Friday, October 07, 2005

Compromising positions...

Today was mostly spent trying to emerge from beneath the deluge of emails and paperwork that landed in my inbox and on my desk this morning, but I couldn't resist taking a moment to check out some of the more interesting blogs that I've found recently.

Yesterday, on Half-Naked Thursday, a lot of people were putting (at least a portion) of their exterior on display. Today, it seems like the focus was turned inward. A couple of blogs, and the comments that followed, talked about the specific qualities that men and women require in a potential partner. Two of those discussions are here and here.

My comments on both blogs sort of followed the same theme: for me, it pretty much has come down to finding a balance. The focus shouldn't be on trying to change your personality to fit some 'type' that others might want or expect, but on first really figuring out what you yourself want, and then finding that comfort zone around the things that you can't live with or without in a potential partner.

Yesterday at lunch, I happened to run into someone that I had dated several years ago. We weren't really boyfriend/girlfriend--to be honest the relationship began and was sustained because we were very sexually compatible. (That's a story for another day...) We were both new attorneys, overworked, and without a lot of time for a social life. We would always have a great time when we went out (or stayed in...) but neither of us was looking to begin a serious, committed relationship at that point in our lives. At the time, her long-term priorities were set on being independent, child-free, and eventually having a very active lifestyle focused around center city life.

So I was kind of surprised yesterday when she told me that she was:

A) married to an older man;
B) had moved into a new house in the suburbs, and
C) was a step-mother to two teenage boys

Money was definitely not an issue--she's earning a six-figure salary at one of the biggest firms in the city, and she had come from a pretty wealthy family herself. We didn't have the time to get into how she and her husband met, or what led to her change of heart, but she seemed genuinely happy and content with her life now.

It got me thinking about how sometimes setting up a whole list of specific conditions for a potential partner could prevent a person from taking even a first step towards something that could lead to a very fulfilling relationship. Of course, we have a responsibility to ourselves to make sure that our core needs aren't being ignored or compromised. And timing also plays a big role--sometimes it takes living through a particular experience, or having some unexpected, external event occur, before we start to re-examine our priorities.

Well, there are plenty of sides to this, but I just looked down and realized that it's past 5 o'clock, so my weekend has officially begun. I'll see everyone on Monday--I'd be interested to hear your thoughts...