I think it’s a very human thing to want to be wanted. Especially in dating. You know that mushy, gooey, gaga feeling you get when you first meet someone, yeah that’s called limerence. It’s the butterflies, that goofy smile when you see their name pop up on a text, or seeing them like your photo you ‘just’ uploaded on Instagram.
Limerence is this space we find ourselves that makes dating both exciting and frustrating at the same time. Your brain is telling you, yes this feeling is great, give me more, more, more, more, and for a few weeks you walk around like sunflowers grow all year round. It’s a great ego boost and you can’t seem to get enough of each other.
Then little by little, that limerence fades. Like how Autumn always sneaks up on you. You know, how all of a sudden the sun rises later, the mornings are colder, but you never seem to really take notice until that first morning you have to wear a jacket to work.
I was dating a guy earlier this year, and now we barely talk to each other. When I first realised what was happening, it messed me up a bit - especially when you get to that place and realise he’s just not that into you. I mean ladies, let’s be honest here, guys don’t stop talking to you because he REALLY likes you. And it’s OK, I mean he’s not a bad guy, in fact he was really nice, and changing his mind about wanting to date me doesn’t make him a jerk either.
It starts with gratitude
How do I feel now? Actually, I feel a whole lot of gratitude for the situation. You know how they say energy is never created or lost, it simply changes form? After I saw the situation for what it was, I began to focus on loving myself a whole lot more. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me a simple, yet important lesson.
When forming genuine connections, either platonic or romantic, we offer love equal to the capacity we are ready to receive ourselves. Read ‘how much we give love to ourselves’. To put it simply, if our personal love tanks are near empty, we constantly feel the need to seek validation from that person. You rely on them to top up your happiness level because you’re not doing it yourself. It’s like ordering a meal at the restaurant and purposely leaving your wallet at home, then getting angry at the manager because you can’t pay for your food.
Ease up on your expectations
I also learned that it’s OK to take your time to get to know someone, without feeling the need to label that connection. I’ve had this conditioning, this old way of thinking that once I’m in a relationship, I will feel safe, be wanted...always. That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone you barely know! What if that person that I was in such rush to be the other half of ‘us’ with isn’t someone that will help me to grow as a person, that I want to build a life with, what if, just maybe, he isn’t someone I want to have forever with? Does it make that connection any less valued?
Loving yourself isn’t a catchphrase set in a beautiful typeface, it’s a conscious decision to be OK with being you. Being happy despite your flaws. Feeling gratitude for all of what life offers. Embracing the lessons, especially when you did the total opposite of your mother’s advice because you thought you knew better. Best of all, it’s knowing your worth, and placing a high value on your heart. And theirs. If you want to give your heart to someone, and I mean real emotional investment, start with yourself. That means they will get the best version of you, and they can give you the best version of them.
Today, I’m happy being single, and it took me awhile to find that space for myself. Life really is a great adventure, and if one day I meet someone who wants to share that with me... awesome. This year feels different already, but I can’t put my finger on just yet. It feels like I’m finally gaining traction, and that’s good enough for me.
Loving Yourself Isn't A Catchphrase Set In A Beautiful Typeface is an extract from my second book to be released circa 2019, and the sequel to STUCK - Friends, Lovers & The Obscurity of In Between (May 2017).