It all started 7 months ago when I finally gave up on my boyfriend of two years. The relationship was toxic to say the least; Although we had magical, Disney-like moments together, he constantly put me down and told me all the ways in which I wasn’t enough. He constantly compared me to other girls, and told me how much he liked stick thin girls while I was at best -and very happily still am- thick and curvy. After finally stepping outside, I finally realize that I hadn’t only let him take a piece of my self-worth in order to avoid being single, but I had partly turned into him. I played the same games he did, and was just as nasty in order to feel that, in spite of his emotional abuse, I could be just as nasty in order to gain back some of the pride I slowly lost the longer I stayed with him.
However, one day I finally woke up. A day after our breakup, I anxiously downloaded the most popular Dating apps, and excitedly got down to it. In a matter of minutes, I had made a kick-ass profile-or profiles more like-with the best selfies I could find. I had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity to start dating other men, excited about the people I would meet and the time it would take until I would find the revered true love. I look back at these past seven months and all the dates and all the guys I’ve dated since then. Although I can’t deny I had tons of fun, and wonderful times, I also see that the way I approached it was a tremendous mistake. I let the prospect of meeting that special someone consume my entire life, and dating was suddenly all I thought about. While I worked on homework, read articles, went out with friends, no matter what I was doing, it stayed lurking in the back of my mind. I delayed finding a job, procrastinated on my schoolwork, and let go of the goals I had set for myself. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with dating and meeting new people, by all means get out there, girl! However, there are healthy ways to approach dating that does not put your life and experiences on hold:
1. Remember that your sense of independence is everything:
Yes, the stereotypical way to feel less crappy about seeing seven couples per minute bicycle by you with a dog and baguette in their basket is turning into the ‘sad’ Ms. Independent. However, having a sense of being your own person, with her own identity is just as important for the single gals as it is for those in a relationship. Without this sense of individuality, you are prone to let the actions of others affect the way in which you look at yourself. As you have probably learned, we can’t control what people do or think, no matter how much we wish we could. Instead, realize that you are your own person, and the only one that gets to impact the way you feel about yourself is you!
2. You might be missing the best times of your life:
FOMO is a real, although sometimes misleading thing, however sometimes there are moments that are not worth losing over certain things. Perhaps it was your best friend’s birthday, the chance to go bungee jumping, to go scuba diving, or even something that scares the living crap out of you! Either way, being preoccupied with the lack of a S.O. shouldn’t trump everything, so stop waiting by the phone and live your life, girl!
3. Your energy has a limit and what you give to it should be chosen wisely:
In today’s fast paced way of life, in which we find ourselves running to work, then to class, and then to whatever else it might be that you have going on, it sometimes feels impossible to find the time to even stop to catch your breath. For that very reason, instead of having your face shoved in your phone waiting for someone to message you on OkCupid, go outside! Hang out with that cool girl you met in class, catch up with an old friend, treat yourself to the spa, hell, even finish that stupid essay for you English class that’s been burning a hole through your soul (don’t act like you haven’t been procrastinating)! The point is, life is precious, and so is your time and peace of mind, so please stop torturing yourself by living in fear of being single!
4. Your peace of mind is always a priority:
Putting your dating life and finding the perfect guy as the most important part of your life puts you as the perfect candidate for a cycle of never-ending anxiety. The next time a guy stands you up -shout out to the guy that stood me up last night- or texts you exclusively after eleven at night, you might be more inclined to make it a bigger deal than it really is. No, the fact that the guy you’ve been seeing for a month now has bailed on you for the third time does not mean that you’re boring, un-worthy, or not the queen that you are! Others actions are not under your control, and most importantly, neither are they your fault. So keep your head up high, and remember that the person who’s tranquility you should be most concerned with, is yours!
5. You might be tempted to intertwine you self-worth with your love life
Seems ridiculous right? You’re a respectable, self-proclaimed independent woman, capable of supporting her own coffee and pizza addiction! However, if you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, after a while, that will most likely hold the most importance to you. The fact that you Aced your midterm, or that you finally overcame a hurdle in your personal life will come second to a guy that may or may not stick around for another week.
I realize that these views may seem pessimistic and sour, maybe even bitter to some, however we need to realize that we have been socialized to believe that finding the man or woman that we’ll spend the rest of our lives with is our one true purpose. In spite of the fairytales and Disney movies, which I adore as much as I did when I was six, love shouldn’t be the main purpose to which we dedicate our entire lives and efforts towards. Love is great and special and wonderful, however relying on another person to create all of our happiness and fulfillment in life is completely misguided and unrealistic. Love will come one day and become a part of the things that make you happy, and when it does you will want to have had no regrets and have lived life to the fullest, free of worries.
All images via Pinterest