If you constantly feel like your time has passed, that you’ll never find anyone ‘better’ than your ex or that every relationship potential seems to only serve to reconfirm your fears about love, then this one is for you.
I also want to add a full disclaimer to this post - I am not in a relationship myself right now. I really believe it’s important for me to be transparent about this because I can assure you, as I write this, I fully empathise, understand and appreciate all the fears that you might be experiencing too. I’d like to say that I’m not in a relationship because I love and choose to be single. Well, I do like being single ha but would I like a relationship? For sure!
My personal reason isn’t that I’ve gone through romantic heartbreak recently, that I’ve been on a string of dates that didn’t work out or just can’t seem to seek out that ‘spark’ (which I have my own unique views on anyhow but that’s for another post!).
I’m a big believer in not dwelling on things but again, for transparency, the past 2/3 years have been the most challenging times I’m sure I’ll ever go through when it comes to my health and it hasn’t made for a particularly vibrant or active dating life! With that, so many fears have arisen. I’ve been hell-bent on improving my health and luckily now, I’m almost fully healed. And I really am enjoying dating more but my god, it’s reminded me what these dating waters are made of!
This post isn’t about me, but I wanted to add this in to let you know that I’m right in this one with you my friends :)
(This also isn’t a ‘how to date after bad health’ type of post but just wanted to give you some context!)
So how do you begin to believe that love is out there for you?
You Believe in You
Regardless of your reason - heartbreak, dates not working out, never getting past the third date, feeling like you can’t seem to meet your soulmate no matter how many dates you go on, a health crisis or a personal challenge, the first thing I want you to know, is that before you even begin to believe in love, you have to believe in you.
When we’re in this timeline or lack-focused mindset, it exposes us to firstly over-analyse. Ourselves, our fears, other people, the idea of love, the correct route to finding ‘the one’. It can drive us crazy.
Secondly, it also makes us question our past in a negative way. I know when I was out of a rough breakup and feeling shaky or despondent about the prospect of love, I’d often think ‘maybe if I’d have been a little more open to compromise’ ‘maybe the relationship was better than I thought - every relationship has ups and downs’, ‘maybe what he did/said wasn’t that bad after all….’
There’s a big difference between owning your mistakes and where you might have overreacted and then discounting the bad things to boost the good to an unrealistic level because you’re scared of being alone forever.
The truth is, love will be very hard to come by whilst you still don’t believe in yourself, your choices and your ability to know right from wrong. You can get out there dating buzzing with outer confidence but the minute something triggers your inner insecurities, the following things can happen -:
- You meet someone you like and ignore those small signs that this person isn’t right for you. They don’t match your values, show signs of emotional unavailability, might cross boundaries, play hot and cold but yet you like them and so you over compromise and overlook the things that ring inner alarm bells to you.
- You find it hard to distinguish the good person from the right person who aligns with your core values.
- You become timeline and outcome focused.
- You continue the pattern of falling for the wrong people. When this happens, it’s no coincidence.
You have to start believing in yourself. How to do this? You get comfortable with your fears and insecurities and you become friends with them. You practice choosing and engaging in healthy relationships in all areas of your life - not just romantic. You learn to become confident in your decisions, choices, your values and what’s important to you. You make all of this a part of your daily life.
As James Altucher, one of my favourite writers and speakers says, you ‘Choose Yourself’.
Believing in yourself is more than affirmations in the mirror and vision boards. Sure, that can help but it’s the actions that create the self-belief and this starts long before pasting pictures on a corkboard or signing up to another dating app. It’s not always easy and it might mean being single for longer, but I assure you, it’s worth it.
For me, although my health put me at a disadvantage when it came to being able to meet someone, I can’t just be a victim and put the entire blame on that and not take responsibility. I haven’t ever really put my health as a proper priority in the past (despite always claiming I was into ‘wellness’) and so, I’ve had to pay the price and learn how to. I’ve had to see and focus on my qualities that I could bring to a relationship outside of the external things we typically use to validate ourselves. All of those external validations I couldn’t really rely on so much, so I had to dig deeper.
I’ve also had to learn how to be way more compassionate, kind and understanding of others and not get too self-consumed. I now place so much more emphasis and attention on a person’s qualities and emotional awareness/intelligence as opposed to their job, looks, level of success etc.
It’s certainly not been a linear thing and it’s been hard. But what I’ve gained will serve me so well in my next relationship and I feel very grounded in my worth (and others’) as a result.
Become the Person you Want and Deserve to be in a Relationship with
It’s very easy to take a shopping list approach to meeting someone. I’m big on being clear on your core values when it comes to a partner and not settling, but we often forget that until we become that person, act like that person and live up to those values we seek out, we’re usually looking for something in someone to provide a practical or emotional security blanket.
So before you start writing off people because they’re not this or that (hey, we’ve all been guilty of it!), start to become that person for yourself. The more you do, the more you’ll start to gravitate towards and attract the same kind of people. Like attracts like. You’ll also be more confident in walking away if something isn’t right - yes, even if you’re crazy attracted to that person!
Don’t Focus too much on it! (Then you’ll see there’s no such thing as a Lack of Love.)
We all feel the pressure - especially as we get into our 30’s and beyond. It’s easy to say to not worry about it but I know that’s tough. Honestly though, the longer you spend fretting, the less you’re living your life, which will be what actually gets you meeting people and feeling happier and fulfilled.
Help others, find a passion, nurture your existing relationships, be healthy, have fun and work through those insecurities to get more comfortable with yourself. The more you do this, the less pressure you’ll start to feel and that is when love will begin to look much more abundant.
I hope this helps anyone who needs it. Remember, you’re not alone in the way you feel. We’re all in this together and I strongly believe it can be so reassuring to know that :)