“I’ll be happy when I get a girlfriend.”
“If I just wasn’t coming home to an empty house then life would be so much better.”
“I need to have someone who loves me before I will feel better about myself.”
It’s hard to tell someone in quicksand to stop flailing to get out. Loneliness and sadness can make happily ever after sound very tempting regardless of where it comes from.
My problem with that is that you’re running away from pain. That means you’re not paying much attention where you’re running to. The assumption is that having anyone is better than being alone. That your problems will go away as soon as someone else is there.
Running away from pain is not the same as running towards something good. It means doing whatever you can to make this next man or woman stay with you, even if they don’t treat you right. After all you’ve made your goal “find someone,” not “find the right one.”
It’s an ugly truth but that’s why I had to confront my loneliness and sadness before I could get back into dating. I had to look in the mirror and go to therapy and ask “What are you running from? Why does it hurt so bad to be by yourself? What problems or pain are you wanting someone else to fix, and why are you trying to make those someone else’s problem?”
Fighting those demons is more than a personal victory. It opens your eyes to who makes you happy and who is just a convenient distraction. You deserve better than just a distraction, and other people deserve better than to be used as one.
I did not know how to see my own self worth or enjoy life on my own before. I thought that being a good boyfriend meant I was a good person, and spending time with a girlfriend was the only time I didn’t work myself to death. Alone I felt aimless and empty. But now that I got therapy and fixed these root causes a lot has changed. Knowing what you want out of life means you can kindly separate yourself from people that aren’t headed the same direction as you. Once again you’re not just running away from pain, you’re headed towards the life you want.
Let’s heal old wounds. Let’s start with enjoying our own lives. Then we can make our choices out of hope instead of fear.
Further Reading: If this resonated with you then I highly recommend “The Inner Child Workbook” by Cathryn Taylor. This workbook does an incredible job of helping you understand your past and unpacking pain or trauma that was never resolved. There’s a lot of pain that’s been weighing us down for too long. Let’s heal, our old demons aren’t going to make decisions for us any more.
– Matt The Mentor