I went to the grocery store around 6pm last Thursday and was surprised to see all these men running around frantically with bouquets, intensely scouring the card aisle. I totally forgot it was Valentine’s day. I haven’t been in a relationship for just around 2 years now, but it got me thinking about how much pressure surrounds relationships; whether you’re trying to attain #goals if you’re in a relationship, or dealing with the stress and doubt that so often accompanies wanting to be in one. As a society, we put a lot of pressure on finding “the one,” as if you’re not complete being “alone.”
I used to struggle a lot with wanting to revive and fix one relationship in particular that crashed and burned, tearing my heart into twelfths. I’ll spare you the details, however, throughout about a years worth of thinking, crying, whining, self-pity, replaying, scheming revenge, and reflecting, I came to many realizations. The first of these is rather obvious, but after getting over everything that went wrong I was able to realize why I missed the person so much. These were all good qualities of course, such as patience, kindness, belief in me, and understanding. In the unstable state of post-breakup, I thought these qualities were confined to this person alone and that I would never find anyone else comparable. Then I had a bigger realization and the most impactful awareness that I was depending solely on that person for the very qualities I should be showing myself.
I know the whole “love yourself/self-love” concept is big right now and somewhat cliche, but it definitely holds some truth. I started to question what my life would look like if I showed myself that patience, if I showed myself that kindness, if I showed myself that understanding, if I believed in myself, if I was confident in my abilities, you name it. Don’t get me wrong, these are definitely qualities I will continue to expect from a partner, but there’s a difference between appreciation of the qualities, and dependence on them. As my brain was processing this phenomenal concept, it was like someone whispered in my ear a clear concise summary: Love yourself so you’re not depending on someone else to do it for you. Love yourself so you know you’re choosing to be with someone out of love rather than loneliness. I’m sure this is a combination of many quotes and books I’ve read so I certainly can’t take credit, but I thought it was outstanding advice.
If we cannot face and accept ourselves, we will always be trying to fill that void with someone else. It’s only after this acceptance that growth with another can begin.
“Accept and acknowledge your own brilliance. Stop waiting for others to tell you how great you are! Believe it for yourself and about yourself.”Iyanla Vanzant