In the past week, since Valentine’s Day, many articles have come out about relationships: The value of time and what it means to each sex. Will men ever grow up? Is monogamy dead? Or the most horrifying one: AshleyMadison.com – a site for people to have affairs, and how the company is mad because the Super Bowl wouldn’t air their TV commercial.
Every year, around Valentine’s Day, the common article or two will come out about how to make the most of this day when you’re single, or how dating site usage has skyrocketed; or even the 10 best tips for a great Valentine’s Day. This year, publications bypassed all the fluff and went straight for your heart (so-to-speak). It’s caused a stir amongst my friends (both single and in relationships), with dozens of comments and discussions on each other’s wall. These writers of the aforementioned articles, definitely succeeded in getting their point(s) across, whether it be from a factual or personal basis. But, what I’m not sure they completely understand they were doing, was causing an internal mass panic in many individuals.
Like reporting on the war, or a natural disaster, or anything else that sparks human emotion and action, delivering news that questions one’s own internal belief system can be seen as damaging. Quite honestly, I’ve seen some pretty confident people recently reveal they have some serious doubts about their significant other, based on things they have read. Given that D.C. can be a very unforgiving city when it comes to dating, it’s a hard thing to hear. No one wants to believe that they are with someone untrustworthy and most everyone would like to believe they are not lacking confidence or security in who they are. But let’s be clear, even the most confident and secure person will change their tune when it comes to their heart. It’s all in how you allow yourself to perceive your relationship – especially when reading something written by another that may be going through something personal.
Last week, the Huffington Post posted an article by Tracy McMillan, entitled, “Why You’re Not Married”. It was a raw, tell-it-like-it-is piece on the real reason some women have trouble getting to “the next step”. It, quite honestly, was one of the best-written pieces that flat-out told YOU what your girlfriends were too scared to say outright. Although I can’t find a similar article that speaks to men, this one example shows the right way to help those that question the very thing they may not be confident about. It’s pieces like this that make you appreciate (and find comfort in) the wisdom you never want to hear from anyone else. Why? Because the emotion has been extracted and the writer is a complete stranger (to most), thus providing you with a focus on yourself and less of a chance to point fingers at the other person that may be in your life. The end result – you spend less time worrying about the other and more time pondering how to be a better person.
I don’t disagree that dating is really tough in this city. (I’ve been really lucky with the relationship I am in.) This town is about perception: your job, who you know, your social life, what you wear and of course, who you are dating. What it’s not about: The real person before any of this mattered. This one thing has caused each and every one of us to set aside aspects of who we are, in order to be who we are not. It’s caused me to hear more comments about the falsities of human beings, who I know are good people at their core (I’ve also seen the reverse). It’s taken me four years away from this city to realize what I needed to be, in order to succeed: myself.
I am by no means saying I am perfect (my boyfriend can certainly attest to that). But those four years away have taught me to know what I (realistically) deserve, what I can attain for myself and what I’d expect to get from a partner. In addition, the hardest things to learn were how to be objective in a fight, not react for the sake of reacting, and also to be honest about your feelings (in a graceful, non-axe-wielding way). Unfortunately, the majority of this town is moving too fast to stop and figure it out. People want everything instantaneously and when they don’t get it (or in some cases do and get bored), they move on, which does not come without consequence. It takes each individual to learn how to make themselves internally happy before they can truly be with someone else (genuinely).
I guess the point I am trying to make with this article is that each of you (my friends who deserve all the happiness in the world) need to realize that you are good people at your core. Love can (and does) exist, as well as someone that puts all other men/women to shame. When you come across one that doesn’t care, they usually have an issue or two that is best left to a “professional” – you can’t fix it and no, it won’t change. In addition, there are a TON of people in this town that do not exist on a dating site, that do not haunt the same frequented places we all go to and DO have a stable life. But, it takes a change within yourself to recognize this (including the hard-to-swallow getting-out-of-the-city-and-into-the-’burbs to find it).
So, considering this weather is almost behind us and spring is budding, this means more time outdoors and more time spent interacting with others. NOW is the time to really think about what you want and putting that “want” into action Find something that makes YOU happy first – a dance class, a cooking class, teaching a class, etc. I guarantee you the minute you focus on yourself, that other half will happily come trotting along.
My words of wisdom for the day.