Sorry Beatles, You Got It Wrong

A fellow blogger, someone I connected with from my my time working as a dating columnist in Connecticut, left an interesting comment on my last post.

Ok to play devils advocate here for a moment, Maureen. I wouldn’t say “B.” If he wasn’t interested clearly he
A) wouldn’t have approached you.
B) He wouldn’t have asked for your number.

Maybe after asking for your number he didn’t want to come on to strong and maybe he thought texting would show interest but not overbearing interest.

Ok don’t kill the messenger, Maureen. LoL! Just showing there maybe other possibilities. If it were I, I would most assuredly pick up the phone and call. But other people have different approaches. Don’t write someone off because they don’t play the game like you expect. Sometimes those people that color outside the lines are the ones you really want to meet.

Like I said, don’t kill the messenger.

Chris

*Editor’s Note: Chris knows me as “Maureen” because I was kinda sorta going through an EPIC IDENTITY CRISIS after EPIC HEARTBREAK. There are 5 people in the world who still call me Maureen, to everyone else, I’m back to being Erin. Crisis over. Epic Confusion Remains.

Chris really made me think, and I decided to write this post in reply. I appreciate him leaving his two cents on my blog. Since his blog is called “Wisdom and Life” I do expect a certain amount of Wisdom from the man and take his words under careful consideration.

…other people have different approaches. Don’t write someone off because they don’t play the game like you expect. Sometimes those people that color outside the lines are the ones you really want to meet.

Good advice.  In so many ways I want to wholeheartedly agree.

Yet, I humbly disagree, in a manner as unromantic as possible.

Here’s why: Dating really is the process of “writing people off.” Sure, I believe in giving love a chance and I think Chris’ advice is spot on for people looking for love. Unfortunately, I’m not just looking for love. There are many more other important factors in a successful relationship. Love is just a small piece of the relationship pie.

I told you things were going to get unromantic.

When I was younger, I gave everyone a chance. I never wrote guys off until it was much too late. It was the best way I could think of to expose myself to all the different players in this game of love. I learned a lot. I made some mistakes, but, in the end, I think I did it right. The whole “Live and learn” thing.

Chris’ advice was right for me at that time in my life.  My dating experiences, although limited in number, were rich in opportunities for growth, reflection, self-loathing, heartache and recovery. I also found love, a couple of times. I absolutely, undeniably found epic love.

Here’s what I didn’t find: epic compatibility.

And that’s the unromantic truth of it all, my lovers! That’s why The Beatles were wrong! LOVE IS NOT ALL YOU NEED!

*Somewhere a little piece of 23 year old me just died*

Love is great. It is at the root of all things wonderful and beautiful in our short lives and I would most certainly consider true love a necessity. Still, I can not deny the importance of true compatibility.

First comes love, then comes marriage, right? Well, in theory, anyway…

Here’s the kicker with marriage though, for it to be a real “until death do we part” kinda deal, you have to have a lot more than love.

I’m not going to pretend like I know some all-inclusive recipe for a good marriage, maybe some of my happily ever after married readers will weigh in on that one. But, I’m looking for a few essential character traits to compile my big Gumbo of Marital Bliss:

Start with a rue:
Love, Respect and Honesty

Simmer With:
Friendship
Patience
Communication
Problem-Solving Skills
A Strong Work Ethic
Fiscal Responsibility
A Sense of Adventure.

Mix in a heavy dose of:
A Strong Faith
Complimentary Goals.

I’m going to focus on that last ingredient, complimentary goals, because it is so important and so easily overlooked when two people are under the influence of heavy doses of love.

Without complimentary goals, love is not enough to hold two people together. If she wants to have babies and he doesn’t, love isn’t enough. If she wants to live in the city and he is only comfortable in the country, love isn’t enough. If he is saving every spare penny for retirement and she only lives in the moment, love isn’t enough. If he has an unquenchable passion for traveling and she is a homebody, if he wants to put down roots and she is a wanderer, they will have problems that not all the love in the world can fix.

Compromise is for the small things. Compromise is for cooking and cleaning, compromise is for where to vacation and how often to entertain visits from in-laws. Compromise is for takeout and choosing the right scent for air fresheners. Compromise is not for career goals, faith and spirituality, values, dreams or babies!

This is why I’m not giving those texters a fair shake: I want to have babies (eventually) and I don’t want to make babies (and subsequently raise babies) with men who don’t know how to talk to me. It all comes down to babies. Seems like it always does.

Suddenly, rejection isn’t such a bad thing. While rejection in any form still stings, as I expect it always will, dating is all about finding the right person for you, not falling in love with someone and both working to be the right person for each other.

I say, go ahead and write off the non-compatibles. Otherwise, you’re making love too damn hard.

True Story: Elephants made me believe in love again. Picture taken from my visit to Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
This entry was posted in Love Advice, Not Falling In Love, SWF Seeking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Sorry Beatles, You Got It Wrong

  1. brando says:

    i think i’m going to go back to calling you “erin maureen” — so much easier. from my perspective (newly married, been with that special lady for awhile) you have a good list for determining compatibility, happiness, everything. what really popped out at me was your ingredient list — and it popped out, because from my point of view it could be flipped upside-down. if you start from the bottom and work your way through the list as a relationship progresses, all these ingredients build from one to the next. maybe not in that exact (reverse) order, but pretty close. unless it’s “love at first sight,” things from the bottom>up on the list might make two people fall in love. the communication, patience, respect and honesty are the final ingredients — those are the things that keep the love going strong.

  2. Erin Moser says:

    I like this post (and enjoy all your writing). Although I have to disagree with the idea that love can’t fix differences such as spender vs. saver, babies vs. no babies, homebody vs. traveler etc. Compatibility is the best place to start, particularly when it comes to values, faith and that dream you won’t give up on for anything, but no two people can be perfectly compatible (even before time goes on and they each change). Those differences will come up between any two people and that’s where love (not to be confused with infatuation) steps in. Will he travel with her not because he wants to travel but because he wants to make the woman he loves happy? Yes. Will she learn to save money not because she no longer finds thrill in living in the moment but because she loves him and wants to make him happy? Yep. Now it may depend on the definition of love being used, but love is the glue that holds them together through inevitable differences. That plus a heavy dose of forgiveness.

  3. cwilson10310 says:

    Biatch, I been sayin that for years. Love has precious little towards a relationship. Its all about finding someone who’s crap you can tolerate for the rest of your life, and who can put up with the crap you give out. Side note, glad you’re going by Erin again. Identity crisis averted. Also really glad you’re blogging again! Love and miss you,
    C &S

  4. Anonymous says:

    I will here completely agree with you, m’dear. It took me a two major heartbreaks and at least three other incidents of falling in love (you’d think i’d be less clumsy! 😉 to realize exactly what you are saying here. Lucky for me, those heartbreaks came early and I could live my life knowing one of the most important truths for me – in this life you can love many, many people. It can be romantic love or sisterly love, but the heart is capable of falling all the time. Importantly, just because you love someone doesn’t mean you should or have to be with them. There are two important conclusions I draw from this: (1) Many infidelities or breaks come from people who fall in love with a new person and believe it must be time to move on. I would say not so on this. If one accepts the possibility that you can romantically love someone but might not have to be with them, it allows the possibility of considering many more rational avenues for you and everyone in your life. (2) this can totally hurt others. In my search for that man (and, truly, I thank my lucky stars every night that I found him, that he married me, and that I get to spend my life with him. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, no matter how cheesy that sounds) I probably hurt a lot of guys that I liked or loved that just weren’t right for me. Sometimes, it took one date to figure it out. In the most extreme case it took nearly four (not-so-good-but-we-love-each-other-so-we-must-work-it-out!) years. In the end, it came down to this – how it felt to be with him and that our lives were in sync, our views were in sync, and our futures were in sync. He didn’t even propose, we just looked at each other and said we have the next five years worked out, i guess that’s it! And this is the important caveat I’d make – I had no list. Sure, babies – I was pretty sure (as one sleeps on me now :). But that’s how I am so amazed at my luck, he’s everything I never knew I always wanted. I know why it never worked out so well with anyone else – they weren’t HIM. And i didn’t even know it. So my advice is to stay more open. Sure, there are some non-negotiables, but you never know how you’ll change in the future, either, then say “Damn it, I let Dean get away because I wanted to live in the suburbs and he was city all the way!” you know what? Four years ago I couldn’t wait to own a house, now I want to live in New York City (once a close second to Hell on my lists of places not to move) before I die and couldn’t imagine not living in walking distance to everything I need in my high rise apartment. So, have a SHORT list (serial- cheaters, murderers, and wife-beaters need not apply, must love my dog/cat! [my list]) but be VERY open-minded. I married a short, undramatic man of another religion who loves my cats as much as I do and who is perfect for me in every way. Even his faults are perfect (he’s too damn nice and spends too much time with me for his own good). Had I had a more complete list, I would have dismissed him several times over, and different mes at different ages would have also. Open mind, open, heart, but looking for compatibility – whatever that is or may be. You may just want someone who challenges you to be a better person, and that might mean changing some of what you thought were parts of your preferences you thought were very important. Or he might be worth giving up something you wanted and you realize THAT is what you wanted all along, if only you had known. Sure, I stole it from Fools Rush In, but find that person who is “Everything you never knew you always wanted.” So when you and he inevitably change, you can change together.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I will here completely agree with you, m’dear, and the other commentators. It took me a two major heartbreaks and at least three other incidents of falling in love (you’d think i’d be less clumsy! 😉 to realize exactly what you are saying here. Lucky for me, those heartbreaks came early and I could live my life knowing one of the most important truths for me – in this life you can love many, many people. It can be romantic love or sisterly love, but the heart is capable of falling all the time. Importantly, just because you love someone doesn’t mean you should or have to be with them. There are two important conclusions I draw from this: (1) Many infidelities or breaks come from people who fall in love with a new person and believe it must be time to move on. I would say not so on this. If one accepts the possibility that you can romantically love someone but might not have to be with them, it allows the possibility of considering many more rational avenues for you and everyone in your life. (2) this can totally hurt others. In my search for that man (and, truly, I thank my lucky stars every night that I found him, that he married me, and that I get to spend my life with him. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, no matter how cheesy that sounds) I probably hurt a lot of guys that I liked or loved that just weren’t right for me. Sometimes, it took one date to figure it out. In the most extreme case it took nearly four (not-so-good-but-we-love-each-other-so-we-must-work-it-out!) years. In the end, it came down to this – how it felt to be with him and that our lives were in sync, our views were in sync, and our futures were in sync. He didn’t even propose, we just looked at each other and said we have the next five years worked out, i guess that’s it! And this is the important caveat I’d make – I had no list. Sure, babies – I was pretty sure (as one sleeps on me now :). But that’s how I am so amazed at my luck, he’s everything I never knew I always wanted. I know why it never worked out so well with anyone else – they weren’t HIM. And i didn’t even know it. So my advice is to stay more open. Sure, there are some non-negotiables, but you never know how you’ll change in the future, either, then say “Damn it, I let Dean get away because I wanted to live in the suburbs and he was city all the way!” you know what? Four years ago I couldn’t wait to own a house, now I want to live in New York City (once a close second to Hell on my lists of places not to move) before I die and couldn’t imagine not living in walking distance to everything I need in my high rise apartment. So, have a SHORT list (serial- cheaters, murderers, and wife-beaters need not apply, must love my dog/cat! [my list]) but be VERY open-minded. I married a short, undramatic man of another religion who loves my cats as much as I do and who is perfect for me in every way. Even his faults are perfect (he’s too damn nice and spends too much time with me for his own good). Had I had a more complete list, I would have dismissed him several times over, and different mes at different ages would have also. Open mind, open, heart, but looking for compatibility – whatever that is or may be. You may just want someone who challenges you to be a better person, and that might mean changing some of what you thought were parts of your preferences you thought were very important. Or he might be worth giving up something you wanted and you realize THAT is what you wanted all along, if only you had known. Sure, I stole it from Fools Rush In, but find that person who is “Everything you never knew you always wanted.” So when you and he inevitably change, you can change together.

  6. ermodi says:

    Wow, thanks all for commenting! I’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback on this post and had some very interesting insights from friends.

    As an editor’s note, I wanted to clarify my meaning in this paragraph:

    “Without complimentary goals, love is not enough to hold two people together. If she wants to have babies and he doesn’t, love isn’t enough. If she wants to live in the city and he is only comfortable in the country, love isn’t enough. If he is saving every spare penny for retirement and she only lives in the moment, love isn’t enough. If he has an unquenchable passion for traveling and she is a homebody, if he wants to put down roots and she is a wanderer, they will have problems that not all the love in the world can fix.”

    The complimentary goals I listed (traveling, babies, fiscal responsibility), as with my “ingredient list” is specific to me. I don’t pretend to know a universal recipe for love and happiness for us all. The complimentary goals are all about where you are going in your life. Since your spouse is your partner in life’s journey, I think it is a non-negotiable for you to both have the same end destination. I would not marry someone if they were certain that they did not want to have kids. I want to have children. If I gave that up for someone, I would expect our marriage to either be very short or very long and unhappy. Same goes with traveling, location and fiscal responsibility. These are huge priorities for me. I will compromise on the color and composition of sheets or what to name the dog, but I would not marry someone who is not interested in exploring the world with me, who will only live in a location I do not want to live in or who is not responsible with managing his finances. I understand these things might fall into the “compromise” category for other people, especially people who don’t enjoy traveling, have never had to live in a place they hate, and people who have never seen someone’s poor financial decisions continuously ruin their life. Clearly, these wouldn’t be deal breakers for those people. They are for me. Keep in mind, I’m coming from a pre-marriage perspective. When I talk “deal breakers” I am talking about dating, not divorce. After the “I do” and all it’s for better or worse. Which is why it is important to me to build a foundation based on more than love alone.

    “Epic Compatibility” is more about lifestyle choices than agreeing on everything. Love is still at the root, it is the beginning and the end, but compatibility fills up all the stuff in the middle.

  7. Drea says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! I am sorry, but I think the cry of “be more open” needs a serious reality check. I share your experience of being “open” in my younger years. Back then, I didn’t know what I wanted and I also had no clue as to what I was really looking for in a relationship. But those relationships taught me that ther are certain things that I really just can’t stand or live with, and those are the things I have stopped being open to. I think we need to give ourselves permission to learn from our experiences, and I think that is exactly what you are doing here. We can’t just continue getting into relationships with people who harbor our “dealbreakers,” all in the name of open-ness. Before long, you have to stop, reflect, and realize that you are a person with opinions, likes, standards- and naturally, because you are who you are, you may or may not be compatible with a person. That happens. It does. That said, I do not think that means you are looking for a specific type of person with very specific qualities- you are looking for unique person with some very general qualities. You have lived and learned and you know more about what type of personalities you jive with and which you don’t. I think realizing more about ourselves and how we interact with others is a mark of maturity and self-awareness. I think this post is really capturing a defining moment for you with regards to how you approach romantic relationships. In fact, I think this is precisely the type of moment that denotes progress and improvement- I wouldn’t be surprised if the next relationship you find yourself in is your best yet.

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