Pink Paw Print

Monday, November 23, 2015

How To Find Love When You're Single

Recently, I have shocked people with my decision to momentarily bow out from the romantic (~or lack thereof~) world that is the dating scene. Many people have told me they think it's a good decision, because I'm kind of what you would call a "serial dater". As you can see here, I just kind of love everybody in the world - friends, family, romantic prospects, strangers. Even those people I just don't really like, I still have love for them. Why? Because we're all in this wild and crazy ride we call "life", together. And I think that creates a bond that's pretty special (not that we have any other choice when it comes to living life, buuuut, still ahaha!)

I realized that I used to use dating to fill a void. I had been lacking some serious love in other areas of my life (including self-love), and I thought romantic love could make the pain of not feeling loved in the other areas of my life go away. I was dating all the wrong people. I was putting myself in harm's way dating people who were violent, with terrible anger issues, people who scared me more than life itself could ever scare me. I'm a very nurturing, give-up-all-my-needs-to-make-you-feel-loved girl, and because of that, it was attracting the kind of people who needed to feel loved because they had no clue how to love others, themselves. Hurting others with their words, or their hands, or their selfishness? No problem. But loving others? That was a whole new ballgame, and I became addicted to trying to get the guys incapable of love to love me. Because if some one incapable of love could love me, then I felt hey, that would make me really worth loving.

See what's wrong with that? I deserve someone who wants to love me, and cherish me, and treat me like royalty, in return. And it's important to keep the faith that there is that guy out there who wants to love me just as badly as I want to love him. Giving and giving and giving always made me feel like the "better" person, like some saint, like some girl truly worth loving, because I felt deep down like I wasn't really worthy of being loved by anybody. Like how could anybody possibly love me!? So I would neglect my own needs, I would spend my days in a mild to moderate panic fearing the next time my feelings would get hurt, in an odd attempt to make myself actually fix the void I had inside. But clearly, as you can imagine, that never worked out.

Sadly, that pattern, I've realized, has been playing out into non-romantic relationships as well, such as friends, as just one example. There are many people in my life who are blunt to the point that it has really been chipping away at my self-esteem, and I need to do some deep soul-searching and reevaluate how to handle this fact. The hard part is that, often times, these people have no idea how rude their words come off, and when I try to tell them how hurt they've made me feel, they get -beyond- defensive and say even more hurtful things, to the point where things escalate into this huge mess of anxiety and fear. Just thinking about it makes me feel pretty seasick, but I've been working on ways to manage that and keep things with that in its place. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't reason with unreasonable people. You have to brush it off, for your own sanity, and think oh that's so and so being their rude self again, and not let it hurt you because otherwise, you will be chained to sadness and never be able to soar, like you deserve!

But anyway. Back to the single life. So, the truth is, is that I used to be so deeply sad being alone. I thought that no guy could ever love just me, and by being alone, I thought, this was proving that fact. This ties into the virginity thing. There's some invisible ticking clock, it feels like, and as a 21-year-old, quite a few people have told me that I must be a freak if I haven't done it yet.

Truth is, even though I have definitely loved guys, maybe it wasn't true love, the kind where you trust the person 100%. Because they had horrible, scary tempers. Because they would hurt me. So even though it hurts my self-esteem to think about, because I've waited this long, I do want it to be meaningful. It makes me sad to think that by the time I find the right person for me to experience that with, he will probably already have engaged in all of that, and probably many times, and probably with multiple people, which scares me because I feel like our experience will therefore mean so much more to me than it will to him. But then again, someone once told me, everything is a "case-by-case" basis. Like a "just because you aren't somebody's first, doesn't mean that they won't want you to be their last!"sort of a thing. I'd much rather be wanted forever, than just a notch in the tool belt that is ~~experience~~.

Another thing that's been tough is that honestly, forever, since I can remember (darn you, Disney movies......!) is that I've just wanted to be "one and done". Just find my special person, and not have to look anymore and just ... do life with them. While I'm definitely not looking now, I got into a conversation today that made me cry, actually.

My main goal in life (judge me, I dare you.) is just to find my other half. No longer to fill a void, but just to be my partner in crime and to share our happiness together!! Biiiiiiiig difference, let me tell you. Wanting love for this new healthy reason is just such an incredible, ineffable feeling. I am currently working on creating a fulfilled, joy-filled life while minimizing stress, and I can't wait to be able to create this life and then get to share it with him, whoever this "him" will be! About 4 people have had the same response when I said that my number one goal is to find that Mr. Soulmate: "Why? You have so much more to offer than just that. You have talent, and you're smart. You're pretty. Why do you need to make your whole life about finding some guy?"

I cry every time somebody tells me that. I can't help but cry. Because they think that what they are saying is supposed to be like, the biggest compliment ever, but it's actually so incredibly insulting. It invalidates my personal desires and goals and dreams. It tells me that my wishes aren't good enough. That I should be striving for something that people think is "better". That my definition of happiness isn't "good" or "right" or "true". But my main goal is happiness to me. It is what I want. I do want other things, too, though, don't get me wrong. I love blogging and I'm so excited to watch as The Pink Lyme gets even bigger and grows into something that truly blossoms! I want to be a published, well-known novelist! I want to have a job that I love! I want to own some corgi dogs with #FutureBae when I'm older (Pepper is the only pug for me; I don't want to ever replace him <3333)! I want a house that's maybe on the smaller side and as soon as I walk in it feels cozy and like the way everyone dreams that their home should feel - a safe space and full of endless love! But... what I want most is somebody special to share all of this overflowing, abundant happiness and love with. So please, people, don't tell me that my main dream in life shouldn't be to find my partner in crime. Because that is so, so incredibly the essence of me and I carry that wish in everything that I do. No longer in a sad way, but now in a YAYAYAAA I CANT WAIT TIL I FIND THIS GUY! kind of way. We should never change our goals just so others approve. I am glad that these people think highly of me, but I want to share that "talent" and "intelligence" and "attractiveness" with my other half. And the truth is... I'm just not sorry about wanting what I want and I have no desire to ever change this, haha! I hate having to feel pressure to explain myself about why I want love so badly. The truth is, I just do. It's an amazing feeling waking up in somebody's arms and having them kiss you on the forehead and holding hands in public and going on little day-long road trips and cooking together and just ugh, omg yayyy. Ahahah!

On a brighter note, I've been feeling pretty emotionally fulfilled as of late, so I know that I'm on the right path because I haven't woken up and felt so cozy and loved (without even being in a relationship, woohoo!) in a while. (Okay, okay fine so maybe the whole Thanksgiving Chrismukkah season has a little something to do with it too, lol!! :p) Buuuut, anyway - I'm enjoying my time just getting to know people for who they are. When I talk to guys, I don't think MAYBE HE IS DATEABLE, OMG OMG! I think, instead, Hey, who is this guy? What's his story? Maybe he could be an awesome friend to get to know! And even with girls, I'm not putting any pressure on acquaintances to turn into full blown-out intense friendships. I'm just enjoying people for who they are, and enjoying what we have at the level we have it. I'm also enjoying my relationship with myself. I'm spending more time snuggled up in bed to do my homework rather than running off to the library to be surrounded by people 24/7. I'm not afraid to be alone with my thoughts, even if I've been having these kinds of philosophical struggles (these "struggles" are how you grow and learn to define your values as a person!). Wrapped up in blankets with just being by myself, I can think about all of these things without heading into a panicked state.

Taking a break from dating has made me have SO MUCH LESS ANXIETY than I have had in the past few years, to be completely honest! There is no self-induced pressure to look and act perfect to attract some guy. I can just be 100% Brooke, and tbh, fyi, when we are 100% ourselves, it's when we start to attract people, friends and romantic prospects, who are a great fit for us!

Do I still want romantic love more than like, anything? You betcha! But there are many other important things that I love - enjoying my own company, spending time with friends, reading, writing, SHOPPING LOL *cue sassy handflip*, experimenting with new makeup looks, learning new things, etc. & the list goes on. But the truth is, is that I have to ignore the naysayers who don't believe that wanting to find the right person to be with is a good main goal in life, because that's my Truth with a capital T! Although I don't want that love right now, because I want to go on my journey of self-exploration before I find it so it will be hella enriching to have so much fulfillment to bring to the table, it is my long-term dream and realizing this will, without a doubt, help me achieve it.

So how to find love when you're single, do you ask? Start with yourself. Love yourself. Make the time to do things that make you happy. Read for fun. Shower extra long. Cuddle up with a lot of blankets in bed and just listen to upbeat songs. Try a new body wash. Try new exercises at the gym. Nourish yourself mentally, intellectually, emotionally, physically - and that's when you'll attract the people who are truly the right fit for you because you will be able to bring your best self to the match - and you deserve a match for your best self, rather than a match better suited to a "I really need to get my life together" self!! :p lol!

Has anyone ever discouraged you from your main goal in life? How did you handle it?
xoxo, Brooke