When we think about love, our soul mate, settling down and getting married, and so on, we often go back to our childhood thoughts on this subject. These thoughts condition how we think, and what we expect our relationships to look like.
Many women think they should be in a relationship, not because they really want one or are ready for one, but because it’s just the thing to do. The pressure to be in a relationship is so automatic at times that we don’t even think about it. Do you ever notice that when you are single, friends and family are always asking you, “Are you seeing anyone?” or “How’s your love life?” If you say you’re not seeing anyone, they all want to fix you up. Your friends all think that you are such a catch, so how can you be single? On the other hand, if you are in a lousy relationship, they want to know, “Why are you with that loser?” The quest to find Mr. or Ms. Right has become so popular that there seem to be a million online dating sites, matchmaking services, books and talk radio shows on the subject. Everywhere you look, there is some reference to finding the love of your life.
Unfortunately, when you jump from guy to guy without analyzing why you want to be in a relationship, what your needs are and where your self esteem falls in the range between lower than an ant or as high as the sky, you will tend to fall right back with the same ole’ same ole’ …. Different guy, in the same pair of pants!
I suggest that you take stock and decide why you want a relationship right now. Do any of these reasons ring true?
- I am lonely.
- All of my friends are in a relationship.
- I can’t afford to go to nice restaurants unless a man invites me.
- I feel like a loser without a man in my life.
- My mother keeps asking me when I’m going to get married.
- My biological clock is ticking.
- I want to get over my divorce or last relationship.
- I want a man to support me so that I don’t have to work anymore.
- I want to get even with someone or make someone jealous.
Many times people just jump right into a relationship or stay in one with the wrong person because they feel that it’s better than being alone. Jenny, a twice-divorced mother of two has a good job and wonderfully supportive girlfriends, but she repeatedly gets into relationships that are not good for her. She is currently in a relationship with a man who beats her and puts her down because “it’s better than being alone.”
Watching the news lately, it seems like every day I see a story about someone (usually a woman) who is missing or found dead, killed by an ex-lover or spouse. Even if we are lonely, the people we choose to let into our lives need to be chosen carefully.
That’s why I am inviting you to really look at whether or not you are ready for a relationship right now. Maybe you just got out of a bad relationship, are recently divorced, or had a death in the family and need to heal. There is nothing wrong with being alone and working on yourself to make sure that you are a complete, whole and healthy person who is ready to give your all with the right person. I’ve always liked the saying, “I’d rather be healthy and alone than sick with someone else.”
If you agree with any of these statements, you want to be in a relationship for the right reasons.
- I love my life, and I want to share my happiness with someone.
- I feel totally ready to find my soul mate and start a family.
- I have so much to give to the right person.
Another reason we may stay too long in a relationship is that we hope the person will change. We tell ourselves, “I’ve found the perfect person for me. If only he, or she, could change this or that, we would be incredible together.” Listen up. This is really quite dangerous! You cannot change someone. It is very important to realize this. It is so tempting to try to do so when we find someone that seems so irresistible. I have heard too many people, especially women, say something like, “He has such potential. I can change him.”
Here’s a great tip: don’t waste your time attracting potential. Spend your energy attracting the person who is already right to you! Find someone who already has the qualities that you are looking for in another person. No one wants to be changed or nagged or disapproved of. Yes, once two people are in a committed relationship, there are things that each might have to bend a bit or compromise on to live together harmoniously, but in general, you can’t change someone, so don’t even try! If you don’t like the qualities that your partner possesses, either accept him or her the way they are or break up and find a partner who already has those qualities that you are seeking, and you will be on the path to meeting Mr. Right in a whole new pair of pants!