Love and marriage on The Ranch were a far cry from that in the real world and I had a twisted idea of what to expect when I went out into the world. I had never felt love from my parents, my family, my friends or my community. Marriage was not based in love but in religious expectations and the hope for eternal exaltation that came with it. I had no idea what love really was because I had never known it. I simply felt very alone and empty. I gave my mind, my body and my heart to too many men in my search for anyone who would love me. I wanted so desperately for someone to make me feel loved that I played a very dangerous game with fire and was severely burned more than a few times.
At the ripe age of twenty-five I decided it was time to stop playing games, I was done with getting burned, and had accepted the life of being alone. As an old maid where I came from people who knew me felt sorry for me. They would say annoying things such as “It’s so sad that you are alone and you don’t even have any children at your age.” or “You are just being too picky and you need to lower your standards”. My reply was simple, “I am not going to settle and I am not going to get married just for the sake of being married. I would rather be single and alone than in a relationship and miserable.” I had been in plenty of miserable relationships, I had dated the worst frogs known to woman kind, I was finished with dating just for the sake of dating. I had finally come to the place where I would rather stay home and clean toilets than go out on one more date with a man who wanted nothing more from me than my body. It was a game that had become nothing more than a despicable display of neediness.
I was tired of hunting and the last thing I wanted to bother with was to try to mold another person into my idea of the perfect guy. I wanted someone who was already perfect for me. I came to the realization that I needed to take the same approach to finding a mate that I had been taught as a means of creating success in other areas of my life. That was to set a goal for what I wanted. I also knew that before I could find my mate I needed to be very specific about what I wanted in him. I began a list. The first on my list of course was honesty. Several years later the list had grown to be three pages long. The list was based on insights from my dating life and I knew very well what I did and did not want. This was not three pages of one liners, but three pages of what I wanted and the reason each quality was important to me. At the end of my list was the disclaimer “All of these things I expect from my man I must also expect from myself”.
In the process of building my list I began to change and I became everything on that list. When I became all of those things I found a man who met every single requirement, and then some. The list was lost (another story) but not until after I recognized him as my soul mate. We have now been together for nearly 18 years and I am still very much in love with him and with myself. And although it hasn’t always been easy he is the perfect man for me.