If I had taken to heart the many relationship books I read and followed their “rules,” I wouldn’t be married today. I’m sure you’ve read them, too, the books that tell you that if he hasn’t proposed by the end of the first year, dump him!
When I was single I was hungry for advice about relationships. I went to seminars and must have read over 100 “how to” books on love. Because I didn’t meet my husband until I was 46 my search went on for years. For all that time I felt like a leaf blowing in the wind at the mercy of the many opinions I was taking in.
I not only tried to find my way through books but I consulted my share of psychics and astrologers. Like most single women, I had the best intentions; I wanted to find out how to meet and marry the right man for me.
But as I got older and matured I realized that love and relationships were a lot more complicated. Much of the advice I tried to absorb conflicted with each other. There were tips on how to keep a man waiting so he would be hungry for you as well as guidance on how to encourage him along by being forward and available.
All this was crazy making and I began to doubt myself. I no longer felt confident enough to even know what do with a man. All this searching put me in a state of desperation; I felt terribly lonely and vulnerable.
Fortunately, when I entered my 40’s I realized that much of the advice I’d absorbed left no room for the complex variety of relationships I was having. I’d spent years filling my head with other people’s thoughts about how love should look. I listened to ideas of what was right and wrong, and most of them had nothing to do me.
Most importantly, all the advice discounted my ability to trust myself and follow what I knew to be true for me. I was so busy trying to follow what the experts had to say about finding love; I never took time to really listen to myself.
It was time to put the books aside and start to trust what my own experience had taught me.
So when I met my now husband when I was 46 I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t let anyone or anything tell me what was right for me. I decided to trust what I knew about this man and how he felt about me.
It took me five years to ask him for what I needed most: the commitment of marriage. I hadn’t brought up before because he’d made it clear that he’d been married once and he was not willing to do it again; end of story.
But now I went with my inner knowing. That trust gave me the courage to take a stand even if he didn’t agree. I knew we should be married. He bought me a ring two weeks later.
If I’d followed other’s people’s advice I would have kicked him to the curb at year 2, 3 or 4. Thank goodness I didn’t!
Reading books is fine, you can learn a lot, but they don’t have all your answers. Trust what you know about yourself and your situation. In the end only you know what’s right for you.