Sometimes I think I’m weird when I remember how I would feel after a romantic relationship ended. What I mean is that while most people were sad and depressed after a breakout, I was kind of excited. Don’t get me wrong, I was sad about the relationship ending, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom for me. That’s sounds crazy, I know. I think deep down I knew that the relationship ending meant that better things were in store for me.
It meant that I was choosing myself over another person who possibly did not have my best interest at heart. Perhaps that person and I just weren’t a good fit long term. Maybe he was a jerk! Maybe it was devastating but it meant I had more options now than I had before. After all, I was leaving with more relationship experience then I had going into it. I learned more about myself in the process. I was coming out smarter and better armed for finding the person who was right for me.
Rather than focus on the loss I chose to focus on what I now had to gain. I could literally rewrite my future in a sense. This made me feel powerful. I could focus on what I really want out of life and how that relates to the partner that I choose to have in my life.
It made me evaluate what was working and what was not working. It also made me think about what I truly wanted out of life. I was excited because now I had a chance to find it again. Happiness was an option again now that I was out of a bad relationship. Maybe I’m an optimist by heart, but I don’t think so.
Maybe I was just a little bit selfish because I chose ME.
I think that when you’re single it’s okay to be a little bit selfish. It’s okay to put your needs ahead of another person even if there’s nothing WRONG with them. It’s okay to choose YOU.
I think that I stayed in relationships longer than I should have because I felt obligated. I felt I owed this person something and that I should sacrifice my own happiness. I didn’t want to hurt another person and who was I to demand stuff from another person. Was I so special?
When I was young I thought maybe this is as good as it gets for me. I should settle because maybe that’s the best I can do.
It was so dumb and such a complete waste of time!
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in another person that we lose sight of our own needs.
We almost become this other person that we really aren’t. I think I did this a lot. I still had not defined in my own mind who I truly was so I morphed into whomever I was dating at the time. That’s probably why I felt so relieved when it was over! I could drop the act and go back to simply being me. We do this a lot when we’re young or inexperienced with dating. We’re still trying to figure out who we are and so we’re unsure of ourselves. Some of us are even afraid to speak up and ask for what we want. We’re okay with changing to better fit our partner’s needs. Of course we learn over time that this approach does not work!
Are you morphing to fit your partner’s needs? Do you put your partner’s needs above your own?
Are you holding out for a ring or a commitment but not really sure you even want to be with this person? Sometimes I think that we hold out because the proposal is a form of validation that we’re doing what we should, even if it doesn’t feel right. We’re moving forward. We’re making progress! The biological clock is ticking! We need to commit! Then we get married and inevitably end up divorced or miserable and stuck in a relationship.
Some women are so distracted and obsessed with the wedding we forget to focus on finding the right man! Some people look at a stupid timeline. They have a “life plan” or “timeline for their life” and figure okay it’s time. They marry someone not for love but for convenience or timing. Some even marry for status.
It’s sad but true.
Worse, we’re afraid to be alone because we’re not really sure who we are on the inside. Then we seek validation from another person to give us this false sense of self. I did this. This is why I’m on my second (and final) marriage!
This reminds me of the movie the “Runaway Bride.” Did you see it? Julia Roberts plays a woman who has runaway from three weddings! She keeps leaving men at the altar. Her character Maggie is guilty of what I describe above. Richard Gere is a reporter doing a story about her and he totally calls her out on her behavior. She keeps changing the way that she likes her eggs prepared dependent upon which guy she happens to be with. Of course it doesn’t really matter how she likes her eggs prepared but it’s a representation of how little she knows about what she wants and likes. (see the clip below)
Spoiler Alert. She finally decides she likes Eggs Benedict! Anyway…
When I was young, I simply didn’t know who I was, or what I truly needed. I also thought that I should settle. I didn’t truly know my value. I learned the hard way I’m afraid. That’s okay because it was my journey to finding happiness. I also was afraid to be myself and afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted.
Maybe you’re not young, but you’re coming out of a long relationship? We tend to do the same thing. Maybe you’ve simply changed and so divorce was inevitable. It happens. People change. People grow. The hope is that if you’re married you grow together and not apart.
What advice would I give to a young person who is dating, or a person who has recently divorced or ended a long relationship?
Know Yourself. Be Self-Aware.
Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Self-awareness is the key to a happy relationship. If you’re feeling a little lost, then you need to find yourself again. That’s okay! The knowing is in the journey. We figure it out along the way. We don’t always know until we have a little bit of trial and error. Truly learn not only what you want in a partner but what you actually NEED in a partner. What does that mean? I know that I must be with someone who is assertive. I tend to be aggressive in nature and a little obsessive compulsive (OCD), so I MUST be with someone who calls me on my BS! I’m super competitive and can tend to bulldoze a person if they let me. I know it isn’t right! I’m still kind but I can be a little much sometimes. I know this about myself so I NEED someone who will call me on my crap. (politely of course)
I also need someone who is patient. Like I said I’m a little bit OCD. This means that I like things done a certain way. Yes, I’m aware of this, so I’m very careful to try and not correct my husband when he does something a little bit different than I would have. (Ex. folding laundry) I try to simply be thankful that he helps at all! He also knows that I’m particular about certain things so he’s patient with me. He deals with it a bit but he doesn’t let me go overboard. He also looks at the bright side of my OCD. He chooses to focus on the good of what comes out of that. What does come out of that? I run a pretty efficient household and we rarely run out of what we need. I also contribute financially while I run a house hold so he is super appreciative of the fact that I juggle a lot. My husband is assertive, kind, appreciative, and very patient. He’s also super smart so he challenges me when I need it. Bottom line. Know where you need a little bit of help and find someone who can complement that part of you. Find someone who can see the good in your bad and who can accept the bad stuff as well. You also need to be sure that you too accept your partner for their weaknesses.
Don’t be afraid to end a relationship because you’re not feeling it!
There doesn’t need to be some dramatic exit. Nobody has to screw someone over, or be the bad guy. Sometimes you just aren’t feeling it and that’s okay. Sometimes you like each other enough, but the passion isn’t really there. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with someone, they’re just wrong for YOU. (That’s also why you practice Old School Dating) Don’t try and force it! If you try and force it, it WON’T work. I promise.
Sometimes we say to ourselves, “I should just give it more time.” That’s forcing it and forcing it doesn’t work. It just prolongs the inevitable. Don’t stay in a relationship with someone because you don’t want to hurt him or her by ending it. It’s surprising how many people do this! You’re not doing the person any favors. Eventually it will end, so just cut the BS and let that person be on their way to their own happiness. Worse, don’t cheat on someone until you find someone better. That selfishness if NOT okay. That is NOT the type of selfish I’m talking about. Cut the crap and move on already. Stop stalling! Make a decision and move on. Don’t be afraid to make a decision.
Are you afraid to break up with someone because you think you might be making a mistake? Again, that’s why you practice Old School Dating and date multiple people. You’re not committing whole heartedly until the man in your life is ready for the REAL commitment. You won’t waste your time with someone who you think you might want to marry someday, when you’re not head over heels in love now. You don’t waste your time, and they don’t waste theirs! You both can see other people until you know for sure. No pressure on either party and yes you have to be very mature to do this. You have to be confident and okay with the guy you like seeing other women. It works both ways…
Don’t be a martyr.
Don’t become emotionally responsible for another human being. If you’re the martyr in the relationship eventually you will become very resentful. You can’t keep it up for long. It won’t last, so if you’re not feeling it, then end it. You are NOT responsible for another person’s emotional stability. You cannot make another person happy. You can only find another happy person and be happy together.
Also, don’t be an enabler. If you stay in a relationship with someone because it strokes your ego, that’s dumb. It may be nice for your ego, but you’re not going to respect that person. If you don’t have respect for the person you’re with, you will not be able to achieve intimacy with that person. The sex will suck and you will eventually end it an move on. If you’re the martyr in the relationship it means one thing. You are NOT dealing with your own stuff so it feels better to have someone else around you that doesn’t have it together. You are NOT facing your own issues but instead are placating yourself by focusing on another person’s weaknesses. End the relationship and work your shit out.
It’s okay to be a little bit selfish.
It’s okay to be selfish in the sense that you don’t owe anyone that you’re dating anything except your kindness and consideration. You should be dating multiple people, especially when you’re young, so that you figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Dating only one person at a time lengthens the learning curve. It puts you seriously behind the ball when it comes to determining the type of relationship that works for you. If you aren’t feeling it for someone, end it. Don’t prolong the inevitable and lead them on. That’s not nice.
Life is about making tough choices and then learning to live with those choices. Sometimes you make the wrong choice. That’s okay! What isn’t okay is making bad choices repeatedly and not learning from them. If the decision is bad then you will learn and hopefully not make it again. We all make bad choices in life. That’s the only way we learn. Those who choose to accept it for what it is and then learn from it, are the true winners in life.
The true travesty in life is to never take a chance so that you never learn a thing. That’s being a wuss.
Be strong. Chose YOU and cut the BS.
Think you may be dating jerks? Click here to read.
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