Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Be Careful What You Wish For
I've always loved the "be careful what you wish for" advice, because it reminds us that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence-- at least not in the way that we expected.
A single friend of mine, let's call him Carlos, had been seeing Maria for almost six months. But there were some red flags in the relationship. Maria seemed overly sensitive at times, and at other times she acted like a petulant teenager.
So Carlos wished for clarity. He wanted to know if he should invest more emotional energy in the relationship. He wanted to know if Maria was "the one"-- or whether she had the potential to be.
The two of them had been on long weekend trips together, and the longest time they had spent continuously together was about four days. When a great deal on a 15-day trip to Europe arrived via email, Carlos jumped on it. He and Maria excitedly began preparing for their big trip.
Well, the trip ended last week. The first week or so was great. They enjoyed exploring new places together and indulging in delicious and exotic foods. But then Maria grew short-tempered. She got bitchy and was not fun to be with. (I haven't heard her side of the story. She might say that Carlos started to get too demanding or too picky or...) Halfway through the trip, they had a fight.
And Carlos got the clarity he wanted. It became very clear to him that Maria was not "the one." She refused to take any responsibility for the relationship trouble that she and Carlos were having, and she continued to act out.
Carlos and Maria have officially broken up. So there will soon be two more single baby boomers on match.com or eHarmony.com or whatever.
Does Carlos wish things had turned out differently? Well, maybe a little bit. But at the same time, he knows that things have worked out for the best. He isn't really surprised that he and Maria are no longer a couple.
That's another thing about getting what you wish for. In dating, as in life, sometimes what you get isn't a big surprise at all.