It’s one of your Ohm-g Podcast show hosts, Alexandra, here for my first ever newsletter! Bear with me we find our way along this wild and twisting road!
So, in thinking about what to write for this newsletter, I want to talk about something that is on many of our minds during this time of year. We, whether single or in a romantic relationship, are constantly bombarded by adverts and images of love, romance, and finding the persons. This pressure to measure up to society’s expectations can simply be unrealistic, demoralizing, and just too much. I want to share with you something that has deeply affected me.
I have always looked forward to meeting my person, a man to share my life, interests, and to grow together through all stages of life. I have standards, (don’t – shouldn’t we all?) regarding the person I want to be with. Last spring, I was sitting and chatting with some friends, people I look up to, when the conversation turned to our love lives. It went a little something like this:
Friends, “Your standards are too high, and you need lower them, if you want to find someone.”
Me, “No, my standards are neither too high nor unrealistic.”
Friends, “Well then you will end up an old spinster and by yourself.”
Me, “No, I don’t accept that.”
Friends, “Well then you will end up settling because you can’t get everything you want.”
Me, “No, I don’t believe that.”
There was so much running through my head: “Okay, I just stood up for myself; that is huge and now I’m freaking out!” to ouch, “Are my standards so high that even my friends don’t think I deserve that kind of person?” and what truly stings, “Don’t they know those standards are only a tenth of what I expect of myself?” I was genuinely hurt. This conversation and their opinions deeply impacted me, making me question how I thought about myself, my belief in my own value and what I wanted for my life.
Was I asking the universe for too much? Why can’t I find my person? And ugh if I hear “Just put yourself out there,” one more time, I will scream! I don’t want to do something I don’t enjoy, just to meet a guy who likes to do something I don’t like to do. Does that sound right to you? And the accurate, but cliché, advice my mother loves to tell me “When you stop looking, you will meet someone,” is like salt in the wound.
Fast forward to the end of 2022 and all the challenges and changes that have happened since that conversation. I have been working hard on myself yet feel like I’m only making baby steps. Can anyone else relate to this? One afternoon, I was grabbing coffee with a mentor and for some reason I felt compelled to tell her that story. Do you know what she said?
Mentor, “Don’t listen to them. No one, no friend, should ever tell you to lower your standards! They could have been projecting their own experiences or fears. Try this exercise: Write out all your “standards/wants” in a romantic partner, be specific, and see how you measure up to those standards. Then you will know what areas to work on.”
This blew my mind! For the past few months, I have focused less of my energy on “finding/meeting” my person and instead, put it into becoming the person I would want to date. (Maybe I am following the “When you stop looking…,” advice?) However, what I have discovered is that I want, no need, to do this work on myself; not just to “meet the guy,” but because these changes are forand about ME.
Some of you reading this may be thinking, “Alexandra, really, that is a “No duh!” or “Oh no, not another story of how to love myself and then I’ll meet my person.”
No Duh. Ideally, this should be a no duh. Except, I have these very pesky tendencies to internalise more of the negative critiques, than any positive compliments; expecting perfection when I try something, even though I know mistakes are good teachers. I know this logically, and I am working at changing these misbeliefs.
Love Myself. I am no expert; HA I am barely a novice! You can just imagine how my self-exploration/growth journey is going! Ups, downs, spiralling, and missteps galore. I may not love all of myself, or yet measure up to all my wants and standards for a partner, but I am falling in love with the messy process of working towards loving myself fully and feeling I too am the partner I seek.
Remember that winding road? Well, we have made our way back to, “Are my standards too high?” The answer is a resounding NO! they are not too high. And surround yourself with people who support that! Whether you are flying solo or part of a couple this year, I want to leave you with this thought: Is there one thing you can work on that would make you want to date you? Fall in love with the process of falling in love with yourself.
Cheers & until next time,
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