…is a quote I heard in a movie once (a pretty awful rom com in every other way so I won’t mention it) and it struck a chord. The full quote went something like this: Every woman gets the love life she deserves.
Now I think it applies as well to men as it does to women so I generally forget the woman part. But I mentioned it, as I am wont to do, to a few friends (mainly female) and what surprised me was how much resistance it garnered. “That’s a bit harsh,” said one, which seemed to sum up the general feeling.
But why? It applies equally, it seems to me, if you’re blessed with a truly wonderful love life or a crap one. The point is that, in some way, it’s the love life you’ve set out to create for yourself. If you’re with a man (or woman) who treats you well and attends to your needs, it’s partly because you think you deserve it. You may have been born with that attitude or you’ve gained it after years of kissing frogs and having your heart trampled on.
If you’re with a man, on the other hand, who doesn’t give you the respect or attention you crave, and you’re putting up with it, it’s partly because you don’t think you can do any better. You’ve convinced yourself that you love him, warts and all, and that, in some way, you’re responsible for his behaviour. And in many ways you are, though not in the way you may think.
This isn’t about holding out for Mr Right or refusing to settle for anything but the best – I’m not sure I subscribe to either one of those philosophies. It’s about taking responsibility for your relationships and realizing the part we all play in creating them. When you know who you are and what you want, you send out clear messages that anything else is unacceptable. That’s got to be a pretty good place to start.