How Did I End Up Here?
When girls are young and first beginning to explore relationships, they often have big visions. They’re certain their “soulmate” is out there somewhere and they can’t wait to meet their best friend, lover, confidante and life partner. They dream of laughing with someone who gets their jokes, sharing their biggest secrets with someone who will hold those secrets in the greatest of confidence and of holding hands with someone who holds them in the highest regard.
Through the years, though, things change. These young girls grow up to be women. They have met countless frogs along the way and they have stopped imagining that they would meet their prince. They learned that what they looked like is far more important than who they are. They stopped laughing as much, sharing their opinions as much or expecting as much as they did before. They learned to settle for less than they ever thought they would. No longer do they believe they will meet their soulmate -- or that there even is such a thing. The men they’ve met along the way don’t like to talk about their dreams, laugh at their jokes or hold them in high regard. In fact, over the years, the women continued to lower their expectations and the men they met seemed, coincidentally, to barely meet even these expectations.
With each relationship that didn’t pan out, the bar was lowered for the next one. Soon the bar was so low that the women couldn’t believe what they had learned to settle for. Their vision went from finding their soulmate and a man who loved, cherished and honored them to finding…a man. Some women though did meet men who seemed great, yet, somewhere along the way the relationship started to go down hill. Regardless of whether they found a great guy or a not so great guy, once they found a man, their next task became keeping him. They began to believe that, in order to keep a man, they had to learn to pretend to be happy. They couldn’t complain about something they didn’t like or the men would say they were nagging. The women couldn’t ask for more emotional connection because then they would be accused of being needy and the men would give them even less of their attention. The women learned to stay silent when the men became angry because to not do so would mean having to deal with an even greater wrath of anger.
As the years went by many of these women woke up lonely, resentful and unhappy in the very lives in which they swore they would never end up. Somewhere along the way they lost themselves. Somewhere along the line they fooled themselves into thinking that the only road to happiness was with a man…any man. Little did they know that this belief is what cost them their happiness.
Believing that you “need” a man, (or a certain job, a set amount of money or ([fill in the blank]) in order to feel happy, will leave you desperately searching for answers outside yourself. Until you are happy within you, you will not find happiness outside of you. When you think you “need” someone (or something) to be happy, you will end up settling for less than you deserve. Don’t settle for less.
Challenge: If this sounds like you, stop looking to others to make you feel okay within yourself. Get yourself stronger and happiness will follow.