At the beginning of this year, I promised myself that whenever I felt the urge to come to this space, no outlines or despite what my editorial calendar said, and just get a little personal with you guys, I’d do it.
And today’s post is going to be one of those.
Dating and relationships is something that I almost never talk about online. I rarely mention even casual dates I’ve been on and have always kept any significant other separate from my online life. It’s funny and probably a bit odd to some that despite putting so much of my life online, I prefer to be as private about my love life as possible. Year after year, I’ve gotten feedback from you guys, especially those of you who have followed me over the years, that you really want me to share more of myself. To be more open about dating and relationships and my life and struggles.
I like to keep my contributions to the internet as positive as possible. There’s so much bad news on…well…the news, and on social media. And when I struggle with something, I can get really dark and tend to see everything through an incredibly negative lens.
For the past few months, I’ve been going to therapy to help better understand myself and my feelings and process things. And among many other things, it’s been incredibly helpful with getting me to feel more comfortable saying the things I feel out loud. Where as before, I’d see coming to the blog to talk (vent) about my struggles with dating as weak and negative, it doesn’t really feel that way now.
If my reason for creating content is to help others, and we all know that we can’t always only share the good, then why would sharing a challenge that I don’t have a resolution to be anything other than helpful?
The TL;DR version of this post – I am really frustrated with, overwhelmed by and disappointed in the state of my dating life. I’m the kind of person that likes to be good at things. I like to study and really hone a craft. Video editing? I’ll stay up all night learning new techniques. Skin care? I’ll read every article and book on toners and masks until I can make educated product purchases.
But how, HOW do you study dating? It’s not even one of things were you learn as you go, because going through dating is exhausting. It makes me mentally, physically and spiritually tired.
I mentioned a few times back in 2016 that a relationship I’d been in since high school came to a really, really bad ending. Having had two years to process that ending, I know now that there were a lot of toxic behaviors in that relationship and as much as it hurt to let go, it was for the best.
Recently, I’ve had to let go of another relationship that I really thought was going to pan out much, much differently. I’m glad it didn’t end on bad terms, but in some ways that makes it even more difficult. Knowing that everything was fine, but it still didn’t work.
I know I’m not the only one going though this. Who’s tired of swiping left, going on terrible dates and getting comfortable with someone only to get uncomfortable shortly after. But because I’ve wanted to be in a healthy, happy relationship for so long, all of these bad experiences mount on top of each other and make me think that it has to be me. Something must be wrong with me if it’s constantly this hard!
But the sane and logical side of me knows that this isn’t the case. But fear of missing out on something that you really want makes you think this way. And even when you try to shut those thoughts down, they fight back hard and oftentimes, they win.
There have been times where I’ll be reading a book and the simplest, dumbest statement about a couple or romance that wouldn’t upset anyone will cause me to totally break down. I’ve had to watch what I read and who I follow because, as beautiful as love is and as wonderful as it is to see around you, it’s hard for me sometimes. Because I feel so far away from having anything remotely resembling that.
The past few weeks have been especially negative as far as my thinking towards dating goes. I think the best plan for me right now is to take a step back. Get out of my own head, focus on showing myself some extra care and self love.
I want my next foray into dating to be really intentional, not just mindless rebounding. The good part about getting comfortable with processing what you feel and advocating for yourself is that you start to stand firm in really saying what you want. And if I know what I’m looking for, why would I go after anything else?
This post took a rambly turn, so if you made it to the end, thank you. If you’re also struggling with dating, I’d love to hear your stories in the comments –the good and the bad. And if you’ve made your way out of the dating pool and are in a relationship, I’d love for you to chime in too!