I Wasn’t Always Someone Worth Dating But I Am Now—Here’s What Changed

I have a history of relationships tinged with toxicity. I was not a good partner, which was probably why I constantly also had crappy partners. I had no idea how to act, but that’s all changed. Over the years I got sick of my own crap and decided to make some serious changes. I grew as a human and really learned how to be in relation with others. Here’s how I became someone worth dating.

I have hobbies and interests that make up me. It used to be that when you asked me what my hobbies were, I’d respond with a blank stare. I didn’t do much before, mostly because I was wrapped up in codependent relationships. Now, though, I have hobbies, a career, and interests. For example, I’m a Buddhist who practices meditation. I’m also a hockey player. I’m interested in the body positive movement. I’ve become a character who’s actually pretty crushable.

I’ve done (and continue to do) tons of work. I know that I’m an imperfect human. I’m aware that perfection is never going to strike me, so I might as well practice acceptance around who I am. Since I know all of this, I’m willing to continue to do work on myself. I try to be a better person every day. I’m constantly improving myself with the help of my intuition, friends, and a great therapist. There’s something sexy about a person who’s working hard on themselves.

I’ve made peace with a lot of my past. Look, I’m not perfect. I still have hangups about my past. Nonetheless, I’ve worked through a TON of it. I’ve done serious work in therapy to deal with past traumas, I’ve sorted through what happened at the end of relationships, and I’ve forgiven myself and others. None of this was easy by any means, but it was all totally worth it. Making peace with my past has freed me up to be present for my future.

I’m genuine even when being fake would be less awkward. With me, what you see is what you get. There’s no facade to try to be someone I’m not. Instead, I bring my whole self to the table. I’m willing to be raw and vulnerable. For example, I’m a regular crier. People know to expect tears from me when the situation calls for them. I’m not afraid to be open in that way. Genuineness is wildly attractive to partners—at least the kind of partners I want in my life.

I’ve stopped judging so much. I used to think I knew everything about myself and the world. I especially thought I knew everything about others. I’d judge the crap out of people. This judgment also seeped deep into my bones. It poisoned me. Now, I do my best to no longer judge so harshly. I’m a whole lot gentler with myself and with others. We deserve it and compassion is often attractive to people.

I’ve learned how to treat a partner. It used to be that I wasn’t quite sure how to treat partners. I was mean and was a regular cheat. It just wasn’t good. Now I have a much better idea of how to act in a relationship. I treat my partners with respect. I communicate effectively and with care. I treat someone just how they’re supposed to be treated. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s definitely something I had to learn.

I have good boundaries. Boundaries are one of the absolute most important things in a relationship. Without them, there’s codependency and all sorts of messiness. I’ve learned what my deal breakers are and how to stick to them. I’ve also learned what my needs are in a relationship and have learned to communicate them. A healthy and balanced relationship definitely needs boundaries.

I’m honest. It’s sad that honesty is a unique trait but it often is. Many people are accustomed to lying in order to get what they want. I know that this doesn’t get me anywhere, so I stick to the truth. I’m honest even when it’s difficult. I’m willing to show up to those difficult conversations that are so important for a relationship’s health. This matters immensely to partners.

I don’t settle. This may seem like something that only matters to me, but it also matters to partners. Who wants to be with someone who’d settle for any old person? No one. Instead, people want someone who has standards and sticks to them. I’m totally unwilling to throw mine out the window to settle for someone.

I learned what my worth is. Perhaps most importantly I’ve discovered how much I matter. I’ve realized that I’m worthwhile, lovable and that I deserve to be on this earth. This means that others are better able to see my worth because I’m so acutely aware of it. Further, no one can take this from me. Someone can’t come in and tell me that I’m not worthwhile because I’ll know that it’s a lie. Ideally, I’ll attract people who also see my worth.

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