Updated: May 15
One thing that I ask myself in every dating scenario is “what am I supposed to learn, and how am I supposed to grow during this experience?" Over this last year of my dating journey, I have learned a lot about myself. The biggest thing that I learned was that although I had healed when it came to the death of Chris, I was still grieving the void of a romantic relationship. The more successful I became and the more I was presented with amazing opportunities, it became more difficult to not have “my person” to share these amazing milestones with. What I didn't realize was that the road to meeting "my person" was going to be a little more complex than I anticipated. The different nuances of casually dating, exclusively dating, and being in a relationship were much more complex than I thought. Actually, I never even knew that these different levels in dating even existed. As you all know, I haven't dated since I was 15 years old.
When I Initially started dating in 2022, I was ok with a casual situation. The first person I dated was so sweet and really liked me. So much so, that he verbalized that he was interested in a relationship. This caused me to slowly self sabotage because I was TERRIFIED of getting into a relationship at that time. Although I had been a widow for almost three years at that point, I was new to dating and didn't feel like I was ready for that level of commitment. After dating him, I found myself in situationships, which were fun and casual for the time being. What I learned from those dating experiences was although I wasn’t ready for an actual relationship, I definitely wanted more than a situationship.
Going into 2023, I told myself that I need to figure out what I actually want, and realize that I am worthy of someone who will be there for me, support me, and pour into me. What I also realized was that if I wanted someone to do these things for me, I needed to have the capacity to do the same for him. I find that many times women think about the men they want, but never think about the type of women that they need to be in return. I had to realize that I needed to become who I wanted to attract.
I want a healthy man, so I need to take my health seriously.
I want someone who is emotionally available, so that means I need to actually allow myself to be vulnerable and really open up.
I want someone who loves the Lord, (well y'all already know me and Jesus are besties lol).
There is a difference between vulnerability and transparency. I am very transparent when it comes to sharing my journey with people, but when it comes to expressing my emotions to those closest to me, whether it is a romantic or platonic relationship it is a huge struggle.
This journey is really full of growth and self reflection. This is the season that the Lord is really stretching me! I have to have difficult conversations with who I’m dating and most importantly MYSELF. This causes me to find myself in the presence of the Lord often. I realize that there are many things that I am struggling with within myself that didn’t start on Dec 11th 2019 when Chris died. Many things that I struggle with are deeply rooted from childhood. Everyday I wake up with the goal of being better than the previous day. Expressing and processing my emotions in the healthiest way I know how and advocating for myself when it comes to what I expect from someone that I am dating. As the months and years go by, I realize that each part of this journey has its own path. And although it is exciting, it is also scary. Fear of rejection is one of the main things that I struggle with. I would imagine that many of you can identify with that. As I begin to walk through what it looks like to get to know someone and show them who I am, I find that I don't always get it right. And I won't always get it right. As I frequently say "I'm new here", so I just take it one day at a time and do my best not to overthink. I'll keep y'all posted, but for now I'm just trusting God and enjoying the process.