by Bede Nicholson
I recently read a very interesting article in ‘The Guardian’ which profiled controversial relationship commentator Lori Gottlieb. The two basic premises of her arguments have outraged many feminists and relationship experts –
Firstly, she argues that women don’t want to be single. The idea of the single, happily independent woman is a modern feminist myth. All women really want to do is get married. Secondly, get married while you can while in your twenties and thirties even if the man isn’t your ideal match because you will end up regretting it! You don’t ‘deserve’ to find your ‘ideal man’ and it’s likely that you won’t end up getting it.
Gottlieb is of course talking from personal experience. A single mother in her early forties she confesses to running away from relationships in her younger years. She found a whole host of reasons to do so. Either he wasn’t intellectual enough, or ‘cool’ enough or there wasn’t the chemistry there. Either way – Gottlieb’s message is unequivocal ‘My advice is this: settle!
That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection in your relationship. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling ‘bravo’ in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go.’ For Gottlieb, qualities like ‘kindness, compassion and readiness to commit’ are far more important in finding the right match.
Upon reading this article I couldn’t help but reflect on the many thousands of relationship readings I have done over the years, and to ask the question – Are women unhappy being single and do women expect too much? An often asked question in my psychic readings is ‘is he the one?’ or ‘is he my soul mate?’
Finding the Soul Mate in Your Relationship
There is an almost religious faith in the idea of a soul mate. The idea of one person who encapsulates everything we are looking for in a relationship – A man who gives you that special feeling of being in love and being loved. Yet, what happens when that man doesn’t come along or that man you think is your soul mate finds another woman? Do you keep on waiting and hoping or do you accept that perhaps it just is not meant to be? For many women, this can feel like accepting second best and no person likes to have a ‘second best’ life long relationship.
I agree with Gottlieb that women (and men in many cases) have unrealistic expectations of the ‘right’ relationship. No one will say they are looking for perfection in their partner, but there is no doubt that many women are looking for that intense romantic connection, and that we have a belief that compatibility follows chemistry.
Is Chemistry a Good Predictor of a Relationship?
Can we really trust a chemical reaction? I have lost count of how many readings I do for women who find themselves attracted to passionate yet hopelessly dysfunctional relationships, and who at the same time, turn down perfectly good men who could provide a meaningful and productive relationship. The ideal is of course to have chemistry and compatibility, but to what extent do we end up confusing the two things?
There are problems with Gottlieb’s arguments however. Gottlieb still argues in terms of first and second best. It demonstrates the fact that she herself is still stuck in the mindset which she is trying to reject. For me, it is not a question of accepting second best, but rejecting the whole belief in the ‘relationship ideal.’
There is a fundamental difference between a person who goes into a relationship with the belief that you are accepting ‘second best’ as against a person who goes into a relationship recognizing that they place more importance on a healthy, loving relationship than the romantic big bang.
The former accepts second best because of a fear that they will be left with nothing, and that they might as well accept what they can get. The latter goes into a relationship because they have emotionally matured and recognize that there are more important things in life than the initial passion of romance.
I have done many readings with women who accepted the ‘second best’ and in many cases they find themselves at some point looking outside the relationship and often full of regret for perceived missed opportunities. They still believe that there is the ‘one’ waiting for them, but simply feel they have missed the boat.
In contrast, readings I have done with women who may not have been looking for their soul mate but instead simply met someone who they enjoyed spending time with and felt a good bond of friendship have been much more successful in creating a lasting relationship.
From this perspective the whole question stops being about ‘finding the right man’ and develops into a question of our emotional maturity and development. Are you still stuck in adolescent romantic fantasies or have you come to accept the reality of a real relationship?
Many people do not want to look inside themselves and face their own insecurities and lack of confidence, and therefore look for another to complete them, and make them feel special. When we come from this perspective, we are doomed to find relationships ultimately dissatisfying because no person can ever make us feel good about ourselves for a long period of time. In this mindset, every relationship will always feel like second best.
The only answer is to look more deeply inside ourselves and take responsibility for our own happiness. When we do this, relationships stop being about the ‘right or wrong’ man and start being about fostering all sorts of relationships that help us to reach our goals and aspirations.
From Sarah: Bede is well known as a psychic, working with the great Gaye Wright. Bring his insight into your Relationship.