More Dating Mistakes, Unrealistic Expectations, Future Texts, & Why Singleness is an Act of Self-Preservation
Self-preservation? Say what? We’ll get to that, I promise. But, before we do, we are back with the second part to my dating mistakes this year, what I’ve learned from them, and how we all can move forward in the new year. Dating brings too many lessons to confine to one post, so welcome….to part two, my friend.
The last post was fun, right? Entertaining even, too. But, I want part two to be a little more…intimate. A little more…heavy. Because as much as I can joke (and deflect) about my dating life, it’d be remiss of me to leave out that while me being single is by choice…and how much fun dating can be….dating can also be ugly. Similar to the emotions one might feel IN a relationship, being single can sometimes be lonely…when you experience suffering from desire… and WANTING to be with somebody. When you realize you always find yourself wanting. When you realize the very love you’re so desperate to give….you should be doubling up and giving yourself. And what do you do, then?
After all of my TWO dates in 2020, meeting people virtually, and toggling my ideas of different relationships…I realized how easy it is….to make mistakes. To lose ourselves along the way of trying to “define” relationships with other people. To change our standards and/or expectations to “make it work”. To perform. To plan. But, here’s the thing…no matter if you’re the biggest alpha female, BOSS BITCH there it is….even if you’ve spent your life “achieving”…you can’t “plan” dating. You can’t perform and just “get” the person you’re interacting with. The playing field, or test, has sooooo many problems and equations and essays that must be completed.
And if we’re not careful….these experiences can be ALLLL kind of jacked up. And sometimes you pass. And other times, you fail.
So, let’s start with keeping quiet about and/or having unrealistic expectations.
Nothing gets as unrealistic as being hopeful for something more when a person TELLS you it won’t be. What can I say? Sometimes we, June cancers, can be hopeless romantics. How about you? Back to expectations….
I was completing a devotional about forgiveness when one morning, I opened my Instagram app and there it was…a direct message from a blast from the past. Talk about an ON TIME GOD, YES HE IS. As I read the message, I was elated. I thought God heard my prayer. I thought I had an explanation from a person who I’d felt wronged me, and I could move forward in my healing and forgiveness journey from our relationship. Then, I had that glimmer of hope that said…
“Wait…maybe WE can move forward.”
Before my impulses could act up, I gave myself time to think and landed on this…ESPECIALLY as we go into a new year. Ready?
I am not chasing anyone or anything…that doesn’t deserve me.
So, before you text back…before you feel guilty…before you think he/she has “changed”…before you wish for anything “new”…ask yourself…do they deserve you? Because if they do….they wouldn’t intentionally hurt you. Remember….when a person shows you who they are….believe them.
Why Singleness is an Act of Self-Preservation
It’s no secret that I have been single for all of my life. I can remember growing up writing stories about my prince charming…about my Mr. Right…and how we’d come together…and we’d get married…almost as if he was “saving” me from my own insecurities.
Now that I’m older, wiser, and learning to appreciate my singleness, I wanted to write about why I now consider my singlehood an act of self-preservation.
self-pres·er·va·tion (noun): preservation of oneself from destruction or harm
I read this definition and reflect on how harmful my previous relationships have been…having searched for so much validation and reassurance outside of the one person who could give it- me. Now, I am not saying relationships are harmful. Nope. So, don’t go tell the other home girls, “Adia said….” No, no, no. I think relationships are beautiful. In fact, relationships are needed and essential to our very human existence. And they can be fun, liberating, and comforting with the right people. I only know this because of the healthy, happy, and thriving relationships in my life currently- whether it be family, close friends, distant friends, mentors, or 30-second interactions in public. Relationships also have the potential…to be healing. But, they don’t “fix” us.
Because we’re NEVER really “fixed”.
In my long, yet short 24 years, that’s been my biggest lesson of them all. There are scars, and wounds, and lacerations
Only we can tend, mend, and water the gardens where we want flowers to grow. Sometimes, we do that by learning ourselves- what makes us tick, what kind of people we want in our life, or the edges of our shadows. Sometimes, we do it by choosing vulnerability. Choosing connection. But no matter how we do it…no matter how we show up…the decision and that power is ours and ours alone. It is nobody else’s hands.
Singleness affords me this opportunity. It affords us this opportunity. To call the shots in my life. To set boundaries. To journey as close to the edge as you want to go….or decide when you want to jump. It’s a different kind of fulfillment sometimes that I don’t think I ever felt WITH someone. And I don’t think I ever will.
BONUS: Abandonment Issues
A big bonus! Nobody likes to feel abandoned, rejected, or ghosted. I had to come to grips with why I feel so…extremely devastated…when these things do happen to me. And it’s one word.
If you have abandonment issues, getting ghosted or breakups suck. Emotional/physical neglect, loss of a loved one, a previous relationship loss, and/or abuse in your past could be the cause of it. If you’re like me, you might have trouble being “vulnerable”…or getting close to people in fear that everyone is going to leave….or worse…you may sometimes cling…and cling…and CLING as your efforts to prevent this. Two words.
Whatever happened, WHOEVER happened, whoever left….and whoever LEAVES…is not your fault. I’m learning….actually…it’s really their problem, not yours.
And it’s not easy. I don’t write this for you to think it is. I still hate getting ghosted. I still find myself either shutting people out completely….or clinging. But, I’m coming to understand more about how these “issues” work.
My world is no longer “topsy turvy” when new relationships or friendships don’t work out. Perhaps, it’s because it’s gotten better with time….or therapy….or simply the fact that I am surrounded by other people who genuinely love and care about me, and that means the world to me. All of the aforementioned is great. Amazing, actually. But, I’d like to think these “issues” of mine…are more manageable…because no matter who leaves…I’m more solid with the one person who never will….
From My Heart To Yours,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (I Corinthians 13:4-7)