Love’s Not Going To Fix You

Drew Patrick Miller

I see it all the time and it breaks my heart. A woman (or just a girl) waiting … for life to start. To meet the “love of her life.” To be happy. To do the things she’s always imagined doing.

I find it sad, not only because life is passing her by. But also because there is no magic fix on the horizon. No partner is perfect and he’s going to be coming to you with his broken and patched up self, his baggage, and quite possibly (though, god forbid) the idea that YOU are going to finally fix him!

It devastates me how we’ve been I see it all the time and it breaks my heart. A woman (or just a girl) waiting … for life to start. To meet the “love of her life.” To be happy. To do the things she’s always imagined doing.

I find it sad, not only because life is passing her by. But also because there is no magic fix on the horizon. No partner is perfect and he’s going to be coming to you with his broken and patched up self, his baggage, and quite possibly (though, god forbid) the idea that YOU are going to finally fix him!

It devastates me how we’ve been brought up and taught to believe in rescue, in soulmates, in other halves, and in another person completing us.

I know a girl who is in her early twenties. She’s very naive about the way the world works, and it’s obvious to see that she’s waiting for Mr. Right. The trouble is, she isn’t spending anytime working on herself. She hasn’t done anything to decide what she wants her life to be, or worked to build up her confidence, or made any plans for her future.

Whenever a guy comes along it’s easy to see. Without a rock to stand on, she changes like the weather based on him. One smile from him and she’s sunk. The music he listens to becomes her music. The places he likes to go become her places. The football team he likes becomes her team. And when he eventually leaves she’s broken. A shattered hull, a ghost of a woman. A woman that was never even her.

I want to tell her so many things. I want to show her that I understand because long, long ago I was there. But here are the two that I think matter most:

1. He’s not coming to fix you

All the things you dislike about yourself now are not going to be fixed by someone else. You hate your lack of confidence, but he is not going to magically make you more confident. If you meet a wonderful man he may help you and support you but the journey to more confidence is in your hands. If you meet a terrible man he may manipulate you, wreak havoc on your confidence and tear you down. Never put your flaws in someone else’s hands. You must take responsibility for your own broken pieces.

Write down a list of the things you’d like to change about yourself and your life. Then, get someone you trust, whether a close friend or a professional, to talk with you about how to go about changing them. No matter if it’s building more confidence, becoming more independent, changing careers, or trying more new things — these are not something you have to wait on him for. Start doing them now.

2. Knowing yourself first is the key to happiness in a relationship

It is incredibly hard for most people to know who they are while they are with others. In a room full of 20 people, if 19 of them agree with one thing and you are the sole dissenting voice, it’s hard to speak up. The same goes in a relationship. If you don’t know who you are or what you believe, and the other person does, you will find yourself agreeing with them time and time again, because they are the stronger force.

Once you eventually break up, you’ll find yourself adrift because you’re even more lost than you were before. Not only do you not know yourself — you don’t know what pieces actually belong to you and what pieces you appropriated from him.The opposite of this is knowing yourself and being able to confidently enter a relationship in the knowledge of who you are in things big and small:

  • Yes, I know it’s unfathomable but I don’t like sushi
  • I don’t care if you make fun of me I still love to rock out to N’SYNC onroad trips
  • No, I don’t like basketball. You should take Joe with your extra ticket, he’d enjoy it more
  • Thanks for the breakfast invite but I like to sleep in on Saturday mornings
  • No, I don’t ever want children
  • Yes, I’m serious. I want to live in Montana.

This confidence spreads like wildfire and will impact each and everything you do and everyone you know. Not just with a boyfriend but with friends, family, and coworkers. Most people don’t have the courage to say (and stick to) what they want. You’ll stand out and what’s more, you’ll develop a healthy dose of self-respect. And that will stand out even more. TC mark

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Image Credit: Drew Patrick Miller

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