Guys have called me a lot of unpleasant things over the years, but the biggest complaint I used to hear was that I was way too needy. They weren’t wrong. I always became way too dependent on the guys I dated and I had no idea why. Once I figured out my lack of self-love was behind my neediness, I was able to stop it in its tracks.
I started taking things one step at a time instead of premature leaps and bounds.
Whenever I started dating someone, I tended to jump in headfirst without knowing much about him. Even on the second or third date, I was usually already thinking about where our wedding would be, what style of dress I’d be wearing, and what we’d name our dog. Because of this, I was inevitably kind of destroyed when things didn’t work out. I knew I needed to change my mindset and my approach, and now when I go on dates, I enjoy the moment instead of jumping ten steps ahead.
I quit the dating game.
After years of devastating breakups and makeups, I decided to quit dating altogether for a while. It was the best decision I could have ever made. The longer I was single, the more I realized it wasn’t actually so bad. Sure, I got lonely at times, but it always passed and it wasn’t long until I was just fine again.
I learned how to love being alone.
I met my first love when I was 17 and dated him for several years. When we were together, we were inseparable and when we were apart, I couldn’t get him out of my head. It got to the point that being alone for even a few hours was pure torture instead of a great chance to recharge and indulge in some self-care. It took me a long time to get to a place where I actually relish time to myself, but getting here has worked wonders for my self-esteem and my relationships.
I stopped defining myself by my relationship status.
As dumb as it sounds, having a significant other often makes you feel more confident and even more popular in general. For too long I believed that having a boyfriend made me more valuable and because of this, I was desperate to keep a guy when I got one. It took me years to realize that my relationship status should never define me as a person, and not having one is no reason to see myself as defective or lesser than.
I started trying new things again and discovered new hobbies and passions.
When you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s easy to get comfortable and to forget to try new things. In order to be the best version of yourself whether you’re in a relationship or not, you have to keep growing and learning. Because I was so desperate to hang onto my boyfriends, I rarely ventured away from them and into the world to discover new passions and hobbies. Doing so has restored my independence and fulfilled me in ways relationships just can’t.
I invested in myself.
It took me a while to realize that investing in yourself is so, so vital for your health! I knew my need to be attached to my partner at the hip was unhealthy, so I went to therapy to process why I was doing this and discover ways to reprogram my behavior patterns. I grew up a lot and I learned how to do things without support from other people. Now, it feels amazing to say that I don’t need a man in my life to be happy and whole.
I started making myself my first priority even when I’m in a relationship.
When I’m dating someone, I make them a priority in my life but not my main one—the top spot is reserved for myself. I take space from my partner when I need it and make sure that I’m not neglecting my responsibilities and the things I love about my life no matter how much I love the guy.
I spent more time with friends and family.
I used to never see my friends and family when I was in a serious relationship because my boyfriend was my number one. This is totally unhealthy, not to mention really inconsiderate of the people who’ve loved me and been there for me when I was single and needed them most. Any guy I’m dating has to appreciate the other people in my life and the fact that I love spending time with them. If he doesn’t, he’s not the one for me.
I learned how to love myself as-is.
I spent so many years wanting everyone else to love me that I forgot that the most important person in the equation was me. I had to dig deep into my heart and truly figure out why I felt like I needed someone else in order to be happy. Loving myself didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t a linear process, but by reconnecting with friends and loved ones and with my passions, I did it. Now, I know that I don’t need anyone else. I don’t need the relationship to give me courage or confidence. I have me, and that’s all I need.
“Sponsored: The best dating/relationships advice on the web. Check out Relationship Hero a site where highly trained relationship coaches get you, get your situation, and help you accomplish what you want. They help you through complicated and difficult love situations like deciphering mixed signals, getting over a breakup, or anything else you’re worried about. You immediately connect with an awesome gecoach o”n text or over the phone in minutes. Just click here…
- “Duty Dating” Is A Thing And You Need To Start Doing It ASAP
- They Might Not Seem Like It, But These 12 Things Are Emotional Abuse
- What’s Your Hottest Quality? Here’s What Your Zodiac Sign Suggests
- I Didn’t Understand Why I Kept Ending Up With Toxic Guys Until I Realized These Important Things
- 12 Reasons You’re Single Even Though You’re A Catch
- 17 Life Struggles Of Women Who Are Naturally Loud
- You Know You’re In An Almost Relationship If You’re Sending Him These Texts
- 14 Little Things That Look Like Love But Are Actually Manipulation
Share this article now!