The Courage To Feel

We live in a world that, above all else, appreciates strength, independence and self-reliance. Keeping it cool and in control is a clear sign of success – contrary to outbursts of emotions and sentimental uncertainty.

An active dater for the past four years, I’ve read plenty of books, articles and web posts on the subject, trying to figure out the secrets of the single women savvy enough to catch and keep the right man.

As you know, these futile attempts have ended up in me taking a much needed break from the dating scene, which lasted until quite recently. This – in turn – has led me to many new discoveries, observations and conclusions.

What I’ve realised is that I’ve been trying to follow someone else’s rules, rather than figuring out my own. Luckily, this seems to be changing, as I’m finally starting to take responsibility for my part of the situations.

For years, I’ve read that multiple – or circular – dating is the key to romantic success. The trick lies in dating several men (at least three, according to certain authors) all at the same time.

This approach is supposed to increase your chances for finding true love. By keeping all your options open, you’re more likely to find the one – and apparently have plenty of fun while doing so.

Trust me when I say I applied that advice with great diligence and enthusiasm and, for years, it seemed to do the trick. I felt desired, courted and attractive, having always a few suitors at my disposal.

However, by doing so, I never really gave myself a chance to commit to any of them, which in turn led to shallow, sometimes fake relationships, which were anything but fulfilling.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure the dating experts have a fair point and that this particular tip has worked for many. But perhaps it’s time for me to pursue a different path – one of courage and self-responsibility.

I’ve realised that my endless juggling of potential boyfriends was motivated by fear: fear of getting rejected, hurt and heart-broken, fear of not being reciprocated and appreciated, fear of feeling vulnerable.

Most man I invited into my life were there to deliver distraction, divert my attention, numb my doubts and anxiety, rather than to create an honest connection based on trust and positive expectations.

Now, for the first time in a long while, I feel ready to take the risk again – risk to take my life in my own hands, to take the leap of faith, not knowing what will come next and if the other person feels the same.

I’m ready to do so without the expectation of reciprocity, but out of a genuine desire to get in touch with and make space for my feelings, act in accordance with my heart, my vulnerable self.

Ready to acknowledge and embrace my emotions, instead of anesthetising them through ambiguous, erratic relationships that offer nothing in return but the thrill of novelty and excitement.

Scary? For sure. And yet, the more I think about it, the more I realise that this is the way to go – for me, in this particular moment. I want to find the courage to feel, to connect, to be fully present.

What will happen next? I honestly don’t know. But, for the first time, I’m not obssessing over the worst (or best) case scenario, but am simply enjoying the moment, while it lasts.

Have you enjoyed this post? Please, share your comments, thoughts, links, ideas, opinions and beyond. I promise to write back to each and every one.

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