I’m not sure if there is an art to dating, but if you are single, dating or desire to marry, here are things I’ve learned to live my best life now. Before I commit to another human being, I have to make sure I am totally whole, secure and content. Here’s why:
Two Halves Don’t Make a Whole
Toure’ Roberts, one of my favorite pastors, said it best in his new book Wholeness. Before two people can ever get together, I believe that you have to be a whole person. Being whole means that you are self-sufficient and independent. You need and crave the attention of others, but your self-esteem or values aren’t contingent on their opinions. Getting to this point can be hard to do. The truth is I love to serve people and I value the opinions of others. So much so, that I almost gave on up on becoming an entrepreneur because I was so afraid of what others would say about me. What if I stutter? What if they don’t like what I have to say? What if I sound ignorant or uneducated? What if they label me incompetent or insufficient?
I’ll never be enough to some, and I’ll always be more than enough to others. I had to learn that I am who I am. My short hair emboldens me (because everybody can’t rock the short cut lol). My hips are the evidence of late night eating. My laugh is infectious and boisterous. But what the hell? I am who I am. In the words of my other favorite role model, God can’t bless who you pretend to be or who you compare yourself to. He can only bless you in the lane that was created for you (#IssaWord, SJR).
We Have to Become Comfortable with Being Alone
Now, I love people who thrive off of the support of others, but there comes a time in every person’s life when you have to love the person that stares back at you. A lot of times we say that we love ourselves. We confess these very words but we don’t mean it and it shows in our insecurities. When we taunt others to make our flaws disappear, we choose to crush someone else’s destiny instead of glorifying our own.
The hardest thing to do is dig deep inside of yourself when you’re alone. When we are faced with the truth in the darkest hours of the night, the truth can become too hard to bear. It’s uncomfortable to discover that you are the way you are because someone broke you. They broke your spirit or stole your innocence. They hurt you and never whispered an “I’m sorry.”
Being comfortable and alone means that you can acknowledge that you’re broken and don’t have all of the pieces together. You then own the responsibility and dedicate time to healing via therapy, prayer, meditation and church. Once you begin this healing process, it will allow your partner the grace to love you all the more.
It’s Easy to Self-sabotage
I never knew that I self-sabotaged until my co-worker called me out on it a few months ago. Every time a guy approached me, I always instantly rejected him and then I complained why no one wanted to date me. I don’t give second chances. My motto has always been “come correct or don’t come at all.” Choosing this perspective is unrealistic.
From the time I was a little girl, I developed a bad habit. I would cry and get upset with people because I could never articulate my emotions. If someone asked me if I wanted a candy bar, I would tell them no. I really meant yes, but I could never find a way to tell them yes so I would cry about it.
Yes is a simple word to articulate, but I've always felt that if I wore my heart on my sleeve, people would see me for who I was and judgment would follow. So a candy bar transpired into dating, and then…well, you know the rest. Moral of the story is, if you want a candy bar, say so.
I am now on a road that’s headed away from Self-Sabotage Ville. I believe that when you can master wholeness, contentment, embrace your singleness and learn how to communicate, then you my friend, have mastered the art of dating and relationships in general. Now, go be great.