The Next Best Thing

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Why do we keep wanting more if we (always?) end up with less?

Relationships are starting to look more and more like jobs. It seems we’re always searching for something fancier, more prestigious…or even an arrangement that offers more flexibility.

And much like that elusive promotion at work, many of us think that if we put in enough time, and pay enough dues, we’ll finally score that soul mate we feel we’re entitled to.

The only difference? A work promotion, at the very least, will put a few extra bucks in our pockets, but a relationship ‘upgrade’ often turns out to be a huge disappointment, one that’ll make us pray for a demotion.

It’s a vicious cycle, really: finally getting our hands on someone decent, but then instantly questioning if it’s really as good as it’s going to get and then obsessing about what prospect(s) could be just around the corner.

So we flush the great person we’re with, and opt for what’s behind door number two.

And this has to make you wonder: Why do we think the grass is always greener (and the vagina always wetter) on the other side?

Upping the Relationship Ante

Jenn is a 35-year-old notary who spent the last 15 years of her life waiting for Prince Charming to come knocking on her door. And although she had dated her share of likely contenders, she always found a flaw (no matter how subtle) that would make her question each of their long-term prospects.

Her friends thought she had all but lost her mind when a gorgeous plastic surgeon (with washboard abs and perfect teeth, no less) offered to fulfill her every fantasy. They got along beautifully, but she let him go, worried that, deep-down, he was too career-oriented to be in a stable relationship. (Cue the eye-roll…)

She thought it best to keep looking…and bitch about her loneliness in the process.

And then there’s Joe, a 30-year-old gay man who’s dumped (and been dumped) anytime a guy with a bigger chest (or a bigger cock) walked by. In the same breath, he’d condone the stereotypical gay philosophy of “trading up,” while lamenting that there were no decent guys out there.

Now, you can criticize Jenn and Joe for being shallow and fickle, but the truth is you or someone close to you is probably guilty of the same thing.

But why?

Why is it Never Enough?

Many of us have been conditioned to think that something better will come up (and that we deserve it) if we just hold out a little longer. And now, with the influx of dating apps on the market, we’re exposed to thousands more “candidates” with the push of a button.

 With all that volume, some would argue that we’d be crazy not to wait it out and “see what’s out there.”

On the other hand, a friend of mine swears that the ones who are never satisfied with their partners are people who, deep down, don’t really want a relationship—or can’t handle one—and hide behind the pretense that they just can’t find “The One.”

Hmm…what if, instead, we applauded these people for not adding to the list of shameless, let’s-just-do-it-cause-we-have-to-weddings? As bad as breaking a heart is, it’s still not as bad as breaking a marriage!

The Not-So-Perfect Quest for Perfection…

Being ambitious and demanding are very good qualities to have. But unlike the business world, these traits could result in the relationship equivalent of being broke and unemployed.

You have the right to be choosy…just make sure you’re not giving up something real for a fantasy that may never come true.


A Happy Bachelor!