“You cannot belong to anyone else, until you belong to yourself.”
In Part I, I discussed some mistakes and challenges experienced when dating in the Bay area. Now, I want to highlight the significance in learning to be alone. Alone is when you are apart from others. Oftentimes, we want a relationship because we feel lonely, which is when a person feels sad from being apart from others. But is it necessary to feel sad? Being single is the best time to get good at being alone, without the need to feel sad about it. How can single women learn to love life with or without a partner? I know a woman that was divorced after being married for over 20 years. After feeling frustrated with disappointment in the dating scene in the Bay Area, she has given up and has learned to love her dog as a companion. She proudly acknowledges that she loves her dog! But can a pet really fix the loneliness felt inside? This may be helpful for her, but I’m not completely convinced that this is a universal fix.
Learning to love you starts with you. It all starts with self-esteem. Find things to love about yourself to feel more confident in who you are and not who you wish you were. In a private space, write down things you love about your physical appearance. No worries, this is for your eyes only! Be as conceited and vain as you want! Identify things you like about your personality, whether it’s your kindness, sense of humor, loyalty, curiosity, courage, spontaneity, etc. What are your accomplishments that make you feel proud?
Wake up. Work. Home. Dinner. TV. Sleep. Repeat. And when you do go out, it’s to the same places with the same people. No need to feel embarrassed, as humans, we are creatures of habit. We crave the stability of routine. When we live our lives with no variation, we become stagnant in our ability to grow, improve, and increase our happiness. As a single woman, this limits your ability to meet and connect with new people. When in a relationship, boredom and predictability kills eroticism and excitement. So whether you’re single or attached, it’s best to get used to mixing it up because it feels much better to be preoccupied with enjoying life.
Being surrounded with positive friends that have a positive outlook on life provides joy and hope. Being immersed in activities and hobbies that have meaning encourages fulfillment. The Bay Area is perfect for that because there are endless things to do for whatever a person may be interested in, creating endless adventure. Anything you want is a short walk, bike, drive, Bart, Muni, Uber, or Lyft away! Partying may feel good in the moment, and that party girl friend may be lots of fun and laughs, but she is often secretly most depressed. When a woman knows what she values about herself, a high quality partner will be able to appreciate those virtues and admire her confidence.
When considering heterosexual couples, contrary to popular belief, most healthy
women AND men actually want commitment and long term devotion from a loving partner. Men just go about it differently. For most of our evolutionary history, men have been hunters and gatherers where conversations were limited because of the need to be stealth when hunting. This history explains why discussions of feelings are more awkward and less familiar for men. At home, or in the caves, women were able to spend more time socializing with other women, which is why men generally report talk while women rapport talk. Generally speaking, women are more attuned to social cues, hence, women’s intuition. So demanding answers to questions like ‘How are you feeling?’ may only leave many men feeling weird and defensive. Men need to feel validated and respected. Be able to acknowledge his efforts and reward him. Let him know you see his inner hero, especially when he’s having a hard time seeing it. Men are also highly visual.
However, whether dating a man or woman, love your body so that your partner will adore it too. Support and nudge your partner forward without force, coercion, shaming, or disapproval. Be able to nurture your partner without acting like their mother. Aim to inspire and be inspired, not rescued or saved. Openly and honestly be introspective and reflective about habits and patterns that block intimacy. In dating, men and women become frustrated with wanting diamonds and getting cubic zirconia. So men and women start to treat diamonds as though they are cubic zirconia. With self-confidence and a gratifying life, you’ll be able to spot a fake with the naked eye. Show diamonds that you are also a diamond, and build a connection that is even more beautiful! But in the meantime, learn to love and appreciate yourself, because unfortunately, being single may be temporary. So relish it while you can!
If you are finding it difficult to manage self-esteem, loneliness, or dating, please give us a call.