I keep receiving the same piece of dating advice. It comes in a few different forms.
- Are you ready yet?
- Maybe you’re just not ready.
- Don’t focus on finding the right one – focus on being the right one.
I appreciate the advice. I really do. But sometimes I wonder if my advisors really mean:
- You’re not ready.
- If you were better, you’d find someone.
- There’s something wrong with you.
The people giving me this advice are friends who love me. Because I know that’s true, I try to interpret their advice in the best light.
- You aren’t strong enough yet to withstand the rejection inherent in dating.
- You can’t control when the “Right One” will find you, but you can control yourself – spending time in ways that prepare yourself to be a great partner.
But honestly, even those interpretations sting a little.
For over twenty years, I read every self-help, marriage-saving book I could put my hands on. The ones recommended by friends and the ones I found meandering through Barnes & Nobles.
The recurring theme in all these books was, “You can’t change anyone but yourself. So quit trying to change your spouse. Change yourself and save your marriage!”
I admit that is a simplification. I agree that you can’t make anyone else change.
I took the message from these books to heart. Did my best to be a better wife. But none of it was enough to save my marriage. That knowledge haunts me, even three years later. Because whatever I did, it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough.
After more than twenty years, I’m single. Happily single, truthfully. I have a good life filled with love, children of my flesh and of my heart, family who are friends and friends who are family. A seemingly unending supply of Team A boys to date.
Just because he broke my heart doesn’t mean I’m broken. I am whole and happy. Funny and sweet. I walk through life with my mind and my heart open, ready to love the people God and life sends to me.
Is it wrong to wish that one of those people would be a man who would love me beyond measure? Someone to stand by me during life’s crises? Someone to wake up next to at 3:00 a.m.?
Am I ready? Do my friends see something in me I don’t? I wish there were a test to take to see if you’re “ready” or not. I’m an excellent test taker! I wish there were a course to take to get “ready”. I love courses!
When I am ready, will I stop feeling like a giant love failure? When I am ready, will I open up like a daisy in full bloom? My heart as wide open as the daisy’s petals?
Question: If you’ve found The One, did you have an epiphany of readiness before you met them?