I spent much of my adult life on dating apps, dating sites, advice sites and reading sarcastic, hilarious, biting, witty accounts by brilliant, funny women living in urban environments telling their dating tales of woe via chick flicks, chick lit or funny feminist websites like The Awl, Jezebel and Thought Catalog.
I spent years forcing myself to go on dates with men that I knew deep down were not for me, wondering why it was like pulling teeth to take time out of my life: working, studying, playing (hard) to do something I had no interest in. I wanted to meet a partner, or so I thought, but the idea of putting time into trying something out with someone who seemed so out of my wavelength never made any sense.
So I continued to live my life while dealing with the pressure from friends: Go on more dates. Meet more men. Get out there!
I was out there, trust me. I was out every night at another event, occasion, party or bar. I was out, and about. But I hadn’t found the one.
Until the time I decided it was time to find The One. The One, in me.
The One who was clearly blocking any attempt at connection; the One who had been with me all along, the One who I hadn’t dared to spend more than a moment with in fear of what kind of snakes would come crawling out from the image in the mirror.
The One who I refused to stay home with alone for a night in without feeling sorry for myself; The One whose body I refused to look at and treated like a trash can; The One who spent hours bemoaning her lot while failing to realize that happiness lay in the palm of her hands.
Because the only one responsible for your happiness is You, and the way to start that is as simple as giving yourself all the happiness you deserve. Not waiting for someone else to do it.
I spent years telling everyone about how happy I was being single. About how much I loved my life, my freedom and flexibility. I did, I still do. But when you set that up for yourself, you’re setting up an inability to let anybody else in. Our words have power, and with that, we limit our power to be happy with someone else.
The trick in happiness with someone else, is to create happiness with ourselves that we can bring to another. And so, forget the dating apps:
Look inside, instead of outside.
Look within, and see what comes up. What kind of fears live deep inside you? What kind of skeletons are in the closet that you don’t want to look at, the same skeletons that are preventing someone from coming to you because they sniff that scent and they run in the opposite direction?
The world is a mirror, a projection of our innermost thoughts, feelings and subconscious soul choices. Anything that we look for on the outside can be found within – and isn’t that so much easier?
It’s easier to wipe a smudge off the projector than deal with that enormous spot on the movie screen. It’s impossible to drive with a window filled with shmutz – it makes the entire street look dirty, but all it takes is a damp rag to clean away that interfering spot.
Our lives our projections of what goes on inside. All of our self-loathing manifests in people who dislike us. All of our disrespect for ourselves and our bodies comes across when others don’t respect you.
Self care is the utmost in love for others as well as yourself: When you care for yourself, others see you as worth caring for; and are less resentful about the need to care for you when you won’t even do it for yourself.
How often do we care for friends who have drank too much; or come to work when ill; and while we smile and gamely wipe their forehead and hold their hand, inwardly we’re sighing: why didn’t she look after herself? Now I have to look after her too… she’s not doing anyone any favors.
And so it is with ourselves. The more love, care and respect we give to ourselves, the more others see us as worth loving. The more we pay attention to our traumas, our pain and our triggers, the more we can let go and release the blocks that prevent us from connecting with another.
The person you are meant to be with is looking for you – not someone else, but you. The more you are you, the more they can find you.
You can go outside and look for them. Dating apps and singles events and parties galore. Or you can look deep inside and figure out who you are.
You’ll find a reflection of your ultimate partner inside you: All their fears, all their delights, mapped inside your own body and soul.
All it takes is your ability to own it, to love all that’s there – and you will find The One.
The One that is you; and the One who loves you, too.
Rishe Groner is the founder of TheGene-Sis.com, a non-denominational approach to spirituality and self-transformation based on feminine and Jewish mysticism. She is from Australia and lives in Brooklyn.