Monday, February 4, 2013
The other day I was visiting with friends when the conversation turned to dating, as it often does within the circles I currently run. The statement was…“I am so ready to meet someone.” I asked my friend, “What exactly are you looking for?” The answer was surprising: “Well, someone that I can do things with and hang out…Even if he’s not the one, just someone.” That strategy didn’t sound like a good idea to me. “I thought you read my book!” I said. “Can’t you be happy with the cake you have, and your friends and family? Why are you looking for frosting when your cake is probably not even ready?” She looked a bit stunned. “Yes, I read CAKE,” she said, “but I’m just looking for someone to date, not a permanent frosting. But maybe you’re right...”
Hmm, well, I too have often thought of doing this as a temporary dating “fix” but finally decided it is not in my own best interest, or of this would be future boyfriend’s best interest. Just as with other aspects of life, temporary fixes rarely fix anything; more often they add complications and end in someone’s hurt feelings or broken heart. Better to wait for the real thing than settle for a poor substitute.
Then the question came to me: “Sherry, if you don’t want a temporary dating fix, are you really ready to meet ‘the one? The perfect icing for your cake?” That question is always in the back of my mind… What is it with wanting frosting anyway? Why can’t I just be happy with my delicious cake; why am I obsessed with frosting it?
The fact of the matter is: For the past couple of years I have been working hard on my cake life recipe. There’s always a balancing act with what I have, what I need, what’s good for me, what’s just important because it tastes good, and what is healthy. As much as I love chocolate, if you use too much in your cake recipe it will ruin it. I have so many ingredients I wish to put in the recipe, only to find I have not added some of them. Why have I not added them? Why, I wonder. Am I holding back, not being all I can be, for fear of finding myself in the “ready” category and yet still afraid to open my heart? Like the fighter who trains and trains, then fears entering the ring. Are we fearful of losing, or is it winning that terrifies us?
I know loneliness (or what we sometimes think is loneliness) can create the feeling of emptiness and the need to have a warm ‘someone’ next to us as we travel our journeys… It’s a fine line we walk when the questions come as to what we really want in a relationship. I have found, the stronger I become as a single woman, the less I will tolerate in a relationship. You have probably heard me say that before. I am adamant about the “Like attracts Like” scenario. Be the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and your Equal will be drawn to you! The Magic will happen when the time is right. When your cake recipe is fully designed, your frosting will show up.
If we are feeling insecure and unsure of ourselves, we think having someone next to us will make us feel safer. When we allow that to happen, we will go out with just about anyone simply to feel wanted, attractive, and no longer alone. Do you sometimes find yourself in yet another situation where you feel the “Talk” is imminent? The Talk, meaning: “Where is this relationship headed?” Or, “I think we should take a break and see other people.” Either way, it is a horrible place to find ourselves and in many cases can be avoided by choosing to spend what I call “quality” time getting to know someone you would marry. In other words, don’t date anyone you (at least initially) wouldn’t marry; someone who meets the basic criteria and is husband material. That would leave out married men, men recently divorced, men known to be players, men who drink too much, gamble, etc. This would include children (if you don’t want to be a stepparent), his religion if it is not suitable for you, his ambition (or lack thereof), and let’s face it, his looks. You should have a non-negotiable wish list and don’t compromise on those basic tenets.
Why date someone who is perfectly happy delivering newspapers then sleeping the rest of the day, when you desire an upscale lifestyle and work hard to achieve your career and financial goals? You are never going to be compatible no matter how charming, cute, or sexy he is. By dating him, you are wasting time and setting yourself up for an emotional breakup. Avoid the drama!
When the first red flag makes its appearance, depending on what it is and your ability to compromise, you should question getting too close. Obviously, you cannot know everything about someone the moment you meet, but be discerning. I sincerely believe that it is great to care for another person, however jumping quickly into something that feels right at the moment, 99% of the time is a heartbreak waiting to happen. Instead, I would say, be cautious when entering into any relationship, no matter how beautiful he is and seems to be. His own cake recipe may be filled with ingredients you are not aware of that can spoil your recipe and leave you remaking your cake. I am speaking from experience here, so please believe me!
I am sure you or someone you know well has found themselves in a situation like the one I have mentioned above, and looking back still feel some heartache. My goal with my book, CAKE, is to share my experiences and how I have been able to pick myself up by the bootstraps and start over. Yes, I have had to change my recipe again and again… Today, it’s pretty good, however I know there are a few more ingredients I am refining as I move forward. Think about this: One ingredient – sugar – comes in many forms and styles (granulated, light brown, dark brown, low calorie, powdered), so of course, it takes lots of refining to get it down to perfection. And it’s that perfection that we all seek for our Cake Life Recipes. So, slow down, work on your own cake recipe, and take your time deciding who to spend time with. The choosier you are, the better you will choose!
Something profound was spoken in a class I attended tonight… If you are 99% certain you have found the right frosting for your life cake, before you move forward with the full blown out commitment, ask yourself this question; Is there anything you would change about the person you are considering to make a permanent part of your life? If so, what is it? Think about that question. Ponder on it and remember, if there is anything at all, perhaps he/she is not the right flavor. Hopefully, that will put your mind at ease as you move forward with your life’s purpose (recipe).
Join me next time as I plan to share my thoughts on "The List"... Do you have one? I do......
Bon appetite for now, and slow, careful baking wishes,
Your Cake Life friend,