Walking into a local restaurant, I had zero expectations. Maybe less, actually, since this was a restaurant I’d frequented with my previous boyfriend. I didn’t expect to be met with kind eyes. Not the eyes that look at me like they asked me to dinner just to see if they can get a hook-up without directly asking for a hook-up. No, these were the eyes of a man who appeared to be genuinely happy to meet me...and the eyes of a man I was genuinely interested in meeting. It was the first time since my last breakup that I actually thought there might be a chance. Because, while I had been on several dates, they had all felt more like going through the motions versus me actually showing up with an open heart and actual interest to see where things might go.
The laughter came easily. The jokes were fun and the conversation was more than surface-level. Plans were made to see each other again and the hug and kiss good-bye were pretty perfect.
This is where the me from a few years ago in that last round of dating would have fallen hard. And fast. Those damned dimples get me every time. This time, though, I know my boundaries are for me. I know my level of commitment is for me. I know that falling fast has usually left me bruised and that real commitment and healthy relationships take time to grow and to see what’s real. Which means I go slow.
And I’m glad I did. Not because he turned out to be some horrible person, but because he just turned out not to be for me.
And here’s the other big life lesson here. The old me also would’ve fallen for all his lines about how good he thought we were together and what a great vibe it was and I prob would’ve questioned my own feelings and what I was seeing that didn’t really work for me. I didn’t. Instead, I was able to see that, from his perspective, things were good and there was a great vibe. We did have fun together. We did have good chemistry. I’m pretty laid back, a good listener, supportive, and I love to laugh and have fun. In my experience, these things, even on a first date, make the guy I’m with feel much more connected to me than I feel. And as women who’ve been socialized through disney, movies, magazines, and other media to be the one the guy “chooses,” it can be easy to be flattered that they want to choose us instead of remembering that WE get to choose, too!
It’s also easy to fall for the compliments and loving looks after a string of rejection or breakups or bad relationships where we’ve felt (or been told) that we are less-than. It’s easy to find comfort in someone’s arms around you when you haven’t had that in a while.
It isn’t about a checklist. It’s simply about giving enough time to see if those early feelings are lasting. To see if those early indicators of who a person is are really real. To see if those early words manifest into actions. It’s about examining how you feel when you’re with them….and when you’re not. It’s about asking yourself whether you can truly love and embrace all that this person is--even the parts that drive you crazy--for the long haul. Because you get to choose. You get to choose what you allow in your life, who you allow in your life, and for how much and how long. YOU are the creator of your own life!!
So the moral of this story for me? I got to watch the idea of love and partnership start to bloom again. I got to see that I can open my heart back up after it’d been broken. I go to see that I can hold my boundaries and that there are reasons why I do. I got to see that I can live with love and choose what’s best for me and not feel stuck or a need to settle or to overlook things that I don’t want to overlook. It’s okay to be picky. I got to see that I’m not willing to compromise on things that are important to me, even if it means I stay single. Because the one thing I know for sure is that I would way rather feel lonely at times while single than feel lonely in a relationship. And I would absolutely choose being alone over not being able to be fully myself.
Ready to determine your own boundaries for what you accept and attract into your life? Hit that button to schedule a call today. I’d love to chat with you about how you, too, can build a life full of Wild Radiant Love.