My dating life ebbs and flows. I go through periods where I feel like I need to put myself out there and DATE, because without any effort I’m not going to meet someone right? Other times, I’m like NOPE, not trying, if I meet him I’ll meet him, if I don’t, then well, I’ll just continue living and enjoying my life. It’s quite a dilemma. Dating is exhausting, yet if you aren’t meeting people somehow and putting yourself out there, then how do you find ‘the one’? Amidst this internal debate of what to do, it’s really hard not to notice the people having success and moving forward in this aspect of life. It’s even harder to stop comparing your life to theirs and wonder what is going on.
Ignore social media
It doesn’t help that there’s social media and the hashtag #couplegoals running rampant. Anyone who looks at a couple’s pictures and deems their relationship successful needs to re-evaluate life. Sorry to be harsh, but its true.
Social media does NOT paint the whole picture. Anything on social media is just what people WANT you to see. What about what you can’t see? Think about that for a minute. No person or relationship is perfect, so if you are seeing perfection, it’s likely falsified in some way.
Don’t get caught up in someone else’s story
The same goes for the relationships you see in person, with your friends and their significant others. Those examples may be more real, but again they are not perfect. We will never know anyone’s full story, so comparing your life with anyone else’s is only going to make you miserable.
Another’s progress is not your failure
For those that truly are actively looking now, I think it’s really easy to compare what you are doing to others, especially when you don’t have what you are trying to get. I am definitely guilty of this. I have assumed that because I’m not in a relationship that I am lacking in some way, or that I am falling behind in what I should be doing. However, as it says in “Girl Code”:
someone else moving forward in one aspect of life does not mean that you are doing anything wrong; it does not mean that you are failing.Girl Code
We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Remind yourself that what may look perfect to us may be riddled with conflict. Others’ happiness may just be what they want us to see and not a real reflection of what’s happening behind closed doors (or off of social media). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every relationship is secretly miserable. I just want to remind everyone that we simply don’t have the whole story, and an accurate comparison of lives should include it all don’t you think?
Re-evaluate your feelings
One way that helps me stop comparing is to remind myself of what I actually want. Am I looking for a relationship because it’s truly what I’m ready for? Or am I antsy because my friends are all taken? Or because my family is pressuring me? Or because society has hammered into my brain that because I’m in my 30’s “its time”.
Shut the door on all the noise and instead ask yourself what your own priorities are. What do you actually want right now? How do you want to be spending your free time? On first dates making small talk? Or pursuing that business plan sitting at the back of your file drawer? Do you want to pursue a relationship with someone? Or figure out your own feelings first?
Stop comparing and trust your own path
Trust me I get it. Same boat here. Some people go on ONE Internet date and end up marrying the guy (yes, I’ve seen this happen more than once). But at the end of the day, I remind myself, that TIMING is everything. Both parties have to be ready; have to be in a place in life where being in a relationship is a priority, (key word here is BOTH).
So, revert your gaze from all the social media posts and remind of yourself of who you are, what you want. If your current goal includes a relationship, then get out there, date, meet people, stay open, and be you. Don’t compare to anyone else. Just know that the people you are meeting is for a reason; the dates that don’t work out are teaching you something. Pay attention, learn what you can and keep moving forward. You’ll eventually get to where you need to be.
If you realize that a relationship is not a priority, then don’t fight yourself. Do whatever it is you actually want to do with your time. All your experiences will form you into the person you are meant to be, and when you are ready, you’ll truly be ready. No questions asked.