Why It's Crucial to Find Happiness Within Yourself Before Dating Again
Are you considering entering the dating scene once more? If so, it's vital to recognise the significance of being content with yourself before diving back into the world of dating.
We often come across well-known phrases like "love yourself before loving someone else," but have you ever wondered why and how to achieve self-fulfilment?
Let's face it, relationships receive abundant praise for their wonder, romance, and joy, yet we rarely acknowledge the challenges and hardships they entail. Similar to the responsibilities of parenting, building an intimate connection demands effort and dedication. Attempting to embark on such a journey without first examining oneself is akin to tackling Mount Everest without even experiencing a day hike – treacherous and incredibly difficult.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for learning to love oneself before loving others, but there are valuable guideposts along the way. That's where I come in – your friendly voice from REDDI, ready to provide you with essential insights on why and how to discover happiness within yourself before seeking it in someone else!
Why It's Essential to Be Happy With Yourself Before Dating Again
The prevalence of "love yourself" advice stems from the misconception that finding a significant other will be the missing piece to personal fulfilment. While sharing life with a partner can be extraordinary, it should never be the sole source of your well-being.
Distinguishing between not knowing who you are and understanding your true self in the modern dating landscape is monumental. Placing the responsibility of your happiness on someone else is not only unsustainable but also unfair.
Picture yourself and your partner in a rowboat, with each person accountable for their own side. Relying on your partner to paddle both sides is futile – progress will be minimal, and they will exhaust themselves swiftly. Similarly, neglecting to nurture your own happiness (i.e., not rowing) while your partner does so will only lead to going in circles. If neither of you tends to your own well-being, the boat will remain stationary.
As a matchmakers, we encounter individuals with various mindsets regarding dating. However, we sincerely wish that before they embark on new relationships, they would ask themselves the following questions:
Why do I desire a relationship?
What aspects of my life do I currently feel are lacking and hope a relationship will fulfill?
Who am I, and what are my aspirations in life?
What qualities do I seek in an ideal partner, and how do they align with my personal vision?
What are my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to relationships?
What emotional baggage am I carrying, and am I prepared to address it in a new relationship?
Having all the answers is not mandatory, but contemplating these questions serves as an excellent starting point.
Failing to address the aspects you bring into a new relationship may result in their emergence just when things begin to go well, potentially sabotaging a promising connection.
Moreover, if you use a relationship as a means to fill a void within yourself that only you can fill, it's only a matter of time before the initial excitement fades, leaving you feeling lonely, sad, or even resentful. Consider your unchecked shadows as a hole in the boat's bottom – you may exhaust yourself attempting to patch it while neglecting your rowing, or you may row while pretending the hole doesn't exist, but eventually, the boat will sink.
How to Cultivate Happiness within Yourself Before Dating Again
Enough with the boat analogies, I promise!
If you aspire to be a better person within a relationship, start by examining the relationship you have with yourself. While we may grant others more leniency than we give ourselves, the closer we become to someone, the more likely they are to witness our critical, pessimistic, or shadowy side.
It's not an easy journey, but consciously making an effort to extend more grace to yourself, particularly in small matters, will profoundly impact your ability to love and empathise with others. Here are a few things you can do:
1. Seek therapy: Therapy may not be everyone's cup of tea, but regardless of the method you choose, looking at yourself honestly and objectively can be life-changing. Feeling less alone, being heard, and receiving support are often reasons why people seek relationships. What if you could experience those benefits next week with the right therapist? Therapy won't fix everything, but it can make you feel less alone and help you make progress. A therapist can serve as both an empathetic ear and a guide, helping you uncover patterns and self-destructive habits that may elude your awareness.
2. Date yourself: One of the best pieces of advice our Founder, Stacy has received is that you don't have to wait for someone else to do the things you want to do or feel the way you want to feel. Many individuals postpone travel, getting a pet, trying new restaurants, or taking dance classes until they find the right partner. But why wait? By going on solo adventures, even if initially forced, you send a powerful message to yourself: "I am enough." If these activities only seem appealing when shared with someone else, ask yourself, "Why don't I believe I'm great company?" The truth is, you are fantastic, even if you haven't discovered why yet.
Stacy suggests venturing outside your comfort zone and embarking on these solo experiences will help you answer the question, "What makes me amazing?" The best part is, when you do meet that special someone (who knows, it may even happen in a dance class), you'll have exciting places to take them and stories to share. Self-care is also crucial – treat yourself to massages or seek them from your friends. Take baths or engage in activities that make you feel confident and sexy, solely for yourself. Relationships involve sharing yourself, so start by dating yourself and uncovering your true identity.
The beauty of enjoying your own company is that it boosts your self-worth and helps you understand that anyone fortunate enough to enter your world is genuinely lucky.
3. Nurture your platonic relationships: We often pour most of our energy into romantic partnerships while neglecting the other relationships that add value to our lives. When else, besides being single, can you focus entirely on your friendships and family connections? These relationships are among the most profound you will ever have, so don't overlook them! If you lack close friends or have limited ties with family members (due to geographic distance or conflicting schedules), consider expanding your circle.
Love knows no bounds, and sometimes, if romantic love is elusive, it may be a sign that your attention is needed elsewhere. Being single does not equate to being alone – just think of the popular show "F.R.I.E.N.D.S." If you view being in a relationship as a muscle you work out, consider friendship as your gym. Lean on your friends, let them into your life, and you might discover that this was the missing piece all along.
4. Embrace happiness in singleness (and accept occasional unhappiness): Allow yourself to experience both the joys and lows of being single. I can attest that I've experienced immense joy and liberating freedom while being single, but I've also encountered deep loneliness and anxiety about being alone. It's essential to acknowledge and embrace both emotions as normal and part of the human experience.
There's nothing wrong with desiring companionship and wanting to share your life with someone. However, the greatest gift you can give yourself is the opportunity to know yourself as a single, content individual. Remember, we're all a work in progress, and there's no certification for being ready for a relationship. However, if such a certification did exist, it would likely require not strongly desiring or needing one. The ultimate goal is not merely finding your dream partner; it's becoming your dream partner.
Care for yourself, treat yourself the way you wish someone else would treat you. You may even discover that you prefer being single, and that's perfectly okay. Shift your perspective from viewing singleness as a sad or lonely state to seeing it as an opportunity to truly know and love yourself. No matter how incredible your future partner may be, nobody will ever love you the way you can love yourself, and that's a beautiful thing.
So to conclude, my advice to you is this, before diving back into the dating pool, take the time to be happy with yourself. Recognise that a relationship, while wonderful, can never be the sole source of your fulfillment. Explore who you are, ask yourself important questions, and address any personal baggage that may affect your future relationships.
Practice self-love, seek therapy if needed, go on solo adventures, nurture your platonic connections, and appreciate the happiness that comes with being single. Remember, being content and fulfilled within yourself is the foundation for building a healthy and meaningful partnership. So, embark on the journey of self-discovery, embrace your own company, and become your own greatest source of love and happiness.
Til next time,
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