Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stripped Down Sunday:The Boy Next Door Syndrome

You know the routine. There's a girl and right next door lives this boy. He's all the things the girl wants, but she doesn't know it yet. Instead, she spends all her time sneaking under the fence to graze on the greener grass. She breaks a bridge--or twenty--takes him for granted and pushes him completely out of her life. Until one day he's gone. And that's exactly when she wants him.

Cliches, I know, but cliches packed with truth. In life, we so often fail to realize the good things we have, and we always seem to want more.

We live it, we read it, and we cry about it. Time and time again. But, we never, ever learn from it.

I married my high school sweetheart. This summer we celebrated our twentieth anniversary. About ten years into my marriage, an acquaintance expressed the feeling of awed disgust. "I don't know how you did it. I never could have married INSERT HER GUY NEXT DOOR'S NAME HERE."

Me: "Why not?"

Her: "Because, what if there's somebody better out there?"

Me: "There is."

Unequivocally there is a higher paying job, a more attractive dude, a faster car, smarter kids, better football players, cuter cheerleaders, skinnier gals, buffer boys, cuter hair, bigger houses, better co-workers--but there is only one guy next door. And if we are afraid to be happy with what we have then we won't be happy at all.

I'm not asking you to settle. I'm just asking you to assess what you have against what you need, then take good look at why you want more.

At the very least, learn from that acquaintance of mine. Fast forward ten years since the above conversation and she's still unmarried. Unmarried at 35 with no prospects, because every time she crawls under the fence, there's another green pasture, another fence, and another boy next door watching it all.

How do you let the Boy Next Door Syndrome rule your life? How do we break away from this mindset and start appreciating the things we have?

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