Happy Hump Day!
This has been a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while but have been a little scared to. I have previously written about my experiences dating with endometriosis, and what it can be like being single with chronic illness. I’m not going to recap it here as it was a looonnng and gruesome one, but if you want to have a quiz you can read it here. Well ladies, I’ve kept on in the dating game, I’m currently seeing someone new and so I wanted to share a few new lessons that I’ve learned..
If you did end up reading my past post about my dating history with endometriosis (and guys), you would know it wasn’t all too successful. I had finally got to the point though where I had begun to enjoy my single life and make the most of it. I actually ended up making one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. And the best part about it was that I made it entirely for ME! It wasn’t because I was lonely, it wasn’t too impress someone and it wasn’t an impulse decision. I made it because it brought me joy, it supported my mental health, and it’s expanding my capabilities to help others.
I started seeing someone in the last month who I actually met last year at a local bar (turns out meeting people IRL is still a thing you guys). It is still super new and we’re still very much in the getting to know you stage. The reason why I’ve chosen to write this post now is because I’m sure there are many of you out there in the same stage as me. You’re with a new guy and anxious AF about what is going to happen next.
anxiety got me approaching relationships like pic.twitter.com/DOXG9qB8us
— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) 12 October 2016
But starting from the start, how did I know this guy was worth dating? These days I use two questions to help me get my answer. First and foremost, what do I want from this? And secondly, what do they want from this? They seem simple but how often do we actually stop and ask ourselves? I certainly never did. I have known for a while that I want a long-term relationship, and what there are certain things that are important to me in a person. However it has only been in the last couple of months that I’ve actually been ready to start acting like that’s what I want. Even though I knew I wanted more I continued to date guys that weren’t right for me. This was because I was after that short-term fix, a hit of the feels to keep me going. It took a good hard look in the proverbial mirror for me to recognise that this needed to stop. If I wanted to find someone serious then I needed to act like I wanted and deserved it, because I damn well do.
After this, with each guy who came my way I made sure to ask the second question. What do they want? Whether it was looking at a profile on Bumble, or responding to an old flame, I looked at the situation and asked myself, are they just after a bit of hanky panky? A bit of chit chat for the evening? Were they a gentleman, were they kind? I’m not saying you have to know from the outset if a guy is going to be serious or right for you. Relationships rarely start that way. But if you know that’s what you’re after, why say yes to the guy at the bar looking for a one night stand? Don’t get me wrong, if you’re single and ready to mingle then go for it! I’ve had my fun and I don’t regret it one bit, I’m just ready for something more.
Another important lesson I learnt was to TRUST MY BULLSHIT RADAR! And LISTEN to it! My bullshit radar has become quite refined after many a year in the dating game. By this I don’t mean that I put up the ice queen facade that I once did. Rather I listen to my intuition. If I feel like they’re putting on a front, or laying on the charm a bit thick I listen to my innards and walk quickly in the opposite direction. Because I’ve figured out what I’m looking for, I don’t give that shit the time of day.
So I’m now dating this guy who finally seems pretty legit. You think I could just go with the flow after all I’ve learned right? WRONG! Anxiety doesn’t go away that easily. With each new experience I encounter it peeks its little head around the corner. A lesson I keep having to learn. I know this sounds naive but I always had this idea in my head that when I met the right person I wouldn’t get anxiety about it. As you’re probably telling the screen right now, this is certainly not the case. At first this made me think it’s not right, proceed with caution. But then each day (literally) I went through everything that was causing me anxiety and responded.
A lot of my anxiety comes from how I’ve been treated before, did I ever tell you about the charming guy who compared me to test driving a guy? YEP that happened! But in response to this worry I reminded myself that no one person is the same. I know I wouldn’t like to be put in the same negative basket as someone else so I can’t do the same. I also worry about getting caught up in a relationship and then having nothing when it inevitably ends. In response to this I listed everything that I am currently working on for me, including my career and hobbies. I make sure to book in time with myself each week to continue doing what I love – from pilates to catching up with friends.
I’m feeling pretty good about this egg for the moment. Not every relationship works out, for a variety of different reasons. This guy has already shown his kindness though when I told him about my endometriosis for the first time. This is a HUGE deal for me and something I have really struggled with in the past. I’m happy to report that he couldn’t have reacted better, and has been nothing but supportive since. I now feel like I can communicate with him on pretty much everything, a big box checked for me. And this ladies is perhaps is my most valuable lesson of all. Find you someone who is honest, and truly willing to be there for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not to get all cliche on you, but…if they can’t support you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best. Please don’t take as long as I did to learn that.
i want someone to take me dancing but will also take me home after i get overwhelmed by my anxiety from actually going out
— lil cakes (@PRiNSUSWHATEVA) 3 June 2017
As always, thank you for sticking with me through another long post. Being succinct is not a quality I possess. I really hope this helps those of you who may be going through something similar. Dating is an absolute bitch, filled with so much uncertainly. But if we stick together we’ll get through it – whatever the outcome. I still maintain that the most important people in our lives are those who have been it for the long haul, day in and day out. When you’re feeling a bit shit, remember that you have these people so you’re already pretty lucky.
I have an exciting announcement coming later this week so stay tuned!
Sending happy vibes,