Dating Meets Partnership

You know what is incredibly frustrating? Dating. Thousands of movies are made about it and thousands of books are written about it. What is not discussed? The partnership and sharing a piece of yourself when it feels hard. Being willing to share when you are tired of the ongoing exhaustion of putting yourself out there.
First, we have modern dating. You meet someone maybe on dating app, maybe through friends, maybe at an event, or even through school.

Then there are the mind games. How long is it supposed to be before I message a person? Did I message them too much? Too little? Did they message me too much? Too forward? Too timid? Too crass?  

Then, perhaps you have made it past these two parts—the hardest part of meeting someone, and then the second hardest part of gaging interest. Perhaps you have finally made it on the date. What are you looking for on the date? Physical chemistry? Emotional chemistry? Shared interests? Sense of humor? Loyalty? Looks? Important characteristics? Did you have fun on the date? How did your date treat you? Did they match your internal checklist of what you want in a partner? What you think you want in a partner?

Wait… do you know what you want in a partner? Now we get to the deeper questions—which is: why do this? Why date? Why seek out a partner? Are you seeking out a romantic interest because you want a sense of completion? Someone to like you when you are not liking yourself? Or are you seeking out a partner—someone who you learn to lean on and leans on you because you both bring out each other’s strengths and supplement each other’s weaknesses?

The hardest part of dating is being vulnerable and truthful with yourself and your partner. Let us start with the first part—being truthful to yourself. Have you sat down with yourself and asked yourself am I ready to give my all to my partner? My all is not compromising who you are for your partner. It is getting to know someone and prioritizing them above yourself, not at the expense of self. What does that even mean? It means that you learn to think outside of yourself and ask yourself how do I consider my partner’s needs? You can think of your partner, because your partner is doing the same for you.

Partnership is not completion. It is an act of choosing to continue to choose each other because you continue to purposely make time for one another. It is a mutual investment in each other—in one another’s success, supportive of each other’s shortcomings and a willingness to be open with one another when your partner is stuck.

The other part—being vulnerable, is the other piece to the equation. It is the ability to be really honest with yourself and honest with your partner in areas that feel sensitive, sore or even scary. It is the ability to own up when you feel you have shortcomings and being able to share that with your partner. And it is up to your partner to be able to hold a nonjudgmental space for you to share your inner fears.

Relationships are hard. The most fulfilling relationship is the one where you actively choose to partner with each other. Not because you are filling a self-deficit, but because you are choosing to be more wholesome with the other person. There is no such thing as a perfect partner, but there is such thing as working towards being the best person your partner and you need.

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