Sometimes the dating process goes a little backward – after a few dates, you start to define those things you definitely don’t want in a relationship before your list of what you do want ever comes into focus.
How many times have you wondered if you are single because you are being too picky about what you want in a mate? I asked myself that question many times when I was single and felt that struggle of wanting to stick to my guns on all the things I wanted in a mate, yet feeling I was closing myself off to opportunities because of it. It’s definitely not an easy answer when you are in the thick of looking for the right relationship.
Well, there is a balance to be found and it comes in the form of this little bit of wisdom I call excess within control.
Excess within control is a simple idea that helps to begin eliminating the worries and mind games your head tries to play with your heart when it comes to discerning who the right one is for you. And the mind games can get out of control.
For example, if you’ve never been married, often times you are basing your criteria for your relationship on something you haven’t done yet. This can be a little precarious because you know you want a lasting relationship but at the same time, you don’t want to be too critical or too demanding of your date.
But it gets a little trickier if you are widowed or divorced. Suddenly there’s the image of the person you were once married to overshadowing this new person in your life. If you had a great marriage before your spouse passed away, how can someone live up to that? If your ex-spouse betrayed you, the thought of that happening again can be terribly scary and you might find yourself being overly critical about little things.
So you have to take a personal inventory of sorts, first to define who you are and what you have to offer someone else in a relationship, then what it is you are looking for. And that’s where excess within control comes into play.
It’s having a clearly defined list of attributes in another person that you know you cannot compromise on, tempered with a sense of adventure and willingness to be surprised.
For example, some absolutes could be:
- You must find him/her attractive
- Must be a practicing Catholic
- Must like pets
- Must be tolerant of your love of political discussions
Your reasoning is simply that you’ve tried dating without those things intact before and it never works. Good work.
So you have your element of control, now what about the excess? Well, as I mentioned earlier, the excess comes with the openness to adventure and surprise. I know that’s hard for people who don’t like surprises (and they usually mention that on their personal profile). But if you can be at least a little bit open, then your possibilities broaden immensely.
Excess could be accepting a date with someone who isn’t your type physically and going on the date with the same excitement and hope as you would with your type. Open the possibilities for an attraction that’s more powerful than physical, women and men alike.
Excess can be reaching out and beginning some meaningful conversations with a member who answers 6/7 faith questions when you really want a 7/7. It’s conversations like these that could lead to a deeper understanding of the faith and be a catalyst for the start of a great relationship.
Excess allows the element of an open mind and surprise while control provides the boundaries you are committed to staying within.
There are so many good men and women at CatholicMatch with great values and big hearts. I hope one day I will read about your success story and beautiful wedding. Until then, just remember…
Excess within control!