Reilly writes: I enjoy learning about relationships on your blog! I have two questions that I would be interested in seeing a post about: How do you know you are ready for dating? (Is there a checklist or guide), and Why would someone want to date at all, when you’ve never had any positive experiences with dating and have little romantic relationship history? I’m okay being single, but not for the rest of my life! I feel I’ve really missed out.

Have you or not many experiences in the dating atmosphere. The reality is, we all know when it’s time to allow love to let in. However, I have to say also that nowadays seems to exists an invisible pressure that everyone should be a couple, and it is a curse to be single.

Love has no guarantees. And this has to be obvious to everyone. Because you don’t know if he or she is going to leave, die, reject, or whatever other reason which is out of your control. The only thing you can do is to be the best version of yourself and possess a good heart intention as a romantic partner.
Dating and love isn’t a billboard game or a Hollywood show. But for many of us, it has become a game of numbers. A game of fallacious pieces of advice and the emergence of bad behavior.

Before I go further, let me ask you this: How do you feel about your single life and being single? Are you using this time to fulfill your emotional needs and also discovering new parts of yourself? Or are you ruminating about how in the future it will be having another person by your side?

What singlehood can teach you:

  1. Being single doesn’t mean waiting for love entrance, which is the wrong move. When you wait, you slow down your movement towards what is waiting for you. 
  2. When you are single, it doesn’t mean that you are emotionally broken, unlovable, incomplete, or missing out on life. In reality, this is your opportunity to glow and master your tools as a future partner by educating yourself. 
  3. Confidence. When you embrace your singlehood and stop think when and how love will materialize in your life. You build your confidence but also peace of mind. 
  4. Singlehood offers the opportunity to explore what you want to explore without being a doormat of somebody else whimsical demands because we tend to choose bad partners or reject good ones when we don’t feel great about ourselves.  
  5. Being single isn’t a synonym for death, but a great period to evolve and understand that love and partnership is the merging of two souls, not as a Hollywood portrait, but as how real-life demands. 

Not all relationships will survive, but I see, and research has shown that around 90% of intimate relationships fail because people don’t have mental clarity about what they want, don’t know themselves. And don’t explain how they want to be loved by their partner or think there is someone always better waiting for them. And this takes us to another important point: the necessity to acknowledge their’s and our’s romantic dynamics history. How many serious relationships they had? They were the ones who ended it? At what stage, the relationship ended? What about us? Do we need to chase people? Do we need to prove ourselves and our worth, and so we tend to chose unavailable partners?

Love is a verb, but also a language. And for this reason, we need to know what we are speaking. And what signals are we sending through our actions.

Like it or not, John Bowlby did an impressive work when he constructed the attachment style theory. Like Freud, Erickson, and Jung with the Theory of the Unconscious mind. We tend to love in our adult relationships how we saw it in our childhood through our role models. For example, individuals with avoidant or fearful-avoidant attachment style tend to have an internal scale. On one plate resides the love they feel for the other person. On the other plate of the scale, their subconscious fears of being trapped and lose their autonomy. If the plate of fears gains more weight than the plate of feelings for their partner, they end the relationship because their subconscious programming taught them that intimate relationships require too much and will trap them.

What they don’t realize, and the same is also true for individuals who have an anxious attachment style, is that these fears and anxieties come from past experiences and not from the present or the person who is with them. Some professionals in the area advise that a secure attachment person can help insecure individuals to move toward a secure attachment. But from my personal experience, it requires a lot of self-awareness, self-esteem, and a willingness to, at certain times, act against your intuitions.

Reilly, I heard many things about my ex from other people. I heard that he didn’t love me, that he just wanted to have some fun, and was confused because he finished a degree and needed to experience life without me. I heard it from others, people close to him, over and over again, not from him. A man who rebuilt his old bike for his girlfriend doesn’t love her? A man who flights across the world to see a woman doesn’t love her? Of course, he does. But it is also true that when other people give too many opinions, it will only lead to disaster, mostly when we are talking about a man or a woman who has insecurities and fears. I released myself in peace, and I knew and still know that I did and gave what a real woman and girlfriend/partner should. What others think about me that’s their problem, because memories and the dream still mine.

For you and for everyone who will read this, my advice is: If you found someone who cares about you, don’t let them go. Someone who cares about you and wants you will be consistent and present in your life. Don’t let other voices and opinions blur the image of your partner. And please, if you are single, embrace that season of your life and live it to the fullest.

Some references for future readings:

Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness by Marsha Lucas, PhD

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller

Relational Intelligence: The people skills you need for the life of purpose you want by Dr. Dharius Daniel

Wishing you a great weekend,

Alexandra

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