Made for Each Other

Wake up and smell the coffee, Cinderella.

By Paget Pizitz

Typically, I would start this column with some idiotic story about what Louis the cat ate (this week, a gummy shark), a description of some Fourth of July sequined hat I’ve made him or a tale from my childhood involving a pet deer that I believed to be a blood relative. You all seem to know these stories, and I don’t want to bore you with my redundancy and lack of creativity. However, do remind me to tell you next month about “Webber,” the gimped goose my mother “saved” and brought to live with us. His webbed feet didn’t quite web, so he walked everywhere in a semicircle. It took him forever to get up the stairs and into the bath. Oh look, here I go again. Instead of wishing you a happy July 4, I’ll wish you a Happy Nude Recreation Week, which kicks off with a bang this month. Carolyn Hawkins, spokesperson for the American Association for Nude Recreation says, “During Nude Recreation Week, most clubs open the doors for free and let people come in and see how much wholesome fun nude recreation can be.” So if you’re single and searching for that perfect match, maybe this month you ditch the Nike shorts and hop on the elliptical in your birthday suit. Remember, you only live once! If you do get evicted from the Y, don’t reference this column or my name. I didn’t tell you to do it; I just planted the seed. Speaking of being nude at the gym, let’s talk about relationships for a hot minute.

I was eavesdropping on a conversation at the book store the other day, and I heard someone say, “He is the perfect match for me. He was born to be with me, forever.” After I cleaned the stains off my pants from the coffee that shot out of my nose during a cynically hearty but muffled laugh, I started thinking about this concept. Sorry, Cinderella, there is no such thing as two people meant for each other. If I have said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Sure, there are people out there well-suited for one another, but it’s really a matter of timing, adjusting and adapting. The key is to really know yourself so you can get your needs met in a way that is going to leave you feeling satisfied and whole. Even then, a successful and healthy relationship will redefine itself and grow and evolve over time.

As your circumstances change, so should your relationship. Sometimes marriage and relationships are going to be filled with pain and hardships, and this is important if you want to experience personal growth. It seems impossible to be in constant elation in a relationship — especially if you’re doing anything at all challenging or difficult with your life, like working, raising children or dealing with the struggles that every day presents.

New York psychotherapist Ken Page says, “We’re given a binary mode — right or wrong, settle or leave. We are not given the right tools to think about relationships. People need a better set of options.” Because there is no one person out there absolutely perfect for you, there will be a moment when you look at your partner and say,  ‘Egads, what I have done?’ You’d be lying to yourself if you said you’ve never had this moment or some version of this moment. Page says this is when the initial attraction fades and calls it the first day of your real marriage.

Most likely, it isn’t a sign that you have taken the wrong partner; it’s a signal that you need to grow as an individual and take responsibility for your own frustrations.  My mother used to tell me three very important things: never mix your liquor early in the morning, most of the things you worry about will never happen, and you alone are responsible for having the relationship you really want. To have the relationship you really want takes bravery, confidence and authenticity. If we never see ourselves with any clarity, it’s possible that everyone will be with the wrong partner. Remember, you are never going to get all of your needs met in one relationship, and to think otherwise has the potential set up for epic failure and unhappiness. Instead, ask yourself what fundamentals are important to you and whether your partner share those same ones. I guess this is enough advice for one column. Next month I promise something more lighthearted.  I promise to mention nights out with Irish Bob, cats dressed in sequined pant suits, and the inappropriate remarks that random grandmothers make about my age and lack of husband and children.  It’s hard to hear that biological clock ticking while I’m shaking a martini and Billy Idol is going full blast on the iPod.

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2 Responses to “Made for Each Other”

  1. Mark Anthony says:

    Martinis and Billy Idol, I’m likin’ your style.

  2. Um...oops. says:

    I heart this post.
    I read Jenna Jamieson’s biography once at someone’s behest (ahem) and remarkably it changed my life. I still think about a line that was something akin to “relationships are not defined by reality, but they are defined by our expectations.” So many relationship fights are about disappointments that were probably a product of unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. Seeing yourself clearly and the other person clearly and figuring out whether you crazy kids can make it work is the trick.
    Aside from the ill advised wild kingdom in which she clearly raised you, your Mom is clearly a wise woman. That advice is solid. Especially not mixing the booze.

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