"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you."
When it comes to love, I have messed up. A lot. Who hasn't, after all? I have been dating for nearly 13 years and in all that time, I've loved so much. Love to me is a bit different than most people and I've come to accept that. I am like a child in my loving - I like their personality and the way they look and before long, I love them. Looks are important, but mostly I want someone who pleases me on a daily basis. Of course, it doesn't always work out that way and learning to live with my quirks is hard - not to mention, learning to live with THEIR flaws as well!
I've lived, and I've learned. I've taken advice from friends and from my past therapists. I've read books on relationships. I did listen and I did learn how to communicate better. I am always open to advice.
However, the advice I get from my mother? Not so much!
My mother has never liked anyone I've ever dated. Oh, she would always be nice at first but if something happened, it became "Oh, I never liked him anyway" or "I always thought he was funny, you should have listened to me," which just makes me roll my eyes and walk away. I always thought she was trying to be supportive of me in the dislike of their actions, but in reality she couldn't admit that she was just as wrong as I was about them.
Recently, her advice to me was to NOT tell the men I date about my issues. She said "You should date them and get to know them, let them see everything that is great about you and then you tell them all the bad things." I could not believe her and stared at her wondering why in the world she would give ANYONE that advice.
Some people may feel that they don't need to extrapolate on their flaws right off the bat. That perhaps, if they get to know the good things first, they will not CARE about the bad things so much. And perhaps this is true if your bad things are small like "I don't like to do laundry" or "I hate to cook." But that's not the kind of stuff I'm talking about here.
I do feel it is important to get the big stuff out of the way. I -may- not be able to have any more children. I DO have other issues that make a relationship with me difficult. I MAY need more care and attention than another person. I don't want to put all my issues here, but in general I don't find anything I share as a small problem that someone would overlook.
I was really upset that basically she wants me to date someone and hide all the "bad" stuff until they are either in love with me or I with them. I find this unacceptable - mainly because to have someone reject me due to the things I can't help would be so cruel. I would rather find someone from the beginning who accepts me like I am and is still willing to get to know me.
That's why I put that quote from Elbert Hubbard at the top. A person who is my friend first, who accepts me and ALL my flaws, is a person I want to date and maybe even love. I do go into knowing them with the intention to date them, obviously, but if they can't be my friend first, they will probably never be my lover. I know this isn't true for everyone as everybody has their own way of dating and dealing with others. For me, though, it's important that a person accepts all my flaws FIRST instead of knowing all the good things and ignoring the bad things.
A person who wants to be with you should love you for ALL that you are - and accepting anything else is just robbing you of the love that you deserve. It took me a long time to learn this lesson - that accepting someone who isn't worthy of you on ANY level will lead to disaster. We need to love ourselves and the person needs to love you and ALL of your flaws - and will definitely overlook the fact that your mother is absolutely insane and gives bad advice.