First Came Fluff, Then Came Love
by Nina Bennett
My last relationship ended with Fluff. An actual container of it, brought back to me from Massachusetts by a man who, with all his aloof idiosyncrasies and ambiguity, I thought cared for me.
For those of you who are unaware, Fluff is a gooey
white substance that has the consistency of a melted
marshmallow. It can be spread on bread alone or with
peanut butter, thus creating the "Fluffer Nutter"
sandwich. Though good, it is rather un-filling and void
of any nutrients, which exactly describes my
relationship with him.
We women are amazing creatures. We will believe what we want to believe. We can make Shrek look like a gentleman worthy of the GQ cover if we really try. The truth is, when we want someone to be right for us, we will believe that he is to the point of breaking. We will flex, forgo, give, forgive, and, I cringe as I say this word, settle. Yes, we settle for men who do not give us what we need.
I realize that some women have a hard time with
believing that their needs should be met, either by what
they have been taught or how they view themselves, but
the fact remains that if your needs, however simple or
farfetched they may be, are not being met in a
relationship, you will never be happy. And happiness is
the name of the game in life.
But this is not entirely our fault. It is not as if we go into a relationship wanting to settle. The problem is that somewhere along the way we forgot that the whole point of dating is to see if we are compatible with someone and started to believe that it was our personal quest as women to miraculously and valiantly change the wrong man into the right one.
Maybe it made us feel like we were winning the dating
war and taking matters into our own hands, or perhaps it
was easier to try to concentrate our efforts on one man
who we felt had potential than to roll through a dating
lineup larger than the shoe selection at Macy's. But we
have to remember, compatibility is what it's all about;
it allows us to get along with someone after the initial
thrill of staying over at his house (food containers,
dirty laundry and all) and having mind blowing sex
(lunch hour included) three times a day wears off.
I am guilty of all this. Of settling, of doggedly trying to turn a man into what I wanted him to be, of giving and forgiving too much, and of blinding myself to the reality that this princess wasn't going to turn a frog into a prince. And that brings us back to the Fluff.
It changed my life. How? Well, sometimes with the simplest gestures we gain profound insight. In other words, with insignificance we gain significance. For me Fluff was, as they say, the last straw. Not because it was a cheap and absurd gift, but because I saw that this man viewed me not as a special woman he was in love with, but as a friend. (After all, this is the equivalent of giving a Smucker's Strawberry Jelly set to an office acquaintance at Christmas.) Fluff made me realize that I wanted more than his afterthoughts and fickle interest; that I needed something, someone, with more consistency, and more importantly, that I was worth more.
So I did what any hurt, pissed off, independent woman
would do. I cried, yelled, and threw him out of my
house. Then I promptly ate an enormous quantity of Fluff
smeared on graham crackers while seeking consolation in
my roommate. But I stored the container of Fluff in my
cupboard where I could see it as a reminder that if you
settle for a sugary, artificially flavored substitute
for love- that is what you will have.
And I have to say that life post-Fluff has been pretty good. I met a man who is suited for me, who meets my needs, and who graciously gifts me with personalized and heartfelt gifts. But in order to do this I had to learn to stop talking myself into men who were wrong for me and have the patience and faith to believe that the right one would come along. Then, when he did, I focused on compatibility and not on seeing if my honed tactics could mold him into what I wanted and needed.
So, ladies, instead of suiting up in your warrior gear to battle the savage task of changing a man, take your time and carefully examine if you are compatible and if he is what you want. If he is not, move on. Do not settle. Do not bend yourself to the point of breaking. Do not live off the illusion that you can make him into your dream man.
And remember, relationships that form fast often fade fast. But take heart, I am testament that relationships that consist of and end with Fluff, can lead to love.
About the Author:
Nina is a 25 year-old passionate writer who has
recently begun her career in freelancing. She enjoys
writing for and about women and takes inspiration from
women in her life, considering herself a means to
channel all they have taught her.