We've gotten so used to making this about everything except love that we don't even know how to get back to where we need to be. Somewhere along the way we unfortunately learned to believe that we need to prove something. That we need to show him, or maybe everyone, that we really do have value, that we really are all that. That we need to prove ourselves worthy.
We've traveled so far from our true selves that it's no wonder that we've found ourselves alone and questioning the meaning of life.
Is it really any surprise? We've learned to be what everyone seems to be telling us that these guys want us to be – sexy, cool, hip, etc. We believe we need to show him all we've got, lay it all out there, so that we get noticed and we can catch him.
I used to think it was all about being that beautiful, sexy woman who would make every man want to be with her. What I didn't realize was that I was acting that way because I thought I had to – I thought that's what every man really wanted in a woman. I finally realized that I was only attracting the player types, because the others who actually wanted a committed relationship with an eventual real life partner weren't interested, or were scared off. They were all getting together and settling down with real women who were just being themselves and who were honest about what they were looking for!
I had no clue what real love looked like. The truth was I had no idea what I was doing, and what I was doing wrong.
I can't tell you how many times I would hear about someone who was nothing special in the ways I though mattered (read: looks, sexiness) who was getting married, having children, beginning that life that I so wanted for myself. And there I was, acting the way I thought I was supposed to act, being that person I thought I was supposed to be, the type that every man supposedly wanted, only to come to the startling realization that I had it all wrong.
Real men want the real you.
The kind of men I actually wanted to be with, men who were looking for a real, committed relationship, didn't want someone like that. They wanted the real me, not the image of this artificial me I was trying so hard to project. The others, the swaggering player types who wanted the challenge I was presenting them with, wanted me but not for the reasons I wanted.
Until one day, I got it.
I started putting the pieces together, started reading between the lines of my life. I finally realized that I wasn't in a movie, or a fairy tale; this was my life. I hadn't found success in love with what I thought was my type, which was really just our culture and the media telling me what should be my type. I had no idea what my type was anymore, and I had no idea who I really was.
And from that place of no man's land, I found the only thing that mattered. Love. Love for myself first. And love for another human being second. I had to get to the basics of who I really was, and let go of who I wasn't.
I had to admit what it was I really wanted. If it was love I wanted, I had to be honest with myself and realize there was no shame in being upfront about what my heart and soul truly desired. I had to admit that I might have it wrong and that there might be something to this simple way of just being and loving and focusing solely on the simplicity of love instead of the illusion of the game of extreme attraction.
It's OK to admit you want love.
I had to admit that I wanted love, and no, it wasn't needy for me to admit that; it was confident. I had to admit that I just wanted someone to love me, and he didn't have to be someone everyone would be jealous of. This wasn't about me looking good with someone, or finding someone who measured up to the standard that I always felt I had to measure up to in every way. This false standard created by our media-driven culture.
I could finally stop caring about what other people would think, and just find someone to love who loved me the same way.
That's it! Do you get that? This isn't about all the other stuff, all the unhealthy background baggage that you and I and all of our girlfriends bring to our relationships.
This isn't about you proving something to yourself or anyone else. He doesn't have to look like Bradley Cooper or a guy right out of a firefighter calendar. He doesn't have to be anything except someone who loves you, who gets you, who's compatible with you, who would make a great husband and father.
Do you see the difference?
We were created to love.
We women were biologically made to love, to give, to inspire, to care. In our hearts and souls what we really want at the end of the day, more than anything, is to have someone to come home to! Someone to hold us, to love us, to care about us, to calm our fears, to chase away all of our demons.
And what do we offer in return? We don't know anymore. We're so confused.
We've made it so complicated.
We've gotten so used to playing a role, being everything we're supposed to strive to be, when in reality, it's left us nowhere. We don't know how to get together anymore.
Men aren't used to the concept of being able to conquer us so easily. They don't know what to do with that! We cave so easily because we think that's what it's about. Being liberated. When in reality, giving ourselves away like we do feels anything like liberating.
It feels awful when the ecstasy wears off and we realize we did it again and he's not calling us again. The downward spiral continues as we beat ourselves up. Why can't we be stronger than that? And then the anger comes; we're supposed to be able to handle giving ourselves away like this – it's not supposed to feel this bad!
But it does feel bad.
It doesn't work both ways. We have to figure out who we are and what we really want. To prioritize and then focus on our priorities and not be swayed by our attraction to the unhealthy, as we work on loving ourselves and letting go of the things that trigger us to attract the unhealthy men and relationships we attract. Stop.
We can blame, we can go back in time as far as we want. But in the end, it's not about the past. It's about recognizing we all have a past, we all have baggage, we all do the things we do because of things beyond our control. But going back and back and figuring ourselves out doesn't do anything for where we are now. We're still alone. We're still lonely. We're still loathing ourselves, beating ourselves up, filling ourselves with regrets and if only.
You're here right now. It's time to look again. To see yourself in a whole new way. Real. True. Imperfect. With nothing to prove. Nothing to show. Just here to love. And be loving. And show love. On a level that's safe. Respectful of you. Beautiful you. Guarded. Which means, you give your love to everyone, you shine your beautiful light of you all around you, but you only give your heart away to a man who proves himself worthy of that beautiful love you offer on that deeper level.
And when they see you with the love of your life, they'll know you didn't settle for anything less than you deserved.
You saw. You chose. You became free.