Hey hopeful romantics,
I wrote a piece this week about why love scares us (it comes out this weekend, so you won't see it in this newsletter). The more I dive into the psychology and chemistry behind love, the more I realize how alluring but toxic of a trap love is.
Don't get me wrong; I LOVE me some love. But we can probably all admit we've made poor decisions when the idea of falling in love clouded our minds.
Sometimes, people want love so bad, they sacrifice something for it. Sometimes, that "something" is themselves.
I serial dated for a decade. I molded myself to who I thought my partner wanted me to be. Sure, I felt like part of that was the process of "finding myself," but I ended up losing parts of me I loved along the way. I didn't paint like I used to, I let my health go to shit, I stopped seeing my friends, and I was pulled into the world of drugs and partying that I was never meant for.
But after taking a break from dating, I realized this crazy idea: I could date and stay true to who I am.
Wild, I know.
And this meant I not only found a f*cking fantastic relationship, but I got more in such with what makes me happy. And I continue to, every day.
So this week, let's talk about ways to find a partner without losing yourself:
You need 20/20 on your morals and values.
If you aren't able to list at least five no-gos when it comes to a partner, you have some work to do. We all have a set of values. We know how we want to be treated. We know how we like to treat others. And we know what matters most to us.
If someone's values differ from yours, you're compromising on a non-negotiable aspect of a partner. When you date someone with different values (I once put up with a blatant racist), you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in the relationship and questioning your values.
Creating boundaries is essential.
Each of us has our beginnings and ends. Recognizing where your ends are is crucial to feeling respected. The moment someone calls you a name, disrespects you, acts rude to one of your loved ones, or shows up 45 minutes late to dinner, speak up.
The beginning of a relationship is when the dynamics are formed. Poor boundaries give way to feeling like the relationship is all about who you're dating an not an equal balance.
Check-in with yourself after dates.
Did you enjoy their company? Let me repeat: did you enjoy their company?
I dated for way too long with the goal of impressing my dates. I mean, it's what I read in Seventeen Mag, so it had to be right.
I never stopped to ask myself if I actually liked the other person. But that's your number one goal in dating: for you to determine if the other person is someone you enjoy being around and want to go on a second date with. Check-in with yourself and ask that question after every date.
Ignore that "don't be clingy" voice.
Expressing your interest or needs is not clingy. You are not wrong for stating what you want. You are authentic to yourself and not playing games; that's commendable, not condemnable.
If someone acts like you're too clingy or is put off by your interest, then they're simply not the one for you. Do not let the fear of pushing someone away stop you from asking for what you want.
Don't become consumed by dating.
Have a life outside of dating. You don't need to schedule three dates a week because time is ticking away. Love is not something you can rush.
Instead, plan one date a week or even a month. And spend all that free time doing hobbies you love, taking care of yourself, seeing friends, planning trips (whenever COVID is over), and living your life as a happily single person.
You're whole all by yourself.
I used to think I was a half. I needed another half to make me a whole. That's where a relationship came in.
But understanding I'm whole all on my own and creating a life that felt truly like a whole was the best way of staying true to myself. When you realize that a partner is only the icing on the cake, not an entire half of it, you start to be more careful with your heart and only give it to people that deserve it.
Dating should be a fun process; though sometimes long, it's still the journey of finding someone you want to spend your life with. Don't rush it. Don't let it consume you. And do everything you can not to lose yourself in the journey.
I appreciate you being a loyal reader. As always, send me an email with any questions you have or to just say hi!
Until next week... stay sane & healthy.
All the love,
I'm looking for beta readers!
If you want to be part of the process of creating my book, shoot me an email. You won't have to read the whole book, just a few chapters, so you can give me feedback.
I'd be eternally grateful. 💕
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