You Should Date To Find Yourself

smiling man and woman
Pablo Merchán Montes / Unsplash

“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Romance can break us apart, split at the seams between intimacy and heartbreak. Romance can also make us more whole in the natural state of life, which is union, balance – and love. On a human level, love is the bond between two people at the intersection of both their commonalities along with their admiration of differences. Our search for love is driven by extrinsic needs to fulfill a void that’s inside, instead of dating to find love in ourselves.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of the modern-day landscape which is transactional in nature and plagued by serial dating with too many hellos and goodbyes. But we can transcend the dating game of swipes from a place of self-discovery, which will lead to not finding your next love but finding yourself, and in turn, attracting that person who is truly meant for you.

Dating is the search for your twin flame, for your soul mate, for that person in which you connect with on a physical, emotional, spiritual, and even soulful level. When we date, it’s imperative to date not only with intention but also with the purpose of finding a bit more about ourselves. Dating to find yourself involves discovering meaning in each date and relationship, whether failed or surprisingly pleasant, so that you can apply the lessons learned through each to your growth in self-discovery.

Dating to learn more about yourself also involves finding meaning in heartbreak. As hard it may seem it’s imperative to use both heartbreak and rejection to your advantage, no matter the emotional anguish at the moment. Not everyone will be right for you but the people we encounter along our paths, either through dating or through everyday interactions, are there to teach us a lesson. One of my favorite quotes is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” The mind is our most powerful tool, and when we free it of the emotions that plague our thoughts and being it gives us control to shape our perspective and the way that we react to situations. Your mental beliefs dictate your relationships.

We often relish in disappointment when ghosted (again) or when the one that you absolutely thought was the one gets away. Odds are we each have been the victim of both scenarios and resorted to emotions of pain, grief, doubt, and hurt to help us cope. Emotions are just fleeting energy that doesn’t define who we are. So, when we resort to sorrow, recognize it’s a survival tactic that our mind and heart deploys for safety, but it isn’t constructive to our evolution as people.

Being the victim of ghosting doesn’t mean you are any less of a person or lover. Instead, it is a lesson of intention and self-worth. The person who ghosted you didn’t vanish because you don’t have value, they disappear because your value was worth too much to them.

The emotional pain caused by heartbreak can lead to a feeling of emptiness. Learn from heartbreak by leaving space for you to grow instead of filling the void with unsaved phone numbers.

Your romantic relationship is only as good as the relationship you have with yourself.”

It has taken me over twenty years to understand what self-love actually is: self-love is defined as the belief that you are valuable and worthy.

We compensate for the relationship that we have with ourselves by searching for love in things outside of our being, instead of finding that spark of love within. It’s one thing to know yourself, and another to love yourself. Knowing yourself takes presence, mindfulness, reflection, and solitude. Loving yourself requires self-acceptance which comes in many forms, the most genuine being worthiness. Loving yourself also means being your most authentic version of who you are. This requires the ability to move “towards your feelings” rather than away from them so that you can connect with your internal emotions in order to build lasting and loving relationships with others.

The more you embrace and take responsibility for your feelings and learn to love yourself the more you will attract a relationship in which both partners have an intent not to gain love but instead to share love. Loving yourself opens up the ability to be whole leaving no room for the desire to be completed by someone else.

It’s never too late to begin to love yourself so that you can give and also receive genuine connection and compassion both to and from someone else.

When approached from a place of self-love, dating is no longer plagued with doubt, worry, or insecurity. Instead, when we radically fall in love with ourselves, our dating lives become electric and eminent with happiness, peace, and positivity from a place of vulnerability. Life takes care of itself after you love yourself, including our romantic relationships.

Dating and romance can be used as a mechanism to discover more of your defined and undefined self. You have to find the answers in and for each relationship in yourself. Observe your past relationships and learn the lessons in each, take the time to ask yourself the critical questions needed to understand what is meant for you to learn. The problems that we encounter in our relationships are a symptom of some deeper problem within the relationship with our self.

When we reframe our mindsets, we are able to learn from any situation in order to grow. And when we grow from love and compassion it transforms us into the person who we’re meant to be.

Be honest with your emotions, with your feelings, and in the end get to know who your true self is. Our perceptions of others are only a reflection of ourselves. When you date as your most authentic self you attract what’s meant for you. There’s someone out there for each of us, but it’s our duty to know and love ourselves.

Take the time you need to become the partner you want to be. Understand your emotional needs to make room for the partner you wish to attract. Date to learn about yourself and not for the sole reason of finding someone else.

Dating to find yourself will make you realize not what you want in a partner, but what you want and deserve in yourself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog