I often tell clients not to date until they don’t need to. The fundamental premise behind such a cliché is that if I am unhealthy, or needy, or on the rebound, or broken than any legitimate concerns I have become massive, obsessive. I begin to catastrophize what is going on. I lose my objectivity and it isn’t long before I have a hole in my heart that I am looking for someone else to fill. Dating when you are vulnerable or broken is a sure-fire recipe for relational strife, no matter what Cosmo tells you.
Finding the right person has less to do with romantic bliss than we have been led to understand. Being the right person – whole, happy, not needy, that is the right goal to pursue. If I am healthy enough that I do not need another to fix me or complete me (gag) should be our goal. Dating then becomes an opportunity to share who we are with another without the needy blinders on. Settling for whatever is available isn’t even an issue.
Singleness is not a disease.
I was a single parent for years and after I got over the self-indulgence, the pity, the tears and the loneliness I began to realize that it was awesome to be alone. The healthier I got the less I needed a woman to approve of me or assure me I was ok. By the time I did date again I was not an emotional vampire that needed to be filled. I found I was no longer as needy as I once was. I began to like who I was. All of this was only possible once I learned to live with myself.
I can honestly say I like myself today (I find that hard to write). I still don’t like what I look like in the mirror or some of my obvious faults but for some reason that doesn’t hurt like it once did. Singleness was a gift that I never wanted. It was a gift that changed my life.
If you are single today it is perfectly normal to experience loneliness and momentary unhappiness. I believe they call that “life”. You are not a second-class citizen, a third wheel, or the odd person out. You are free to be who you truly are. Don’t miss the opportunity, like I almost did, to allow yourself to learn who you really are apart from someone else with all their baggage, needs, quirks, foibles and insecurities. If you aren’t complete without someone else filling that hole in your heart chances are you won’t be complete with someone there.
Trust me on this – don’t date until you don’t need to.
19 thoughts on “Stop Dating Until You Don’t Need To”
I was reading a book by Steve Chandler titled: Reinventing yourself and he talked about this very thing. He spoke about all the love songs that are out that talk about how “love hurts”, “love bites”, etc. He said they should be titled “dependency hurts”. You should never count on someone else for your happiness
Amazing. I actually have always used a similar mindset with my wellness clients. You shouldn’t be working out or receiving massage therapy because of something you lack; rather it should be an extension of who you are. Don’t go to the gym because you hate the way your body looks; go to the gym (or better yet do something physical outside) because you love what it means to your healthy lifestyle. Your body is and has everything it needs to be, live into it without guilt, shame, neediness or struggle. Its much easier to get up and go running at 5 am if that is who you are and not who you are trying to be. Imagine if people could love their bodies, brains and hearts this way all the time? It would be a pretty great place to live in! Thanks for this post!
totally needed to hear that 🙂
Interesting chap we have here. Not exactly an artist with the english language but the energy is definately there. I like it. Please post more. This is some nutty backwash useless information but somehow i like it.
Ah yes, I say this to my clients all the time, although I can’t say it’s always the best-received piece of advice… 🙂
I count my blessings that I have absolutely NO desire to date right now. And it’s a possibility I never will again. My focus is on me and healing. And if I reach a place of true independence I would be super ‘gun’ shy to risk my emotional health ever again in a significant other type relationship. Then again, I suppose my judgment would be much healthier and I wouldn’t put up with the same crap I accepted before.
Scott, I couldn’t agree more. The last few years have been the most painful of my life but growth usually is painful. I like me also. Why is That so hard for us to say?
I truly don’t care if I ever date again, not that I feel that broken from my past relationships or I hate men but because I truly enjoy my life and like myself and selfishly don’t want to share that with anyone right now.
This one also had a simular message! (I haven’t figured out how to reblog it yet) http://chumplady.com/2013/08/dear-chump-lady-can-i-date-yet/
Reblogged this on Courage in French and commented:
Love how he explains this. Very good advice. Of course I knew this already. Practising it is an entirely different story!!
Reblogged this on The Ability To Love~Recovery From Psychopathic Abuse and commented:
I think I’ve discussed this before, but Scott seems to say it SO much better!
This is one of the BEST posts you’ve ever written!!
thanks alot. i did not expect that
Scott, just curious. have you given consideration to compiling your posts into a book? They’re outstanding.
ya but right now I don’t seem to have the time. I need an editor!
hmmm….so you might be willing to proceed, providing your material is edited first?
I usually have several projects on the go, what’s one more?
I’ll see what I can do. I believe your work ought to be recognized. I know I’ve benefited greatly from reading.