I’ll admit it. I’ve been guilty of being a bit too eager for a relationship at times. Those of us who haven’t locked down a relationship are sometimes referred to as “single and ready to mingle”. I’ve asked myself one important question over and over again:
“Am I REALLY ready to mingle?”
When I say “ready”, I’m not questioning the desire for a relationship. I’m really questioning whether I’m able to give as much as I want to receive. I understand that everyone’s needs are the same and we have different love languages, but I don’t want to come to the table without bringing my own delicious offering. I’ve seen it over and over again, people asking the world of someone when they themselves can’t even offer a Monopoly parking space. What kind of relationship can I hope to have if I haven’t prepared myself?
I’ve learned to be COMFORTABLY and CONFIDENTLY single. When your response to the question of your relationship status is “I’m working on myself.”, people can take it as a joke. In actuality, that’s EXACTLY what you should be doing. I think it’s important to become independent of a relationship. Not independent in the sense of being single forever, but in being able to function as a whole person no matter what your relationship status. I think it’s important to be on level playing fields–outwardly and inwardly. But the most important part: learning to love yourself.
While single, I’ve had to be really honest with myself. I’ve had to reflect on my self-confidence, self-esteem, and ability to love myself. Too many people are looking to find these things in others. I can encourage you all day long, but it’s always up to you to decide to love yourself no matter what. You can’t substitute your feelings about yourself with your partner’ feelings towards you. It’s true that no one is capable of loving you like you love yourself. It’s special because only we know our deepest, darkest flaws and insecurities; if we can love ourselves in spite of those things, we’ve really leveled up.
I don’t want to relive the moments in past “relationships” where I foolishly navigated with no sense of myself. I expected things that I hadn’t given myself and was let down repeatedly. I’m hoping that my next relationship will be one where I’m able to maintain my love for myself while being further enriched by the love I receive. I hope to be able to add to that person’s life too.
Relationships are all about addition. Don’t cheat yourself or your partner by not being as sound as you possibly can. Hopefully, they will have done their own personal prep work and you’re able to focus on each other. Don’t expect perfection–I surely don’t. Just set yourself up for the best possible outcome like you would on anything else that you want success.