I’m a gardener. Every year new flora grow in my garden that I didn’t plant.
Some call these weeds. Others call them wild flowers. What you call them depends on your perspective.
While attending to some of these new residents in my garden, it reminded me of prospective suitors who come into our lives.
Women often classify men who have some flaw or who clearly aren’t a match for them as “weeds.” They treat these men with disdain for sullying their “garden” (the woman’s life) by showing up in it. They want to get rid of them immediately as soon as they decide they don’t want them around, without really knowing if they have something to offer.
Some weeds take great effort to get rid of. And others persistently keep showing up, even after you think you’ve ridden your garden of them.
However, wild flowers often delight you with their appearance and bring you joy with their existence. They are welcomed and treasured. Right now I have volunteer mini-pansies, sweet peas, morning glories, poppies, and Queen Anne’s Lace interspersed in my garden, giving me a smile with their blossoms.
The terms “weed” and “wild flower” often refer to the same plant. It depends on your attitude about it.
A man who doesn’t match your list (e.g., your list of your perfect mate) can be considered a weed, to be taken out of your life as quickly as possible. But if he delights you in any way, he should be considered a wild flower and treated with care.
Some of these men/wild flowers will become a permanent part of your garden/life, giving you joy each time you encounter them. Some will not endure. Some will flourish with a little attention and encouragement. You will pull out those you realize don’t really fit your plan. Some will get too pushy and try to take over your garden/life so you will prune them to what works for you, or eliminate them all together.
You will pull out some weeds immediately, like nettles that have sharp thorns and you know you don’t want in your garden. You will keep some around for a while to see if you like them. And others will be with you for the long haul because you like what they provide.
So before you eliminate a man who isn’t exactly what you expected, if he adds something to your life — he makes you laugh, is fun, invites interesting conversation — keep him around. He might not be a perennial, long-term mate, but instead become a special friend.
(BTW, in my garden I also have several non-wild flower volunteers — two tomato plants that are already setting fruit and a 6′ peach tree with baby peaches! You never know when your volunteers will yield fruit for your table — or your soul.)
For more info on getting started in dating, download your copy of Dipping Your Toe in the Dating Pool: Dive In Without Belly Flopping.