Today’s post has been contributed by Alexis Meads, a lifestyle and wellness coach.
When I was in my early 20's, I moved to a new city, broke out of my comfy relationship and started a financial career in search of my dreams.
I went on dates, spent my newly earned money and partied. My life seemed good from the outside and it was exciting and fun…for a while.
A few years into this new lifestyle I realized that I hated my job, I never got over my first love, I had gained 20 pounds and racked up some hefty credit card debt.
I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted or how to get there.
I thought that if I just met the “perfect” guy, than I would be happy and all would be well. So I spent all my time searching hopelessly. I went out with my friends, tried internet dating, met guys at work. But in every single relationship I either found myself bored and unhappy, or seriously hung up on unemotionally available men.
I was keeping myself busy to avoid being alone. Sitting still and being alone meant that I had to face my own demons. I was scared that I’d realize how lonely I was. The voice on Friday night that said, “you’re tired, do something for yourself, just stay in” would be silenced in fear of feeling like a failure.
After receiving my M.A. at Harvard University and still not having any luck in the dating world, plus feeling dissatisfied with my life all around, I did what any normal person would do…up and moved to Hawaii.
I spent the next four months in what I now look back as my “self-love discovery.” Although I didn’t know it at the time, that is exactly what it was.
For the first time, on my own, I learned what it was that I really wanted. I found that I loved to dance and did it daily, I spent time meditating, shed that 20 pounds by treating my body right and learned how to say no. I began accepting myself, and from that acceptance, began dreaming up my ideal life.
I no longer felt lonely when I was alone.
When I moved back to the mainland as Hawaiians call it, excited about my new life and focusing on myself for the first time, an unexpected thing happened.
I met someone.
And he didn't check off my previous boxes. I had always gone for a certain “type” of guy that I was attracted to, but that also never worked out. I was made to believe that “the one” would just show up and sweep me off my feet and it would all be happily ever after. Plus the timing with this new guy seemed all wrong.
Luckily the universe had grander plans than our own. Even though I wasn't out looking for a relationship, now that I had fully embraced myself, it was looking for me.
I kept him in the friend zone for a while, convinced that this wasn't the guy for me and not the right time. However, I couldn't deny that I enjoyed spending time with him. That I felt comfortable talking to him and that when he hugged me it felt like home.
One fated day on the beach, after a really fun time with him, I made a final attempt to keep him at arms length. Even with growing feelings, I told him that I just wanted to be friends. To my total shock and awe, he said “okay”.
Like it was nothing! I figured for sure he’d be angry, or controlling, or never speak to me again. Like every other guy in my past. But he just said “okay”, completely willing to let me go, and then even had the audacity to see if I wanted to hang out again as friends the next day!
I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him at that moment.
Here was the first man who had come into my life who would allow me to be in a relationship while also allowing me to be free.
We are now engaged to be married in Greece this May. While it’s not always perfect, its perfect for me. I have grown so much within this relationship and feel blessed to have found it. But it would have never happened if I hadn't first found myself.
Alexis Meads received her M.A. at Harvard University. She is a Certified Wellness Coach and Self-Love Expert. She helps women to fall madly in love, feel sexy and confident every day and create a life full of adventure. For more articles, visit www.AlexisMeads.com and download her Self Love Manifesto.