Despite what you see in tear-jerk rom-coms and 90’s teen dramas, being single isn’t some awful sickness or dangerous bad thing to be “saved” from. Dating isn’t like showing up to a restaurant completely starving, ready to order exactly what you want, to fill you up entirely.
Dating is like taking yourself out to dinner and then stopping for an espresso or ice cream cone on the way home. A partner is an addition or extra to your already vibrant and beautiful life, it’s not your whole life.
Sure, everyone has their tastes and turn-ons regarding the people they date. Maybe you love it when someone cooks for your or totally drool over tattoos. Who doesn’t! While it’s good to know what you like, and having standards is important — there’s a fine line between getting clear on your needs and creating unrealistic expectations for a potential partner. Your partner will not complete you. They will not fix all of your problems. And they sure as hell can’t “save” you from being single.
However, you can start living the life you always envisioned having with a boo. You can stop putting things off or making excuses or blaming your unhappiness on your romantic status. You can be your own soulmate, and you can do it right now.
Channel their essence
So what, your dream person can build things with their bare hands and loves children and wants to treat you to shopping sprees and spa days. I mean, yes, that all sounds erotic. But, apart from listing the specific talents or personality traits that you crave in a person, take a step back and try to think more holistically about who your dream person is.
Is your dream person adventurous? Are they tender? Generous? Do they remind you to take self-care time for yourself? Or maybe they inspire you to go for all your dreams. Rather than seeing your dream person as having all the qualities you lack or being good at the things you’re bad at, try to find ways to channel their essence in your daily life.
If you want more adventure, find a new restaurant, spend a whole week without your cellphone, take a last-minute road trip, write a poem and post it on the internet. Do something a little out of your comfort zone, do something that excites you.
If you want someone to be soft and tender to you – give yourself a spa day. Write down all the things you like about yourself. Or do you need to be pumped up and inspired to go for something you want? Go see a movie or a band that you love. Call an old friend that always makes you feel good. Take a kickboxing class. Sing in the shower and pretend you’re a rock star.
Treat yourself the way your soulmate would treat you
In your most romantic fantasies, has your soulmate ever, ever negatively commented on your body? Do they pressure or shame you for not doing things that you don’t want to do? Do they make fun of you? Are there times when they make you feel bad or less than? NO. Absolutely-the-fuck-not. While it’s not humanly possible to be 100% positive, happy, hunky-dory 24/7, it’s completely possible to be a little bit nicer to yourself every day. Treat yourself the way someone dating you would treat you. Buy yourself flowers. Call yourself beautiful. Use a nice tone and kind words in your inner monologue.
Or maybe think about the way you treat the people you love the next time you’re putting yourself down for something. Would you ever speak the way you speak to yourself to the person you’re dating? Would you be as hard on them as you are on yourself? Treat yourself the way you’d treat the love of your life.
Think about what you’re putting off for a partner
Do you want a partner that will take you to nice dinners? Do you want someone to call you beautiful every day? Or maybe you’re looking for someone to travel with. While going on dates or traveling with someone you’re in love with can be special – you certainly don’t need a partner to do any of these things. Take your mom out to dinner. Go on a trip with old friends. Look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself beautiful. Think about what you’re putting off for when you are dating someone, and start doing everything you daydream about doing with a boo.
While dating can be fun and sexy, you don’t need to someone to complete you or your life. You are capable of giving yourself everything that you’re looking for in someone else, and anyone would be lucky to find you.