Updated: Aug 19, 2019
“I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love. The above quote might as well be written by me. It is almost me in a nutshell...or was. I wear my heart on my sleeve and most of the relationships around me are life-long loving relationships. This is what I have always aspired to and it is something that up to the recent past I have looked to fill very quickly. Up to the recent past when I started to date someone I tended to see only all of the good, ignore all of the bad (including red flags), and neglect my gut feeling about someone new. I had been a serial monogamist from as soon as I started dating as a teenager, I always needed someone to care for. As previously mentioned, this is something I have only come to realise recently which scares me a little given how destructive this has been for me in latter years. I was scared to be alone. Worse, I was scared to be with myself, to love myself and only myself before anyone else.
I come from a solid background so it always baffled me as to why I had this need for love. When my relationship broke up, I started to date quite quickly. It was probably only about 3 months after my break up when I downloaded Tinder. I started seeing some poor unfortunate soul for a couple of months and it was going well, so I thought. But I definitely wasn't ready to be seeing someone. I was needy. I was looking to replace the love I'd lost and I wanted to be loved when really I should have been loving myself first.
Even as recent as earlier this year I was becoming frustrated with my dating life, wondering why people were coming and going. Thankfully they did go, or I would have found myself in the same situation again without even realising.
Thankfully one day something clicked. I was doing what I do best and over-analysing everything after someone I had been seeing called time on us dating early this year. Then I sat back and had a bit of a f**k this moment. Instead of thinking about what he said and I said and everything that had been said and done from the day we met to the day it ended, I thought about what I really wanted. I thought about how special he should be to have me in his life. Not to blow my own trumpet here or sound egotistical because that's not what I'm about. Who cares about what boxes he ticked or didn't tick. Would this person have fit into my life? Would they be good enough for the most important person in my life, my son? There were a lot of things I overlooked in people because I wanted to fill a void, be wanted, be liked, be loved. I needed someone, anyone.
According to science, of the 5,000 species of mammals (humans included) only 3-5% of those are monogamous and form life-long bonds. The other 95-97% are happy out loving themselves and living their best lives not to care enough to let someone else share their experiences. While I'm being tongue-in-cheek with the seriousness here, it's thought provoking. Some people just have to be pretty bloody awesome for you to share all of your experiences with. Isn't this why as you get older you tend to have less friends? The people who don't slot into your life just fall away.
As soon as I started to stop caring so much what others thought, the more I started to accept and love myself and it has become take me or leave me. It's a really weird feeling for me to get used to, I even marked this little revelation with a heart tattoo.
We can't all look for the perfect person because we all know that doesn't exist, but find the balance and your kind of perfect. Even if that means being happy alone. Until you are happy alone, you will never be happy with someone else. I think ideally I would like to find someone eventually but I don't feel like I need someone. If someone else comes into my life great. But when that someone else comes along, I'll let them into my life because I'll want them there not because I need them. And if they never do I'll be equally as happy in my kind of perfect.