Have you ever noticed that the characteristics that are attractive when we date are oftentimes those that make for the most problems in a marriage?
Ladies, imagine this:
A guy picks you up for a date in an expensive foreign car. His outfit looks new and straight from the racks of Bloomingdales. You jet off to a nice restaurant where the bill is certainly more than you’d foot for a dinner out on a Tuesday. Fast forward a few months and Mr. Wonderful is still picking up the tabs, and perhaps has even bought you a nice piece of jewelery. You’re loving the wining and dining and all that he has to offer. Now, fast forward to when you’re looking to settle down. Suddenly you’re concerned that you’re a saver and Mr. Wonderful’s lifestyle is completely different from how you’d spend your own money. Perhaps he even has a ‘bad boy’ attitude that initially attracted you. You loved his mystery and that you could seemingly ‘tame’ him. Now you’re thinking about your future and wanting stability and maybe even kids. Can you trust that he’ll stay committed and interested when things get mundane? Suddenly Mr. Wonderful-to-date seems like Mr. Not-so-marriage-material.
Guys: I’m sure I could draw out a similar story about women; how you look for women who will shack up with you early on, who are always primped and looking polished, and who aren’t ‘clingy’. Then, as time goes on and your ‘boys’ are getting married one-by-one, you look around and see that these women were great for about an hour, or maybe a couple months, but certainly not ‘bring home to home’ or ‘wife-up’ material.
Why is it that we fall time and again for the people who are so far from the things we really want and need to have a successful long time relationship? At what point do we begin to look past those shiny surface factors and let people in enough to see the qualities that have staying power? And how often do the two really work in harmony?
As a guilty party myself, I don’t necessarily have answers to this. I’m just throwing it out there, perhaps asking those on either side of the coin (in successful long-term relationships or still picking the wrong partners based on similar reasons) to weigh in. I’m sure some of you have stories of Mr/Ms Wonderful also meets Mr/Ms-marriage-material, but I’d like to know if he/she was such a shiny and attractive package from the get-go.