“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.” ~ Mandy Hale
Love is a choice.
We choose who we love but we choose when we love as well.
Yet, so often it seems that we get consumed with wanting to be chosen that we forget the key ingredient. So often we lose ourselves within a connection, and mindlessly become fixated on a specific end result while losing sight of what matters most.
We can be the most amazing soul that walks the earth while being single but once in a relationship with someone, the difficulty many face is still being that same self we were before.
The secret to being chosen in love is simple—we have to choose ourselves first.
We have to continually make the choice to not become concerned with whether or not our lover is choosing us, but rather if we are continually choosing ourselves.
It seems we are told that it’s selfish to put ourselves first, and that we should put those we care about first but by doing this we actually lose a part of ourselves. We stop treating our own needs as a priority, and we mistakenly begin to accept what is being offered rather than asking for what it is we really want.
This is the continual journey of choosing ourselves in love.
We can’t expect a lover to choose us if we are being so complacent that we don’t take a stand when it comes to our core needs and wants. At times it seems easier to just go with the flow, and it might seem that if we are after a relationship based on unattachment, then we should never stand up for our own needs.
Yet, these are two completely separate aspects of a relationship.
Being unattached doesn’t mean that we don’t speak up for what we want and need—it actually means that we continually do so without being attached to the outcome.
When we state what we desire, our lover will raise to the request or they will detach, either way it is what is meant to happen in that moment. But by pushing aside our own needs we are actually becoming attached to the outcome.
The reality is that we do have control but we are afraid of what may happen when we draw the line and stand up for what we want in love. We stop choosing ourselves and instead place a higher importance on the relationship itself and make it impossible for our lover to choose us.
When we can’t say that we want something in our relationship—whether that’s a definable milestone, monogamy, or even a ring—what we are actually expressing is that we have no needs of our own, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
We first need to realise ourselves what our needs are before anyone can even meet them. Each one of us approaches love differently, and therefore our needs will be different as well.
Some of us may need daily check-ins and reminders of our lover’s affection, others may crave freedom and moments of soul searching and yet both groups may desire consistency. The point is that we can’t expect our lover to know what it is that we want and need.
While many of us may shy away from this truth, the reality is that we may not choose ourselves and state our needs because we’re afraid of our lover saying no and leaving us. But the bitter truth is that it’s actually a much more authentic dynamic than one or both partners thinking that they are just unable to express what they are looking for in a lover.
It’s a scary possibility to not have our lover want to meet our needs—but it’s even scarier when we choose to let ourselves down and not meet them for ourselves.
This means that we have to choose ourselves as we would want a lover to.
We have to put ourselves first—our emotional, mental, physically and even spiritual well-being. We have to make the choice to love ourselves through our flaws and the brilliance. We have to be willing to sit with ourselves, and the parts of our soul that make us uncomfortable so that we might know how to draw a map of our fears for our lover.
It is better to not be chosen in truth than to be chosen out of a lie.
And each time we approach our lover desperate for them to choose us—that is exactly what we are doing. Instead, we need to treat ourselves the same as we expect our lover to treat us. We need to understand that the only people we want in our lives are those who are willing to meet us in our truth and try their best at satisfying those needs.
The thing is that we need to know ourselves in order to give ourselves to another. Yet, if we continually fear rejection then we will never be presenting our authentic self, and never truly have our needs met.
Only when we can meet ourselves in love, will we be ready to invite another in—not to choose us, but to meet us.
When we have chosen ourselves, we are no longer looking for someone else to do it for us. Instead we will be looking for a lover who simply accepts us, sees us, and even on the worst of days still gives us a reason to smile.
We won’t be looking for someone else to validate our worthiness, because by choosing ourselves, we are already showing we are worthy.
True secret in being chosen in love is to simply choose ourselves first.
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” ~ Mandy Hale
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Everton Vila/Unsplash
Editor: Katarina Tavčar