In my life, I’ve had a few relationships. Strangely, I’ve never really dated these people.
I know, it sounds weird. How can one not date when in a relationship?
Well, that just me, I guess. The thing is, each and every person that has entered my life and left some kind of a mark on me, in a romantic sense, was either my friend for a very long time or a person I’ve known for a very long time.
The few people I’ve been in relationships with were mostly people I know my whole life. And so, I never got to learn the dating game. I never got to feel how love at first sight feels. I never got to go to actual first dates. I never got to pass the bases. Because the foundation for all of those relationships was already there.
So, after I broke up with my recent partner of 3 years (and by the way, my second relationship in my life), I found myself feeling lost.
I knew that I had my whole life of opportunities in front of me. And I knew that it was up to me how much time I make for myself to really think about what I want to do with my life, but something deep inside of me terrified me. The thought of welcoming new people into my life and giving them a chance gave me anxiety.
I didn’t know how to behave. I didn’t know how to date.
So, my beginnings were epic. I went on blind dates and I let friends hook me up with their friends. But what’s even more tragic was the fact that I registered on a few online dating sites. I remember it took me days to finish my profile. A few weeks later I decided to try this thing. And I went online.
After so much work and thought put into this, I was super excited, and my expectations were through the roof. But just when the first messages started to kick in, my anxiety came back knocking on my door. I had no clue how I am supposed to respond to people. I had no idea how flirty, not flirty, normal I should be.
Should I sound more interesting, or should I be me?
I bet he doesn’t care about me at all.
Am I pretty enough or I should put more makeup?
What will this person think of me?
That was what pretty much went on in my head. And, holy cow, it was exhausting as hell. What started as a naive attempt to find my soulmate online ended up being a living hell for me. I couldn’t keep doing that without stressing myself every time I went online.
I was officially exhausted from trying. So, I stopped.
I stopped looking for someone. I stopped going online. I stopped giving a damn what that man thinks about me. I stopped noticing potential candidates. I stopped going out just to find someone. I stopped feeling desperate. I stopped giving a damn about anything.
I started doing what I personally feel like doing. And to tell you the truth, I fell in love with singlehood. I went to movies I liked. I treated myself to lunches. I bought a ticket to India and traveled on my own. I bought the outfits I always wanted to wear. And it felt amazing.
After five months of living my best life, one night, I decided to just log in and see what’s up.
I scrolled through the profile pictures and there he was.
Beard, cool t-shirt, beautiful green eyes, a little chubby and very intriguing.
I wanted to find out more about this guy, but I decided to wait a bit. And to my surprise, his face showed up in my image. So, we started chatting. I was myself. No guards, no fear, no games, no insecurities, no nothing. And for the first time, I didn’t feel any anxiety. I was finally happy with who am I and I attracted the right person for me.
So, guess what?
What started as an innocent conversation with the guy I found interesting ended up with me falling in love with this man. We are now together for 3 years and we are excited about spending our entire lives together.
I don’t know exactly how this thing happened, but I am pretty sure that my not-giving-anymore-fucks attitude had something to do with it. In fact, I am 100% positive.
Because here’s what. The truth is, the relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you will have in your life.
When we take the time to focus on ourselves and do what makes us happy as individuals, we build an incredibly valuable relationship with ourselves. One that shows us that happiness can be found only within. One that eventually helps us open to life with others.