The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
In my 21 years of life, I have dealt with many relationships, situationships, or whatever you want to call them-ships. I have a mess of a love life and you know what, I’m kind of okay with it. The heartaches, the cute moments and all the emotions have helped shape me into the woman that I am today and considering all the messes I’ve gotten myself into, I wouldn’t say I’m that bad either. I am currently taking a sex education class on campus, and I finally feel like I’m being seen and heard. It’s easy to feel like I’m the only one who keeps involuntarily dodging cupids’ arrow, but in this class, I have come to realize I’m not the only one that feels like nothing can ever go right in my love life. It’s completely normal, and it’s important to realize this. However, in realizing this, I also learned that a lot of what I’ve been told about myself and love growing up is complete crap. There are many misconceptions that are constantly being shoved down our throats and now with social media, it’s all we ever see. Here are three things I am positive you have heard, but that are just are not true.
- You Have to Love Yourself Before Anyone Else Does
Boo! Tomato, tomato, I’m throwing tomatoes! Show of hands from everyone who has personally been victimized by this line right here. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told this and I can’t tell you how many times I have believed it. I am guilty of even regurgitating this line onto my heartbroken friends and telling myself this every time a situation in my life went wrong. After a while though, hearing this began to make me feel upset. So just because I wasn’t fully healed within myself means that I don’t deserve to be loved? I don’t deserve to open up to people? No one will love me because I have trauma? What kind of absurd notion is that? Relationships in themselves can be very healing and can help in your own personal growth. If you want to be single because you need the time – go for it! It does not make you look weak or insecure. But these ideas that you “need to love yourself first” are extremely toxic and we need to stop pushing this narrative.
- Don’t Settle For Less Than You Deserve
Okay, yes, good! You know what you’re deserving of! You deserve a love that’s easy and a love that is fulfilling. But hear me out… this line can be a type of emotional avoidance within yourself. Yes, you read that right! YOU are holding back and stopping yourself from making a genuine connection. You’re searching for the “perfect” partner, so when they make even the slightest mistake, you’re done! Your “perfect” partner, believe it or not, will never be perfect – and neither will you. It is inevitable that at some point your partner will disappoint you or vice versa. However, some of these issues are just things that will have to be tolerated with or ignored. All relationships require some kind of “settling,” and that is something that you must come to terms with.
- It Will Happen When You Least Expect It
This is my go-to line whenever another mediocre man crushes my heart and the hopes about what could have been between us. I realized that this can also be seen as a form of emotional avoidance. Trying to be lowkey about wanting a relationship or just playing it cool does not do what you think it does. “Out of sight, out of mind,” right? Nope, this just aids in the continuation of relationships that you know you don’t want. Be clear and up front with what you want. You want a relationship! That can be embarrassing to admit in this generation of hookups and random flings, but hold your ground and make sure you are heard. Being clear about what you want makes it easier to find others that reflect your wants and ensure that you stop wasting your time!
Recognizing that these “pieces of advice” are meaningless and should be let go of is the first step to finding what you’re looking for. You are not undeserving of love, no matter what you are going through, and please don’t forget it. You deserve a love that’s great at your best just as much as you deserve one at your worst. It’s good to know what you want, but make sure that you’re not simultaneously setting up barriers that are stopping yourself from falling in love and creating genuine connections. Dating today is probably one of the most confusing things ever, but the experiences that you go through are some of the most priceless learning outlets.