This article may not tell you where to go to find your Prince Charming or how to lock down that dude you’re madly in love with and have been dating for a week. It IS however, about encouraging you to find your one true love…you know…yourself.
Now I don’t want to do the cliché “you can’t truly love anyone until you love yourself” spiel, because that’s bullshit. We have all “loved” people while not exactly loving ourselves. These relationships usually have one thing in common; they were/are unhealthy. Why? Maybe because all of us have some unhealthy habits, insecurities, or we just really, really, really want to be loved, and maybe, juuuust maybe, we are living on a timeline.
Whatever the reason, it’s vital to figure out who you are and love yourself before trying to jump into the next best thing.
A lot of women are set on being married by a certain age, having a family by a certain age, having “x” amount of money and a career that makes Beyonce applaud us. We all have different reasons for this innate desire. Is it biological? Because we are goal oriented? Is it because some of us have a fear that if it doesn’t happen, we’ll end up old, alone and with 46 cats?! Am I right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!
In all honesty, it’s probably a combination of reasons, but if you keep yourself on a timeline, you might find yourself disappointed, or in a shitty relationship with three kids. So a little piece of advice: drop the timeline expectation. If you have to do x,y, and z in your life and feel the overwhelming urge to make that happen, do it, but keep yourself open and don’t force things, especially in the dating world. Before settling down, or jumping into your next relationship even though you know that this guy is “totes the one,” take a step back and think how happy are you with you. Find out what inspires you, makes you smile and sets you off. Embrace who you are and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Even if that means *GASP* being alone.
Being alone isn’t the end of the world, it’s actually the beginning. Take some time to create your dream life. You want to paint your entire place red, do it. You want to shave the side of your head and get a huge tattoo…well think about it for a while and if you still want it, do it! You want to find a partner that you love and respect, and they you…then start loving and respecting yourself. Don’t settle because you’re 35 and you thought you’d have kids by now. Get rid of the controlling asshole, or the manipulative douche that are only there when their needs are getting met, despite how “funny” and “really nice” they can be. Being lonely is tough and no matter what, there will be times you have to deal with it, but don’t go the easy route to fill the hole (literally and metaphorically speaking). Besides wouldn’t you rather be by yourself, than be with another person and feel alone?
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date at all, but let it happen organically. If you happen to find someone along the way, that is everything you ever dreamed then hooray!! However, don’t give up your life, all of your free time, or your friends for someone. Keep your identity, it’s not for anyone else to define and no one is going to make you happy but you. That’s really exciting news, ya know?! It means that you are in charge of your life and what you want and don’t want in it.
I wish that I could make a list of things to do that will make you feel all warm in fuzzy inside, like go buy a Grande skinny double whip pumpkin spice latte and get a mani/pedi with your lady friends, but unfortunately self-work is just that, it’s work. I want to urge you to find your inner artist, inner bad ass, inner whatever. Dig deep to be the woman you’re meant to be. Take care of your wants and needs, make your own rules and stick to your boundaries. Once you own who you are, you are in possession of the most attractive quality…confidence.
So in summary, get rid of the timeline, find a hobby that you love, enjoy all the beauty of the world, go to a coffee shop and read a book. Who knows, you might find what you’re looking for when you least expect it.