Like many children, I grew up dreaming of someday meeting my future husband, falling in love, getting married and starting a family. As kids, teenagers and young adults we watch movies about falling in love and meeting the person you spend your life with and I couldn’t wait to experience that type of love.
I didn’t date a lot in high school and college, but I took dating seriously. As in, I wasn’t wasting anytime. I was picky and if I had even the slightest doubt or there was something that bothered me, I was out. I also put a lot of pressure on relationships from the very start. I obviously didn’t share that fact with the other person right away, but I dated with the intention of meeting my future spouse. I was not someone who dated to have fun. And while I am now married and no longer have to worry about dating there are still a few things I wish I could tell my younger self about the process and experience of finding love.
Chill Out/Have Fun
Really I should just tell myself this in general, everyday, about ALL aspects of life. I take things way too seriously. But in terms of dating I wish I had taken the time to lighten up and just enjoy the process. Obvioulsy not the heart break, thats hard to enjoy no matter what. But I definitely shouldn’t have put so much perssure on each date or relationship. I probably would have had much more fun in high school and college had I not cared so much about finding the right person so soon.
Focus on Yourself
This is your time to be a little selfish and focus on what you need. You will spend the rest of your life focusing on the needs of your career, spouse, possibly children, etc. So take some time to do whats best for you.
Not everyone marries their first love or high school sweatheart and thats okay. It might take time and it might mean that you go through several really good relationships and a few not so good relationships only to have them all end and lead you to the one that sticks. Heartbreak is awful no matter what, but it will get easier and better with time so just be patient and know that things will work out eventually.
Practice Self Love
Its going to be hard to feel loved or accept the love of someone if you don’t love yourself. Stop putting yourself down, comparing yourself to others, and thinking you aren’t good enough. Put your energy into knowing and accepting who you are. Appreciate your strengths and work on your flaws, but only do so for yourself, not for someone else. Loving yourself will allow you to be so much more open and free.
I’m sure many of these things my mom tried to teach me because my mom knows everything. But like most teenagers, I wasn’t interested or didn’t believe that she had any idea how I was feeling. I’m not sharing these things because I have regrets about how my high school and college experiences went. Ultimately those experiences led me to met my husband. But I definitely think had I truly known these things it would have made the process much easier and possibly more enjoyable. What would you go back and tell your younger self about finding love?