Now that I’m almost in my mid-thirties, I mostly have two kinds of girlfriends:
- Those who are in a committed relationship
- Those who are looking for a committed relationship and wondering if they are being too picky and not compromising enough, therefore spending a lot of time dating guys who are not up to the mark and blaming themselves for not getting out of it what their hearts desire.
As women get older in a society obsessed with coupling and success being measured in how many boxes you tick on the list of qualifying factors on the adulting list, together with their own maternal instinct kicking in to tell them that they need to start having babies before it’s too late, a lot of women who have stuck to their guns to remain strong, independent, self-sufficient and financially secure as a solo household start to doubt and question themselves and their choices, and start neglecting all the hard work they have put into themselves and their lives to get where they are, simply because they can’t find a partner that meets them at their level.
And it’s not easy to find that guy. Most guys at our age are taking it easy, they aren’t in a rush to find their wives, they are either breaking up from the first one, or they are relaxing in the knowledge that they can have kids whenever they want. Those who ARE looking for women often aren’t ready to face their feelings, and turn out to be not as manly as they presented themselves to be at first when a woman reveals that behind the scenes of her strong independent exterior there is a soft, vulnerable girl that wants to be held and comforted in her moments of weakness.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over
the past couple of failed relationships, it’s this:
you attract what you fear.
Fear is a funny thing. As much as you want it to go away, it actually reveals your underlying beliefs. When you fear something, you deeply (probably unconsciously) believe that something has the power to hurt you. Whether it’s a spider, falling from a height, or being left by a man that you have opened yourself up to, or even being left alone in the world while everyone else is busy with their families.
The thing about wanting something out of fear is that it betrays your true belief: that you don’t have what you want, and you might not get it. Instead, when you want something in faith and confidence, you stop fearing not getting it, and allow it to come to you in due time, as you do most other things in life. It’s the confidence with which we press a button on our phones and expect it to respond to us without a doubt, the confidence with which we send a message to our best friend and know she will respond to us straight away, the confidence with which we turn open the shower in our bathroom and know that in a moment water will start pouring down upon us.
Yes, sometimes, once in a while, it doesn’t happen, and we find ourselves surprised — but our initial response isn’t one of blaming ourselves, is it? It’s of wondering what the problem is with the button, the friend or the shower, and trying to help resume the flow of interaction that we consider normal. Our response isn’t to take it personally, because usually it’s not us that’s broken, but the response system that’s broken.
Our beliefs create our reality.
So when you want something out of fear, you actually believe you won't get it, and that becomes your reality. But when you want something out of a sincere heartfelt confidence that it lies in your future, when you really truly believe in it, your reality will have no choice but to adapt itself to you.
I have struggled with this one fear a lot, as I’ve entered my 30s and watched my friends disappear from my social life — of being left alone while everyone else is happily snuggling up with the families at home around a dinner table or on the couch each night. And it has caused me to make questionable choices when it came to the men I’ve dated. I’ve given one too many chances to men that I already knew were not going to suck in their gut and flex their muscles to lift the load I sometimes bury myself under. I already knew that I could lift a lot more than they could, and they would run away feeling overwhelmed at a certain point, when I was feeling weak. But I wanted to be wrong, so I gave them chance after chance to stand by me, only to be deeply disappointed. And yes — alone.
However, even though this might lead to the logical conclusion that I had better learn to accept a guy the way he is and take whatever he has to offer instead of wishing for what he doesn’t if I don’t want to repeatedly face my fear of ending up alone, I’ve concluded exactly the opposite: I keep attracting men who aren’t going to stand by me when the going gets rough precisely because this is what I fear. And so, instead of making the self-sacrifice to simply take whatever I can get, and avoid being alone by going easy on the next guy that enters my life, I’ve decided to do exactly the opposite: to be my full amplified self from the start, so that he can decide straight away if he wants to stick around or not, if he wants to stand next to me or not, if he is right for me, or not.
Because you know what’s worse than finding out someone won’t stay with you when the going gets rough? Finding out that you wasted your time and energy on someone who wasn’t going to stick it out.
And I don’t any longer fear that I’ll end up alone, single, and without a family of my own. I’m savouring every moment of being on my own until that man shows up, the one who is ready to love me as fearlessly with his whole heart as I will love him back, the one who I won’t doubt will stick around long enough to raise a pack of courageous loving lions with. The one who will shower me and my children with love every morning before we step fresh and invigorated into each new day.
And girlfriend, if you’re reading this...
and you’re blaming yourself for still being single or not being adjusting enough in your current relationship with a man that just doesn’t make you feel loved the way you know you want and deserve to be, here’s what I have to say to you:
You know how you feel when you’re around your friends who laugh with you, hold you when you cry, tell you off when you’re being dumb, then call you the next day to hang out, without you having to hope for it, wish for it or wonder if it will happen? Yeah, that’s what real love feels like. Also with a guy you’re sharing your body and soul with. You don’t hang out with people you’re not feeling it with, so why would you share your life with someone you’re just not feeling it with?
So quit your fear of being alone
if you don’t compromise,
or of being too much for a man.
Be your full fiery crazy intense emotional beautiful loving self, and nothing will hold back the guys who want that woman in their lives.
Instead, if you must, be afraid of having a hard time choosing from all the great guys that will show up for you the moment you let your veil drop to reveal all of your true self. Because you attract what you fear.
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