We recently read “Little Women” for one of my book clubs. Spoiler Alert- if you don’t want to know what happens in LW, don’t read ahead- there is a one line spoiler of sorts. Point two, if you haven’t read LW- please go get yourself a copy. I think it may be free on ereaders.
One of our questions about the book centered on who Jo should marry. Now, as someone who has been faced with a bevy of suitors…OK. Not really, but you get the point: how do you know who is the right person for you to spend your life with? (for the purposes of this specific blog, I’m going to go with the assumption that when you choose a partner, the basic assumption is that you will be with them forever. Whether long term monogamy is sustainable is a whole other blog)
So…how do you know who is the right person to tether yourself for eternity? Our book club answer: go with the person that “gets you”.
What do I mean by that, the person that “gets you”? Well, I’m going to give you an example that I think sums up my point:
R, the leader of our little band of readers, loves quality items. (It’s her fault that I now exclusively wear Jo Malone fragrance) She loves well made, and usually expensive items, whether it be home goods, clothing or tea. She is also a believer in quality over quantity: she would rather have five amazing outfits that she wears for years instead of fifty things, or constantly updating her wardrobe every season. So last Christmas she had some guests, and one of them decided to guess what her Husband had bought her for Christmas. The friend named all sorts of expensive things, designer doo dads and such. And R kept shaking her head at all the names and labels the friend shot out. As it happens, R’s husband bought her a 20$ book he saw on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. And R LOVED it! Practically hugged the book the entire night, and thereafter. It sits on her nightstand. Though she has an eye for expensive things, this little book was perfect – FOR HER. Her Husband knew her well enough to know that this was the exact right present because he gets her. He knows it’s not the money, it’s the thought of what she would think was wonderful.
As we are all unique individuals, we all have things that mark our individuality. There are things that make us laugh, or make us cry. There are items that make us happy, and things that don’t have any meaning for us. It’s all good: everyone is allowed to enjoy whatever they enjoy. But the person you end up with should be the person that understands you. They should know that you prefer pink, or that you don’t like wool, or that you would rather read than anything else. They should know what makes you tick. They should see beyond the stereotype of what you’re “supposed” to be, and see the real you. See the individual that you are.
So that’s my little bit of relationship advice: go with the one that sees the real you, the one that gets you. You’ll never have to pretend that you’re someone else. And being authentic to yourself is the first step to happiness and internal peace. And isn’t that what we all want? To be true to ourselves deep inside? A good relationship begins with a contented self: being with the one that gets you brings you a step closer.