Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Value of Mr. Right For Now

During a recent night out with a friend who just exited a three-year relationship, I attempted to reacquaint her with the value of dating purely for fun. To bolster my case, I mentioned the 31-year-old real estate analyst I’ve gone out with a couple of times. He meets the minimum requirements for a fling (great kisser, good conversationalist), offsetting the dealbreakers that prevent him from being anything more (questionable etiquette, a stated preference for "submissive women").

When I said that Mr. Real Estate would be no more than a passing fancy, my friend immediately asked "Then, why bother?" While her response probably had more to do with the fact that she’s post-breakup than anything else, I couldn’t help thinking—does the quest to find Mr. Right prevent you from enjoying Mr. Right For Now?

I’m no stranger to this conundrum. For years, I’ve scrutinized every boyfriend’s every quirk. And when I say scrutinize, I mean scrutinize. Two quizzes in the reassuring book, Kiss and Run revealed that I’m a classic case of what author Elina Fuhrman calls the nitpicker-perfectionist. No doubt, part of my preoccupation with happily-ever-after stems from having had two parents blissfully devoted to each other, whose first marriages ended in divorce.

Eager to avoid the starter marriage myself, I've spent most of my relationships questioning whether they would last. With more than half a dozen breakups behind me, I now realize that was time poorly spent. After all, does the measure of a relationship's worth really come from its duration? I dated my most recent boyfriend Jimmy--a real-life version of Sex and the City's ultimate good guy Aidan--for just three months. And yet, the imprint he left on my soul is as great as that of any significant other who was in my life for years.

One of the many wonderful lessons I learned from being with Jimmy is how important it is to live in the moment. Since we parted ways, I've decided to do something radical -- stop worrying about whether the current object of my affections is Mr. Right and simply have fun.

Isn't that what being single and fabulous is all about?

1 comment:

Kim said...

Bravo Melissa! Your posts crack me up --- love it! Some of us gals are in love with the 'idea of being in love,' (I know, I know --- some of us want to vomit right now). What do you mean Richard Gere isn't going to pop out of his stretch limo with a bouquet of red roses as he confesses his undying love for me (with a $5,000 weekly allowance of course)? GET REAL! Sincerely, Hopeless Romantic getting a Reality Check