A Beautiful Mess…


beautiful-messI was talking to a family friend not too long ago and he was asking me about relationships. Long story short, he was looking for the secret. The secret is, there is no secret. In fact, instead of spending another moment seeking out the “perfect” person, find someone you like! The highly publicized media version of a true love relationship isn’t true. What’s true is that every relationship is really a hybrid, unique mess; a beautiful mess.

Jason Mraz, musician, singer, performer, explored the subject quite profoundly with his song, from which I named this blog. And, every time I hear it, it touches something deep inside of me that, for the life of me, I cannot put into words. But, it’s worth the attempt.

Every person you meet is a complex combination of a million variables, all meeting together at a certain point in time. All have a degree of strength and all have elements of weakness. Sometimes the weakness is the strength and often the strength is also the weakness. Some love to touch and be touched, others abhor touching except for those times they need to touch. A few are silly in their seriousness and a few are serious in their silliness. Extraverts become introverted and introverts show extraversion. The pure get corrupted and the corrupted find purity. It’s called being a human being. And, the only way that two human beings can come together is by accepting and learning to love the unique combination that “is” the other person. Undesirable characteristics are as much to be expected as having one ear slightly lower than the other, or certain hairs that refuse to move in a uniform direction, or a random assortment of moles. To foolishly assume that your future life partner will hit all 50 of your desired characteristics is to seek after an image that doesn’t exist.

A relationship with another person is really about the other person. Your mistake is making it all about you. You have to take the good with the bad (I guess). That person you’re seeking that represents everything you want in a companion is doing just that, representing (smile). If you stick with them long enough you’ll begin to see stuff you don’t like. So what, love them anyway. Everything about a person that makes them undesirable can also make them desirable. Those million variables we came from are a combination of good and bad. The good should be encouraged and the bad can be overcome. If my wife really knew who I was while I was “representing” she never would have said yes. But, she did say yes and I’m as far from that guy as the east is from the west.

Quit complicating the thing and find someone you like. Find someone whose ways bypass your mind and touch something in your heart. Find a person whose company you enjoy. Don’t go on a date with your evaluation checklist in hand. Don’t look for the qualities you seek in a marriage partner. That’s like trying to turn your old clunker into a Mercedes. It takes time, effort and quite a bit of cash to get the Mercedes and right now you’re still clunking around (haha)! Love always has been and always will be a decision. You don’t fall in love, you just get enamored by some high priority checklist items. To love another person is to accept (not like) all that they are and love them anyway.

When you get older (and you will) you will discover that your A-List items weren’t really your A-List at all. I mean who doesn’t want hot and sexy and gorgeous and handsome? But, and trust me on this one, it’s hard to stay hot and sexy and handsome! 😉 Age finds a way of doing that to you… Instead, what you really want is companionship. You want someone who gets you and whom you get. And, how in the hell do you ever expect someone to “get you” at the beginning? Shoot, I don’t even “get myself” at times and I’ve been around for awhile! A good relationship requires a lot of work, but out of that mess in the beginning, emerges a beautiful mess if you’ll just stick with it. Couples don’t split up because of the things that go wrong, they split up because somewhere along the way one or both “decided” to stop loving and especially forgiving the other person. What’s the ultimate sin to you is not the ultimate sin to me and they’re all the same to God, anyway… Sin means simply missing the bullseye and which of you hasn’t missed the bullseye?

You see my friends, the ultimate goal of a relationship is companionship. Someone who knows that you will become hostile and insecure when you’re afraid and loves you anyway. Someone who sees the love behind your verbal barbs. Someone who feels your sadness when you are sad and rejoices with you when you rejoice. Someone who endures your lengthy discourse about how your day went and someone who expects you to do the same. Someone who not only knows your hot buttons, but even pushes them on occasion, only to promise (again) not to push them anymore. Someone that just loves you for you and could care less about your receding hairline or the size of your butt! Someone whose presence you require, though no words are being spoken. Someone who, with you, took the time to make the mess…beautiful!

You want to enjoy a great relationship? Find someone you like and get to work. Who is to say that your mess won’t one day turn out beautiful as well? Indeed, who is to say???

Just some good thoughts…

How to Get a Man (By… a Man)!


reality-potentialBefore you get suspicious about and endless stream of sexism involving high heels, lipstick and bedroom antics, rest assured I’m not going there. Instead I was pondering what I think are some common mistakes women make in dating. Of course, I’m no expert but I am a man old enough to get past the usual sex-crazed silliness. I got married at the tender age of 22 while my bride was only 18 and while I wouldn’t recommend getting married that early (i.e. starving college kids have no cash), I did learn some valuable insights.

If you had the fortune or misfortune of meeting me when I was 22 you would have immediately discovered that I was a work in progress; in fact, a huge work in progress. I had no job; no ambition and no clear plans about who I wanted to be. (Funny, I look back on that with fondness) I digress… If my wife’s goal was financial stability, she got the wrong dude (then anyway). If she was looking for a guy who had his stuff together and was going places, she would have to wait awhile to do that. Instead she got a bundle of raw potential and of course, stunning good looks (Hey, it’s my blog!). My actual proposal was laughable (read former description). My plans, nonexistent. But doggone it, she married me anyway. She must have seen something that I couldn’t see.That brings me to the point!

It seems like many women nowadays are looking for the perfect guy. You may have seen him on the Bachelor or on a reality show or somewhere else, compliments of the media. But sadly, unless you are actually marrying Jesus, he doesn’t exist. The TV and movies present this mythical creature that is non-existent; he’s smart, funny, brilliant, successful, accomplished, chiseled and hot. He adores you, even worships you and still has time for business acumen, poetry, playing the guitar and romantic pursuits. Sadly, that’s not the reality of us dudes. At least, not in the beginning.

Finding a good man is sort of like making a business investment. Your betting heavily on something you believe in with the grand hope it pays out later. But trust me on this one, if he’s not all the things you want now, try giving him a minute. Womenkind is sometimes neglectful of the impact they have on us dudes. You know, you can actually get him to stop doing behaviors you don’t like. You can gently nudge him into something called ambition by simply expressing your belief in him. Now obviously you can’t change the total loser, but sometimes, oh sometimes you can. I should add that I’m not saying us guys are like some sort of trainable horse that can eventually be made to do anything. What I’m saying is that you have to look for potential. Look for a kind heart. Look for what can be, over what is. Look for, as my daughter aptly says, love!

I’m reminded of a friend I had on the east coast who was part of our Bible fellowships. She was having trouble dating guys and it never seemed to work out. One day she told me about her last date. She said, “He was trying to talk to me and get to know me and so I told him, (loud voice inserted here) I’m all about the Word of God and if you want to be with me you better be about the Word!” Gasp….LOL Can you imagine? When I met my wife I was already about the Word (foolish, but loved God) and she was already my girlfriend before I brought that up. Us dudes are easily freaked out and that statement would have sent me running as well! Again LOL.

My advice to you, though I know it’s not always this simple, is stop looking for the perfect guy. Sometimes manners and respect still need to be learned. Maybe, just maybe that guy you like who, as the saying goes, aint doing sh*t, just hasn’t gotten started yet. Possibly there is something you see there that no-one else could see. You can’t trust your parents or your friends on this one. What you can trust is your heart, so listen to it even when the circumstances strongly disagree. Treasures of gold aren’t found without much digging.

Enough on us bumblers… How about you women? What should you do? Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself. If you don’t like sports, you don’t have to. Who made up the rule that good couples have to have everything in common? How absurd! My wife and I have lots of things in common, but we didn’t always. You couldn’t bribe my wife to watch a football game when we first got married. Now she not only watches them, but even gets it! (She has the t-shirt to prove it) What I’m getting at is that lots of things change as time moves forward and just because he does something today that annoys you doesn’t mean he always will. And here’s the bonus thought ~ even though I have a lot of my sh*t together now, I still have absurdities that would require a saint to look past. Yeah, I think I married a saint!

Do yourselves a favor and don’t make it harder than it really is. Even after you get married and have been married for many years, you’re still going to hate his ass at times! LOL That’s just how life is. Just find yourself someone that floats your boat and has at least, the potential to one day add a motor!

Disclaimer: That one guy who is hell bent on making your life a misery aint the one!

Just some good thoughts…