Welcome back; I am so glad you decided to drop in again for another installment of my self-care journey. If you’re new here, welcome to this safe space where we are learning to love ourselves in healthy ways. This week I struggled with finding balance in being authentic vs. oversharing. I struggled with this because there are still many parts of my dating history that I carry in shame.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an unintentional pick me. A pick me is a girl who seeks male validation by overly trying to prove she’s not like the other girls & I always wanted to be considered “one of the good ones.” I’d go out of my way to impress the person I had a romantic interest in. So much so that over time I would not even notice that I was giving far more effort than I was receiving. I would overly praise them for doing less. I would brag about their small and inconsistent actions in hopes that they would do more or give more. I was trying to force people to provide me with something they had no desire to give me, so of course, they did not.
During my primary education years, I can count on one hand how many people liked me romantically. When I did find out they were interested in me, it was commonly through a mutual friend and rarely from that person directly. I would fall head over heels with the idea of being in a relationship or romanticize the idea of the person without even knowing who they were. So, if the person ever made any efforts to engage with me on any level, I was already in the mindset of giving them everything I had emotionally to fulfill this idea I had in my head of a relationship.
My desire to be in a relationship with someone, anyone, would force me to allow myself into situations where I would let my romantic partner give me crumbs of affection and attention. The person would give me the bare minimum of inconsistent attention and affection while I was giving my all, and eventually, the other person would come to expect that of me. Then, of course, I would consistently crave something more substantial, but whatever form of intimacy I was receiving at the time felt better than the alternative of being alone.
I recently started asking myself what is so bad about being alone? I can’t truly set the expectation of someone else to pour into me and be with me if I reject the idea of being with myself. There are five love languages, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch, and I want someone who wants to feed them all. So, I started trying to provide that for them myself by taking myself on a date once a week. Every single Friday, I get dressed up, and I take myself somewhere. I turn off my cellphone and the outside world and commit to sitting with myself doing some activity.
This constant act of love to myself has taught me to set the tone for any relationship that may come. I don’t ever want to enter another situation where I am giving someone else power over my happiness and trying to plant seeds on bad soil. Nobody should be allowed into my life treating me less than I treat myself. So I had to learn to be intentional with myself to create my version of happiness, especially when I don’t feel like doing the work.
Check out my latest episode of The View From Here, where I chat with Jessica Arechar about ways she is rejecting bread crumbs of affection and learning to value her contributions to herself.