As youngsters, we are conditioned to find a partner who makes us happy.
Fairytales are streamed into our imagination—a prince saving the day, a damsel in distress or the magical kiss.
As teenagers, we are pumped with societal expectations about being “pretty,” attracting a love interest and covering up blemishes
We are in an age of relationship articles providing advice on how to get out of co-dependency or escape the grips of narcissism.
It’s no wonder.
When we get lost in the imaginary world of “happily ever after,” it’s easy to experience an altered reality in which we cannot tell the difference between butterflies in the belly or an instinctive gut warning to pay attention.
“Boys will be boys.”
Is he forgetful or did he purposely go off the radar for four hours after work last night?
In today’s world of constant connection, it’s difficult to believe that he forgot to call you. But, that’s what he said. He’s so darn cute and what harm is there in meeting up with his friends for a few drinks, even if he left you waiting at a table setting for two wondering if he is okay?
When he says, “You’re my #1, Baby!” it makes your heart flutter. But, did he mean you’re the only one for him or that you are the first on his list of ladies feeding his ego? Besides, he’s committed to buying a house with you and he’s driving the truck you financed. Surely he wouldn’t use your truck to meet other girls.
“She’s just a passionate woman.”
Does she need extra compassion because of a painful past? Is she taking advantage of your openness and kind heart because she knows you will stay dedicated no matter how much reassurance she requires?
Sometimes that extra compassion becomes exhausting because your reservoir of giving becomes depleted. How is she returning the kindness? What is the ulterior motive in her gift of love?
Is she a passionate woman with strong principles, or is she living for the thrill of make-up sex and romantic apologies? Do you feel confused about
how this argument even started and find yourself apologizing when you have no idea what you did wrong?
“You Complete Me.”
Sometimes searching for your true self can revert to searching for your soul mate.
When you are caught up in the buzz of discovering another, it’s hard to recognize signs of unhealthy patterns. It is easier to feed the energy of creating couplehood than to be alone and count on yourself to validate your feelings.
“You complete me” has become as popular as “happily ever after.”
We become obsessed with finding someone that makes us feel complete, even if that feeling is something we could have discovered on our own.
Heading into a relationship half-healed is not going to bring you wholeness.
Asking another person to complete you or to be your other half
places a burden on them as it requires them to be what you need even though your needs change all the time.
What if you stopped cycling through dysfunctional relationships long enough to ask yourself, “what will make me complete before I meet someone new?”
As we head into a new year, many resolutions have been made. Lose weight. Find the dream job. Get in shape. Get organized.
So, I pose a challenge to those of you who are single: what are you going to do to prepare yourself for a wonderful year with yourself? What will you feed your soul to promote your own growth?
To the unhappy couples that eked out another holiday together, how will you approach your cycle of rollercoaster rides with one another? How truthful are you willing to be with each other as to whether this relationship is working or not?
Love yourself as if you’re not waiting for anyone else to do it.
“Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done.”
~ Rudy Francisco
Author: Jennifer Davis
Photo: Courtesy of author
Editor: Lieselle Davidson