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Wow! Thanks for helping me grow! I have a constant desire to UPGRADE. I relate it to a Jennifer Aniston Syndrome. She had Brad Pitt, so where could she go from there? She found someone funnier, taller, cooler, younger, etc. I find myself doing the same and now I am getting depressed from the lack of potential upgrades. I feel like I have set myself up for disappointment.
My ex-husband was the kindest and most romantic man. He worshiped me and he was a doting father. In the end, he was a weak cheater. How could I upgrade? I found a wealthy exciting man to date, son of a billionaire. Well, he turned out to be a playboy, of course. After a year of celibacy I met my latest man, my tallest, youngest, sexiest man. We became best of friends because we had the same exact taste in music, fashion, food, books. We joked that we were twins despite our age difference. After years of marriage and celibacy, the sex with my tall man was the greatest… But, I realize he is not leaving his drinking and player ways when he is out with his buddies. Now, I see every man under 6’5” as short and unattractive and boring. No one can hold a candle to his height and sex. I feel like there is no upgrade and yet I cannot be with a young player who drinks. Please advise. –Ultra
Actually, I think it was Pitt who decided to upgrade to Angelina, but let’s not quibble. Hollywood is notorious for its insecurity and one-upsmanship, so let’s use it as the model for what NOT do in dating.
Next, kudos to you for identifying the source of your discontent and for being brave enough to write in about it. Too bad you can’t seem to make a rational decision given what you already know.
Choices don’t actually make us happier; in fact, the more choices you have, the more paralyzed you become, and the greater your level of dissatisfaction in your life.
I’m hoping I can help you abandon this foolish idea of “upgrading”.
First of all, pick up a copy of Barry Schwartz’s “The Paradox of Choice”. This book IS the reason I’m married right now.
The two-sentence log line is that choices don’t actually make us happier; in fact, the more choices you have, the more paralyzed you become, and the greater your level of dissatisfaction in your life.
Schwartz divides the worlds into satisficers and maximizers. You and I are maximizers. If we have 95% of what we want, we’ll continue to look for 98%. We will not rest until we find it.
The irony is that satisficers are happier. They understand the paradox of choice. They know when there’s the illusion of greener grass and choose to stay on their side of the fence. They appreciate what they have and don’t spend any time comparing it to what they don’t.
Satisficers will say, “He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s financially stable: I’m keeping him.” Maximizers say, “He doesn’t like salsa dancing. He’s not 6’5”. He doesn’t earn $300K/year. I’m dumping him.”
Satisficers get happily married. Maximizers hold out for the perfect mate and remain single – or, if they find love, continue their search for “better.”
Except better isn’t really “better.” And the cost of your search is greater than what you end up gaining.
After I read The Paradox of Choice, it was like all the light bulbs in my head went off at once, illuminating how I could be happier.
Why He Disappeared is the smart, strong, successful woman's guide to understanding men. If you want to learn how men think, and rediscover how to have meaningful relationships - all from a man's point of view - click here to learn Why He Disappeared.
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