It can be so easy to lose yourself in the dating process. Forgetting who YOU are. We tend to try and become the person we like, or what the the person we are dating wants us to be. I went through this. If I dated a guy who loved when a girl was athletic then I would try and be athletic (I actually could’t ever try to be athletic because I am the furthest from having even a single athletic bone in my body!) Maybe you know that the guy you like really likes when a girl is funny and outgoing, so you start trying to be that. But inside who you really are is a little more reserved and quiet. For some reason we try to find out what kind of a person the one we are interested in is drawn to. The sad part of this is if that person ends up liking or dating you then they aren’t dating you for you. You have given them a false version of you.
Or maybe it plays out a little different, you start seeing someone and they realize the things they enjoy, talk about, like to do, really aren’t things you like. So they begin making statements to you about wishing you were more like this, or that. It can be from your physical appearance, to your personality, to your passions. I had this happen. I still remember one guy telling me that when I wear belts (this was when belts were in style for girls, obviously…) that it made my hips look big. It’s crazy that I can still remember where I was when he said that and how it made me feel. It made me feel like, well A – my hips were too big and B – he didn’t like girls with big hips. So what did I do? Well I stopped wearing belts and tried to find ways to hide my hips and not draw attention to them. I had another guy tell me that he felt I was too into E! News, Hollywood gossip, and fashion and that I really should care more about politics and things going on in our country. But what can I say!? I am a girl from LA who has worked in the salon industry for the last 11 years and really enjoy some good old hollywood news and fashion! I remember feeling not good enough in that moment, smart enough. That the things I liked and enjoyed were shallow.
See, these moments were some defining moments for me. They caused me to either choose to believe that my hips were too big and I was a shallow girl from LA who didn’t care about the important things in our country. Or it could cause me to look and go, “you know what? My hips are perfect and curvy (haha) and I do like knowing what’s going on in our country, but I also enjoy fashion and E!News.”
I wanted to find a man like the song John Legend sings, “All of me loves all of you, all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections”. Can I get an amen? Isn’t that what we all desire? Someone to look at you and not pick out`all your flaws and imperfections. But rather to look at you and be your biggest champion and supporter.
I finally made the shift right before I met Seth. I was done trying to “please” someone by being who I thought they wanted. I didn’t want a guy to tell me all the things he was looking for in a wife and then I try to fashion myself in that role. I actually got to the point of being pretty fed up. It was exhausting! I decided I wanted to just be ME! Take it or leave it. The good, the bad and the ugly.
One of the reasons I fell in love with Seth, and knew he was the one, was because of this very thing. It was the first time I felt completely loved and adored in my own skin. I was actually really guarded when I met him and was not looking to be in a relationship. So I did not try to find out what he was looking for. I was just myself. And you know what, that is exactly who Seth chose to pursue, ME! Once we got further in our relationship I told him I had never felt so free to be myself, and so beautiful in that. I am not just talking physically, but every part of me. My passions, hobbies, lifestyle, and personality. It was the first time I truly let myself be, well, myself. I remember journaling before ever telling Seth any of this about how free I felt to be me. I didn’t have to perform. I didn’t have to make him love me. I showed Seth who I was, with no facades, and that is who he pursed.
It is such a freeing place to get to. You have to first love and value yourself enough to know that you deserve someone who isn’t looking to change you, but to love you. You don’t need to be anything different, look any different, act any different. When you have met the right one that person is going to look at you and love all of you. They will be your biggest champion and supporter. Yes, they may challenge you in areas but it won’t be to change the core of who you are.
Something Seth and I always said to each other when we were dating is “I choose you”. We said that before we ever said the words ‘I love you’. Because love is a choice. Seth chose all of me. He never once tried to change a thing about me.
As much as I am talking about not allowing someone to change you, the roles can reverse. If you are trying to change the person you are dating than they probably aren’t for you. You shouldn’t have to mold someone into who you want them to be for you. You want to fully love and accept the person you are with. With that said, Seth and I continue to mold and grow. But we never tried to make each other into the person we wanted the other to be. We fully accepted each other.
Allow yourself to be you. The right person will love all of you.