3 Ways We Break Our Own Hearts In Relationships

Dating and relationship-building almost always start out beautifully. We get butterflies every time there is a new text. We’re low-key stalking our new bae/boo on social media. We spend hours preparing for the next date, in hopes of hand holding, kissing and making memories we can tell people about at our engagement party. We spend countless hours on the phone, playing the classic “you hang up …..no, you hang up” game.  We’re excited to tell our friends that he actually remembered the name of your childhood cat. We get to know each other’s hopes and dreams. Eventually, we fall in like and if we’re lucky, we fall in love.

In the wonderful, magical love realm, relationships can also be tricky to navigate.  It sucks when relationships are strained. It sucks, even more, when those relationships dissolve.  Break-ups are par for the course in the wonderful, magical love realm. Often times we blame the deficiencies in our partner.  I’ve heard it (and said it) a thousand times…..”if only he could be more XYZ” or “if only she would do XYZ”.

While some things are out of our control, as grown-ass adults, it is OUR responsibility to not break our own hearts in relationships by doing the following:

  1. Expecting a Partner to Complete You. That “you complete me” scene from “Jerry McGuire” really fucked us up. People have been running around acting like a half, looking for their other half. When you really, really, think about it…..how can we expect to have a full, healthy, happy relationship if we’re not even full, healthy and happy individually?  It is no one else’s job to complete us. We have to complete our damn selves, preferably BEFORE we enter into a relationship.

Self-fulfillment means many things to many people. It could mean having a positive sense of spiritual well being. It could mean purchasing your first home. It could mean having a kick-ass career. It could mean checking off several bucket list goals. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever it means to you, don’t wait to find Mr. Right/Ms. Right. DO. THAT. SHIT. NOW. You are not a half. Feed your own soul as a single person.

  1. We Lose Ourselves. Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re like a different person around John/Jane”?  Sometimes, we forget who we are, what we stand for, what our personal core values are. We get comfortable in the “us” and the “me” becomes foreign. It’s happened to the best of us. As much value as we place on relationships, we have to hold on to the conviction that our most important relationship is with ourselves. One of my favorite quotes is Nayyirah Waheed’s, “I am mine…before I am ever anyone else’s”. This is another reason that I am such a fan of developing a strong sense of self before you begin a serious relationship. It’s important for us to be deeply rooted and anchored.

Of the people I’ve coached, the saddest ones are the ones who’ve forgotten things like their favorite color or their favorite movie or hobbies because they’ve put their entire being into the relationship and not salvaged their identity throughout the relationship. I totally understand how marriages and children become such a significant part of someone’s life. But I believe that it’s still important to maintain your own identity.

  1. We Forget To Enjoy the Journey. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to marriage and children, but please know that those things will happen in their own time. Worrying, wondering, stressing about it keeps you from enjoying all the fun of dating and getting to know your significant other.

I remember being petrified about NOT allowing my number of sexual partners to exceed 10. I had always heard that if a woman had sexual partners in the double digits, she was officially a hoe (which is bullshit because men are glorified for “sowing their oats”-but that’s another story). In my effort to be selective AF,  I put so much pressure on myself trying to prematurely determine if someone (sometimes after the first date) was pussy-worthy.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being selective, but I was a little neurotic about it and often tried to predict the fate of the courtship before I had really gotten to know the guy.  I’m sure I may have missed out on some great dating experiences because I had a magnifying glass on every word, every encounter. And some of the guys I thought were worthy, really weren’t. And yes, part of my anxiety was society’s stigma but the bigger part of it was my own perception of being “a good girl” vs. “a hoe”. Thank God, I got rid of that foolish way of thinking and stopped giving a damn about a number and just lived my life!

Relationships are risky. We risk heartbreak if things go south. However, we don’t have to add unnecessary stress to the equation and potentially break our own hearts.  Our relationships are usually a mirror of who we are. Taking the adding pressure and stress off ourselves frees us up to sit back and enjoy the ride.


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