Anupama writes a letter to her 18-years old daughter. Read what she has to say.
What if you are not looking for casual relationships or to ‘get married’, but to find true love that makes you feel complete? Here are 4 rules of dating you must know.
Though ‘dating’ has many meanings when it comes to a country like India, this article is about dating to find love – not a casual relationship, not a hookup, and not about even getting married. This is about finding love and companionship, the right fit for you in the long run. This is about what really matters in relationships – the right kind of love and the right companion for you – not necessarily a ‘fairy-tale wedding’, or a casual relationship.
Having been in the dating game for quite a long time, life teaches quite a lot about people, their minds, relationships, culture and society, than any relationship book or advice. My own dating experiences in finding love taught me these things the hard way. And all of those experiences, advice and tips, boil down to the following simple rules, in finding and attracting the right love, which I wish I knew earlier.
Seemingly paradoxical to the intention of this article, this is the most basic rule in finding love. Hard to believe in the ‘arranged marriage’ culture of India where one wants to ‘fix’ love. If you are looking for the right kind of love with the right person, don’t go in search of love. Love, by its unbounded, inherent nature is something that simply finds its way to you.
Though this advice looks more of a destiny fated thing, it is, in fact, true. Unlike anything else in life where one needs to go after the things one wants to achieve or dream about, this is something you need to let happen to you. If you go in search for it, it will always be out of your reach. All you end up is being frustrated or get to choose something less than you deserve.
Again contradicting the title, this is another rule that worked for me once I made the decision to let go of the need to have someone. We are always frightened into ‘what- if’s and how one can spend an ‘eternity’ alone without a partner or companion, and we believe it to be true, too.
Many of my close friends got married and chose somebody less than their worth just because they were afraid that they will end up alone. And guess what, they are still lonely and alone, with either a divorce or a ‘just-for-the-sake-of’ relationship. At a certain phase of life, when I couldn’t define my life and its purpose beyond that of getting hitched, all I ended up was becoming desperate or stuck in meaningless and disappointing relationships.
It is when you can happily be alone and be independent without the need for someone, is when the right love walks into your life. Otherwise, desperation and fear force one to make choices that are not right for them, and choose something less than they deserve, making them unhappy in the long run.
This is something, especially women, are conditioned not to do, which is the basis for most of the problems women face today.
Without knowing one’s own worth, how can you put a value to yourself when the other measures you by what worth you are to them? Because if you don’t value yourself, others too won’t value you nor give you the value that you deserve.
Knowing your self-worth means knowing who you are, your wants, needs and limits, and respecting yourself for that and seeing towards it. It is about not letting others take you for granted or disrespecting you or your needs. Many think, (especially the men in our country, probably due to our society’s culture of ‘fixing’ love and marriage), that they simply deserve any quality woman without trying to earn her love and respect first. This is unlike the effort needed to be made in achieving any other dream or goal in life.
They cannot understand the worth of a quality woman unless it is made clear to them. Which you cannot do until you know your own worth. Because if you don’t give yourself the value you deserve, others will treat you less than you deserve. And unless you know what you want, you won’t be able to choose what is right for you.
People sometimes think that by the inherent nature of who they are, they should be able to attract just the right love and the right kind of person. This may be true if you are looking for just something called love or just anybody. But if you are looking for the right kind of love that is right for you, you have to be the right person first. It means being true to yourself and being the best version of yourself, and doing the things that you love and are passionate about.
When my life’s sole purpose was just to find a partner and never to be a better or a right person, all I attracted into my life were the wrong people. Eventually, when I realized that living my life’s purpose and doing something meaningful and passionate is what gives me real happiness in life, I turned around my life.
By actually doing it – focusing on my dreams and doing things that gave me a bigger purpose in life, using my full potential – I actually started to become the right person. It is then I started to attract the right kind of people, not only into my love-life, but also into my friends, professional and social circle as well. My life started to be enriched with quality people and I started to draw in men who respected and believed in me, my dreams and passions.
There’s a caveat here, though. From my personal experience, once you become the right person or the dream girl that everyone wants to be with, not only do you attract the right kind of people, love and respect into your life, but sometimes, also the wrong kind that is not right for you. Since you are naturally attractive to anyone, passionate, and living life with a purpose without the need for anyone around. Unlike those who are desperately looking for love, companionship or a purpose in life.
This was something that I was never prepared for, or any relationship experts or books ever taught me. As a friend, you can guide and help them if it is up to you, but never undermine your self-worth by choosing something less than you deserve or are worthy of, just because they say they ‘love or respect’ you. Most of the time, what they feel is just an obsession or a fascination or ‘fatal attraction’ to the ‘like-able’ girl, which they themselves are not able to understand.
Hence, as per Rule 2 and 3, if you are not afraid to be alone, and know your self-worth, you will know what is right for you and what exactly is that you want out of love. And if you have the courage and willpower to stand by the rules, you will then choose only people who are worthy of you, be it in any kind of relationship.
Over the years, through the hard way, these are the rules that I learned in dating for finding love, which covers it all. I know this because it finally worked for me and after 10 years of frustrated dating and numerous disappointments, I finally could find the right kind of love for me where I am simply happy to be in now.
Image source: happy cup by Shutterstock.
Writer. Blogger. Social Worker.
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