20 Things I've Learned While Dating Myself
Just the other day I realized that I was approaching a full year of "dating myself." Sure, I've been single before; but I've never intentionally decided to just date Chivvaun.
It was only after the heartbreak of my life when my dad suggested this concept of "dating myself" and to be honest I was skeptical. I mean, just like everyone else after going through a breakup in their 20's (and above) I didn't want another long hiatus with no one in my life. Yes, I knew I was going to take time to heal but dedicating a year of just dating me wasn't something I intended to do.
Of course, I'd been single for extremely long periods of time and I've often enjoyed those times to myself. But in hindsight, I realized that dating myself wasn't something I'd ever done. Now as time had passed, for the first time in my life, I had unknowingly fallen into a relationship with me.
I spent time reading books, growing personally and professionally, watching inspirational YouTube videos, working on crafts, and simply enjoying my own company and the company of the people closest to me. I grew closer to God and actually realized that my relationship with Him had grown into something I never had before. It was more personal and constant in talking -- just like a friend; except without hugging or texting.
As I opened up myself to God, I realized that I instantly became more open to people. While I was healing, I was working on me in every capacity imaginable. I weeded out bad patterns, discovered and worked on behaviors linked to certain events and eventually, it dawned on me that the year of dating myself was almost over! The craziest part? It was completely unintentional. It felt like no time had passed! In fact, when I made the realization, I actually felt like I owed it to myself to intentionally finish the year out as a happily single woman.
Now as the year comes to a close, I feel like a new person and I absolutely love it!
And after allowing myself the time to grow, I realized that I never felt more whole in my life.
But here are a few of the other things I've learned along the way:
1) You don't need anyone to validate you
2) You don't need to look for love; it will show up when you're ready for it
3) You don't need to shrink yourself to "fit in;" live loud and embrace every part of you
4) You don't need to care if people don't like you, aren't patient for you and don't understand you; the right people will do/want to do all of these things and more
5) You are incredible all on your own
6) You are LOVED; even if you don't have a "lover", the people around you love everything about you. Appreciate that while you have it
7) You are allowed to take your time
8) Your time IS VALUABLE
9) You can't give love to someone else if you don't fully love yourself
10) You are the key to making yourself happy. No one else can do this for you
11) You and the people you love must change on your/their own
12) You are MORE than ENOUGH
13) You are allowed to say No
14) You don't have to engage people you don't like or don't see a future with
15) You and only you are only responsible for yourself, your actions and your reactions
16) You should always be growing and working on yourself and bad habits (we all have them)
17) You deserve more than sub-par interactions and are allowed to hold people accountable
18) You ought to be respected, valued, given loyalty and be taken seriously without having to prove yourself- EVER
19) You do not have to appease anyone; especially when you aren't ready, they aren't as enthusiastic about you, your plans, or pressure you into feeling like you should already have started a family
20) You don't have to be scared of being alone - especially if someone isn't sure about you
Truthfully, I've learned a whole lot more about myself and my journey; why I behaved or reacted a certain way; or why aspects of my childhood overflowed into adulthood. I've worked on so many things about myself; but, these are just a few of the things I felt should be known.
I've learned that it's truly important to understand who you are as a person before you can let someone else try to do the same; and, when you take the time to work on you, you automatically feel free and sure of who you are and what you have to bring to the table. For me, I'm confident enough to wait for people who will love and value me for who I actually am and that's OK.
Sure things may take a little longer, and, like me, you may have a lot of nights filled with "why don't I have someone who loves me;" but, the reward is being able to do life on your own! You won't be looking for anyone's validation or love to make you happy; you will just be happy. This is the place where all of us should be! No one should be hanging on to a person just because. We all deserve that person who really wants to love and grow as we do.
And besides, no one is more or less valuable because they have a partner; so, please don't let this hinder you from starting over. We all have something to offer the world on our OWN and there's nothing more beautiful than realizing and living in that truth.