In a recent conversation with a new friend, also single, I asked whether they had ever pondered if there was anything inherently wrong with them that ultimately led to the demise of every relationship up until this point.
I asked the question not because I believe there is anything inherently wrong with them, or with me, but because I'm interested in what people discover in self reflection.
The first piece of important information that can be ascertained by asking such a question is indeed whether or not a person exercises self reflection.
I think it is around age 7 in our development as children when we are able to 'put ourselves in someone else's shoes' and learn to empathise. As adults, this hopefully has extended to being able to reflect on the impact our actions may have on others.
This is not to say that everything we reflect on or come up with is factual. Far from it in my experience. But what is important, is the ability to take some responsibility for our actions and recognise that sometimes we need to realise we have not always been in the right.
At times of relationship breakdown, conflict or tension, I have mostly always managed to walk away and ponder my role (usually based on whatever criticism may have been hurled my way). At times I have been able to agree and take on board any changes that may be necessary. And just as importantly, I have also been able to disagree based on my own self-knowledge and integrity.
My friend asked me what I had come up with when I pondered my role in relationship breakdowns. I said that I realised that I might not always be easy to live with. I also said that I thought I sometimes expected too much of myself and that sometimes that might transfer across to the person I am with. Upon reflection though, I don't think that's true. I think my only expectations have truly been to be treated with the same love and respect that I show for my partner.
My friend summed it up beautifully by saying that although no-one was perfect, they felt they could be perfect for someone. I love that they have such healthy self worth and self esteem.
I'm happy to say that at the age of 40 I am also comfortable in the skin I'm in and am happy to be the person I have become. Hopefully one day, I'll be perfect for someone too.
"Beneath clever conversation, no finer heart could ever beat for you." Firefly, Sister Hazel
- I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.