Dating Trap 2 – “I Need Your Love”
Have you ever found yourself saying to yourself “if only I were in a relationship, then I’d be happy” or “ if only I were in a relationship, then I’d feel better about myself ” or “if only I were in a relationship, then I wouldn’t feel so lonely, miserable”. . . . .?
You might also be telling yourself that you’ll do all those wonderful things you are dreaming of, once you meet the right person to do it with – “when I’m in a relationship, then I’ll . . . .”
You may not be aware of it, but every time you play what I call the “ if only… then …..” game, or the “when… then….” game, you are actually acting on a belief that says you can only be happy or feel good about who you are, or be happy about your life, unless you are in a relationship. In other words, you need to be in a relationship.
Maybe that doesn’t sound like you, but there is also a masked version of this game. It’s the serial monogamy game. You go from one relationship to the other, with no space or time to be on your own. People look at you and think that you must possess some amazing quality and that’s why you are always hooked up with someone.
In your own mind, you too, know that you are wonderful – after all, you secretly tell yourself – that’s the reason these people want to be in a relationship with me. And let’s be honest here, there is still some covert belief that if you are single, there must be something wrong with you. So better to be in a relationship than be single.
The other masked version of this game is when you hook up with someone represents something that boosts your ego and your sense of self.
The one “classic” here is the older man, who is losing his looks and his virility – and gets together with someone who is beautiful and almost as young as his daughter. He believes he’s something special now because he is with this gorgeous beast. And this feeling only gets enhanced everytime his buddies, nudge him on the elbow and give him the “lucky you” wink.
The other “classic” here is the woman who goes for the financially wealthy man – even if he is losing his looks and virility. It’s only when she is doted on, that she has any sense of value. She believes she is somebody special and important, only as long as she is living the high life and surrounding herself with the “right kind” of people.
Now I’m not suggesting that everyone that fits into these two scenarios are in it for that reason. I know people who are in both categories and have wonderful relationships and are lovely people.
It’s when you are in these scenarios as a way to define yourself, or in order to feel good about yourself, that it’s a problem. The problem is that you’re in a relationship because you need to be and the dangers of this trap are:
- Your life goes on hold every time you aren’t in a relationship
- By using a relationship to bolster your sense of self – when the relationship goes, so does your sense of self
- You become dependent on the relationship for your happiness – when the relationship crumbles, so does your life
- Your control for your life and happiness is now in someone else’s hands – and you become more dependent on them, and lose control of your own life
- You are likely to put up with more bad in the relationship, in order to experience the good you get from it
- You are likely to make compromises that you wouldn’t if you didn’t need this relationship
- You won’t feel able to get out of the relationship, even if you are no longer happy in it
So does that mean, it’s wrong to want to be in a relationship, you might be asking?
Absolutely not! But do be sure you understand the difference between wanting to be in a relationship and needing to be in a relationship.
- Needing a relationship is based on a belief that you can’t be on your own. You need the other person – to feel ‘whole’, to feel good about yourself, to feel loved, valued and worthwhile or to feel emotionally or financially secure
- Wanting a relationship is based on a belief that you can be on your own – emotionally and financially and you feel good about who you are and the life you live. You are looking for someone to further enrich your life, but not be your life.
Needing to be in a relationship isn’t very easy to admit. If you’re not sure if that’s what you are doing – then ask yourself how you feel about yourself and your life when you are on your own. Is it good? Are you happy? Do you have a strong sense of self?
Successful singles are people, who feel good about themselves, who don’t see relationships as the source of all their happiness, are comfortable with who they truly are, and are living fullfilling lives. They are more likely to get into a relationship for the “right reasons” and more likely to find a relationship that is just right for them!
If that doesn’t describe you, don’t be disheartened. Recognising where you are is the first step to the possibility of having something better. Maybe it’s time to consider taking a journey that’s all about you- about becoming the best of you!