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The Importance of Knowing Yourself

Hey, guess what? I took my own dating advice and it worked! I've been dating a new man for over a month now. I really like him, he's kind, funny and interesting, AND, he doesn’t fit the mould of the type of guy I've always envisioned myself with. As a result, a few weeks into knowing him, I found myself having doubts about our suitability.

Let me rewind a bit. I used to work in law. I dressed up for work, wore suits and mingled with other young professionals. I saw myself as a corporate type (even though I had trouble getting on board with that type of work), and I always visualized my ideal mate as a handsome man in a suit. Lawyer, accountant, banker, doctor, realtor, any kind of corporate professional - those were the types of men I pictured for myself.

Fast forward and I'm dating a guy who works with his hands. He's very talented and creates beautiful work. And all his t-shirts have holes in them. He has no dress shirts, let alone suits. I think he has one pair of good shoes. He's about as far from corporate as you can get. And he's awesome. Engaging, intelligent and fun. Financially stable. Supportive and understanding. This man has a lot going for him. So what was my problem?

I'll tell you what. Two things actually:

  1. I had not updated my self-image. I was still thinking of myself as the professional who worked in an office and wore suits. In reality, I live in my Lululemons most days working from my couch, and when I do see clients I dress very casually, usually in jeans. I can't remember the last time I dressed up. I've rejected the corporate world in more ways than that - I now work in a wonderful, casual, creative, and healing wellness centre. I'm in the "office" only two days a week. My dog comes everywhere with me. I sometimes take naps in between clients. I live life at a leisurely pace, and I feel no need to produce, produce, produce anymore. I'm not the person I used to be, so why would I want to date the type of guy that might have suited the old me?

  2. I had not updated the image of the man I saw myself with. When I worked in law, there was a certain type of man I saw myself with based on my profession. But when I dated that type, I was never happy. Something was always missing. Yet I kept thinking that I had to date some type of professional. By chasing this idea, I was missing out on a whole other realm of men. Why was I limiting myself? Where had this belief come from? (My dad).

Essentially, I'd been having doubts about my new guy because (a) I’d changed, yet my perception of myself, and who I wanted to be having a relationship with, hadn’t changed, and (b) I was working with an assumption about the type of guy I "should" be with that was based on someone else's wishes for me. It was about time I challenged my vision of myself and my ideal man.

I want to be with someone who has the same values as I do. And a similar flexible schedule. Someone creative and adventurous. A guy I can share life goals with. Someone who will be understanding of my health conditions. This is who I'm dating now. He doesn't wear a suit to work, and I'm ok with that, I don't either.

Does your vision of your ideal mate fit who you are now, or are you holding on to an old idea? Do you need to update your vision?

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