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Are YOU The One?

While searching for a life partner we tend to use this common cliché to determine if we have found our person. We tell our friends and family, "I think he/she is the ONE!" When this line is publicly proclaimed it serves as a declaration for you and everyone in your circle that you believe your new relationship is bound for the promised land called marriage.


I've always found this metric imperfect. The potential of a marriage commitment should not be based on someone else's readiness. Furthermore, it results in an inefficient evaluation of your readiness for marriage. As a chronic dater, I know this first hand.


I have declared multiple women "the one." Those declarations turned out to be nothing farther from the truth. Was it because these women weren't ready for a real commitment, like marriage? Not at all. Transparently, many of them were more prepared for those commitments than I was at those times.


Now don't get me wrong. I do believe that it is important to examine the person you are planning on spending the rest of your life with. However, I think it's even MORE important for you to examine yourself, first. Instead of asking whether the person you are dating is the one. Ask yourself, am I the one? Have I done the necessary work on myself that will ensure I am ready to sacrifice my desires for someone else's? Have I dealt with my insecurities and past traumas so that I don't punish my partner for the sins of a past lover? Am I the one?


The redirecting of this question puts the focus squarely on the most important person during moments of singleness and dating, YOU.


When I think about how much I have grown over the last ten years, as it relates to my mental health, self-confidence, and self-esteem, I am completely mortified. Not because I haven't made any progress, I have made ALOT! But I am mortified of what my progress has taught me about the old me -- especially in matters of the heart.


I am ashamed by the hell I put my partners through in the past -- including my wife (then girlfriend). Most of it was grounded in the fact that I had not addressed my issues head-on, I buried them in the excitement of whatever relationship I was in at the time. Leaving myself unknowingly damaged and assuredly prepared to ruin someone's life while trying to live my "best" one.


It wasn't until I met my wife that I even found the courage to visit a therapist to work out the mess, challenges, and hurt in my life. Part of it was because I knew I wanted to be with her, but I also knew I wasn't ready. So instead of immediately making a commitment to her as my girlfriend, I delayed our relationship and spent part of the time in therapy and the other part of the time searching my heart to ensure I was the ONE. I wanted to ensure this would be my last relationship and I recognized that decision had more to do with me than her.


Self-work is hard work. It takes time and, frankly, never actually ends. But, with each moment of self-reflection, we gain a greater level of self-awareness that provides us much-needed insights about ourselves. Informed with this knowledge, we will take control of our happiness. With this understanding, we will become better lovers, friends, and colleagues. Whole. Ready to receive love and give it without apprehension or prejudice.


Bolden

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