I was having a chat with one of my friends earlier today. She’s recently started dating someone. He’s a really nice guy with several commendable qualities. However, while she’s with him and giving their relationship a chance, she still claims that he doesn’t fit “what she imagined” for herself.
But is what we imagine for ourselves actually what we need in life? What is it that we are imagining anyway? Are we really thinking about someone who will support us, uplift us, and treat us well? Or are we just fantasizing about someone who fits our picture of whatever an ideal man looks like, dresses like, walks like, talks like, and/or the career he may have. I think for many people, its the latter. And as I was explaining to my friend, all of that is just icing.
Icing is fragile; its sticky; it melts under stressful conditions; and too much of it will make you ill.
What you want is the cake (made from all the essential ingredients).
So what ingredients should we be looking for? For example, a man who’s nice, well mannered, respectful, supports your career (hello, this is a big one), will be willing to change a few diapers should the need arise, and care for you fully if you get sick.
That is the cake.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s cake is going to be a little different. Each of us has something different we are looking for, and has a standard that we set for ourselves, or has one that has been set for us by our family, either for cultural or religious reasons.
For instance, given my demanding career, I would like someone with a similar line of work. For me, I think that someone in the same field, or who works as much I do, will only then be able to understand my own crazy schedule, and hopefully be more accepting of it. (I’ve tried dating outside of this and in my case, just hasn’t worked out—that’s not to say it can’t, I’m just speaking for myself in this instance).
Your taste may be different from someone else’s, and that’s totally up to you to figure out. Just remember that while a shitty cake, with a lot of icing, can still be great…it only lasts up to a point.
A shitty guy with all the polish may LOOK like the man of your dreams. But when it comes down to it, all that polish won’t take care of you at the end of the day. The icing will melt. All you’ll have left is something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
So don’t get caught up in your imagined icing; instead look for qualities that last and focus on traits that match up with what you value.