By Kim Hodges
I was determined to get to this wedding. There was something in me that really wanted to celebrate the loving union of my friend from childhood, Rebecca, and her husband she had met while was studying abroad in Spain, Miguel. Rebecca and I were close friends in middle school, together, we were cheerleaders in high school. We rode the same bus to school and, too often, I would get on the bus to see that she and I were wearing the same shirt. "Kim! Stop calling my mom in the mornings to see what I'm wearing." "Rebecca! Stop going to the mall and buying the clothes that you’ve seen me in!"
After my move back to Philadelphia from Los Angeles, it wasn’t long before I reconnected with Rebecca. Over the years we had lost touch, but as soon as I saw her again it was as if we had never left each other after high school. She still had the same vibrant firecracker personality I remembered from when we were younger, but there was something else to her now. She had always been hilarious, always fun and great to be around, but, Rebecca seemed more kind, more compassionate and more loving. She told me, it was her future husband who helped her to become a better version of herself. It wasn’t just that she was in love. She was living from the field of love and it showed in her glow.
I battled through a terrible storm, fallen trees and closed roads to get to Rebecca’s wedding. It was as if it wasn’t meant to be. I considered not going, knowing she would understand, but I really wanted to be there. I missed the wedding ceremony, and two hours after the service began, I arrived at the reception. The wedding was great, I was able to reconnect with old friends, drink, dance and celebrate.
“Did you break someone’s heart when you left LA?” he inquired. “Yes. What about you, how is everything with you?” I deflected. “I just don’t know if she’s ‘The One’.” He continued, “I love her, but I just don’t know, sometimes I wonder.”
Honestly! How many years do you need to date someone to know they are simply not the one? If you are over 25, and you are ready to settle down with your life long partner, it should not take you three or four years to recognize if the person you are dating is “the one.” One year into a relationship, you most likely have had the opportunity to see the many personalities associated with your partner. Two years into a relationship, though people will grow and change, you should know the essence of who that person is. More importantly, you should know if that is the person with whom you want to partner through life’s blessings and challenges. You should know if that is the person with whom you want to raise children. When I hear, “I’m not sure”, it tells me you don’t know what you want in a life partner. Most likely, the answer to what you want is not your current partner.
Rebecca and Miguel are an example of a good match in marriage. Why do I say this? You can see it if you step back and observe them. You can see they love each other. You can see they enjoy each other. There is a natural chemistry between the two of them that can’t be denied. And the key is in what she said to me at lunch. Their loving relationship brought out the very best in her.
I have countless friends who date people that they get along with to a point, they enjoy to a point, they are compatible to a point…but it’s really not good enough. They participate in relationships that would be better matched as friends than life partners. You know what I am talking about. You know the relationships where they are constantly bickering over the smallest things. You know the relationship where everyone who loves them wishes it would end because they trigger the very worst within each other. They are constantly complaining because the people they are dating can't or won’t love them the way they want to be loved. Rather than face the possibility of being single, these lovers would choose to live in depression, sadness, irritation, mistrust, fear, and or live a lackluster life.
It is genuinely hard when you get into a relationship with a person who is better off as your friend. You really may love this person. This person really may love you. But, you have to accept that your relationship as it is, is simply not good enough. Happiness is fleeting. The relationship lacks stability. And no matter how much you work on yourself or that person attempts to contort themselves to fit into your desires, the two of you are not a natural match. It doesn’t make them wrong, or you wrong, it just wasn’t written in the stars.
When you are in a good relationship, you should be happy way more often than not. I follow the 80/20 rule, but I aim for 100% of the time. It’s not that there aren’t obstacles and challenges that one will face when he or she is in a relationship with his or her “marriage match.” It’s that the obstacles become much easier to overcome because you are working with your partner to overcome them. The relationship feels familiar, natural, loving, and accepting. The relationship is encouraging of you achieving your goals and dreams and you becoming your best self. The relationship is a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual match. You don’t lose yourself in this relationship, you thrive in it.
When you find yourself in a romantic relationship with a partner that would better serve as just a friend, let it go. Honor the relationship for what it has taught you. Go after the romantic relationship which you truly seek.