Friday, August 12, 2011

Mr. Almost Right

            At the end of last weeks discussion of why we love bad boys, I promised out next talk would be about the ‘almost rights.’ These are the men we settle for despite the warning flags that pop up in our field of vision. Why do we ignore the warnings?
The obvious answer is we’re desperate—so eager to have a man in our lives that we don’t see the problems ahead. But is desperation all there is to it?
            Lisa Rayburn, the protagonist in my suspense novel, She’s Not There, repeatedly hooks up with men that are much younger, married, or in some way, unattainable. She fancies herself a relationship addict although none of her involvements last long enough to actually be a relationship.
            I believe for most of us, it isn’t about being desperate to have a man. Often, when we fall in love, we are so high on the experience that we put on blinders to things we’d otherwise recognize as something we wouldn’t be able to live with for the long haul.
Like Lisa, I spent many years looking for Mr. Right, often settling for men that were all wrong. Why? I liked to blame this syndrome on my relationship with my father, who I adored but was never there for me when I needed him. As a result, I enjoyed the challenge of getting someone to love me and stay by my side. That accomplished, I soon grew bored moved on to the next challenge.
            It would seem that knowing why we do these things would make changing the pattern simple. Not so. It took a lot of years before I learned the answer was to walk away—walk away before it was too late to do so. Unfortunately, I backslid a few times, but the successes were sweet, and I’ve been in a committed relationship now for more than fifteen years.
            There are no easy answers to this timeworn dilemma, but the easy advice is—when choosing a mate—don’t lead with your libido!

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