In this case, running shoes. Yes, this is what I was thinking about while pounding the pavement earlier.
A few weeks ago, I participated in a local obstacle course called The Crucible Challenge (www.cruciblechallenge.com). In said challenge/race/obstacle course, my favorite running shoes got destroyed (there was a lot of mud and wading upstream through an ice-cold creek). So, I found a very flashy pair of Puma running shoes (black and coral – my favorite color combo) online for half-price to replace my beloved gray and purple Reebok Realflex’s. I was ecstatic – what an awesome deal! Puma’s are supposed to be amazing, after all. Right?
Wrong. True, Puma’s may be perfect for some people. And that’s great. But my flat feet (pes planus, if you want to get technical) have very specific requirements. I tried to make it work. I put Dr. Scholl’s in them. I wore them everywhere trying to break them in. But I went running yesterday in them and just couldn’t take it anymore. They always made me feel slow, the backs of my heels burned like they were on fire, and when I took off the shoes at the end, there were blisters on my toes. It was time to break up with the Puma’s. This afternoon, I humbly went to Hibbett Sports and purchased a cute pair of pink and white Reebok RealFlex’s. I took them for a spin about an hour later. I thought I had wings on my feet. Reebok’s, I’m sorry, I will never cheat on you again.
Men are similar. Just because a guy is gorgeous and makes YOU feel fabulous on his arm, doesn’t mean jack-squat if he is a pain in the rear and/or holds you back from your potential. Don’t be fooled by his dreamy eyes. Don’t hurt yourself trying to make it work. If the shoe doesn’t fit, get rid of it. But don’t DON’T keep him at bay in case you get lonely. Like the misfitting shoes, donate him to someone else, if you will. Just because it didn’t work with you, doesn’t mean that guy isn’t perfect for someone else. Let him go. Free up your heart and make way for your trusty “Reebok” guy to come onto the scene.
I mean, why would you put up with blisters on your toes when you could have wings on your soles? 😉
Now, I have to add something else I have learned that is still relevant to this metaphor. If you’re in a unique situation as I have been/am in where said “misfitting guy” remains in the picture regularly (think classmate, co-worker, teammate, etc.), letting go is not impossible, just a bit more tricky. I have decided to keep my Puma’s. They are good for fashion purposes, just not for running. You may have mistaken your misfitting guy to be a lover, when really he is meant to play a different role in your life. Having strict boundaries is the key to accepting this. Only interact with him when necessary. When you do interact, be overly polite. If you must congratulate, support, and/or cheer him on for any reason, intentionally do the same for another male counterpart. That way, no special treatment is suspected. Treat him exactly like you treat everyone else in that environment. Eventually, the emotional bond with him will begin to fade, the pain will become a memory, and you’ll suddenly realize you really do only think of him with a business-relationship mindset.
And then you will realize that you have developed into a strong, classy lady who can take on the world.