She Loves Me. She Loves Me Not. (Belonging Part 1)
It’s time for #4 of the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date: Belonging.
Are you thinking, “Hmmmm… Belonging is actually a good thing – even an essential need! Does this idiot think I should go through my whole life without belonging – and like it?”
No, I don’t. Belonging is one of the most important feelings you can experience, because unlike other positive feelings, belonging is directly related to relationship. You can be happy, peaceful or excited all by yourself, but to feel belonging requires someone (or someones) to whom you belong.
Do you long to date out of a desire to belong to someone?
If you’ve read enough of my DNA posts, you may recall that as early as third grade I desperately wanted to belong to someone! I wanted to be chosen! (Particularly by a pretty girl. Preferably the prettiest.) Perhaps the words I longed to hear more than any others were:
“I love you too!”
And as long as I’m making confessions here, let me go ahead and fully expose my cosmic naïveté. I used to think, “If I had a girlfriend, it wouldn’t matter how bad or hectic or confusing my life was, because I’d know that someone loved me.”
And I didn’t just think that back in third grade, or even in middle school, when perhaps it might have been forgivable. I still had that Disney script running through my head in college. I might hold that silly notion today if, I hadn’t finally won my first girlfriend the second semester of my junior year in college.
It was then I discovered at last, that in spite of “knowing that someone loved me,” it still mattered when life went wrong. I still experienced disappointment and frustration. And worse? Sometimes it was her fault!
Still, despite the far-fetched idealization that surrounded my desire to date…
it is natural,
it is normal,
it is healthy and
it is human,
to want to belong.
But here’s a truth that’s taken me decades to grasp:
Belonging is something you only feel when you believe it.
We’ll unpack that further next week, but for now I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel secure in the important relationships in your life right now?
- Do you find yourself motivated many times by a gnawing loneliness?
- Do you long to be chosen by someone special?
- Do you have unrealistic expectations for romance bringing an end to all your loneliness?
- Have those unrealistic expectations already sabotaged previous relationships?
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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