- 25 August, 2022
I once had a young girl who regularly came to therapy. We can call her Cecilie, just for the record. She came and went in times, which were often linked to her becoming single. When dating, she had both a sense of excitement, but also a sense of hopelessness that was difficult for her to navigate.
She had a handwritten list that she always carried around in her purse. There were the summation of her dream man, all in black and white.
It had 35 different criteria of her perfect partner, which she would read once in a while. Especially if she got sad about her dating life.
It was a topic that often came up in therapy.
During our time together, she had grown fond of one of her dates. When she spoke about him, it was with a warmth in her voice, and a twinkle in her eye.
He had built a special engine for her car, and he always called her to see if she had returned home from a night of clubbing.
However, she had an issue that she had difficulty coming to terms with. When it came down to it, she liked him, but she didn’t feel she could give in completely to love.
Why, I asked her?
She felt significantly better than him.
She knew most forms of calculations by heart. He couldn’t do that.
She regularly read Japanese poetry, invested in stocks, and watched the BBC news channel. He liked watching car reviews on YouTube.
He fit several of her criteria but failed miserably in others. She was terrified of what to do. If she fell in love with him now, would he be a burden on her in the future?
We ended up talking about the fact that there is a general notion that your partner should be similar to you.
Birds of a feather flock together, so to speak.
It is a great starting point to have some shared values. It gives us a recognizability that is reassuring and affirming.
But how much does intelligence play a role in a good partnership?
There are always traits in people that we need to be aware of. It can be how they treat us, how they talk to other people and how they react when under pressure. These are some of the things that can tell us about the person we are with.
What you can judge by is how you feel when you are around them.
People can be more or less a good match for each other. It’s fine if you feel that someone is not right for you. This does not mean that they are deficient nor that they should be different.
Sould one depend on your partner to stimulate your interests ? Is it possible that we can be each other’s love, but at the same time be two different people with lives and interests that reflect this?
You can’t predict the future and people change.
But can you accept who they are now, and not who they could potentially become?
Ask yourself the question. What would you want to be loved for?
What you can do, or who you are?
Cecilie eventually ended up dating him. They seem to be on good terms today and he knows she’s had these thoughts.
This is a good sign of a healthy relationship. That can have these reflections, have difficult conversations, and come out on the other side redeemed and understood.