How Casual Dating Opened My Heart To Love

“Hopping from one relationship to another is not the way to find love. Slow down and give love a chance to find you.” ~Unknown

When I was younger, I was a serial monogamist.

I did the math recently and it turns out that once I started dating, I didn’t spend more than two weeks single at any point.

Then, after the end of my most serious relationship ever, I had a moment that changed everything.

My boyfriend and I hadn’t even been together a whole year, but I really thought he was the one, my soul mate. We had so much in common. We seemed to see eye-to-eye on everything. But then a stupid fight about birthday candles somehow blew up and ended our relationship.

I remember just standing behind the window the morning he left with a box of books under his arm. It was the end of October, and we’d just had the first snowfall of the year.

I kept thinking about the last Christmas we’d spent together, how he’d taken me snowshoeing for the first time. Our breath crystallized in the evening air.

Then I realized that that wasn’t actually him. That had actually been my previous partner before him. All my relationships had begun to blur together so I couldn’t tell where I ended and they began.

The idea of going out there again, into the cold dating world, seemed impossible. Even if it worked out, wouldn’t it just end up the same way?

I felt trapped.

When you keep getting what you think you want and you’re still not happy, you have to start asking yourself, what am I doing?

So instead of firing up Tinder, going to the bar, or texting someone, I made a different choice. I simply waited.

I realized that what was creating problems in my relationships wasn’t the fact that I couldn’t find my perfect match. It was my attitude.

I felt like I couldn’t be alone. I didn’t want to deal with life as a single woman. But the real problem was that I looked at life as a search for this idealized perfect partner that probably didn’t even exist.

Embrace Strength Over Fear

When I was jumping from relationship to relationship, I was making my decisions based on fear—I was trying to avoid pain rather than trying to embrace love.

I sometimes wonder how many of my relationships were twisted toward jealousy, insecurity, and conflict. How many people did I date that were simply wrong for me out of a fear of being alone? 

And how much time did I waste clinging to those men, as if they were my only hope for happiness, when I not only had the power to be…

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