For years, I put women on a pedestal.
Then I started realizing I’m pretty cool.
So many times I thought the woman was awesome, which often times was true. (Other times, I quickly learned it was a total projection.) I would get so caught up in how great she was that I would forget that I’m pretty damn cool person, too. And with that imbalance, I would find myself bending over backwards to try to impress or please her. (I’m the KING of re-recording my message 27 times when leaving a voicemail so it sounds just cool and masculine enough.) Of course, like all patterns, it can still creep up when I meet a woman I really like. But nothing like some self-awareness to keep it in check.
I was obsessing over every text message (and lack of text message) because I was needing that next “hit” of appreciation and validation from her. Just like any drug, the highs felt like purple unicorns dancing on caramel clouds. But the lows, man, those lows. Not fun. It sucks living in a state of anxiety about the person you’re dating. Love should feel fun, relaxing, pleasurable.
So I came up with a new rule:
If they don’t get how awesome you are, find someone who does.
How simple is that?! No hoops, no tricks, no pedestals.
How much they dig you = how much you dig them.
If one side of the formula gets bigger or smaller, then it’s time to take a look at what’s going on. You want someone who thinks you are the most amazing person, who respects you, loves your quirks. So start with you doing all that to yourself.
Now, if YOU don’t get how awesome YOU are, then that’s the first place to start.
Because if you’re not appreciating the heck out of yourself, you’ll just start looking for someone to fill in the void. And once you do find them, you’ll latch on to them and start using them as your sole source of appreciation. Now don’t get me wrong, it FEELS AMAZING to have someone give you attention and appreciation. So good!
But realized that there is not a single person on this planet who is going to be able to consistently give you that 24/7.
Not even your mom. Ok, maybe your dog, but he’s the only one.
Is there any logic to basing your source of appreciation on anyone or anything outside of your control? Because like anything that is outside of you, it will always be changing.
And the bonus is once you start filling up your own tank, your standards will automatically rise. If you’re already loving your life and enjoying yourself, you’re not going to be so hard-pressed to get into relationship with anyone that doesn’t enhance what you’ve already got. If you’re accustomed to living on filet mignon and someone offers you a Big Mac, you wouldn’t even blink an eye.
So start appreciating* yourself! Make a list of all the things that make you amazing. If you can see it in others, then you can see it yourself. That’s why you can see it in the first place. It’s already in you.
*I deliberately use the word appreciation, since that is often an easier concept to practice and understand than “love yourself”.
This post originally appeared on SingleTease.com, a great company that creates fun conversation starters for singles!
Jeffrey Platts is a men's coach and authentic communication expert who is passionate about helping men create amazing relationships with women. With over 20 years of personal study and transformational training, he has led nearly 200 workshops and retreats on personal growth, dating, and communication. Jeffrey's work and writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, ABC News, Authentic Man Program and the Good Men Project. He brings a rich toolbox of insights and experiences to his facilitation, integrating his adventures as DJ, amateur stand-up comedian, salsa dancer, yoga teacher and world traveler.