A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who was navigating the dating scene and she had so many horror stories to tell about her experiences. As well as these horror stories were hilarious ones that I felt belonged in a poorly made romcom, lol – my friend’s experiences were a mixture of crazy stories with some being quite scary. I must admit that I had been out of the dating scene for a while and had been talking to my friend about putting myself out there again – however, what she was saying was making me think differently to my initial plan. While we continued talking about this, I remembered a young friend who had prompted me a few times to write about dating while she shared experiences from being stood up to people who simply did not know how to behave well towards others. Pondering on my conversations with both ladies as well as the many stories out there about the current dating scene, a conversation I had had with someone I knew came to mind. I was talking to this person about how I thought a certain group of people were incapable of changing – however, this person brought my attention to the fact that, I was a part of these people and with conscious choices, I was now doing things differently to this group. It was this comment about self improvement and awareness that led me to ask myself and my friends if we would date ourselves!
I must admit that I did chuckle to myself when I asked myself this question and my initial answers was YES, of course I would, however, the more I thought on it, the more I started realising that I would not have dated me a few years ago. The person I am now is very different from the person I was a year ago and I am sure a year from now, I would not be the person I am today – and I hope with everything within me that no matter what happens, the person I become in the future is a much better version of who I am today. So with this in mind, I came to the painful conclusion that I would not have dated me had my current self met the person I was. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I was a bad person – however, I had certain traits that would have prevented me from forming healthy connections. So while my friends spoke of the unpleasant experiences in their dating lives, I asked them if they would date themselves. Like me, they both affirmed that they would but as our conversations continued, I realised that they both had some reflecting to do. Could you imagine how easy the dating scene would be if we were all committed to becoming the people we would love to date?
None of us like to look at the parts of ourselves that we are not very proud of – however, these are the parts that come out every now and then and ruin our connections most times. These are the parts of us that we love to justify by saying that it is who we are and people should take it or leave it. What do I really mean? While watching the new season of Love is Blind on Netflix, we the viewers watched in horror the character of some of the people on the show and some of us were shocked how some of the people on the show managed to get engaged in the first place. There were people on the show that had questionable characters and I wondered how they would feel watching themselves on screen behaving the way they did. However, all these people had high expectations of the people they were dating – but they did not seem to apply these same expectations to themselves. One person was convinced he was a great catch but the toxic behaviours he brought to the show was shocking! Watching him was difficult at times and I cringed through most of the moments with him on screen and very much through the reunion show – however, he is convinced that he is a great catch – and while I am glad his finace chose to not marry him, I am very concerned for his future partner.
When it comes to dating, we always seem to think of what we hope to find in the person we would want to end up with and then there is also the famous question of what people are bringing to the table. However, while we think of these things, we don’t spend much time on ourselves and we focus so much on superficial things. When we finally show who we truly are, then all hell breaks lose in our relationships and things end badly. For example, if you have no accountability in your own personal life, how can you expect someone to be accountable to you? I know people who cannot keep a job – at the first sign of any difficulty in their jobs, they quit. These are also the same people I know who want to date hard working people – it makes no sense to me. Like I wrote some time back, it is not what you bring to the table but very much building a table that can sustain what you both want out of your relationship. So if you want someone who is date-able but you are the very definition of what you would not want to date, then that table would never be balanced.
Years ago, I had a conversation with a friend over lunch and the subject shifted to dating and she was expressing her concern over the lack of quality men out there. I understood her frustration because on the surface, she was a fantastic person and sitting at the table, we both wondered why she was not finding someone long term. But as I have evolved as a person, I have seen certain traits in this person that had made me question, would I date her? And the answer is no. On the surface, she is very kind and would go out of her way to do things for peopel she cares about – however, when you dig deep into this kindness, there is deep rooted manipulation. I appreciate that she may not notice that this is what she does, however, most of the time, her kindness is to get people to see how good she is. So at the beginning of a relationship, it is always wonderful and she would go to great lengths to do things for the people she dates, however, when she wants something from the person she is dating and they are unable to do what she wants, then all she has ever done for them is brought up. Eventually, people get tired of being reminded that they are indebted to her and they end things. For years, I have watched this vicious cycle continue in her life – and I hope with all my might that she stops trying to be likeable and stays true to her authentic self and commit to becoming the very best of herself minus all the manipulation.
I recently read a post on social media from a lady who had posted about how messy her husband was – she was constantly cleaning after him and even after she had cleaned, he still messed it all up with no regard for her efforts. I know she had seen these traits before marrying this person, but she had ignored them. So she had taken to social media to vent – it got me thinking that if we had spoken to her husband before they met, one of his criteria in a partner would be someone who was able to keep a home and yet, he himself did not have this skill. Now that she was living with this person, she was questioning her choices and it is the same with a woman who wants a financially stable man but if she was a man in her current financial situation, she wouldn’t date herself. If you met someone exactly like you – someone like you in every way, would you date them, flaws and all? If the answer is yes then congratulations, you have attained perfection, if your answer is maybe because you can identify areas that needs improvement, then you are very self aware and you could be on your way to self improvement with some work. If your answer is no, then take some time to reflect on your life and your journey that has led you to this place – be committed to making changes that would bring growth and positive change to your life.
No one is perfect and I totally get that – but we are all capable of growth and being better versions of ourselves when we put in the work. To put our selves out there to meet and date others is to put our flaws out there too – if there is a chance for improvement, then by all means grab it and make the best of it. When we put our expectations out there, remember that the other person has expectations too – if you try to be someone you are not, to keep someone in your life, then I will leave with this Ghanaian saying – “Character is like pregnancy, no matter how hard you try to hide it, eventually everyone will see your tummy growing and know what you had been hiding all this while”.
Character is like pregnancy, no matter how hard you try to hide it, eventually everyone will see your tummy growing and know what you had been hiding all this whileGhanaian saying
Thank you for always taking time to read, share and comment – continue to share your experiences so we can effect the change we need.
Could you imagine how easy the dating scene would be if we were all committed to becoming the people we would love to date?Tweet