It may not be easy but it is worth trying something new, especially that guy who isn’t your “type.”
After years and years of unhealthy relationships, I finally took a chance on a guy who was what I have always identified as "not my type". He wasn't a challenge for me in terms of my personality. He was quite compatible, naturally. I enjoyed several things about him and yet tried to keep him at a distance. When I realized I looked forward to seeing him for nothing more than walking by me I began to realize I was really into this guy.
So, I took a chance. I went on a date with him.
Normally, I am used to being told how I am so “amazing" or "fascinating." I was used to those "sweet nothings" being whispered in my ear. Unfortunately, what I did not always understand is that those "sweet nothings" were just that - NOTHING. They were meaningless efforts of flattery not meant for me but for the guy I was with and his desires. What I didn't realize is that time and time again I was re-creating the same unhealthy, even abusive, relationship because that is what I knew. That is what I was comfortable with. Well, if you know my writing then you know I continually say, “What is comfortable might not always be healthy.”
So, I went on this date and instead of hearing the "sweet" 'B.S.' I finally heard something I was not expecting but always longed for: "Just be yourself. That is all I want - for you to be you."
"Was he kidding? Who wanted me to be me?" was my first thought. Repeatedly, I chose men who were always trying to change me. I am strong, fierce, can be independent and am determined. Sometimes, well, often times, I am too ignorant to know any different and as a result, I accomplish really awesome things! These are the things that always draw the guy in, provide the ammo for the "sweet nothings" and then become the very things the guy wants to change in me! Not this time. This guy seemed to think I was just "a-okay" the way I was. And I will tell you something...
THAT WAS THE BEST AND THE SCARIEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD FROM A GUY ON A DATE!
This "me" that I had been working on he had seen first hand in non-romantic situations. He saw sides of me that made him want me for just being me. the honest me, the raw me, the ‘me’ me. It was such a scary relief to finally, flippin' be encouraged to be ME! (And he hasn’t veered from this statement after several months!)
We dated for several months and without him having much knowledge of my previous romantic life. I didn't want to litter this healthy relationship with the fertilizer from my previous corrupted excuses for companionship. Eventually, the time did come that I had to open up more specifically due to uncontrollable circumstances. Rather than seeing me as having "baggage" he saw me as trying to over obstacles and make relationships work. He saw me as rising above and learning from my past. He saw me developing and growing and he was happy to continue to support that about me and assist me wherever he could.
This might seem like a no-brainer, a relationship I should stick with because it is healthy and healthy is easy…right???
Well, it might seem that easy and to a point it is. However, there is a necessary re-conditioning that has to take place when engaging in a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships don't necessarily come naturally when you are accustomed to the unhealthy ones. Here are a few ways to help you engage in the healthy relationship you deserve:
Here are 4 tips to help you engage in the healthy relationship you deserve:
1. The first thing you have to do is get past any guilt you feel for being in unhealthy relationships. We tend to be our own worst enemy and also our own judge and executioner. More times than not, we will send ourselves to death row without being empathetic and compassionate towards ourselves. Maybe those unhealthy relationships are a result of our lack of self-respect but that doesn’t entail a life sentence of self-loathing.
2. You have to re-learn how to trust yourself. This is more than just relying on your instincts. Trusting yourself is has a lot to do with self-confidence. The less confidence you have in yourself the less you tend to trust you only to turn to others to tell you what to do. Build your self-confidence and you will rebuild that trust within yourself.
3. Re-adjust your “picker”. Evaluate the people you have developed an unhealthy or abusive relationship with and find some common ground between them all. You might find the only common denominator is you and if that is the case evaluate yourself, with compassion and empathy. If you are the problem that means you truly have control over the solution – and that is, honestly, the best answer because no matter what, you can’t change anyone else.
4. Get uncomfortable within reason! Maybe you have only been dating hot guys because it is a pretty cool feeling to have others drooling over your beau. Maybe you choose guys for their cars or their “bad boy” attitude…whatever shallow pond you have been fishing from, step out of it. Maybe it is not a pond you should be “man-shopping” in. Consider the sea or the ocean as potential areas. Don’t limit yourself – that is how you got into those crappy relationships. Open up your mind to what you don’t know – you will be surprised as to what you find. (I was.)
It may not be easy but it is worth trying something new. Historically speaking, you already know what there is to lose because you are likely trying to gain it back. So, give yourself the patience, forgiveness and the permission to have a great relationship that your support system wants to see you in. The feeling of being “you” in a healthy relationship is far more invigorating than the faked intense passion created under meaningless "sweet nothings".