In our quest for effective dating, we often find ourselves bombarded with clichéd advice: "Be the best version of yourself. Exude confidence. Find happiness in solitude." These well-intentioned phrases, however, often leave us perplexed. What precisely does it mean to be the "best version" of oneself? Confidence can be fleeting; what should we do when it wanes? And how can one relish solitude after a decade of isolation?
Becoming Your Best Self
The concept of being the "best version" of yourself is highly subjective. Ultimately, it boils down to becoming a version of yourself that brings inner contentment, aligning with the life path you've chosen. This journey is far from straightforward because, naturally, you may experience apprehension about pursuing a goal. For instance, the prospect of enduring another five years of education might evoke dread, but that doesn't imply quitting school is the solution. Instead, contemplate the endgame – the satisfaction of obtaining that final degree and introducing yourself as a doctor. Often, discomfort serves as a prerequisite for achieving one's objectives. Taking the path of least resistance doesn't lead to success; it's merely a means to avoid temporary discomfort. Dedicate time to introspection, envision yourself living your dream, for not only is visualization a potent tool, but it will also clarify your desires and save you from chasing what you don't truly want.
We acknowledge that confidence is an attractive trait, frequently compensating for various shortcomings. However, it's essential to recognize that confidence isn't a constant state. It's neither feasible nor advisable to fabricate an altered persona to deceive a potential partner. Yet, the issue with insecurity is its cascading effect. Continuously expressing concerns about a partner's fidelity, for example, plants seeds of doubt in their mind. While they may initially provide reassurance and comfort, repeated mistrust can lead to their weariness. This often results in partners straying, a choice they may not have considered had insecurity not given them the idea. It's the classic case of "If I'm going to be accused, I might as well commit the act."
I'm not suggesting you suppress your insecurities and put on a façade. Rather, choose your words thoughtfully. Consider the power of apologies – an arena where insecurity often manifests. An insecure person tends to apologize frequently: "I'm sorry I'm in a bad mood today. I'm sorry about my disheveled hair. I'm sorry the chicken is overcooked."
Let's say your partner has been offering more help than usual. Instead of apologizing with "I'm sorry I'm such a burden," express gratitude with "I appreciate your assistance in completing this project." Instead of saying, "I'm sorry I talk too much," convey appreciation with "Thank you for listening; I value the opportunity to share my thoughts with you." If you're running late for lunch, replace "I'm sorry I'm late" with "Thank you for your patience" or "Thank you for waiting." Another common yet problematic phrase is "I'm sorry I'm so messed up." It's far more constructive to say, "Thank you for your support" or "I appreciate your guidance." A subtle shift in your choice of words can yield significant improvements.
Finding Happiness in Solitude
The notion of "being happy on your own" ranks among the more contentious pieces of dating advice. Yes, it's essential to love ourselves and relish moments of solitude. However, few things are more exasperating than spending a decade alone and then having a close friend assert that your lack of enthusiasm for solitude is why you haven't found a partner. While cherishing solitary moments can be delightful, it's unreasonable to expect someone to rejoice in another year of solitary birthdays or take delight in having no family to celebrate Christmas with. It's perfectly acceptable to feel sadness and loneliness.
A distinction exists between individuals who can't endure a moment of self-reflection without self-destructing and those who genuinely appreciate solitude but also yearn for a partner to share life's joys and tribulations. Human beings are inherently social creatures; we aren't designed for indefinite solitude. You need not await some imaginary point of complete healing and unbridled joy, skipping through meadows of daisies. It's entirely normal to seek companionship while actively working on self-improvement.
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