An attractive, fit, women would walk into the store looking for a new pair of True Religion jeans. I would ask, “What size do you wear?” Let’s say she said a size twenty-seven. With the hopes of finding my client the perfect pair of jeans, I would send her to the dressing room with multiple pairs of size twenty-seven jeans. Despite the ladies best efforts, the jeans were to small. When I would offer to get her a pair of twenty-eights, she refused, saying something along the lines of I just need to lose a few pounds, I’m sure they will stretch out or my personal favorite, they really aren’t that tight (even though the button looks like its about to pop off). When this scenario occurred, the women would always leave either with the too-small jeans or empty handed. This drove me crazy! I could not understand why a women who was obviously in good shape was so opposed to just getting a different size jeans. It was obvious to everyone, including her, that they didn’t fit, yet she was willing to diet, suck it in and compromise her own comfort just so she could keep that twenty-seven.
Designer denim is not the only place people can be seen choosing something that doesn’t really fit– it happens all the time in romantic relationships. From Eminem and Rhianna’s song Love the Way You Lie to Carrie and Big’s roller coaster romance on Sex and the City, pop culture illustrates the often occurrence of relationships that don’t really fit but still continue. (Sex and the City fans: How many times did you say, AIDEN IS BETTER? or WHAT IS BIG’S PROBLEM? Let’s be real, that was a hot mess.) It is not limited to pop culture, I see this occurring everyday in my own life and the life of my friends. With that in mind, I pose the question, Why are we obsessed with “genes” that don’t fit? Whether you believe in soul mates or not, it is hard to argue that some people fit well together and others don’t. Of course, every relationship will have its struggles but we can all attest to the fact that some seem to just flow naturally and others are an uphill climb. So why is it that so many people are willing to do whatever it takes to cram themselves into a relationship that doesn’t really fit when they could just get another pair of “genes”? I see a few possibilities: Perhaps it’s the challenge. Many men and women find a steady, happy relationships to be boring and need the constant drama to feel as though the relationship is real (That’s a different post entirely). Another possibility is love; some people are truly in love with a set of “genes” that may not be the best fit for them, but because of love, kids or history they are willing to emotionally lay on the bed, suck it in and cram themselves in the relationships because it’s better than the alternative.
The last is the one I want to focus on– being insecure in oneself. Insecurity has a way of making us think that their is something wrong with us; that we are doing something bad and in order to fix it we must be willing to do whatever it takes to fit the “genes” in front of us instead of choosing a pair that is a better fit. Insecurity also causes us to think, I better take this relationship because I may not get any better. At different points in my dating life I have felt insecure, and as a result change myself in order to be a good fit the guy of the moment. I’ve been the “just friend”, the trophy girlfriend, the designated driver and the “chill-girl who-doesn’t-care-if-you-smoke-pot-and-play-guitar-hero-all-day”– NONE of these thing are who I am, yet because they are what the guy of the moment needed, I completely reworked myself to fit them. I am getting much better at this, but it is still something I struggle with and unfortunately I do not know how to fix it. I can’t leave you all with three steps to choosing “genes” that fit (yet). But from my own experience, I am convinced of this: it is essential to the health and preservation to our relationships that we become secure in ourselves first. Then, and only then, will we be able to decide which “genes” are a good fit for us and which ones aren’t.
The Sammy Davis Jr. song, I’ve Got to Be Me said it best, “I can’t be right for somebody else if I’m not right for me”. That is true. I believe the first step to choosing the right “genes” is to become completely secure in our selves. How do you do that? Well I’ll get back to ya. But if we can learn love ourselves, and know who we are and what we want, then perhaps we will be one step closer to picking picking the “genes” that fit us perfectly.