“You will find your other half”
“He’ll just show up when you aren’t expecting it!”
“You never know who it could be, it could be the next person who walks through that door!”
“I knew I was going to marry him the moment I saw him.”
We’ve all been there before. You mention your desire to be [dating, in a relationship, married] and a friend, family member, or stranger tries to encourage you in your moment of vulnerability. However, all of these platitudes just leave you more lonely, and more discontent. When someone suggests that this “person” you’re longing to find will just show up unexpectedly, you start to train your brain not to expect anything. If you expect nothing, you will surely get something…right? The problem with training your brain to think this way, is that you unknowingly start building false expectations even more than you were before. On the other end of the spectrum, when we expect that our person is going to be the next man that walks through the door, sits next to us at a coffee shop, or holds the door open for us, we live our lives in a cloud of disappointment and embarrassment. The idea that I was missing “my other half” has been an idea I’ve been wrestling with for the last 8 years of my life. I’ve found myself in a constant state of thinking, “Who is my person? Where is he? Where are we going to meet?” It’s not as if I should never have these thoughts, but I began to feel as if these thoughts were consuming me. I started believing the lie that if I’m not dating – I’m not interesting. If men weren’t showing any interest in me – I need to change myself. If I’m not on “the path” to marriage – I will always be incomplete or lacking. I started to be defined by the things I didn’t have and completely disregarding the things that I did have.
The root of this thought pattern is not about marriage. It is the consistent belief that things that I have in my life or that surround me inform my value. Dating and relationships just became one of the many captains of my life that I allowed steer the boat. I believed that my value was contingent on how many friends I had, how much I dated, or how cool my job was. This constant striving led me to a place of deep despair. Anxiety was knocking at my door and my thoughts let it come in and take up permanent residence in my brain. It wasn’t until I pursued counseling and support from my community that I saw my thought patterns for what they were – lies. A lot of my insecurities about myself always came back to the same issues. As I was on this journey of “self-discovery” I started to become transparent with my friends about the day to day thoughts that lingered in my mind. A little over a year ago, I told a co-worker that I often felt like the little bird in the “Are You My Mother?” book, constantly roaming around meeting men and wondering “Are you my person? Are you him?”. I was a little embarrassed to admit something that seemed so silly and desperate to my friend. As I continued to admit that dating and relationships were on my mind more than I like to admit and were contributing to my anxiety, I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone. Most single women I knew (married ones admitted they struggled with this too but in other areas of their life) were believing the same lies that I was. They believed that if they had [insert relationship status] they would be more [valuable, attractive, interesting, fulfilled, etc.]. It was in these discussions that I came up with the idea to write “Are You My Person?”. Some of the most valuable lessons that we learned in life came from children’s books, so I thought that as adults we can continue to be reminded of these important life principles in the same way.
My hope for this book is that you would see yourself in it. Whether you’re single, engaged, married, or anything else under the sun, I hope we can learn from our character “girl” that we don’t need to strive to “complete ourselves”. Nothing can change the inherent value that we have as humans. It doesn’t matter your relationship status, how many friends you have, how many children you have, or how cool your job is – you are valuable with or without these things. Maybe one day you will have the husband, or the kid, or the cool job and I believe that those are all amazing blessings from God that you should cherish, but your life doesn’t start there! I pray that this book can be an encouragement to those who have experienced the same struggles in dating/relationships. I also hope it makes you laugh, because who among us hasn’t hoped that they would miraculously meet their soul mate on a stuffy airplane 🙂
I’d love to know your experiences in this as well – whether it be about dating/relationships, careers, parenting, etc. Let me know in the comments of this post or send me a message under the “Contacts” button!
To purchase my book, Are You My Person? please click here.