Lately I have become really disappointed in myself. Not because it’s day 10 of 2016 and I fell through on my new year’s resolutions. Not because I cheated on my diet (because, what diet?). And it’s not because I’m feeling down on life – in fact, I’m feeling way more optimistic about it than I ever was.
I came to a realization the other day that I have been going about my relationships the wrong way. In short, I’ve been too busy seeking out other people’s potential and seeing how they can serve me. Particularly, that of my relationships with guys. Let me explain further.
I’ve been single for as long as I remember, and I’m not complaining. There are a lot of great things that you can do when you’re single – a lot of self-reflection, me time, hanging out with good friends and focusing on things like wellness, school, and career aspirations. But of course, having a significant other is great for other reasons – a plus one for different events you may be going to, a personal cheerleader, someone to be intimate with and someone to help you grow to be the best person you can be.
So being single and seeing friends in long term, successful relationship – or just seeing relationships in my midst – makes me wish that I had someone to call my own as well. And what has made me disappointment in myself are the thoughts that I have about new people that I meet.
It happens so quickly that I don’t notice it. This probably means that it has happened a lot over time, and because of it, my brain has created a shortcut once a trigger occurs. The minute I shake hands with a guy I run through a mental checklist – “great eyes”, “nice smile”, “funny”, “firm handshake”, “awesome style”, “hey, he’s Catholic too!” – a checklist that I have used, over and over again, to determine the ‘potential’ of a guy.
Namely, the potential of going the distance and potentially becoming my plus one.
OH MY GOODNESS RACHEL WHY ??????
I had this realization when I shook hands with a new guy at the beginning of the semester. He was tall, dark hair and dark skin, good looking and was pursuing a degree in Economics. All the check marks were going off (and he was pretty charming too), but I was making assumptions even before we really got to know each other. And then it hit me: was I considering him as ‘the one’? This really started to mess me up, because as I met more and more guys, the feelings were the same and the criteria was flying around in my mind. And it was awful, because I couldn’t stop thinking about these things and how they stacked up against other guys that I knew.
But worst of all, I was more concerned about what they could do for me, when instead, I should be focusing on what I can do for others – guys AND girls, young and old.
I kept asking what these guys could do for me. For example, I would weigh the pros and cons. Okay, so he’s not as cute as (insert name here), but he is quite intelligent. And he’s tall, so when we walk we’d look cute… UGH WHY
I am single for a reason, and it is no fault of the male population. I am single not because I haven’t found the right guy to achieve the highest score on Rachel’s Ultimate Guy test or fulfill all the criteria on my check list. I am single because I am simply not ready. God knows that, and I’m starting to see that as well.
Being single should be an opportunity for me to learn new things, grow in maturity and to learn independence. I should be preparing for the commitments that will come my way when the time (and the right person) comes along. We are all given these opportunities at different times, depending on our life paths and what we are capable of.
I crave for the moment when I can finally tell someone that I love them and have them reciprocate those same feelings. But each day shouldn’t be driven by the quest to find ‘the one’. Each day should be driven by my quest to become a better person so that I can offer my best self to someone in the near (or not so near) future. And once I find that person, our days together should be driven by challenging each other to get better and better.
Until then, I will wait patiently and keep my heart open.
Yours (well, not quite),