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January 13, 2016

The Real Partner Lies Within: What Happened When I Learned to be Alone.

rose girl flower sad alone

You will never be alone if you open you heart and receive all the universe has to give—the most important being ourselves.

We often overlook ourselves as gifts, particularly in moments of loneliness, when “one feels like the loneliness number.” But that doesn’t have to be.

Studies have shown that the best relationships are discovered once we have fully cultivated the relationship we have with ourselves.

We often mistake the cure for loneliness as something outside of us.

This is only a temporary fix.

Loneliness can only truly be remedied when we satisfy those yearnings for ourselves.

Having recently exited a relationship, I can safely say that I fell into the “one is the loneliest number” trap. Saturday nights were once sad nights as I watched friends go out on dates and New Year’s Eve was just another night to be alone. When I found my man, I thought this would all end. It did for a while. The newness of the relationship was a distraction for what truly was irking deep within my soul—anxiety.

I was missing the fearlessness and sense of adventure I felt in my 20s and, I felt a lack of a relationship could fill my ennui. I related to girlfriends who felt a dullness inside. Another girlfriend felt she would drink less wine if she had a companion to share evenings with. One girlfriend really had the key and it wasn’t a relationship. She found a new hobby in photography. It brought her a sense of excitement. Typically a shy girl, she said she felt fearless behind the camera. Listening to the enthusiasm that filled her voice, you would have thought some guy recently swept her off her feet. She was in love, but not with a boy, she was in love with herself and her new found hobby.

The initial excitement of my relationship took away my anxiety. In moments of doubt, I turned to my man. If I wanted to go out, but feared driving in the dark, I called my man. If I thought I messed up something at work, I looked to my man for reassurance. My man made my anxiety disappear. I felt alive and invincible. But, would I still feel the same way without may man? I remember the first few times he could not accompany me going out at night. I felt angry. How could he? I felt trapped. He became less attractive because beneath it all, he was only a temporary solution to my anxiety.

I still had work to do.

Online dating becomes tempting in the moments when we believe “one is the loneliest number” because Saturdays don’t have to be sad days. And, we can go to couple events; if we just search a few profiles we will find our date. But do you want to just find a date for a Saturday night or a relationship that will last?

With all the possibilities before me on the computer screen, it was easy to forget about the reality that takes place behind the screen—feelings, insecurities, responsibilities and, yes, the annoying traits we all have. It was all too easy to overlook them and see the rosy picture painted in the profile. One afternoon, I had an hour to spare and found myself responding to a few messages from profiles that appealed to me—ignoring the anxiety inside me.

Once the conversation began, it developed all too quickly. Suddenly, this man I had never met was telling me about his ex-wife, his children and his work responsibilities. I found myself completely overwhelmed with all this information from a man I had first messaged less than an hour before.

I learned that I had to go back and honor my own need for a slower evolution of a relationship. There is no shortcut to finding a mate, and I was not ready to compromise. Online dating sites offer a plenitude of prospective dates, but they do not offer a cure for what is missing. It’s the sense of security and contentedness that comes with being secure in ourselves.

There is no shortcut to becoming the right partner; it lies within each and every one of us. There is no time frame or magical date. It happens when we truly love and embrace our unique being. Online dating sites are so tempting because they skip this step—the hard work step. Yes, sometimes it’s hard work but the rewards are great. You will learn about yourself. You will attract people into your life that will help you live a fulfilled life you might not even be able to imagine right now. You will gain the love and security you always wanted, knowing that not only is life not bad being single, but it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When we’re ready, we will attract the person of our dreams because we are that person too.

~

Relephant read:

A No-Nonsense Guide to Self Love.

 

Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Assistant Editor: Taija Jackson; Editor: Caroline Beaton

Image: Flickr/Takumi Yoshida

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