Searching for Mr. Right

Tara Taghizadeh


I have had my fortune told three times in my life by the same elderly relative, who has since passed away.


Everything she predicted on the first two occasions has eerily come true: In her first reading, she said she saw “blackness” and “a coffin” – seven months later, my boyfriend passed away.



A few years later in Washington, I sat down reluctantly for a second reading. Again, she frowned and stared into my coffee cup.  Havoc would wreak again, she said, as I would soon depart “thousands of miles away,” and my life would be turned upside down by a group of “vicious snakes.”


A few months later, I moved back to the West Coast, found a high-paying editorial job in the San Francisco Bay Area, and indeed, found myself repeatedly libeled, slandered, and harassed by a group of malicious acquaintances I used to know. I left two years later and moved back to Washington.


During our third and final meeting in 2008, my cousin urged another reading, but I initially declined.


“You always predict bad things will happen, and they always come true,” I said. “I don’t want to know.”


But she insisted, and I cautiously waited for her to deliver additional ominous news.


But this time, it was as though the dark cloud that had engulfed my future had been lifted.


“I see a man waiting for you….You will definitely get married – but quite late in life,” she said. “And your husband will be an educated Renaissance Man and jack-of-all-trades,” she added. I pressed for more information, but she shook her head and refused to say anything else. “Why?” I asked. “For the sake of your love,” she smiled.



I have waited since for my Renaissance Man and jack-of-all-trades to come along.


Now, at an age which most people write you off as the “never getting married” type, I still navigate the profiles of eligible men on dating websites, wondering if any of them are “the one.”


Is this how I am supposed to meet my Mr. Right? By constantly scrolling the photos and bios of the sea of men who have summarized their lives in a few sentences? Divorced, father of three, likes to play golf, listens to Jazz and New Order.


When I was 8 years old, I told my mother that I would know immediately if I met my future husband, that my intuition would guide me. But I have often been wrong.


I close my eyes to retrace my steps and think of the men I have fallen in love with, and/or dated over the years: 


There was the good-looking freelance writer who lived in Georgetown who swept me off my feet, and with whom I enjoyed a whirlwind, and mainly physical, romance. And the nice but eccentric librarian whom I knew briefly, who on our first date invited me to watch an obscure film, which he later said was “a test” to see if I would pass. There was the Stanford graduate student who turned out to be untrustworthy, crass, and lacked emotional integrity – and shocked our circle of friends by eventually marrying his best friend’s ex-wife, which led us to forever ostracize him for his disloyalty.  There was the handsome, tall stranger who showed up to my Sushi dinner party in Palo Alto, whom I fell in love with at first sight. I soon learned he had become closely connected with a few people I consider as enemies—and knowing that I could not trust him, I made the decision to have nothing to do with him. And then there was the quiet, depressive brooder in Europe who ended up cheating on me and broke my heart.


I rummage through a few old emails as another rush of memories floods my mind: the reserved Englishman I met on a trip to the beach and became involved with in London; the confident, dashing older journalist who made my heart skip a beat; the intense Frenchman in Paris who made his feelings for me clear on the first night we met; and the tall, spindly colleague with tousled hair who asked if I had fallen in love with him after our romantic tryst (I had not).


Later, I met a sweet, charming, easygoing man from Virginia, who came into my life at just the right time, and offered me a wonderful year of kindness and laughter when I needed it most. When we parted, I knew we were better off as just friends, and he has remained a good friend ever since.



My parents, who met and fell in love in university, wonder why I didn’t marry when I had the chance. But they know their daughter is a late-bloomer, and they refuse to give up on me.


 “Not everyone gets married. If you meet a man who makes you happy, just live with him. You have plenty of time,” they say.


The only response I have is: I am still waiting for him to come along. I know he is lurking in the shadows somewhere. I sense this in my heart.


I quietly observe and try to learn from the lives of dear friends, those who have married – a few very happily – and others who ended up alone.


My friend Andrea’s husband of nine years died suddenly from a heart attack, and though always the survivor, she is heartbroken, left to pick up the pieces. Stef also lost her husband to an illness years ago, and has given up on online dating after meeting a scammer. Another friend has been married and divorced twice, and has a revolving door of boyfriends who never last more than a few months.


But Marcelle and Steve have been happily married for decades, as have my friends Mark and Cyndi, and Mike and Catherine, and Ken and Lori, and a few other couples I know. The magic formula of their happy unions seems to be a simple recipe of love, thoughtfulness, trust, loyalty, and patience -- they have successfully beaten the odds.


As a Persian-American woman and daughter of a former career diplomat who spent her formative years living and traveling around the world – mainly in Europe and Asia -- I rely on my inner compass to guide me where to look. Would I be most happy with a European man, an American, or a Persian? I am a combination of all of these cultures, and finding someone who is worldly and cultured enough to understand my accumulated values and traditions is no easy task.


“We are cursed,” a fellow Persian-American friend would always say. Our group of friends in university was considered a bevy of pretty, cultured, classy, worldly, and intelligent young women who everyone assumed would succeed at every turn. But fate had other plans in store. All of us ended up either unmarried or divorced after brief, difficult marriages, wondering when our “happily ever after” would show up.



I recently wrote a wish-list of what I am looking for in my future husband – perhaps if I envision him, he will come. I wrote my list and kept it folded in my desk drawer. I recently reviewed it and whittled it down to the few non-negotiables: He must be trustworthy, loyal, always have my back, strong, intelligent, worldly, value the importance of family, and have a sense of humor.


And when my Mr. Right finally comes along, what can I offer him? Relationships are, after all, a two-way street. I have spent the past year reflecting on my positive and negative traits and what I can improve upon: Am I quick to fly off the handle? I will learn to be calmer. Am I easily trusting? I will learn to be more discerning. Do I make rash judgments? I will make sure I hear all sides of a story, and not be influenced by the lies and gossip of the malicious few.


And when he finally comes, I will be open to giving him my all, loving him completely, and promising unwavering loyalty, devotion, and a rollercoaster of emotions. I will move anywhere in the world -- and to the end of the earth -- to be with him.


My friend Marcelle says I should keep looking until I find my bliss. So I continue to scroll through the sea of men on dating websites and wonder which one will be my Renaissance Man and jack-of-all-trades. Will it be Dmitri, or Jason, or wise Pedro, who wrote to me with this sage advice: “If you are afraid of getting hurt, you increase the chances of that happening. Look at the tightrope walkers -- do they think they might fall when they walk carefully on the rope? No, they accept that risk and enjoy the pleasure of defying danger. If you spend your life trying not to break anything, you will be terribly bored.”


Yes, I too must defy danger; I too must take another risk. So I decide to step back and take a long, hard look at not only my regrets, missed opportunities, and sorrows, but also all my blessings, joys, and victories. I must take a step back, so I can prepare to leap forward and be ready for the next man who will be my destiny.


Author Bio:

Tara Taghizadeh is the Founding Editor and Publisher of Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


Image Sources:

Ruben Ulset (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Franck Mahon (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Pikist (Creative Commons)

John William Godward Painting (Wikipedia, Creative Commons)

Bedbible (Bedbible, Creative Commons)


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