘I never want to see you again’ and she disappeared.” He is hurt, torn up and completely confused. At this point the muscles in his jaw are set so tight, I’m concerned about his dental bill from TMJ injury.
I proceed, “No warning huh?” He looks at me hard. “I was at her house one weekend, taking the garbage out and as I opened her recycling bin I saw tons of empty alcohol bottles: Vodka, Whiskey, Tequila. I thought it was odd and my gut told me something was off, but then I told myself that I was being judgmental, it was her business and I talked myself out of it. It bugged me, but then I pushed it away.”
When our attention is outside of ourselves and focused on the other, who happens to match the list, it’s easy to become seduced by the absolute want for the things on the list. The Don’t Want of losing ‘Ms. Perfect drove George’s Freeze reaction. He moved away from himself by hiding what his instincts were telling him. He wanted this perfect person to work so much, he didn’t attend to himself, rather he focused on her. He moved away from the truth and froze.
“You know what, I was blinded by my list. My list and how well she fit it was more important than what I was actually seeing. I was blinded by my Want for my fantasy. This was the rug I swept all my crap under. Everything that would come up as a ‘don’t want’, I ignored, I put it away; she was so damn perfect.”
A few months later, George came to see me again, grinning and glowing. He had found another Miss Perfect. I asked him how it was going. “Great! I figured it out. I needed to be more specific. Instead of putting only what I want on the list, I put my don’t wants too. Now my list is perfect and I can be really clear.” Insert cartoon picture of me smacking my forehead!
The problem wasn’t the list, but rather how the list was disconnecting him from himself. He couldn’t see that his list was taking him away from himself and driving him outward and away from the truth. His solution? Make a more specific list. He’s repeating a pattern. The pattern that says look outside of yourself. Pay attention to “them” and how well “they” match the list, that’ll bring you happiness.
Here’s what happiness researchers and people who know about this stuff say; when we focus and depend on others to bring us happiness, we’re the least happy in our lives and in our relationships. When we can shift our attention inward to see, then we can get truly clear about what we want. There is only one path to relationship success. That path begins with looking inward at ourselves. When we don’t, we’re blind, we’re confused, looking outward, with a list.
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