I’m on a roll writing about dating lately because, well, it takes up a little bit of my headspace these days. For a time, I felt a little down and melodramatic about my single status, but have as of late decided to embrace it and just have as much fun as possible in all facets of my life. This philosophy extends to dating. So rather than putting pressure on any one guy, I just go into dates with a positive attitude and a “we’ll see what happens” mindset. So far, this has served me well. Have I met Mr. Right? No. But hey, I’ve met a few Mr. Right Nows! Jokes, guys. Jokes.
This positive mindset has also allowed me to reflect on my dating history, and notice some serious patterns. Like for one, I seem to attract men who are emotionally unavailable. Awesome. What must this say about my own emotional availability? I mean, I’m no psychologist, but I’ve done enough inner work to know the basics. Also, science. According to this enlightening post (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/getting-back-out-there/201511/water-why-we-attract-who-we-attract) on PsychologyToday.com, most of us attract mates who reflect one or more of these three things: 1) what we are used to; 2) an unfinished business that we wish to conquer; 3) issues within us that we refuse to acknowledge and deal with. Yikes. For me it could very well be all three. But whatever the case, it’s been so helpful for me to come to the realization that I’m basically afraid of intimacy on some level. Now I’m working on being more vulnerable in my interactions with the opposite sex. I have to start somewhere, right?
So back to the point of this post: I have found that as much as I’ve bitched and complained about certain men and the circumstances surrounding our relationships (or “situationships.” Someone taught me this term recently and I think it’s genius and so on point), I’ve chosen to see each as a blessing. Or a blessing in disguise, depending on who we’re talking about. For example, I dated a great guy whom I still refer to as one of the best people I know whose career dictated that he be out every single night of the week, and who eventually wants to do a lot of traveling as it pertains to this career that he loves with a passion. What did this mean for me? A lot of nights and weekends alone. Which was okay because lucky for me, I have a full and rich life. But sometimes I wanted a cozy night in with my boyfriend and he wasn’t able to give that to me. I realized that this sort of quality time with my significant other is non-negotiable, so, lesson learned.
Every time a situation hasn’t worked out, I’ve gleaned a new lesson in the process. You know that saying, “you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole”? Well, this is especially true in dating. Sure, opposites can attract. But if you and the other person don’t align on some fundamental values and life goals, odds are you aren’t a great match (but don’t let me discourage you! There are always exceptions to the rule). And that’s ok. Because there are plenty of fish in the proverbial sea, for both of you. I also firmly believe that it is far better to be alone than to be with someone who isn’t right for you, or treats you badly, or doesn’t make you feel like the incredible person that you are. Sure, companionship is nice, but friends and family exist for a reason! So while I still go on dates with an open mind and an ultimate goal to meet a potential life partner, my main focus now is on improving my existing relationships with the many people who are important to me.
At the end of the day, the people you date will come and go. Maybe and hopefully someday you’ll meet the one that sticks. But if you’re single, try to see each one that didn’t quite work out not as a failure, but rather as a learning experience. Plus, it’s empowering and just feels really damn good to be able to think back to a relationship and remember the positive and genuinely wish that person well. Go put yourself out there, don’t take it all so seriously, and remember this one last (and admittedly trite saying): every cloud has a silver lining.