For the last three months or so I have really enjoyed my time as 'Single in the City'. I celebrated the holidays with family and friends, rang in the new year with some of my favorite gal pals, and work has been non-stop. Then I met an old friend for dinner in the middle of January and something sparked. We decided to step out of the 'friendship zone' and gradually explore the world of dating. It's all harmless enough in the beginning -- texting, calling, first dates. And then about a month in to the whole thing I started to find myself becoming critical and brooding. For those that know me they will find this to be of little surprise. I am an analyst by nature -- and I'm good at it. I excel in my profession for my attention to detail and analytical reporting. But this skill set doesn't translate as well into my personal life. I end up reviewing all of the details and trying to ascertain a conclusion -- when in reality dating is about 'feeling it out' and simply following your heart and intuition.
This past week I paid a visit to my Life Coach and, after months of coming in feeling balanced and at peace, I arrived on shaky ground with questions and comments all related to this latest chapter in dating. The first part of our meeting was focused on my description of the course traveled thus far and then questions or requests for insight on how to navigate from this point forward in order to understand where things stand while also protecting my heart. She looked at me and said exactly what I needed to hear in order to realize that I was missing the entire point: "Two people come together in a relationship each bringing their 50% to contribute. You are so focused on how the other person is perceiving what you have to offer that you aren't looking at all at the 50% that they are supposed to be presenting to you!"
It is so easy to get caught up in the lifestyle of pleasing others and seeking approval. I am guilty of this constantly. But my Life Coach presented a very important reminder to help turn my perspective on its heels -- I have every right, and need, to judge what others are offering me and if it is up to the standards that I have set for my life. Relationships are about give and take, but this transaction is not intended to occur with blind faith. We must give with intention and receive with eyes wide open. I walked out of her office with new clarity and confidence and my prayers that night did not focus on having the world accept what I have to offer, bur rather, an affirmation describing what I seek in life and what I expect from others. Most importantly, because we deserve to not have to settle for anything less.
THE CHALLENGE DAY 16
We have spent the first half of this challenge focusing on our own bodies and appearance. Do you place the same expectations on the lovers in your life? If not, then you should! Eat right. Exercise often. And take pride in your physical appearance. But don't forget, expect others to rise to the challenge as well!
It is so easy to fret and worry about whether or not we are pleasing to those we seek approval from every day. Take a step back and re-center your thoughts. What do YOU expect from others? Are you getting it? Or are you settling for less? If you have a tendency to 'settle' then write down the character elements and actions that you desire in a supportive partner and read that list over whenever you need the friendly reminder.
"It's very tempting when you really want to be with someone to settle for much, much less -- even a vague pathetic facsimile of less -- than you would have ever imagined. Remember always what you set out to get and please don't settle for less. These guys exist because there are a lot of women out there who allow them to." -- He's Just Not That Into You