Growing up, we are exposed to fairy tales and love stories. Grand romantic gestures and transcending life challenges for two people to be together. Ending up “alone” is consistently portrayed as a negative, and riding off into the sunset with your soul mate is shown to be the idealistic goal for all of us.
Sure, we would all like to find someone – but when this idea of win or lose is ingrained in our mind from an early age, what does it create?
It creates an incredible pressure on people from youth to find, and be with someone. It tells us that our worth is based on our ability to stay in a relationship. Rather than creating an emotional synergy, it is almost as if we are in a battle with ourselves. What if doing what feels right is the same thing that makes us feel like we have ‘failed’?
If we look at things in this light, we can begin to see why people stay in negative relationships that don’t truly make them happy – at least they have someone. They might fight more than they kiss, they might barely talk to each other, they might never go out on dates together…but hey, at least they’re not single.
And, the cycle continues.
To find real happiness, this perception has to change. We need to shift our way of thinking to value ourselves rather than whether or not someone is in our life. We need to understand that true happiness comes from within, and only then will we be fully suited to have a healthy relationship with another (fulfilled) person.
You don’t need someone to complete you – only someone to accept you completely.
You can be happy and fulfilled being single, or you can be happy and fulfilled married with as many children as you choose to have. Just because two lifestyles are different does not mean one is better or worse than the other.
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. If that one isn’t healthy, none of your others will be. You need to value yourself enough to not settle for less than you deserve. To look at a situation that is not bringing you what you need out of life, and be able to say “I deserve better, dammit.” To walk away from what doesn’t make you happy or grow you as a person.
Furthermore, it is not only about the love we accept – it is about the love we can give. If we think about filling a glass of water, we can see ourselves as the first glass that needs to rise to the top. Only then will we be able to keep contributing and overflow into others. If we only fill ourselves partially before we pour into other glasses, we will constantly be lacking the completeness we thought we would find in them. We have to get our own lives in order first, and then share them with someone.
If we look outside for fulfillment and expect somebody else to be able to fill the void, we will never truly find it. When we find it within ourselves, it will provide us with the foundation we need in order to realize our full potential and become the best person we can. The person who we want to share with others.
It has been said that we only accept the love we think we deserve, but the beautiful part about this is that you decide what you deserve. Other people do not determine your value – that’s why it’s called self-worth.
You can be happy, if only you decide to be.
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