I know two beautiful single humans who happen to live very near each other. In fact, although they don't work for the same company, I've always been suspicious they probably cross paths through work.
Single human #1: We'll call her Maya, is hung up on a guy she's sort of been seeing for more than a year. He's not entirely imaginary. He really exists. They do occasionally, every few weeks, see each other, i.e., sleep together. However, as much as she likes to tell herself they are, they aren't actually in a relationship, at least not the kind of relationship she wants.
Maya is beautiful, articulate, successful and a lot of fun to spend time with. She was an Olympic athlete for five years and is now investing some time in learning to surf. She has the kind of career that affords her a very comfortable life with enough free time and money to travel and play.
Single human #2: We'll call him Rob, has been single for a couple of years and in the market for a serious relationship. He wants to get married. However, he's got some very admirable, high standards and he's busy with work. Rob is financially very successful. He loves his career. By any measure, Rob is exceptionally good looking. He's the kind of guy who's hard to miss when he walks in a room.
Rob has traveled the world. He loves and wants children in his life. He is one of the best communicators I've ever met. He will make someone an exceptional husband one day.
One might think that as a relationship coach, I'd love to play matchmaker. I don't. In fact, as many times as people ask me to set them up, I always dodge the opportunity. So, I secretly hoped these two might meet. In fact, I'd mentioned her to Rob and told him that when she was ready, I might just break my own rule and try to connect them.
So, imagine my surprise when Rob emailed me a few days ago and said, "I think I met your girl in a client conference yesterday. If she's who I think she was, you're right. She's pretty awesome. I wish I'd gotten her phone number." It was an obvious hint for me to share it with him. However, being the good friend I am, I knew better than that without checking in with her.
I couldn't wait to talk to Maya. However, when I did, it wasn't the conversation I'd hoped. She barely remembered the encounter three days later. Maya didn't even remember his name or what he looked like. She was having a bad day.
Maya had met an incredibly high quality, incredibly sexy, available man and she didn't even see him. In fact, she went home that evening and called her best friend and had a good cry over the guy who's not showing up for her. The pseudo-boyfriend had stood her up for a booty call date the night before.
And the thing about this story is I know it happens every day. Someone crosses paths with another someone who could be a great if not perfect match and they don't notice because they are distracted by wanting someone they don't really have. Relationships that aren't working can be a costly distraction. A not quite right relationship will drag your vibration down to the point that the right relationship can be right in front of your eyes and it's still invisible to you.
I know it's a romantic notion to give it your all. I realize the star-crossed lovers always make it work at the end of romance movies. However, in real life, we tend to know very early on when we aren't getting what we want or need. Sticking it out to wait for someone else to change or change their mind doesn't make for a happy journey and it almost never ends in happily ever after.
It might sound counter-intuitive for a relationship coach to say, but in the beginning stages of dating and relationships chances are high, you're way better off to quit early and often. You're way more likely to find the perfect partner if you're willing to play catch and release until you find someone who can give you exactly what you're looking for rather than hoping you will stay in it long enough to make someone change to fit your needs.
Staying in a relationship that doesn't quite work, or doesn't work at all is a good way to make yourself too exhausted to move forward even when the thing you're staying for doesn't exist. You can't want someone bad enough to make them yours. You can keep your eyes, options, and heart open for what's meant to be. The best way to miss Mr. Right is to be hung up on Mr. Wrong.
No relationship is perfect. However, I don't believe a healthy relationship is ever hard work. Moving on might be hard, but I can assure you it's easier than staying stuck waiting for your needs to get met. You never know what or who is just on the other side of letting go.
Update: Although her heart wasn't in it, Maya reluctantly permitted me to share her number, and Rob asked her out. Two weeks later her pseudo-boyfriend got stood up for their regularly planned "date night". Maya was out on a very proper date with Rob. I have a feeling he's about to become the former pseudo-boyfriend.