Love Myth No. 1 – That ‘One and Only Special Person’
When you were young you dreamed of the moment when you’d find that ‘One and Only Special Person’, that ‘One and Only Love’, out there, waiting for you. Movies, magazines and songs all collude with this myth. No matter how intelligent, how well educated, how successful you are, you’re likely to have been touched by it.
Is that ‘One and Only Special Person’ for you out there, lurking in the wings? Will it be the first date you meet or the tenth – and what if he’s holed up in a monastery in Mount Athos? With this myth, every new love is compared to the ideal and found wanting in some way. If there’s anything missing from the plot, you know it can’t be right. Maybe he’s been married before, maybe he already has children or perhaps he’s shorter than you. You feel you must be short-changing yourself if he fails on even one count.
The ‘One and Only Special Person’ myth, can have you leapfrogging from one serial date to another, always hoping the next one will be ‘Him’. In other words you’ve become a ‘dating addict’. So, although I advocate going on lots of dates before you make up your mind, beware of this pitfall. Dating addicts believe that relationships are found ready-packaged; they don’t grasp that they need to be cultivated and flirted with even when all the signs are favourable. It’s for this reason that we rarely let people stay in the agencies for more than two years in case they become what we call ‘cornflakes’ or serial daters.
L♥vebyte: “When I was a young man I vowed never to marry till I found the ideal woman.
Well, I found her – but alas, she was waiting for the ideal man.”
Love Myth No. 2 – ‘I’ll know when I meet him’
Fatal attraction? John Cleese and Robin Skynner, in their book ‘Families and How to Survive Them‘, wrote about a fascinating experiment which shows how, even without being allowed to talk, people in a crowd can be drawn by their body language to others who have been raised in a similar emotional environment. It is this instant recognition of a kindred spirit that can ring the fatal bell that announces: ‘He’s the one for me’ or ‘She’s the one for me’. Only children are drawn to other only children; offspring whose parents were divorced are attracted to others with a similar experience; orphans to orphans, and so on. In other words, these people are speaking the same emotional language. Couple this with physical attractiveness, right age group and similar background and you have all the tinder for lust-at-first-sight.
‘I can spot that chemistry right away,’ they say, ‘it’s either there or it’s not.’ Many times a day this refrain is heard by Drawing Down the Moon Matchmakers. They try to suppress a sympathetic but, perhaps, ever-so-slightly cynical smile. They know well that lust-at-first-sight is common, but most happy couples don’t realise they’ve met their other half till several dates later.
Love Myth No. 3 – ‘If anything bugs me, then there’s no chance they’ll be right for me’
So many singles believe that, if there is just one thing about a person they don’t like at the beginning, whether they call it chemistry, character or something in the looks department, then it’ll never work. See my blog about ‘The Husband Store’.
When the ‘It won’t work!’ factor does work
We conducted a survey where we asked 200 people who said they were in happy, long-term relationships, about what they’d thought of their partner when they first met. Was it love at first sight, or was their love something that grew on them after a friendship had developed? Of these happy couples, only 32% of the men and 22% of the women said they thought their eventual partner was really special when they first met! But the most striking feature to emerge was that, on first sight, 24% of the women and 9% of the men had reservations about their would-be partner. These reservations covered everything from deciding their ‘other-to-be’ was overweight or boring, or they talked too much.
Your only first-date goal:
… is to decide if your date is a ‘maybe’, someone whose company you’ve enjoyed and would like to see again, perhaps just as a friend. Remember, first dates are really stressful, even for captains of industry and TV presenters. And stress impedes flirting. If there’s no flirting happening, well, there’s not likely to be any chemistry.
A first date is the least propitious setting for spotting ‘true love’.
Need I say more?
Happy relationships are built, brick by brick, not found ready made…