Despite the worthiness of the subject, this is not about the â��Morning-After Pill." The Plan B I want to discuss is the kind of back-up plan we hold on to â��just in caseâ�� things donâ��t work out the way we wanted. It's the whisper that tells us weâ��re not as great as we wanted to be or thought we were, so weâ��ll have to settle. This acceptance of less than what we want and deserve happens in our careers, our friendships, and most often, in our romantic relationships.
I made a bad choice when I was 20 and got married. Fueled almost entirely by fairy tales, romance novels and the sticky-sweet assurance that I knew what I was doing, I dove headfirst into delusion. To be fair, I don’t believe that his intentions were odious, just narcissistic. In looking back, I see that my choice to bind my life to this person was, for the most part, simply one symptom of a deeper issue. The “F” word. Fear. Outwardly I was confident and opinionated, but inside, I desperately wanted approval, acceptance, and to feel special. He knew exactly what to say and how to hook me. When it ended, with it went my sense of identity.
Not wanting to make the same mistake ever again, I decided to take action. I knew that I could not be trusted to make a healthy choice, so I removed all options. I chose not to date for two and a half years. I had to figure out why such a â��good girlâ�� would choose such a â��badâ�� man.
Then I made what I feel is the single most definitive choice of my life and decided that I would not have sex again until I found my life partner. This was a big commitment, and I went all in. I removed Plan B.
In eliminating romance, I found myself. I healed, nurtured my strengths and became honest about my weaknesses. I became my own friend. I decided that when I started dating again I would not choose a relationship because I needed something. I would never again be flattered by being â��chosenâ�� without the balance of carefully picking the kind of man I wanted to be with.
Then I made a list. It stayed away from superficial qualities and pinpointed the character traits that I wanted; integrity, transparency, generosity, humor and kindness. Then I made another list of what our relationship would include like respect, admiration, attraction, friendship, support and honor. I decided that I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than compromise and end up in the self-made hell of a poorly chosen relationship. It was not for sissies, though. It was lonely, scary and in intimate moments with guys that I cared about, brutally hard to stick to my decision.
But I knew I wanted a holistic relationship — one that equally valued my mind, soul, spirit, character and body. I wanted everything to grow at the same pace. Physical intimacy matching the pace of emotional and spiritual intimacy. I questioned my decision often, but I never compromised. Every time a relationship ended, it wasn't because we didn’t have sex; it was because there was something else missing.
My hope is that you define what you want and never settle for Plan B. This is not a blueprint or a how-to guide. It’s just my story, and it has a happy ending. I found him! He has all of those qualities on my list, and it was well worth the wait.Images courtesy of Emsworld.com, Msoeldner.com