Unlike the other anecdotal 10 things that entice reader X to read a post, posts; this post is a narrative derived from one of the most common topics among single 30-somethings: FALLING IN LOVE. With time comes experience and the hopeful inevitability of wisdom. This wisdom often comes in the form of simply deciphering patterns. That is, living long enough to see the same results attained the same common scenarios, plain and simple experience. If you are what is generally considered “a catch” (and no not your own displaced sense of self-worth but the societal cookie-cutter, smart, sexy, fun, girl next door types) and found yourself single beyond your thirties, then you would have undoubtedly been the great regret of one of your former suitors. To clarify, the guy you met at 24 who you were madly in love with and moved mountains for but turned out to be a douche, will undoubtedly-having gained some maturity-rendered a “you were the one who got away,” or the even more common, “you really were such an awesome person and I can’t believe I screwed up,” speech. This all boils down to the way in which women and men come to the conclusion that they have found “their person.”

Now before I enter the realm of way too many cliches, I say find one’s person to distinguish from the illusive concept of finding “the one.” Finding the one is illusive because it is a fairy-tale concept, that while not impossible is rather impractical and exceedingly rare. People’s concepts of “the one” change over time because people change/evolve over time. What’s gravely important to you at 22 will not be gravely important to you at 30. Your life interests will change and so will those of your partner. The “one” concept is driven so deeply on emotional connections, that when that fickle foundation crumbles, so does its surrounding structures. Finding your person centers on not finding the person you can’t live without (divorce and death have nullified that impression) but the person who you want by your side in whatever capacity they can be. Finding your person doesn’t change when things go array (even if that array ends in divorce). Your person will remain a chosen constant in your life because they add a sense of purpose and safety to your life. That said, it is therefore highly unlikely that any one individual is meant to be with only one person. If you choose to love, as opposed to love ambiguously finding you, then chances are you will choose to love again and again.

Another cliche I must nullify is the idea that men and women love differently. It’s not a mars versus venus thing. The ways in which we may go about finding and/or expressing love differs from person to person. It doesn’t matter if your a man or a woman. Once you’ve fallen and are committed to a person, chances are the feelings are just the same. He didn’t love you less than you did because he cheated, and she didn’t love any less because she chose to move on. There is only one difference when it comes to women and men finding their person, and that’s time.

The Formula

Here’s the simply truth. It doesn’t matter how sexy you are, how many back flips you do, or how long you can stay on your head top. It doesn’t matter that your independent, smart, and/or secure in your skin. None of it matters if the timing isn’t right. Women will often ask, if he wanted to be with someone else, why didn’t he just leave, why risk hurting me? The answer isn’t a simple have his cake and eat it too (well, yeah, it sorta is). Most men have a very clear understanding of timing. Those who aren’t as susceptible to panic, know and will only act, when they’re ready. This goes for most all things he deems important. Men also know when they’ve found a good thing and when the timing isn’t right, this can lead to major internal conflicts. “I know I’m not ready to settle down. I know I will be someday, and when I am, she’s the kind of person I would calm my loins for.” Some romantics test the “if I let her go and we’re meant to be, then we’ll find our way back to each other” theorem. Others are selfish or unwilling to take the risk of losing the person…..cue heartbreak.

Self respect is important. Some women truly grasp an understanding of the importance of time and maturity. They may choose to “stick it out” until he calms down, or have enough confidence to let him go continue to work on themselves. To each their own, but I would suggest patience. Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. He will find you….. because he’s ready to, and that’s all there is to it. No amount of glue, grip, or glamity; leave and get back; or unwarranted wife-like behaviors are gonna change the fact that he’s not ready. If your a dime and you know it, chances are he does/did too.

One of the worst things a woman could do is force a man into making a decision. Taking away choice, harbors resentment and is a sure road to failure. What (not all) it truly takes for a man to fall in love for the last time, is time.

Featured image courtesy of becomegorgeous.com