Ever tried a new restaurant with a favorite dish on the menu, and been disappointed? You’re all set to enjoy a new take on that old favorite, you take a bite, and … bummer. It’s not the same. It’s not even close to tasty. It’s just food. You won’t be back.
Maybe it’s an old restaurant that was really good before, but now, something’s different. They have a new chef, or have changed the menu. Or what tasted great before is now too salty, too rich, or just … wrong. You go back a few times, but after a while, you realize that it just doesn’t work anymore. You find another restaurant, and move on.
But what if it isn’t a restaurant? What if it’s a person?
You meet a new person with enthusiasm. This could be great! You start to interact. Maybe you click right away, maybe you don’t, but you’re looking for the positives, the common ground. You start to form a relationship.
You spend time with them, get to know them better. Minutes, months, even years go by. And then you find that it’s not working. They’re the new restaurant with the wrong recipe. Or the old restaurant that’s lost the “comfort” in its comfort food.
So you keep at it a while. Maybe what’s bothering you is just a temporary phase they’re in. Maybe your expectations are inappropriate. So you keep at the relationship, trying to make it work.
But what if persistence and patience, forgiveness and flexibility don’t pay off. What if you’re expecting that person to be someone they’re not? Maybe they are not wired that way. Not only that, maybe you are expecting you to be someone you are not.
You know what tastes good to you. You know what atmosphere you like. You know what kind of service makes you smile. So stop going to that restaurant that disappoints you. Stop spending your time and money going someplace that doesn’t feel good. Go try some new places. It’ll be fun to explore. After all, your new favorite is waiting for you out there.
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What really stinks, however, is when that restaurant is family owned. Even then, and as painful as it can be, branching out seems to be the way to peace, and entirely better dining experiences. (Thanks for an analogy to which I can relate entirely.)