If you are like me, when you were younger you dreamed of a time when you would meet the right man and he would sweep you off your feet, and life would be great! Well, that is the image of life that we are sold when we are young, but the truth is that for the vast majority of us, that is not what actually happens. Many of us aspire to this, but in our quest for the ideal, many of us do not stop, step back and really evaluate ourselves.
While I am NOT a professional relationship counselor, I have learned some things from my own mistakes and would like to share what I have learned. I am not saying this applies to every person out there, but I am simply giving my observations and assessment. Before we can be truly happy in a relationship, we need to know who we really are. What are our likes and dislikes? What do we really stand for and what do we want to stand for? What are the things that make us happy, or make us sad? If this is not enough, most of us carry some kind of clutter from our childhoods that prevents us from finding and keeping truly satisfying relationships.
I made the unfortunate mistake of getting married very young. I did not really know who I was, and was certainly in no position to be there for someone else. Of course, that did not end well, but I learned a lot! I realized that while my age said I was an adult, my brain did not. I did not even know who I was when I got married! As a matter of fact, it took me until I was in my mid 30s to even have a sense of what I stood for, and this still evolves every day! Now I am not saying that most people take this long. I seem to have gotten off to a slow start in this area. However, it is important we know who we are before we decide who we want to be with!
What I found to be super helpful is actually NOT dating! Spending time with yourself and doing the things that are important to you and enjoying life as you would like to really helps to establish a sense of self that will enable you to find a good partner for you! If you are always in a relationship, as I was, you never get to figure out YOU! I was always in a relationship, and doing the give and take that is involved, but never really finding ME! It is not until I spent several years alone that I got some real clarity of who I am, who I want to be, and the type of man I would want in my life. This is important because you can find the best guy out there, but if he does not fit into your life as you see it, you are compromising some of you to be in the relationship. Is there a perfect fit? Well, by our 40s, we all carry a lot on our plates, so it is safe to say that perfection is probably not reality. However, if we take a real honest assessment of who we are, we have a much higher chance of finding who we want to be with! Let’s take that journey!