There’s a big difference between the fantasy of the “ideal man” and the reality of the right man — along with the right to be with no man at all.
A Facebook friend sent me a message the other day: “Have you found your ideal guy or are you still lost in the forest of men?”
I almost splattered a big gulp of iced tea onto my computer screen, then laughed out loud. Clearly this “friend” didn’t know me very well. I thought it better not to respond, but I couldn’t resist such a well-baited hook. I wrote back:
“I don’t believe in ‘the ideal man’ — I believe in the right man for the right time — and that means at times, no man at all.”
His response began with, “Well, I know what you need …”
Big sigh from me. Once again, someone presumes that since SingularCity and Singular magazine are for single people, and we create events to be enjoyed by people who are not married, that my purpose in life is to find my “ideal man” and to help others do the same — as if we were part of the billion-dollar matchmaking industry that thrives on the antiquated idea that if you’re single, your No. 1 priority is to find “him” or “her.”
Yes, I admit there was a time when my primary purpose was to find the ideal man. But I’m not that woman anymore. Circumstances change, I’ve changed, and I’ve surrendered to the idea that being single — and by that I mean unmarried, not devoid of romantic relationships — is a way of life that agrees with me.
Stopping the search for that ideal man has not only been a big relief for me, it’s been a bigger relief to the men in my life who appreciate being accepted for who they are. And I can also see how my idea of the ideal man in my teens was different from the ideal man of my 20s, 30s and so forth. If I would have married that heavy metal rock star I was madly in love with at age 25, I doubt very much I’d find him so appealing today.
There were times, too, when I didn’t have the bandwidth for a romantic relationship — like when I went back to college and took care of people’s pet parrots so I could still pay my adult-with-no-parent-to-support-me bills. The only ideal man at that time would have been one who cleaned my house, did my laundry and cooked my meals – more mom than man.
So me? Lost in the forest of men? I may be in a “forest of men,” but I’m hardly lost. It feels more like sashaying, dancing, playing and sometimes taking a rest in the meadow, to keep the metaphors flowing. And anyway, what’s that old saying about “can’t see the forest for the trees”? Under the Urban Dictionary’s definition, you’re too close to a situation and need to step back in order to get a little perspective. When you do, you’ll notice there’s a whole forest you couldn’t see because you were so focused on a particular tree.
Simply put, when you’re focused on finding the “ideal man,” you’ll miss out on enjoying all the interesting people that surround you.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2015 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.
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