If you are single and looking for a partner, it can be very hard to know when to continue seeing someone and when to move on to someone else. A big part of this difficulty can be the fear that there will not be anyone else if you let go of the person you are with.
What can help you decide if you are investing in someone who is not right for you? As a start, ask yourself, does this person have personal qualities I respect and value aside from money or looks. Does he/she listen to my concerns and make an effort to meet me half-way when conflicts arise? Do they show signs of addictive behavior without any desire to address this? Do I ever feel afraid that the person would physically hurt me?
Although of course no one is perfect, certain behaviors/problems can cause serious relationship problems. However, if you are tired of looking for someone, have had a history of relationship disappointments, or feel wowed by someone physically, it can be tough to decide to turn away from them or return to single life that seems so much less than having a partner.
Although women have many more freedoms and rights in our society currently, there are still ways that women can feel “less than” men. If a woman wants to be in a relationship and doesn’t find someone, she can easily feel there is something “wrong” with her. It can feel like the whole world is in a couple except for you. And the pressure to find someone can be very intense.
Feeling secure on your own is the best way to cope with the pressure to find a partner. Once you are in a relationship, it is very helpful to feel like you could survive a break-up and continue to have a meaningful life. If you find someone you are very drawn to, the fear of loss can be very anxiety producing. Learning how to have a good life as a single person is recommended.
It is helpful to work with yourself about what other people think of you. It is so easy to worry and project that others think you are a failure or that something is wrong about you. How can you soothe yourself, believe in yourself more, and learn how to turn what seems like failure into learning experience? There may not seem to be an easy way to do this. One suggestion is to understand and discover how you feel about making friends, both with yourself and with others. It may sound trite, but John Gottman, PhD., a noted marriage therapist and relationship researcher says that one of the most important parts of a relationship is the friendship of the partners.
If you find that you have good friends, both male and female, it is important to give yourself credit and find optimism for yourself. If you need help to have more friends, this is a goal you can work on. Even if you experience shyness, have had rejection, or difficult endings with friends, it is never too late to examine how you are in relationships with others and find ways to improve. Although dating can feel daunting for both women and men, I hope you will also be able to have some fun along the way.