“He’s too short.” “I hate how he chews his food.” “He doesn’t match my fly.” “Where’s his beard.” “He doesn’t have a belly.” “Does he not know the difference between there, their, and they’re?”
Any of the above statements sound familiar?
Now throughout my dating history, I have been notorious for being pretty shallow, having a ridiculously long list of desires, and overly picky. Dismissing many a guy over the simplest of things. Like I would literally pick a man apart and come up with any reason as to why things wouldn’t work between the two of us. Yet at the same time, the ones who I would give a chance, who seemingly met all of my criteria turned into… well, you know:
And since being on this journey towards becoming a better dater, my picky ways have just gone from bad to worse.
I’ve literally found myself searching for the imperfections of any man who dared to look in my direction. Breaking down and analyzing everything, starting with the top of their heads, all the way down to the soles of their feet.
At first I thought it was because of my fear of settling. I was so set on dating better, and holding on to the fact that the person who matched everything on my “soulmate checklist” (yes, I have one) was out there, that I quickly turned my nose up at anyone who came a hairline short.
The only problem was that after a while, there was something wrong with everyone, and I wasn’t even giving these guys a fair chance at proving themselves to me.
I was finding fault in everything that anyone said, did, wore, ate, etc. It came to a point where I started to give up, thinking that what I truly wanted either didn’t exist or wouldn’t come along until later in life.
And it took a girlfriend of mine to point out how much of an asshole and a jerk I was for picking this one man apart, for me to see how unreasonable I was being. I mean here it is, someone was actually paying attention to me, doing all the things that I had wished and prayed for, almost got the boot, for one of the reasons mentioned at the beginning of this post. I had to have yet another come to Jesus moment, and get to the bottom of what the real problem was.
And the underlying issue in all of my unnecessarily picky ways, was that I was holding space.
I was picking people apart because I was subconsciously holding space for not only someone better, but for someone from my past. For years, I made it my business not to get too close to anyone who liked me too much. Mainly because I knew that a certain someone would always find his way back, as he did many times before.
I didn’t want anyone to come along and distract me from the former love of my life’s return to claim me as his. And for the ones who’s flaws I overlooked, that I did let in, I wanted so badly for them to work out, so that I could prove to myself that I had finally moved on.
And even though I have long since deleted his number, blocked him, and unfollowed him on all social media outlets, there was still a piece of me that craved him. Holding on to the possibility that maybe, just maybe the two of us would finally get to a common place where we could co-exist in the fully functioning relationship that I had always longed for.
But at the end of that day, I had to come to realization that:
- He and I just weren’t meant to be.
- If God was able to send someone as amazing as him before, then surely He would send someone better.
So I made the choice to release him and his decade plus-long hold over me, and open myself up to true love. The kind that I have listed at the top of my checklist. The kind that I pray for every night. The kind that I know will only come along if I finally convince myself that I am worth far more than the fragmented love that has held me captive for almost all of my adulthood.
My loves, it’s ok to have a soulmate checklist. And I encourage you to NOT settle. But while on your journeys towards becoming being better daters, make sure that you are not using that list as a mask for the space you’re holding for someone from lover’s past. And if you are, I encourage you to release that hold and open that space up, so that your future forever bae can fit right in.