The Truth About Finding The Right Partner

This is a blog post by Floh member, Mira Saraf. Learn more at www.floh.in (a network that connects singles in real life)

insights on finding the right person

A long time ago, on a cold Saturday night at the end of February, I met a boy in a sketchy bar on New York’s 8th Avenue. We passed each other a few times and smiled shyly, both too afraid to make a move. Finally, frustrated by the lack of action, his friends took matters into their own hands and told my friend to introduce us.

Unlike most single men one meets in bars, he was sweet and warm, not to mention relatively sober. He did not attempt to touch me or make a move; he simply made polite conversation and asked for my number. Three days later he called me to invite me to dinner, and the rest as they say, is history.

We dated for three and a half years. He was the model boyfriend in every which way, for those of you Sex and the City fans, he was the Aidan to the many Mr. Bigs and Mr. Post-it Notes that followed: sweet, generous with time, affection and money, and incredibly caring.

He would have given me anything that I ever wanted and more, and would have made an amazing partner. Ours wasn’t the kind of love that made people cry at the movies, or had earth-shattering moments of drama. It was a simpler thing –boring by some standards, rock solid by others.

I was 23 years old, barely a month out of my last relationship. I knew nothing.

My US visa ran out, and my work permit fell through. I was suddenly faced with a choice – get married or leave the country.

I’ve thought about that choice for the last ten years. Not that I can take it back, not that I can change the way things turned out, not that it was necessarily even the wrong decision. But I still wonder today if I actually understood the choice I made.

I was restless, and he was ready for commitment. We had talked about marriage, and a future together, but I didn’t know if the American suburban dream could be mine, but I realized it was everything he wanted. I had to accept, with a great deal of sadness, that it would not happen. Although we stayed together for a few months after my move, it was really the beginning of the end.

After that, I went out with men of all types, personalities and from all different walks of life. Like many men and women I grew frustrated with the game and the available choices. My New York man, my Aidan, had spoiled me, and I was never able to feel the same with anybody else.

Three years of singledom later, I entered what was possibly the most dramatic relationship I’ve ever been in – equal parts passion, violent tempers and drama. At the beginning he was totally enamored by me, hung on to my every word, gazed at me like a little puppy dog. Yes, it was the honeymoon phase, but at some point, the dynamic shifted – and suddenly I was giving much more than I was receiving.

I say this like I’m blaming him. I’m not. Part of it was that he was not truly capable of giving me what I needed, but then again I also shied away from communicating this gap. Also, over the course of time, I allowed him to treat me more and more as expendable, and three and a half years (clearly my threshold) and another move later, we ended things over a teary phone call.

This was followed by another relationship, much shorter-lived and different in every way except one: this person went from almost overwhelming infatuation, to the point that I felt like I was put up on a pedestal, to moonlighting on a dating site and barely responding to Whatsapp messages, let alone phone calls or date nights. There were other factors of course; these things are rarely simple, but they are irrelevant to divulge here.

One morning, after a sleepless night of trying to figure out why I couldn’t get this one thing right when I’ve been successful in all other areas in my life, I found myself writing a message to my New York ex.

I wrote him to tell him he was an amazing person. That he should know that he deserved all the happiness in the world. I also wrote that I was sorry that I had never been able to appreciate him as much as he deserved to and that I felt really bad for any hurt I would have caused him. I wrote him without agenda – the man is happily married with a ten-month old daughter, and I am no home wrecker. I just needed peace.

He wrote me back a day later. He held no bitterness or grudges. He remembered everything about our relationship and I with fondness, and knew I hadn’t meant to hurt him. But most importantly he said I didn’t deserve to struggle this much to be with someone, that I deserved better.

When I read this, tears sprang to my eyes. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder. It was then that I realized that my guilt for my New York ex had been holding me back from being what I perceived as too demanding in my later relationships. I had always considered myself too selfish and felt I needed to give more than I received.

It is not that I want to stop giving: not at all. But I also want to be able to receive now. For some reason, after the message from my Aidan, I actually believe I deserve it.

It is never bad to be giving in a relationship and you should certainly do it without agenda of receiving something back. But when someone is giving you the same benefit, many of us our conditioned to feel we don’t deserve it. I know I sound like a cheesy L’Oreal commercial now, but when it finally sinks in, to accept what you need to sustain yourself, it is most empowering feeling in the world.

I know now that I won’t repeat my mistakes, and I know now that I won’t put myself into a situation where I’m miserable or with someone who puts me down. I’m allowing myself to be loved. One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Twain and reads: “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

I couldn’t agree more.

  • Shraddha Easwaran

    Moved by your post. I had replied to your comment on a Floh post a few days back..and we had a brief banter. Remember me? :) I completely understand all your feelings..having been through so much myself. IM me if you ever want to share. Peace out.

    • Mira Saraf

      Yes Shraddha I remember – I still think your comeback is the best! I will send you a message on fb for sure – it’s always so nice to connect with people in a similar frame of mind! Not to mention the same sense of humor haha. Lets chat soon :)

      • Aradhana Lall

        Wow Mira! Beautifully penned down. I have just joined Floh and hope to meet some great people here. I am really touched by your story n hope I can connect with you soon

        • Mira Saraf

          Thank you Aradhana and so sorry for the late reply! :) Hoping you do meet awesome people here and if you are in Delhi I’m sure I will run into you sooner or later!

          • Aradhana Lall

            Hey Mira! How very nice to have heard from you! I am really looking forward to joining Floh however, right now it seems they are bringing about some changes.
            And yes, I am from Gurgaon. Can’t wait to join n make some great friends! Hope to meet you too real soon!😊

  • Nanditha Kini

    Mira, wow. Just … Wow. Bottom line is a lot of us just aren’t spending enough time to know ourselves nowadays. If we did, relationships with others would be a cakewalk, wouldn’t it? Kudos girl! :)

    • Mira Saraf

      Thank you Nanditha – that means a lot! :) I think self-reflection is always valuable – and there is so much to be gained for understand who and how we are in relationships. I’m glad it made sense outside my head hahaha!

  • Sony Kunwar

    Mira….I love you for writing this. The end note is overwhelming. :)

    • Mira Saraf

      Thank you! :) I am happy it resonates – was concerned that it wouldn’t make sense but it’s nice to know that so many connect with it!

  • Jheel Kacharia

    I can resonate with this story like no other… So beautifully penned down…

    • Mira Saraf

      Thank you :)

  • Keerthana Varadarajan

    beautifully written !! Resonates well :)

    • Mira Saraf

      thank you :) I’m glad it does

  • Rakesh Saraf

    Thank you for sharing this with me, Mira. Much like me. We both take time, but eventually we figure it out. Look how long it took me to write a simple email. God bless. I have rarely seen you happier than you look now. And, no, you are not a nicer person now. You were always so, ha ha!

    • Mira Saraf

      Yes, you have a better way with words than some hahaha. I am happy, and feel blessed :)

  • Shona Advani

    Nice one. Very heartfelt. Hope you found your Aiden again:)

    • Mira Saraf

      Thank you :) I haven’t yet, but I’m more at peace with what it is I need and I think I understand it a lot better.

  • Sandhya M

    :)

  • Manju Hara

    Dear Mira, Glad to have come across your blog. I guess much like everybody here, i would also say i resonate it with very well. In many ways perhaps, it is also a story of my life, I walked out of something after 8 years, painful no doubt, but yes the L’Oreal commercial never gave me that lesson. I “struggled” and pretty much everything in that, or after that relationship has been acquired through an hands-on approach. Can’t agree more that however easy it may sound, to be able to see ourselves worthy of something better doesn’t come overnight or in months. I am so happy for you dear, may that smile never fades.

    God bless. May love finds you :)

    • Mira Saraf

      Thank you so much Manju – that means a lot. I’m pleased that it resonates with so many people. 8 years is a long time – but at the end of the day we do need to see ourselves worthy of something better whether we are men or women and we have to love and allow ourselves to be loved. I’m still figuring it out, but I do hope that one day I can look back and understand it all. Relationships are a complicated thing that I have yet to wrap my head around but I think little things are starting to make sense and the dots are starting to connect. I don’t know if this makes much sense – but I hope you find what you’re looking for and be loved the way you want to be :)

  • rika shin

    this is so romantic story mira.

  • rika shin

    hi my name is rika . im half india and half south korean. my dad is from korea and my mom si from india. they met while they are in college they said ever since they had me and my twin big brothers. they are so romantic couple . as always whether its morning or night.

    • Ray Mughal

      Hey, i want to talk to you! I hope this isnt weird. I’m indian. Reply to me and i can give you my email?

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