A few months ago, I came across this post online: ‘ How many relationships do you have left in you?’ Many people responded with ‘one’ while others responded with ‘none’. This question most likely stems from the frustrations that many millennials are currently experiencing in the world of dating: one minute you’re all for dating but before you know it, you’ve given up. Dating can be tough. It is emotionally, mentally and physically demanding but unfortunately, it’s necessary (unless you choose not to).
Implying that you only have a certain number of relationships in you will do nothing to help your dating life whatsoever. In fact, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good, and in this post, I’m going to explain the reasons why.
Expecting or demanding that your next relationship to be your last doesn’t honour or serve you, it restricts you. By affirming your impatience, all you are doing is putting pressure on yourself. It is also pretty unrealistic to believe that your perfect partner is going to be revealed to you in an instant. One thing I’ve learned about dating over the past few years is that it’s pretty much trial and error: it’s getting to know yourself and having a strong understanding of what you will or will not tolerate. Anything that’s worth having takes time. Yes, this sounds cliche but it’s true. Most of us have rushed into relationships only to be left feeling empty in a short amount of time! Focusing on the qualities you expect in a partner should be your top priority in any dating situation. A lot of millennials love to tweak, so they justifying things or traits that they shouldn’t really be. When you know your self-worth, settling for less just isn’t an option.
Another disadvantage of ‘I have one more relationship in me’ thinking is the unlikeliness of the odds not going in your favour. Having this mindset puts you at risk of attracting the wrong partner. Defiance can blind you to the things you should really be paying attention to. Yes, you may have a plan, but if you only see the end result then you will end up leaping before you can look. I listened to an episode of The Baggage Reclaim Podcast, which I love, and Natalie Lue (the presenter) was discussing the risks of refusing to be vulnerable. People who keep walls up and refuse to be vulnerable are more likely to attract narcissists. Narcissists love individuals who forget their boundaries and bend over backwards to please others. They also have the ability to sway you with words so that’s something to look out for.
Narcissists are also amazing at giving you compliments and making you feel so good that when they do something out of character, 9/10 you will end up forgiving them. If you neglect your boundaries and attract a narcissist, you are in trouble. We’ve all become infatuated with the idea of meeting the right person to the point we overlook some pretty serious red flags in the process. Red flags are warnings. They never go away so bear in mind that if you put up with them in the beginning stages, you’ll be putting up with them for the duration of your relationship. Don’t allow your defiance to cloud your judgement. It will have you staying in the wrong relationship for a lot longer than you should be.
Dating is an experience. As much as you may want to zoom through it and get into the relationship of your dreams, things just don’t work out like that. In a recent post, I talked about bad dating experiences and how I realized that I just wasn’t ready to embrace the good, the bad the ugly when it comes to dating. As many say, dating is definitely an extreme sport. It requires consistency as well as vulnerability. You may meet the right person after 5 dates or maybe even 15, who knows? In order to get the most out of dating, you need to be prepared for everything that comes with it. When I went one of the dates I talked about in this post, I was reeling at the idea that I was having to let someone I had an emerging connection with go but the reality is that I dodged a bullet. Dating is all about fun, learning experiences and dodging bullets which we can only hope will lead us to the love of our lives in time. Date with a purpose and not a mission.
If you expect instant success from dating without having to put any work in, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Vulnerability is one of the most important parts of dating or any relationship. If you’ve closed yourself off to everyone and everything, the chances are that you are a passenger on the vulnerability train. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that you aren’t ready to be vulnerable, however, complete refusal to be vulnerable is an issue you will need to address. It’s pointless to decide to date while point blank refusing to get to know someone better. I honestly believe that a lot of millennials have been conditioned to have a ‘me, me, me’ attitude which can easily breed toxicity.
If you think dating is all about someone bending over backwards to show you that they are worthy of your time, you are in for a big surprise. When push comes to shove, we are all flawed. It’s just human nature. So instead of feeling like you have to put on a big performance, just focus on being you. It’s not a pitch so stop playing games! Have fun, ask more questions and most importantly, go for what you want. Pretending like you don’t need anyone isn’t going to help you at all and it’s going to get you any closer to the relationship you really want.
Lastly, the ‘I only want one more relationship’ mindset will make you feel a lot worse about your single status. Single life has its moments, but on a positive note, you are free to live your best life but when the people around you are settling down and starting families, it’s inevitable that you will start to feel a little left out. Society and the media love to portray single life as some sort of roller-coaster that never comes to a halt. This isn’t an accurate representation at all. When a person becomes single, they do everything they can to figure out how to be themselves again, regardless of how their previous relationship may have ended. You become accustomed to the fact that you’re now on your own, it’s almost like you are creating a new life for yourself. This is why you see a lot of singles travelling, partying, taking up hobbies, being more active etc. It is indeed a renewal of self.
The worst thing a single person can do is treat their single status like a disease. I watched a sermon a few weeks ago and the pastor said that ‘the reason why a lot of relationships end is because people haven’t learned how to be single’ and he was right. We’ve all been that person who has neglected their personality because someone with potential is completely and utterly enamoured with you. Being single isn’t something to be ashamed of. Distance yourself from anyone who can’t see the beauty in your journey. Be happy that you have been given this time to live your best life. This is the season where you live your life on your own terms. Also, take the time to think about why you are single. Use this as a point of reflection as opposed to a place of sadness. The right relationship will come. Be present, be mindful and don’t stop living.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and that this dating and relationship advice has been helpful! As always, I love to hear from you all. Your comments are so lovely and inspiring so do let me know what you thought of this post. Don’t forget to like and subscribe. If you are subscribed, then tell your friends to subscribe too!