A little while ago, I dated a man who was very financially comfortable. He had a gorgeous house in the right part of town and a beautiful black Range Rover. He was very open to the idea of settling down and starting a family and he was someone you would never have to worry about if they were on a boys' night. I believe the term for a guy like this is a "unicorn". They're almost too good to be true.
My friends gushed at how lucky I was to have found him. How I had finally won the jackpot and I should have been smitten. There was just one problem … I wasn't.
The conundrum was he was too agreeable. He was happy for me to lead the conversation, was reluctant to give me his opinion, and if I'm honest, he basically let me get away with anything.
I'd try to discuss topics with him that I thought he would disagree with, or perhaps have a strong opinion on. I thrive on a good debate and adore hearing someone else's point of view, but he was just that lovely type of guy who was happy to go along with whatever I thought on the matter. He didn't really engage.
I chose the restaurants, I picked the topic of conversation and I chose where we went away for the weekend.
When I find myself with a guy like this, I tend to push the boundaries. I don't mean to, it's just that I am subconsciously testing whether they are someone I could walk all over. No one wants someone like that.
I'd stay out too late, not tell him where I was, cancel plans at the last minute. I know, I know, I was the actual worst.
I woke up one morning and he was staring at me with big puppy dog eyes, waiting for me to tell him what we would be doing that day, and I knew straight away. This was not the man for me.
I knew that by breaking up with him I wasn't just giving up a boyfriend, I was giving up a comfortable life. A life that didn't require half my salary going to a ridiculous loan I'd stupidly taken up after one-too-many expensive trips overseas. I was giving up a beautiful house in exchange for my one-bedroom apartment. I was giving up the opportunity to get married and start a family with a bloke who actually wanted those things as well. With me.
Is the financial gain worth just putting up with someone as opposed to being in love with them? Sadly it is not.
The happy outcome was that he went on to find a gorgeous girlfriend who adores his puppy dog eyes, and the way he dotes on her. He really was a unicorn. Just not my unicorn.
I've since gone on glorious dates with men who have kept me in line, had fascinating debates with over various topics and pulled at my heart strings just a little bit more.
I remember thinking during one date, "Gosh I'm glad I didn't settle."
Now don't get me wrong, I'm certainly no saint, and lord knows I'd love to take the easy road through life, preferably in a leather-seated Bentley, but keep in mind there is also a lot of joy in getting by on your own finances. Having the drive to go after a promotion, discovering the bravado to live by yourself, saving and budgeting for that special outfit.
I look at all these girls who take the easy road and become sugar babies and wonder if it really is the easy way out? What are you giving up to get a little extra? True love? Butterflies when they enter the room? Heck, we've all had debt, but nothing beats the little flutter you get at the simple ping of a text from your special someone.
I now run a test on the blokes I'm dating to see whether I genuinely like them or am just getting carried away with the glitz and glamour of it all. I ask myself one simple question – could I bear sitting on a long-haul flight with them or would they drive me nuts?
It's a simple question, but if the answer is – they would drive me nuts – then it's gotta be, "See ya later."
Finding a life partner is a tricky business but one I want to get right.