The Men We Want to Marry

Gloria Steinem once observed, “Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” This is something I’ve discovered and embraced recently. Beyond the idea of feminism and the independent woman, this can go a long way toward ensuring your happiness as an individual. I noticed that when a relationship ended I often missed not only the person but the things that they brought to the relationship that I lacked in both characteristics and interests as well. I realized that these things didn’t have to walk out the door with the person who embodied them. It seems so simple, but I’ve been so blinded by emotions with the ending of each relationship (I’m particularly weak in this regard) that I couldn’t come to this obvious realization.

I began to review my past relationships and took note of the things I loved most about the person I was with and it helped to define who I wanted to be and the things I accomplished. It sounds a little bit like I let the men in my past define me, but that isn’t exactly my point. It has always been easier for me to see the things I love about other people rather than my own positive attributes. This isn’t meant to be self deprecating, I just tend to see the best in the people I date (good for them, not always good for me). I embraced these things and found new interests and new goals for my life.

My ex-fiance was an excellent cook, driven and knowledgeable about nutrition and health. Since we’ve split I’ve began cooking more for myself, getting involved in things that I know will help further my career and gotten into a regular fitness routine. Recently I ended a relationship with someone who was very adventurous, musical and had this amazing come-what-may attitude about life. As a result, I’m in the process of learning how to take more risks in my life and I’ve started playing piano again (hopefully I can make it stick this time). The biggest challenge is going to be relaxing my outlook. Anyone who knows me, knows I am pretty tightly wound but seeing this characteristic in someone else who I cared about will help me to make it my own.

My point is that we don’t have to rely on a significant other to complement our lives with attributes we wish we had. We simply have to recognize what we love about potential mates and integrate these things into our lives as individuals.