Taking a closer look at the nature of dating and relationships has been quite enlightening so far. In my previous post I touched on the “Unspoken Fears” women deal with when in a committed relationship. It has caused me to do my own personal internal spring cleaning; to take a closer look at myself and any insecurities I may have. Many avoid doing it, but I have learned it is needed periodically throughout life. Working through such things affords you the opportunity to grow and mature. This will ensure you have a positive dating experience and help you choose a suitable and compatible life partner. The better you know yourself the more equipped you are to enter into and maintain a life long relationship.
I’ve often wondered why people hide aspects of who they are during the dating process. I’ve even heard stories of individuals who pretend to be someone else through the ENTIRE dating period right up until marriage. This is a frightening thought!! I would assume it is because there are parts of themselves that they are ashamed of or insecure about. For some there may be other reasons, but it has been my observation that this is the case. Yet if building a long, lasting relationship is your end goal, being yourself is the only way to ensure the relationship is successful.
In speaking with a close friend she shared her experiences from a past relationship. In her case she sacrificed much of who she was to make her mate happy. Surrendering her identity out of fear among other things. She subjected herself to a man who was controlling, inconsiderate and unwilling to work on himself or contribute equally to the relationship. Now looking back if she was given another chance to do things over she definitely would. And oddly enough I am at that the same place.
I no longer believe fairly tales, however I do believe in committed relationships based on honesty, respect, acceptance, communication, kindness and trust. I have also held myself back out of fear of rejection. Nevertheless I have come to realize any relationship where I have to change who I am in order for it to work and be accepted is a relationship I don’t want. Don’t forfeit your happiness out of a fear of ending up alone or whatever other thought crosses your mind. Settling for such a reason will only ensure your own unhappiness.
Being happy with yourself is more important than someone else being happy with you…..
In my previous blog I spoke about connecting with other men and women in order for them to weigh in on who should “Break The Silence” first when there is a mutual attraction ie. dating/romantic interest. However there has been a change of plans. I did begin speaking to a few individuals and have already gathered some interesting information, but I came across something I found rather interesting. While scrolling on Facebook a friend shared a video. After watching the video I had a very in depth conversation with the male friend who shared the video clip. Through the course of the conversation many thoughts and feeling came to the surface in which I felt compelled to share.
The scenario is as follows. A couple is on vacation and making a stop at the beach. The narrator begins the breakdown the fear women have about their husband or boyfriend looking at other women and what is actually going through mind of a man when the incident actually occurs. The Unspoken Fear women have is if her mate is looking at another woman, he finds her more attractive, is secretly dissatisfied in the relationship and therefore will end relationship to seek a more fulfilling one with someone else. He then explains the thought process of men and how the fear women have in this area is unfounded. The clip made a very strong argument and got me thinking.
Currently I am not in a relationship and haven’t been in one for quite some time, however I too have some fears surrounding a man being happy with my physical appearance. I have always had weight issues. At one point I was almost 400lbs and although I am no longer at that weight I wonder if someone would be satisfied with me ie. my weight and composition. Currently I am working towards getting to a weight I am more comfortable with, but these thoughts do still cross my mind. I’ve never really felt desirable or thought that any man would be satisfied with me (at any weight), and yet the basis of this mindset will set up any relationship I have to fail. I will always be looking for something to “nick pick” at and doubt their heart and affection for me because deep down I struggle with accepting myself. Entering a relationship like this will destroy it before it starts, intern reinforcing how I already believe. This what you would call a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Working in the area of Social Services I have seen this pattern far too many times to count. What you secretly fear ends up happening because you make it happen. What you believe impacts your decisions, perceptions and how you interact with others. If you are constantly living in a cloud of insecurity, attached to shame about your body, while hurling accusations at your significant other you will hinder the strength of your relationship. Therefore your behaviour pushes the individual, thus creating the reality you don’t want.
First off….ENOUGH WITH THE BODY SHAMING!!! If you don’t like how you look take the necessary steps to change it, however in the mean time LOVE yourself in whatever state you’re in. Secondly do NOT project your own distorted views of yourself onto somebody else. Embrace the idea that someone may actually find you attractive and, dare I say, desirable. Don’t push someone away simply because of a few outlandish thoughts; thoughts that are based out of fear. From a woman’s perspective I am not fond of the whole idea of “I can look, I just can’t touch”, nevertheless we live in a world that even as a woman it is hard not to look. The reality is men are made to be stimulated with what they see. Needless to say a glance is not really enough to reduce your self-worth and question his satisfaction within the relationship. I know this is easier said than done, but I feel it is worth effort especially if the relationship means something to you…..
We all know there are many differences between the sexes. Since the beginning of time it is very apparent men and women think, feel and perceive things in very different ways. This is especially true in the area of communication. Nevertheless no matter how each sex chooses to engage with each other one must choose to “Break The Silence.” Today’s topic is one that has caused many heated discussions and continues to be debated whenever it comes up in conversation. Just recently I was at a wedding and this particular topic came up during the course of the evening. Unfortunately it kind of put one poor soul on the hot seat, however it did further support my personal theory on the subject.
When first initiating any form of dialog with someone of the opposite sex each side tries to hold out and insists the other person should do it first. It often feels like a group of kindergarden age children refusing to play fairly in a game of tag ie. “You’re it!….No YOU’RE it.” As you can see the pattern and the potential it has to continue unnecessarily. The cycle usually continues because no one is willing to take the first step, be honest about their feelings and show some vulnerability.
I have often wondered WHY men take SO (so, so, so very) long to approach a woman that intrigues them and that they clearly find attractive. I am told it is because they want to be really sure, but come on!! Like how “sure” do you need to be in order to make a move…… Currently in our contemporary society with Feminism and female empowerment there is huge expectation for the woman to establish the lines of communication. I for one am not a fan of this because it give the excuse for the man to do absolutely NOTHING allowing the woman to do all the work. However I can see how this would help a more shy, self-conscious type of guy. At any rate I still feel that expecting the woman to break the silent is an excuse to find your true feelings and invest very little in a relationship you claim you want.
Although I personally am more traditional and want to be pursued if indeed a man has feelings for me I am not opposed to equal levels of disclosers from both sides of the fence. But at the end of the day someone has to take the first step, and I feel the man should do it!!!
Our next post I will have talked to a few different men and women to get their perspective. Like, comment or share!! I would love to her from you!!
The area of relationships is one that I could spend many hours of study. Human behavior is so fascinating; the how’s and why’s behind peoples thoughts and behaviours have alway peaked my interest. Needless to say in the area of dating or dare I say romance I have found it rather intriguing, but at the same time perplexing. Over the next couple of weeks (or maybe longer) I am going to be digging into the matter of relationship between men and women.
I will be sharing sharing some of my own personal experiences as well as some stories from a few of my close friends. We will be looking at why women act or respond in certain ways ie. what are our triggers and areas of sensitivity, and the same with regards to men. I will be relying on some of my male friends to to fill in the missing pieces when it comes to the male species.
I look forward to this series evolving and I hope you will join me as I delve deeper into this topic!!
Along the road of self discovery I have had to lay aside many things unnecessary for the journey. I am amazed at what junk I have been carrying around with me. But the more I purge myself of things like bitterness, unforgiveness, hurts from the past, distorted perceptions and world views I feel more content with who I am and where my life is going. How I see life, things, people has drastically changed. I have shifted and am continuing to shift in my way of thinking. The one thing that has altered most is my desire to fit in. I have accepted or rather embraced the fact that I will never fit the mold.
In this day and age it means much to be confident; content with who you are, where you’re at and what you feel you are called to do. Nevertheless we live in a society where they are quick to judge and compare, essentially undermine your unique design/make-up as an individual. Needless to say every institution you go through in life manages to reduce you to a number or category leaving no room for originality or distinction. This is where I have always had a problem.
I can name many well know individuals who are original, unique, authentic, exceptional and rather outstanding. When I looked into their stories the majority of them had trouble in school, family issues, poor peer relationships, criminal involvement, etc. Strangely enough the most common theme among them is a “non-conformist” type of attitude. And this is where I actually fit in! My entire life I have been forced to act and behave in a way that suited others. Always pressured to fit the mold of whatever expectation laid out by whoever was in authority over me. Hence I had an issue with rebellion, authority and was at one point every very abstinent. Sadly almost everyone I came across in a position of authority abused it and for some reason hated my strength, boldness and tenacity.
There were many attempts to undermine my integrity, make me feel inferior and cause me to question my gifts and abilities. And it actually worked. However once I realized that I was the one allowing it to happen I began to see things through a different light. My strength, boldness, tenacity is a gift. Being original, authentic and having this kind of distinction is a blessing. I should embrace not fight it!!
I thankful to be at a place in my life where I am comfortable with who I am. Now unfortunately this may rub some people the wrong way. Nevertheless this is something I am willing to live with. It has been my experience that the ones who oppose your originality or distinction are usually the one who wish they had the courage to stand out and be different.
I am thanking God He has truly made me this way. I no longer have the desire to fit in or be accepted my the masses. To be a real person of change you must be willing to break the mold, stand apart and take the road less travelled.
Refining Beauty ~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~
Hello Everyone!! I trust you all are enjoying your summer!! I can honestly say that I am!! The weather has finally warmed up and I am venturing outside to enjoy it. I have been doing a lot of walking. It is a great way to get some exercise, but it also gives me time to reflect on where I am and where I’m going. Most importantly it has given me time to think through what my next steps will be. As I said before embarking on this journey of transformation has been a major endeavor, however I have gladly taken on the challenge. Of course it is has not been without it’s challenges, nevertheless it has also come with many successes.
Now I know my last post “The Blame Game” was a number of weeks ago, yet much of what I am experiencing now is the ripple effects of walking through the last stage of this current process. By taking an honest look at myself ie. weaknesses and shortcomings I am better able to improve those areas, therefore enabling me to move forward into the things I know I am destined to do with my life. That being said even with all the assessing and critiquing I have begun to walk in a new level of confidence. Confidence in who I can, my area of gifting and abilities, but most importantly a greater acceptance in the uniqueness of my journey, and where this path is leading me.
Only recently I realized how much the approval or disapproval of others still influenced me (the way I think and feel about myself) and impacted the decisions I made. In many of my previous blogs I spoke about being unique, original, different and truly embracing that, however the truth is these routes often comes with periods of loneliness, being misunderstood and feelings of isolation. Things I frequently like to avoid. But to truly make an impact or a mark in this world you must be willing to stand alone and confidently following the vision within your heart. Sometime the harshest of life’s experience mold and shape our character, therefore preparing us for what is up ahead.
You are on shaky ground if you are constantly seeking the approval and affirmation of others. People are fickle and their opinion changes like the wind, therefore you can not leave it up to the general public or even close friends or family to always agree with the plans and purposes for your life. Well meaning as they may be you as an individual must be confident in who you are and the decisions you are making for your life.
It has taken me a long time to learn this lesson; in some way I am still learning it. At times I feel I should have already passed this stage and then I remember there is no shame in desiring to improve yourself. No matter the age or stage self improvement never goes out of style. Confidently walk in who you are. Don’t allow things that are subject to change influence your perception or decision making.
Now they say confession is “good” for the soul, so here is my confession……
I am currently in a situation where finances are extremely “tight”, therefore things that are not essential have to be cut. However I already live a minimalist type of lifestyle, so there isn’t much to cut. I have removed most things which in reality are luxuries compared to the how the rest of world lives, but there is one thing in times past I have always managed to keep. A gym membership. I have longed struggled to get to my “goal” weight, but I never want to gain weight or worst return to where I was in 2001 when I was pushing 400lbs.
I have tried to come up with alternatives to keep my fitness regime going. In the past I have used a home workout program called “Insanity”. It is a high intensity workout where you need no weights or machines. I know a number of people who own it, so I spent some time trying to track a copy down. Unfortunately I have yet to actually get one in my possession. But in all honesty not working out theses last few weeks has proved to be very enlightening. During this time I actually started experiencing intense moments of anxiety. At one point the whole idea of not exercising/weight gain/diet began consuming my thoughts.
What I found most interesting was the words my mother used to say to me began to replay over and over in my head. Like “you’re a cow”, “fat pig”, “a slob”, “a glutton”, etc. Sadly these are some of the nicer things she used to say if you believe it! I came realize to these words were still haunting me. As long as I worked out and did all I could be to be healthy I felt good about my body and my appearance. When I didn’t the old thoughts would resurfaced. The truth is exercise is more than just a weight-loss tool. I used it drown out the other voices in my head. I never saw this before…..
Feeling beautiful is easy to do when you are achieving the standard you set for yourself. As long I was working towards being a better me what was said in the past didn’t phase me much. But now that I am restricted there is a temptation to revert to my old way of thinking; calling into question my self image/esteem and have I REALLY changed. The answer is YES I have changed. It is still a bit painful at times, yet I push past my feeling and hold onto what is true. The past seems to be something I have to constantly bury even though it tries to resurrect itself. Those words only have power when I choose to believe them. Everyday I choose to forgive what was done and believe truth about who I am now. I am NOT that girl anymore.
Don’t let the past hold you back….No matter what it is….