Written by Troubled Teen
For as long as I can remember, starting a relationship has been something I’ve wanted. Everywhere I looked, it seemed as if that was the thing everyone was doing. From my parents to the couples I would see on TV. It seemed as if everyone, but me, was dating. Even the children in class seemed to be getting more action than me.
“Did you hear that [girl] and [boy] started dating?”
“Yeah! I heard that [boy] is taking her to the Valentine’s Dance.”
Everyone was always dating except for me. I assumed that my appearance was the problem. For a time in primary school I had even considered bleaching my skin so that boys would like me. Looking back, it was silly of me to think that was the solution and not that it could potentially be my personality, but sixth graders aren’t known for their intelligence.
Nevertheless, my desire for romance was never satisfied. Now and then I think about what I’m missing out on. Having someone hold me and give me affection. Having someone to lift me up when I’m down and make me feel like the most important person in the world. That adoration that I need so greatly. It sounds incredibly desperate now that I think about it.
My mother told me “you can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself” and I’ve fallen in and out of love with that logic. On one hand, that makes perfect sense. Why should I give myself to someone when I’m not in the space to stand on my own? On the other hand, what about those moments when I need someone? Family won’t be around all the time. Eventually I’ll be on my own and I’ll need a new support system.
The other other part of me hates the idea of waiting for someone. My impatience, desperation and need for someone to feed into my narcissism far outweighs my rational thinking at times. My fear is that it will lead to a relationship that will break me. I suppose that’s why my mother told me to love myself first. I need to be independent even if I don’t always want to be.
There’s more to a relationship than me being supported. You also have to think about being supportive. I’m lucky enough to have two wonderful parents to look up to and, for the most part, I see them as a decent representation of a healthy, supportive couple. Two people who love one another and help each other when they need it most. I’ve heard stories about how my mother would have died without my dad being there to help her during her pregnancies and in my mind, that’s the kind of support I want and will need to give to the person I love; something I don’t often consider when thinking about romance. It’s a two-way street. I suppose that’s a flaw that I need to work on. Giving as much as I take. This is where, yet again, I am faced with the dilemma of whether or not I’m ready for a relationship. The answer is “most likely not”. I’m still young, of course. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and I don’t want to spend the better part of it wondering whether or not I’m worth committing to.
A fear I know many people have is one of dying alone; a fear I most certainly have. Although I suppose this fear is tied more to that of my self-worth than anything else. Am I good enough? How can I possibly improve myself to where I’ll be enough? Etc etc. These are worries I’ve had for as long as I can remember as self-worth is something I have always struggled with. The issue with it is that I can never tell whether or not I’m improving. It’s not something someone else can just spell out for you. It’s something you have to figure out. Hence the self in self-worth.
That sounds like a lot of work though, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Wouldn’t it just be easier to find someone else to lift you up? To praise you and make you feel worthy of admiration? Of course. But I believe that is where so many of us find ourselves in codependent relationships where we need someone to validate us, and that leads to you being taken advantage of because you’re “easy” and desperate.
This is another fear I have. One that I am far too self-aware not to have as a matter of fact. As a woman with an unfortunate amount of self-destructive complexes, I have to be careful of who I give myself to, romantically or platonically (don’t be mistaken, you can be taken advantage of in both of these scenarios).
This issue with being self-aware, however, is that I can never feign naivety when things go awry. I can’t just say “I didn’t know any better” because the truth is, I would know full well that it was wrong and the people around me would know it too.
Taking accountability is for losers with self-respect. Or at least that’s what I tell myself when things don’t go my way. Part of growing up is improving from your past mistakes, though. It’s recognising that you were in the wrong and figuring out where to go from there. So yes, I’ll make plenty of mistakes when it comes to relationships. Some of them may be self-destructive. Hell, I may get hurt, physically or emotionally, if I continue with the aforementioned mindset. “You can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself.” Those once hollow words ring in my head every time the thought of a relationship crosses my mind. I’ve always been reluctant to take charge in my life, as you’ve surely gathered by now. However as I enter adulthood, I aim to take myself to the “next level”. To gain some confidence and truly understand and find myself, to the point where I can love me and in turn, love someone else. I don’t always like to admit it, but maybe my mother was onto something.