Okay – settle down now, ladies. I've got a few truths to spill for you here. Now, brace yourself because I'm going to give you some advice that might taste a little bitter to start with. It's a magic fix-all solution, and it works every time. Ready?
The right guy – who will treat you the way you deserve – is out there for you. There's no reason you should pressure yourself or push for what you aren't ready for. Don't worry about what other people are doing around you – they don't matter. Seriously, it's your life that you need to live – not theirs. You can't judge your success on their terms, or constantly be comparing yourself to them, because then you can never win.
Or feel satisfied. That will be because you are living your life by other people's timelines and stressing yourself needlessly over something over which you have little control. Emotions and the heart are liable at any given moment in time to do whatever the hell they want. Therefore, it stands to reason that we are sort of wasting our time trying to fit into someone else's template.
I'll say it again – the right guy is out there for you. I promise.
If it doesn't feel right, or you aren't comfortable, or something changes in your relationship, go with the flow. Don't force things that aren't working out, or that put you in a difficult position. It's fine to acknowledge that things change. You might have changed, they might have – the terms of the relationship might have altered, or you might have realised that you don't want what you thought you did out of a relationship.
That's all fine and perfectly valid, but you have to communicate this. You owe it to each other, and most importantly, to yourself to have clarity. Emotions are difficult at the best of times, but they aren't impossible unless you give up on them.
Don't settle for less than the best.
Try not to have heart eyes for everyone that walks into a bar. They don't all have your vested interest in heart, and they're rarely looking for the same things you are. Timing is everything. Confidence is gold dust. But you ultimately can't control everything in your life, and there will be aspects that don't match up to what you think you should be doing.
That's normal, but you can't beat yourself up for it. Relationships by definition are two-way streets, you can't handle them alone. Even if you're ready for commitment, you still need a willing and able partner to go the distance with, to whom you are attracted and have common interests with. At the moment it may seem out of reach, but you can have that. You don't need to sacrifice everything in a relationship just to get the bare minimum. Or to meet up to someone else's standards.
There's nothing wrong with you, either.
People are constantly worried about whether they are behind or ahead in the cosmic game of life markers that we are constantly surrounded by in the media. You can't go three paces without a Facebook engagement announcement or honeymoon insta spree. That's the nature of the world we live in, but you can try to avoid those feeds if it's really becoming toxic for your mental health. In fact, I would advise it.
But back to the matter at hand. Relationships. I'm not saying that soulmates are a provable thing or that fate exists in the way that we hope it does. However, I firmly believe that too many women believe in that trashy quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
You accept the love you think you deserve.
It belongs in a 2012 Tumblr blog but it's a classic self-deprecating epithet. I can totally relate to that, and I'll be the first to admit it. However, as you may tell from the tone of my piece, I do have a counter-argument.
We never give ourselves credit for the catch that we are. For all our talents. For all the ways in which we are amazing, compassionate, and unique. We only remember our flaws and lie awake thinking of our mistakes, while refusing to learn from them or look them in the eye. But truthfully, we are all worth a million bucks. Just inherently. Not based on how productive or successful or healthy we are on someone else's terms. We don't need to provide some sort of social output to verify our existence.
As Colin Firth said in Bridget Jones' Diary: I like you, just as you are.
So many people are ready to love you too.
Try to open your heart and close your eyes and let them.