The Doormat Syndrome - Breaking Free
I have had quite a bit of experience in attracting the wrong element of people into my life. My belief is that there are a number of factors involved when you keep going through (or putting yourself through) one bad relationship after another - whether it be a romantic relationship or a friendship, a person‘s character is at the root of what eventually works out - or not - for each one of us. Some books I’ve read state that when you are finally/eventually operating on the same (healthy) plane or level as your potential partner or friend, then you will have succeeded in ‘attracting’ the exact type of relationship that you are suited for, and ultimately ready for. It will most likely be a successful relationship. In essence, you attract the same’vibes’ as you send out. If you suffer from low self-esteem or deep-seated insecurities, the experts say you can expect to attract that same type of element to be drawn to you.
So, that means you need to be in a good place yourself (mentally and emotionally) in order to bring into your life that which you desire most. I realize a lot of people also sabatoge themselves for whatever their deep-seated reasons/issues are. I cannot address that type of ‘malfunction’ or ‘dysfunctional’ behavior in this article. This article is more for the people who have gone through a series of bad decisions and relationships - and, have, over the course of some time, realized they are/were picking the wrong person time and again, repeating the same pattern, and have reached their own personal epiphany of why - and are willing to go down a different path to finally find out how rewarding it can be when you stop looking for Mr. or Ms. Perfect and realize that Mr. or Ms. ‘Just Right For You’ can be your ‘girl-next-door’ / ‘boy-next-door’, electrician, plumber, butcher, baker or candle stick maker -- right in your own backyard. In other words, stop looking for perfection. No one is perfect.
I found a rewarding relationship after I had stopped dating for a while and adjusted myself to thinking that I might be alone for the remainder of my journey on this earth. That’s when Mr. Reliable popped up into my life - and pursued me. I was working two jobs at the time - one full time and one part time, so I did not really have time for ‘dating’. I actually had no desire at that point to date - no desire, no time. My ‘Mr. Reliable’ said he had been observing me from a distance for about six months before he finally approached me one day in a shopping center. It was ironic that I had never noticed him noticing me for all those months that I had been frequenting that particular shopping center.
We are both avid horseracing fans so that was one of the hobbies we had in common - and it branched out from there. I was very cautious for a while - we would meet at that shopping center on weekends I was very cautious for a while. We progressed from late lunches to early dinners at first. It was such fun. It was just a nice, easy thing. Then, we would start meeting at a mall for a movie - finally, after about 2 to 3 months of dating, it was Easter weekend and I invited him for Easter dinner.
The previous night I was home preparing a huge pot of Italian sauce. He called and pleaded with me just to meet him for one drink close by my house. I told him I was in the middle of cooking but he kept pleading, so I went. I’ll never forget. It was a rainy night. After we had our drink, he didn’t want to part. I had him follow me with his car back to my house - I had to get back to my cooking and I guess I wanted to impress him with my cooking skills -- he was happy to sit through the three-hour cooking of two pots of Italian sauce (or gravy as they call it) which ultimately became my signature lasagna.
That Easter Sunday I had invited my girlfriend from high school and her husband for dinner, along with my new guy. Wow, did he ever impress walking in with an entire huge BOX of different types of wine - red, white, blush. We were all very dumbstruck.
Once, after a long work week and lots of stress, I canceled a date we had made for a Saturday night. I was so exhausted, mentally and physically, that I didn’t have the strength to get all spiffed up for a night on the town. I was an overworked, single Mother and a homeowner. On the weekend I usually just cleaned, did chores and collapsed. Over the phone, as I cancelled out with him, it was obvious to me he was in it for the long haul with the way he took the bad news -- that I just wasn’t up to going out that night. He was strong, but also had a sensitive side to him. That was very appealing to me, that he could show his vulnerability and also be transparent. That showed me he had put his trust in me.
One of my closest friends had a girlfriend who told her she met her ‘significant other’ at the Laundromat while she was doing her laundry. It seems that the minute you take your focus off finding someone special in your life - it seems to not only relieve you of that burden - but also serves to start drawing people into your orbit. Life works in strange ways. I knew that meeting someone with substance would be like finding a needle in a haystack - especially if you live in a small town. It seems like everyone knows just about everyone else - and then suddenly one day a new face appears.
I am the type of person that appreciates the little gestures in life. I notice them. I take special notice of him noticing things - things I need, things I would like. You would do well to notice them. When a man notices, for instance, that you don’t have a kitchen clock, and then one day you come home from work and find a lovely kitchen clock sitting on your doorstep, you not only appreciate the consideration and thought put into that gesture, but you appreciate the man - you realize he is a man of substance. Some women might not appreciate the thoughtful gesture - thinking it’s not very romantic - but not me. I’d rather see that than a box of chocolates or flowers - anyone can send those - it doesn‘t require much thought or consideration. I appreciate a man who ponders.
It seemed that each time I arrived home from work there was another something wonderful waiting for me on my doorstep. This time it was a Bonsai plant! What a unique, thoughtful gift. From that time forward, every weekend, before he went to work - he would stick a newspaper in my mailbox, with a long-stemmed red rose rolled up inside of it, with a little love note. Exciting stuff - when you realize - this is the guy! I always felt my Mother had sent him, or guided him, to me. He came to me nine months after she passed away. I think she sent me someone I could truly depend on. It’s such a nice feeling when you don’t have to knock yourself out worrying about a relationship or put on airs - just feeling secure within that relationship, knowing you can discuss anything - it’s a warm and cozy, liberating feeling. Also knowing that, if you should quarrel, he’s not going to hang up and wait two weeks before he calls you. He’s interested in getting back on track as soon as possible. That’s a secure man, secure within himself. That’s a stable relationship. That’s love.
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