I’ve always defined myself as a late bloomer. My father was a self-described late bloomer so maybe there is some kind of LB gene out there that got passed on. I wore the LB label proudly because I was taking the time to lay the seeds of a full, beautiful bloom one day. I continued to go to school for years after the majority of my peers were well into their careers. I continued to date after the majority of my peers settled into marriages.
This before-the-bloom time was filled with excitement and anticipation, but it also became increasingly frustrating, particularly with regard to relationships. The seeds seemed to be leading more toward dead wood than to the one blossom I had been looking for.
But still I was determined to keep planting by continuing to date and not give up. I was careful to weed out the wrong men and look for that one right man to come along. I became a psychotherapist and used that expertise combined with my personal relationship experiences to write Profiling Your Date: A Smart Woman's Guide to Evaluating a Man (St. Martin's Press 2007). I knew in my heart I was on the right path and felt so strongly about it, I needed to share it with other women. It’s about perseverance and about opening your eyes to who people really are—including yourself!
And what happens next is a blooming, happy ending. I have become the person that I was meant to become and found my “one.” And isn’t funny that my once shy, but now outgoing fiancé (I’m 38 and getting married for the first time in a couple of weeks) is a self-described late bloomer as well!
I “profiled” him at an online dating site which to me is one of the best ways to meet people as long as you are smart about it. Right away, a sweetness in his smile attracted me while the similar ways we expressed ourselves drew me in.
Do I wish I had met him earlier in my life? I see so clearly that we can’t will the love of our lives to come along exactly when we want them. What we can do is choose to let the healthiest, most fun and interesting people into our lives—by staying on this path, it will lead us to each of our “ones."
Here are a few important profiling tips that I hope help you on your relationship path:
1. Always be cautious of someone who wants too much from you too soon—emotionally, financially, sexually.
2. If you meet a thrill-seeker who gets bored easily, he/she will eventually get bored with you.
3. Remember past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior i.e. if he has cheated once, he is likely to cheat again.
4. Watch out for “opposites attracting.” So many studies show that people who have similar traits and values, as well as similar levels of intelligence and attractiveness have the longest, happiest relationships.
5. See who the person really is rather than trying to make them into the person you want them to be.
6. Be self-reflective, but don’t continuously self-blame. Many times when you thought you weren’t attractive enough, or fun enough for someone to commit to you, the reality was that your partner wasn’t emotionally healthy enough to establish and maintain a relationship.
7. Don’t look for a perfect person, look for individuals who are working toward fulfilling their potential.
For more information about Caroline and her book, go to www.profilingyourdate.com