Five serious relationships, including a recently ended marriage and countless situationships, most with one thing in common—disappointment.
And it was often because of a lack of friendship or solid foundation. I dated with one goal in mind: to find love.
I fell headfirst into love with a lot of potential, with fantasies, a few pretty faces, the consummate good guy, the consummate bad guy, but the thing is, I was never patient enough to pause, to build upon the reality, or let go of the reality—not chase the potential. So, rocky foundations crumbled, fantasies faded, friendships were never made or not sustainable.
The consequence of dating to fall in love is you fall out of love with yourself.
Your insecurities and anxieties are magnified by these “failures” because you are focused on the result, the goal. We leave common sense and patience behind for the sake of chasing something we do not actually need and perhaps do not really want because we are afraid to feel unwanted, to feel lonely, or empty. At the end of the day, a bad relationship or shallow courtship will leave you feeling lonelier than any day spent alone, focusing on yourself.
The futility and disingenuousness of modern dating is an exhausting game of low standards and high expectations. Fueling insecurities and causing artificial attachments, all while failing to reach the goals we are so desperately trying to achieve. Gaining acceptance and filling the void of loneliness, both of which are only truly achievable within our own minds and in our own hearts. A burden we place so easily and eagerly on another, yet a point of contentment we can only hope to achieve and sustain internally.
Dating: flirting, courting, and f*cking.
We pursue a seemingly dateable option. Physically attractive, some common ground and similar surface interests. And then we force it and try to mold a relationship based on potential, altering ourselves, our boundaries, and accepting mediocrity. All the while we’re mistaking sex for intimacy, attachment for love, and chemistry for connection. None of which are easily sustainable beyond the initial fantasy and fornication.
The need for instant gratification has diminished any hopes of genuine connections and solid foundations built upon unconditional love, unwavering acceptance, and true friendship—these things take patience, self-love, and most importantly, time.
Every failure is a lesson, so is it really a failure? What I have learned is that you do not find love by pursuing it; it finds you and moves slowly almost unintentionally, but undoubtedly and with a force that you could not possibly will or predict.
So, slow down. Get comfortable being alone, relish in it, appreciate it, and open yourself up to love but be yourself. Unfiltered, honest, messy, raw, and real. Then when you cross paths with the right people, you will know they are choosing you for exactly who you are and you’re choosing them based on love, not loneliness.
And when you feel that connection, slow down again.