Here is some bad news: there is no magical, idealistic way of making romantic love work for us. All of the YouTube videos, guaranteeing to make any man/woman fall in love with us, encouraging game playing and manipulation, won’t work. They might possibly lead to flirtation, superficial attraction… even short-term connection – but they might equally scare the object of our desire right off, and quite rightly so!
And here is a bit more bad news: the more fixated we become on our unsatisfying love life, the more of a desperate, repellent energy we unwittingly create… and that does not emanate from a loving place, or attract from a loving place.
And here is even more bad news: we cannot afford to underestimate the kind of approach that a genuine, mature, mutually supportive relationship, that has long-term potential, actually requires. Romantic notions and physical attraction aren’t enough (they start the ball rolling, of course, but they aren’t the major components of a relationship).
And here is a further chunk of bad news: if we are experiencing insecurity and emotional anxiety, within days or weeks of associating with our POI, requiring reassurance and an understanding of where things are heading – we are out of our depth, and unlikely to be taking a walk up the aisle any day soon.
And here is – you’ve guessed it – MORE bad news (the final bit, I promise): if we find that a new or fairly young romantic situation is bringing more uncertainty than certainty, more ups than downs, and/or consistently blowing hot and cold… the warning bells should be ringing.
The truth is, all of the above have the capacity to become unconsciously addictive, so that we begin to repeat patterns, which convince us that this is just ‘how things are, and probably all we are ever going to get’, and that all men/women are either b******s or b*****s… except, that is, for that ONE person out there, our soul mate, who will unconditionally understand and accept us, and fill that emptiness within our heart – if only we could find them! And in order to find them, we need to keep on looking… and hoping. But, on the other hand, it appears that whilst looking, all we are attracting is heartache – and so the circle goes round again.
I believe that I have managed to come up with a few insights over the years, where the heartache, disappointment and even anger, connected to the world of dating, is concerned – the first being the understanding that we always have the power of choice, and the capacity for patience and foresight… if we decide to use it. Bitterness and blame is not a good or healthy sign, because it reveals that we have allowed ourselves to take a disempowered stance, and are now (in our mind at least) at the mercy of whatever ‘love’ wants to throw at us. I have never seen this lead to any form of happy or satisfying ending, and so it is probably something we really need to avoid, if we are not to be permanently dragged into the state of dating/relationship misery.
We are all likely to have our hearts broken, at the very least once, during a lifetime… and probably more times than that. We are all likely to recognise that we have been misled or misguided, and maybe even ‘used’. However, it is the story that we continue to tell ourselves, after the event, which has the real power to make or break us… and the way in which we choose to respond and move forward (or not). None of us has a God given right to a guarantee of emotional security, I am afraid, and we can only ever be responsible for the way in which we ourselves think, feel and behave. ‘They’ may have let us down, or come on strong and then backed off, or suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth, or presented us with a seriously edited version of the truth… but we aren’t made out of cut glass, and if we aren’t prematurely putting all of our eggs into that one basket, it will sting us rather than devastate us!
One of the things we need to be honestly, consciously aware of is a tendency to make the centre of our universe the need to find a partner who will commit to us: I am not saying that we shouldn’t want that, in the right way, and at the right time… but there is a danger of us becoming energetically unattractive to the kind of reasonable, decent and loving individual we hope to settle down with, if we allow it to become our be-all-and-end-all. Whether we care to admit to it or not, the energy of desperation and frustration is repellent to anyone who is even half-way emotionally healthy and well-intentioned!
Some of us find a compatible partner early on in life; some of us wade through a whole stream of romantic experiences before aligning with someone we could genuinely imagine living out our life with – and vice versa, of course, because it isn’t just one way traffic! Sometimes we might believe that we have actually met that person, only to discover that they don’t feel the same way about us, even if it initially appeared that they did. It hurts, but it doesn’t have to be a fatal heart-wound, unless we decide that it is. The main thing about life is to learn from our experiences, and grow in knowledge and wisdom – and not in a defensive way, either: “huh, I have learned something from him/her – never to trust anyone again!”
I don’t believe that we actually need to trust another person… we only need to trust ourselves (I know that a lot of people will disagree with that statement, but it makes some kind of sense to me!). If we trust ourselves to take our time, and to observe, and pay attention to the details, we will be able to recognise whether or not the situation is working out for us, to a degree at which we are now willing to either let it go, or take it to the next level… and then do the same thing from that point. If we feel that we can trust ourselves to trust them, based upon what we have come to understand, we can afford to expand the boundaries a little further. But, what if we are wrong, and our judgement has been skewed (our genuine judgement I mean, not our hopefulness masquerading as judgement!)? Well, again, it will sting for sure, but it won’t be fatal… and we will have learned something from it, enabling us to make an adjustment or two next time. And believe me, there will always be a next time, if we don’t collapse into a permanent state of romantic victim-hood!
There is no hurry, for most of us, at least! Not having found a lifetime partner at the age of 20 is not the end of the world. Even at the age of 50 plus, it isn’t automatically game over. I remember two lady customers seriously competing for the attention of one man… and they were 68! So, remember: be sure not to allow dating frustration to lead you to behave in a crazy manner – when you keep your dignity, you keep your power!