Dating in 2017 is an endless waiting game, with popular relationship advise on social media continuously cautioning us about the type of person that every girl or guy should wait for. But what exactly are you waiting for? Dig deeper than the list of wonderful qualities that you desire in an ideal mate and ponder why you value those traits as much as you do in the first place.
In the past, I was basically waiting to stumble upon someone who would compensate for my own shortcomings or inadequacies and love me more than I loved myself. If this also sounds like your current dating approach, then I encourage you to stop wasting your precious time waiting for your perfect mate because the only factor that determines who you attract is you and how much you love yourself. A better use of your waiting period is healing the cause of your internal unworthiness. Develop better boundaries and make empowered decisions that will prevent choosing partners from a mindset of desperation and neediness.
Stay Single Until You Love Yourself
The last dating article you read may have told you to just stay single until you meet someone who doesn’t make you doubt yourself, or something along those lines. But here’s the catch: if you doubt yourself then you will forever continue to chose guys that cannot offer you security. It’s irrelevant if a prospective lover possesses the right or wrong qualities because you are willingly choosing your partners. Therefore, you ought to focus more on what is guiding your choices and less on the factor that you cannot control, which is the other person. If we dare to be completely honest with ourselves, then admittedly what we desire in a partner often resembles how we are not treating ourselves. When we do not genuinely love and value ourselves, we will typically choose partners based on how we think they will make us feel more worthy or desirable and become completely blind to who they are as people. I refer to this as the starving for self love syndrome. It’s comparable to missing a meal during a diet and your subsequent food choices become driven purely by your deprivation and hunger instead of what is beneficial and nutritious. In contrast, when we authentically embody the expectations that we desire from a spouse towards ourselves, we no longer need anything from a partner to feel worthy and take responsibility for our own happiness within our unions. This allows us to see a relationship as a platform for personal growth and learning, which makes it easier to walk away from toxic relationships that no longer promote our wellbeing.
Your Expectations Are For You
I will take a stab at the fact that if you have a long list of expectations that you desire from a potential partner then you may still be harbouring significant emotional pain that you must heal to truly love yourself. That’s because our expectations are merely the external band aids for long standing wounds of how unworthy we feel. If you wrestle with insecurity, you may desire a mate who is very confident but lack the self-assurance to date such people, opting instead to settle for those whom you perceive will make you feel more secure. Seeking confidence through a partner distracts a person from enhancing their own level of self worth. So, don’t throw out your expectations all together, but simply become aware that the qualities that you desire in a spouse represent what you must nurture in a greater capacity within yourself to experience your desired benefits from those traits. All the incidents that cause a person to feel inadequate will not suddenly cease to elicit unworthiness simply because the “perfect match” showed up. Our insecurities are often our own best kept secrets and our lovers aren’t in the loop that they’ve been tasked with making us feel worthy. Rather, when we chose people according to their perceived ability to meet our expectations, we put them in charge of our happiness and do not take responsibility for the true cause of our emotional discontent. This often leads to projecting our unhealed wounds onto our spouses and not recognizing the broader opportunity of personal growth that our persistent insecurity offers us.
Stop Rushing and Start Discovering
When we expect a relationship to make us feel worthy or valuable, we get in a hurry to see if we can have our cake and eat it too. We will rush things to the next level because we want to confirm if a partner does indeed fit the bill of expectations that we have created for them. However, dating is an opportunity to discover who people are and, through self awareness, support each other in becoming the best version of ourselves. If we are not being honest or dony feel confident about our choices within a relationship, it leads to believing that we have something to lose in taking our time with the progression of the relationship. For example, when I lacked the courage to act on the subtle inklings and red flags that I felt about my exes, I would inherently want rush things to the next stage to prove myself wrong or right. Similarly, if you doubt your partner’s commitment level, the answer is not rushing to move in together to see if they are willing to commit and inadvertently test out your expectations. When we assume responsibility for nurturing our own happiness through a positive mindset, selfcare and personal hobbies/passions then a partner cannot hinder our joy and we never have anything to lose in any relationship. In contrast, making choices solely on our expectations undermines our boundaries because we will act to feel validated instead having the clarity to make choices that honor our integrity and well being.
Stop waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right if their role is to make you feel better about who you are. Our pain or unhappiness is our own and nobody else can take that away from us no matter how they appear on paper. When we are happy with ourselves and living honestly in our truth, our relationship choices will reflect this.
Author: Ini Anana
Author Bio: Professionally, I am a public health nurse and an aspiring life and relationship coach. I am passionate about empowering people to foster a mindset that supports reaching their highest potential and encouraging women to embrace self love and live boldly in their authentic truth.
Link to social media or website: Facebook @steepingjoy