Do you remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally? No, not the fake orgasm in the deli scene…although that was brilliant. The scene where Sally, seemingly doing OK after her longtime boyfriend broke up with her several months earlier, citing, ‘it’s not you, it’s me,’ falls apart after learning of his impending nuptials? In her a-ha moment, Sally sobs into best friend, Harry’s chest, “All this time I thought he didn’t want to get married. But, the truth is, he didn’t want to marry me. He didn’t love me.” Ouch!
I remember the moment I had that same a-ha moment. I met Mike via an online dating service, but it wasn’t like he was a total stranger since I went to high school with his sister-in-law. Mike was everything I was looking for in a guy: good looking, tall, great job, really good looking. Deep, meaningful qualities, right? We were both in our early 50’s, divorced and looking for that special someone to take those clichéd moonlight walks on the beach and snuggle in front of a roaring fire.
By date two I didn’t want to date anyone else. I wanted to explore what we started and give it the full attention, without the distractions of other suitors, to see if he was ‘the one’.
Alas, he wasn’t ready to settle down. He wasn’t ready for a serious relationship being divorced two years after a 20 year marriage. “It’s not you, it’s me”, he claimed. And I believed him. I thought if I hung around long enough, and did what he wanted eventually he’d be ready for a real relationship and I’d be ‘the one.’
I hung on, pathetically, for two years. Two years of sporadic calls and so-called dates, which were really just hook ups. I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t care. I lovingly ate up each little crumb he tossed at me. Waiting for the day he was ready for a real, serious, committed relationship.
My sister and my best friend thought I was insane, selling myself short on this train wreck. Then it sunk in. He’s never going to be ready for a relationship. I’m wasting my time. I deserved better!
So, I walked away. I de-friended him on Facebook (no more stalking – seriously this time!), deleted his contact info from phone…done. Finished. The End. Cold turkey.
The big difference between When Harry Met Sally and today is the Internet. Less than two years later, his smiling face popped up on my news feed on Facebook (damn his sister-in law, our mutual FB friend!) He was toasting his new bride, the beautiful, smiling, blonde standing next to him. A-ha! So it wasn’t that he didn’t want to get married. He didn’t want to marry me! “It’s not you, it’s me”….hmm, not so much.
I thought more about Sally’s musings, how she questioned what was wrong with her. So, what was wrong with me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing was wrong with me! We were just not suited for each other.
I realized the type of man I was looking for was all wrong. I re-vamped my bucket list of qualities I needed in a potential mate; replacing shallow traits with deep, meaningful characteristics. Did it really matter if the guy was over six feet and drove a BMW? Of course not!
Soon after raising my standards, I met and fell in love with my Prince Charming. He wasn’t Prince Charming of fairy tales, but he was my Prince Charming. (I’d actually known him for years, but was too superficial to give him a chance.) My boyfriend treats me with the utmost respect and admiration. We have deep, meaningful conversations and he values me as well as my opinions…and our chemistry is off the charts.
I think back to the ending of When Harry Met Sally and it’s not so far off from my own experience…complete with him laughing at my unusual food requests at restaurants. I’m thankful every day that I realized “it’s not me, it’s you!”