Today’s post is a follow up from last week’s Dating Yourself episode. The question I get the most after people learn about dating yourself is: How can dating myself help me manifest a better or more appropriate partner if I haven’t already? Or if you have, how can it help me improve my existing relationship? I love these questions for so many reasons.
So, let’s get into using this idea of dating yourself to manifest the right relationship for you.
The first thing I will say is that whether or not you're already in a committed relationship, this episode can help you. I utilize some of these tools with my current partner and it allowed us to develop a deeper connection and understanding of one another.
Unfortunately for Evan, I've done a lot of growing WHILE in our relationship instead of beforehand—better late than never, right? He’s just happy the growth occurred. Full stop. 😉 So, whether or not you have an existing partnership, there will be some nuggets in here for you to pull from.
Next thing that I will say is that when I refer to dating yourself in this episode, I'm referring to the habit I want you to incorporate when you take yourself out on dates—the habit of introspection. This habit will help you become clear on where your opportunities for growth are. As you begin to become aware of these, you will start to see a pattern in your past dating history. Maybe you had a history of dating jealous types, the emotionally unavailable types, the needy types… we tend to date people that either reflect the areas that we need to work on OR we attract the people that reflect the sides of us that need to heal because of a toxic parent figure. Mmm, and if that last part resonated with you, I highly recommend you follow the Holistic Psychologist on Instagram. She posts some amazing things about trauma bonds.
Said differently, this learning process that happens when you date yourself is basically teaching you to identify red flags—aka the warning signs you get when you enter a relationship that you may not always pickup on. They're usually the non-negotiable values that we hold individually, so they differ for all of us. A red flag for me may not be one for you. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the dating world that may not be aware of their own red flags. A big red flag for me that I wasn’t aware of for years was guys that were too needy. For me, this usually meant that they were the jealous type, but I kept dating this kind of guy because I loved the attention, AT FIRST. However, I didn't know that the attention I was getting was not positive, it was possessive. It wasn't because he cared so much about me, it was straight up jealousy and I was being manipulated to feel bad about THEIR jealousy. This is why I’m passionate about introspection that comes from dating yourself. This skill allowed me to step back and analyze these things, so I could break my patterns.
Red flags also tend to point out to us what WE need to work on. Turns out, I was a needy jealous person too because it's what I observed in my parents! So of course, I saw this as a positive trait and kept dating guys with this tendency and wondering why... for the life of me... I couldn't seem to find a decent guy! Observing our past relationships and flaws can help us make change.
So that’s the first thing dating yourself helps you accomplish: recognizing patterns that haven’t served you so you can avoid falling for the same toxic people over and over again.
The second thing dating yourself does is it helps you become the type of person you want to attract. As you work on yourself, you begin to heal the parts of you that no longer serve you by raising your vibration through personal development and self-growth. As you raise your vibration, you’re able to attract a new type of partner; We have to be a vibrational match for the type of person we want to manifest. A healthier and more conscious version of us will attract healthier partners. And if you’re tuning in, you’re likely the type of person who wants to grow! Dating yourself, or this level of introspection, allows you to attract a partner that connects with the version of us that is growing and changing INSTEAD OF the person who matches the vibration of our trauma.
Questions you can ask yourself during the dating yourself process might be: Am I aligned with a healthier and positive relationship? Do I know myself well enough to know what I want? Do I enjoy time making time for myself? Do I enjoy my own company? What am I seeking when I’m alone?
And like I said earlier, whether you’re already in a relationship or not, you can make changes to attract a new kind of relationship for you and your existing partner too. If something isn't working, utilize this introspection to figure out why. You cannot change what you're not aware of. If you and your partner struggle in a certain area, take some time to date yourself and begin to learn what YOUR habits and patterns are in that area. We love to blame the habits of others for relationship issues, but how many times have you asked what is MY contribution to our flaws?
Quick example, there was a time in our marriage when I complained that Evan didn't help enough around the house. After introspection, I realized that a part of the issue was my expectation setting and communication. He did help, he just couldn't read my mind. He didn't do things EXACTLY when I wanted him to, EXACTY how I wanted them done. And, I was struggling with my identity as a feminist who wanted to reject the housewife narrative, and yet was conditioned by my southern values to uphold a certain standard of cleanliness. My conflicting identities created a lot of internal stress, and I would take it out on Evan thinking he was the answer. Well, if he just kept the house pristine then this cognitive dissonance, I'm afraid to look at would go away! Obviously, I wasn't aware that that was the issue at the time. Like I said, I just needed him to help more... Sorry, Ev!
Step into this introspection process with an analytical and non-emotional mind. You’re not looking to place blame anywhere; you're looking for opportunities for growth and positive change. What are your bad habits around the issue? Once you’re aware, what changes can you begin to make to change the way you’re showing up in your relationship? We often think relationship problems are something our partners aren’t doing, but it’s often a co-created situation. Maybe it’s a belief that’s held, expectations going unmet, communication, shame, disappointment in ourselves…. the list is endless! We're human beings with our own separate traumas that we experienced prior to any relationship with another. Let's respect the fact that we both have baggage coming into the relationship(s).
The short version of all of this, if I wanted this episode to be 2 minutes long, is that dating yourself is helpful for cultivating healthier relationships because it encourages you to love yourself more. I attended a conference a couple weeks ago where there was a relationship expert who said something that really resonated with me—being in love has nothing to do with another person. Being in love is a state of being. Ooof! Where was this guy in my younger years?! This wisdom could have empowered me to leave a few relationships earlier than I did.
Following this wisdom, it makes sense that someone else can help you get to a state of love, but you don’t lose the love when you leave a relationship. It stays within you and can be cultivated again by yourself or another person! When people go through breakups, sometimes they grieve the feeling of love just as much as they grieve the loss of the person. If you knew the love only came from within in the past, could it be easier to leave a relationship that isn’t serving you? Better yet, can you feel that love for yourself so that you always have it? So that this feeling isn't a factor in whether or not you leave a toxic relationship?
From a psychology perspective, interdepenency is the healthiest relationship style. Interdepency is the ability to remain independent of your partner (or partners) in a relationship so that you do not become enmeshed in their lives while losing sight of your own, which is what happens in codependent relationships. Said differently, interdependence is having love for yourself and sharing that with another. Codependency is allowing someone else to create love within you and then losing it when they’re no longer around. Having love for someone is okay, but having love for ourselves is great and can prevent codependency. Only we are responsible for how much love we’re willing to give ourselves. You will attract someone who loves you for you, when you learn to love you FIRST.
Love comes from within, not from someone else. Here is likely to be an unpopular opinion: While you might be in a relationship, you’re still alone, you're always alone. You never become a part of someone else, but sometimes we try to with enmeshment. You share yourself with someone, but you’re still a singular being. When you break up with someone else or lose someone, you’re still whole. Take comfort in that. They allowed you to experience love, but you are love itself. What an empowering view to have in order to prevent enmeshment and toxicity within relationships.
When I talk about interdependence and being alone within a relationship, some people will say, “but I couldn’t live without my partner!” Or “love for my partner is like a drug!”. That's fine if you want a relationship without boundaries that is susceptible to unhealthy dynamics…But I believe that when you’re with the right person, it doesn’t feel like a drug; It feels like home. It’s not toxic, chaotic, addictive, and it doesn’t make you crazy. Instead, it’s safe, comfortable, and calm. There aren’t massive swings of emotion. It's a relationship by choice, not because of some perceived soul obligation.
I speak passionately about this because I used to be the woman who said love is a drug. I used to believe that relationships should have extreme ups and downs in order to be passionate. I used to mistake this lack of huge emotional swings between Evan and I as a lack of passion. I learned from my parents that outbursts were normal and indicated love; I didn’t realize that these emotional outbursts weren’t passion, they were unhealthy explosions. It took me traveling to Europe alone and having a relationship abroad that made me realize that I was addicted to the chaos. I found this negative pattern, exciting. That’s when I finally realized why I’d fallen victim to an abusive relationship years before.
I hope this gave you some perspective for either yourself or someone else! If it did, it would mean the world to me if you would rate my show and leave a review in iTunes, Spotify, iHeart... whatever platform you're using to tune in. Consider these reviews and ratings my currency--if you find value in my show send me some love to let me know!
Thank y'all so much for hanging out with me today! Have a fantastic rest of your week, and I will catch y'all next Monday. Until then, go out there and manifest some miracles.
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