I am a work in progress. I will continue to evolve, grow and adapt my entire life.
About four years ago I created a list of things that I wanted to change or improve about myself emotionally, mentally and physically. That list was also the reason I created my first blog, “Almost Back at One.” Some of the items on the list were simple (e.g. Smile all the time.) and others required more time. I found I had to understand why a behavior existed, where it came from and why that behavior bothered me (e.g. find something positive in the people who have hurt you.) Some things on the list just didn’t take (e.g. Don’t be so crude.) I worked the list, became more positive, took responsibility for my actions and had a much clearer understanding of myself.
I haven’t been feeling very positive about the idea of dating and pursuing a relationship, lately. I decided to employ what has worked for me in the past and has helped me change certain behaviors thus ensuring I won’t make the same mistakes in the future. And if you feel that this strategy may work for you please feel free to use it (and let me know what you think.)
So after thinking long and hard about what really bothered me about happened in my last “relationship,” I was able to isolate one behavior that I absolutely have to change in order to care for and protect myself in any relationship.
Behavior: I am willing to sacrifice my emotional needs to sustain some kind of connection with someone I care for. (This is has been an issue with both of the men I have been serious about, since my return to dating.)
Where did this behavior exist?: I was raised in a home where displays of affection and positive sentiment seldom occurred. As a result I have been willing to accept far less love and support than I give.
Why this is behavior bothers ME: I am sacrificing what I want and need in intimate relationships. This behavior results in emotional pain and stress that inhibits my ability to deal with my peers in a healthy way. I am having a much harder time being positive, optimistic and open.
What can I do to change this behavior?: Socialize with people who are open and reciprocate when I am open and express sentiment. When dating, only pursue a stronger connection with people who appreciate and acknowledge what I offer and who reciprocate.
Sometimes identifying and understanding why a behavior exists is easy. Changing the way you think about in personal relationships and how you behave in them isn’t always so easy. If you are doing something that YOU find detrimental to your emotional and mental well-being, you are the only one who can change it.