Hey friends. As
some most of you probably know: I’M GETTING MARRIED THIS WEEK!!!!
Sorry, I’m just a little excited. The past couple of weeks have been really emotional. I’ve been replaying the past several years like a video montage in my mind. I’ve been taking a look at what I’ve gone through, where I am, and how I ended up in this amazing, fulfilling, and loving relationship and on the cusp of marrying the most amazing man, whom I can’t wait to share life’s journey with. (Warning: You may need to get your Lactaid pills out; this might get a little cheesy!) During the “this is your life” replays in my head, I’m reminded of some really important steps I took to get to where I am today. What I have found is that even though I found the man of my dreams, I first found the woman of my dreams and fell in love with her. That’s right folks — the most important relationship I have in my life is with myself.
We all go through it — dating the wrong guys, editing our personalities to attract the wrong guys, molding our interests and hobbies to fit with said wrong guy. In past dates and relationships, I’ve muted my eccentricities, afraid that if it’s revealed that I’m totally into nutrition and what I eat that I will be thought of as weird, or if I reveal that I LOVE all things fitness I’ll be labeled an obsessed gym rat. I was afraid of not looking 100% put together or not being skinny enough. I was worried that I talk too much, or don’t know enough about music, or sharing that I really love to dance, even in my own living room and especially if Beyonce is playing.
This constant worry, this constant editing and role-playing, picking up the pieces of my personality that were left in hiding after each failed date and relationship, tweaking everything to what the next guy thought was the ideal… it was exhausting, it was frustrating, and it was sad. I finally realized that on the most basic level, I wanted to end up with someone who loves me for me… ALL of me. And how could someone love all of me if:
1) they never get the whole me, and
2) I don’t truly love or understand the whole me?
After this “a-ha” moment, I decided it was time to seriously date – myself. I spent a significant amount of time finding me. What was important to me? What areas did I want to grow in? What were non-negotiables? I stopped apologizing for me, and started falling love with my quirks, eccentricities, faults, strengths, passions, hobbies. I got comfortable with spending time alone, with choosing the friends and gatherings I wanted to attend. It was during this time that I finally realized that I really like who I am and that everyone has their own freak flags they should be waving. I did it, I began to love myself. To celebrate my new confidence in this profound self-relationship, I wrote this post on my old blog: My Freak Flag.
A few weeks after publishing the post above, I met Scott. Our first conversation was about Tough Mudder (I was gearing up for my first one and he was on the road to his second). He wasn’t intimidated by my passion for fitness. Our first date I asked if he wanted to split a side of kale with me, and he agreed without making a face or batting an eye. Even when we hit a slight “we need to talk” rough patch as we started dating, I remained confident in myself, in what I had to offer the RIGHT person, and I didn’t edit myself. A little more than 3 years later, I am happy to report that I am secure in my relationships. I am secure in my relationship with Scott and, more importantly, I’m secure in my relationship with myself.
Now I’m not a relationship expert, but I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned over the past 5ish years:
- A relationship can’t make you happy. You have to make yourself happy. A relationship can contribute to your happiness, or it can pull from your happiness.
- You can’t be afraid to be yourself. Think about it: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t know/appreciate/love the REAL you and ALL of you?
- Just as relationships with others can be work, you have to work at the relationship you have with yourself as well. Treat Yo’Self, Love Yo’Self, take the time to do things that make YOU happy.
- Before you can truly, unselfishly, wholeheartedly love anybody else – you first MUST truly, unselfishly, and wholeheartedly love yourself.
Well guys, this is my last post as a single lady. It’s been a wild ride. It’s been an educational journey, and I know I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life with an amazing co-pilot. Hopefully you can take something from my story. I wish you all happiness, satisfaction, and love. So get out there and start falling in love… with yourself!