Originally published at: YourTango.com
Photo credit: Your Tango
If you're single and don't want to be, it's probably because of this.
As a matchmaker, I frequently find that the reason that many singles have yet to find the right person boils down to the fact that they have their eyes closed.
In the literal sense, commonly women will go out, sit at the bar, and stare down at their cell phones with a RBF, only giving the time of day to a guy who looks like Harry Styles’ twin brother. In the figurative sense, many have yet to learn the art of seeing with the eyes of the heart.
Nearly 150 years ago, novelist Elizabeth Gaskell illuminates what many Bachelors and Bachelorettes fail to perceive in her classic novel Wives and Daughters.
Her curly black haired protagonist, Molly Gibson, daughter of the town doctor, possesses a loving heart, straightforward truthful way, and curiosity about science: a young woman perfectly suited for the up and coming, brawny Cambridge scientist, Roger Hamley.
Molly knows Roger before the fame; she had spent time with his dying mother who came to love Molly dearly.
Fast forward a few months, and Molly’s father gets remarried. Molly’s stepsister Cynthia comes to town, and Roger falls in love with her at first sight. The Regina George of her time,
Cynthia has an irresistible beauty that attracts men like bees to a honeycomb.
Although sweet and agreeable, Cynthia lacks the depth and honesty of Molly and finds herself bored when Roger speaks to her about his research projects. Obsessed with being adored, however, Cynthia encourages Roger’s attention and even agrees to get engaged before he leaves for two years on a work expedition to Africa.
Molly, heartbroken, watches Roger through her windows as he leaves their house.
The time passes and Roger writes fervently to Cynthia. At first, she tries to read his letters avidly, but the days pass, she loses interest and believes that the marriage will fail to come to fruition.
After receiving two more proposals after a short stay in London, Cynthia also reveals that she had secretly engaged herself to another man prior to Roger. Long story short, she finally breaks off her engagement to Roger.
Even though Roger feels pain in this rejection, he confesses that he only loved an image of Cynthia that he had created in his mind. When he comes back to town, he sees Molly again with new eyes.
Through their close friendship when they were younger, Molly and Roger had friend-zoned each other, and she realizes that she needs to distance herself a little from him in order to see each other as a love prospect rather than a brother or sister. Molly also spends more time cultivating her appearance to look feminine and attractive to Roger.
Before long, he apologizes to her about his artificial love for Cynthia and asks if she could ever think of him as her husband. She accepts, and they start their wonderful life together.
Roger is lucky, however. Many men in his position, including Molly’s father, had fallen in ‘love’ with a beautiful woman and married her, only to discover the woman’s true character in the marriage.
Men and women have fallen for this trap for centuries, including ours, and have ended up in loveless marriages. Roger and Molly’s story reveals the wisdom in seeing with the eyes of the heart: looking past appearances, first impressions, and feelings to uncover a person’s true value.
We advise our clients to give their matches at least three dates, unless they feel repulsed by the person.
To practice this skill on how to find a good man, I also recommend our Bachelorettes to write a list of five men who they respect and three reasons why for each one. Through this exercise, they start to take notice of other men in their lives who they had yet to notice as worthy of their romantic interest.
The same goes for men: finding the most suitable match for you goes far beyond finding the prettiest woman in the room. It involves a combination of attraction, compatibility, and time.
Stop selling yourself short, and pursue the woman who also has the intelligence and kindness that you crave. Then both of you will recognize one of the greatest components of true love: admiration.