Saturday, May 14, 2011

Carolyn Hax moment

Although it's advice for someone else's particular issue, I think Carolyn Hax offers an interesting way to look at people and relationships:

" . . . It can actually be a fascinating mental exercise: Have you ever set up one friend with another? Doing that forces you to look at both parties as potential romantic partners for someone, and you really see them differently that way. That awesome person who sticks by you and shares your sense of humor and makes amazing zucchini bread suddenly becomes the one with a patchy employment history and mother issues.

The point of doing this is to, in a sense, calibrate your radar. Think of these people you value highly in nonromantic roles in your life, and ask yourself which of them you’d label, objectively, as a great catch. Also think of great couples you know, and see if you’d classify each of them as “great” individually, and why. Then, see what attracted you initially to the guys you dated who turned out to be bad choices.

Are there inconsistencies in what you date and what you admire in your friends? Are the things you find attractive in men at all in conflict with the things that your steadiest friends provide? Or, are you seeking similar things, but those traits in a friend (whom you join for grins once a week) are less draining than in a boyfriend (whom you count on to provide much more)?

Both of these — slowing down and calibrating your radar — can be tackled on your own. If you’re feeling impatient, though, or if you’re struggling to make sense of your thoughts, consider enlisting a reputable therapist who is open to ideas and really likes to dig."

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