It's easy to blame outside sources for a struggling romantic life. Phrases like, "boys are dumb" and "dating apps are ruining everything" are common mantras of women in this day and age. And sure, maybe boys are dumb and dating apps really are causing global warming and inadvertently killing baby seals, but that doesn't mean you can't take control of the situation.
There are some things you may be doing to stand in your own way and prevent yourself from being truly loved. The good news is this: once you're aware of the ways you are preventing yourself from being loved, you will be able to start focusing on solutions in order to end up with someone who loves you all over the place. So take a look at these five things that may be preventing you from being truly loved:
1. Not allowing yourself to be vulnerable
In "Downward Dog," Nan's dog Martin tells the audience, "It's so vulnerable to love someone this much." If you've never felt like you've been in that vulnerable place, you're preventing yourself from ever really being loved. And sure, opening up your heart to someone may feel like you're asking to spend the day wallowing in pints of ice cream playing "All By Myself" on repeat. But honestly, you will never be truly loved until you put yourself in a place where you have the potential to be hurt.
Think about it: even if someone does fall for you behind your perfectly cultivated cement walls you built around yourself, they aren't falling for YOU. If you want yourself to ever be truly loved, you need to let other people see you.
So don't wait until the 5th date to let someone really know you, practice being genuine from the moment you meet someone. This might mean that you're sharing pieces of yourself that you're ashamed of, or honestly communicating how you feel instead of hiding it, but doing that also puts you in a place where you have the highest potential for love.
Sure, when you're on the family vacation and everyone's asking why you don't have a boyfriend, it can feel pretty awful to not have a significant other. However, treating singleness as a curse makes you desperate, causing you to throw yourself into the arms of whatever guy gives you a second glance. In other words, you're dating people who aren't the kind of people you truly love or who can truly love you.
So embrace your single life. Periodically list all the reasons it's amazing (like you can literally just decide to take a road trip after work or just sit in your PJs bingeing a whole season of "Downward Dog," it's your choice). When you become a happy single person, you're putting yourself in a great place to find someone who truly loves and eventually be a happy married person.
3. Being too picky
We've got to say it, we're living in a world where there are endless options. In the past, your only options were the guys on your street. These days, you can connect with an endless amount of people all over the world with a click of a button. While you should never lower your standards (refer to the point #2), keep a healthy perspective on the way you date and maybe choose to go on a second date with someone you're not sure about (because who's their true self on a first date anyways?).
4. Not letting go of an ex
It's hard. How do you love someone else when you love your ex more? The answer is: you can't. As long as you keep holding your ex in your heart, comparing these guys you just met to the best parts of the relationship you had, you are keeping yourself from loving, and being loved.
So rip off that band-aid. In "Downward Dog," Nan goes back to her ex, even though she doesn't believe they are good for each other. We understand it's challenging, but delete all the ways you could communicate with him, stay away from places you used to go together, focus on each moment of the present, try new activities. With diligent effort, you will be able to move onto a relationship that will be better than that one (promise).
Sometimes we don't realize the consequences that certain aspects of our lifestyle are having on other areas of our lives. When you consistently put dating or your relationship on the back burner, you aren't in a place where you can be completely loved.
While, of course, your work is important, and you should find joy and fulfillment in it, you shouldn't forget that work is a means to an end, it's how we are able to make money to live our lives and families.
Tune-in to the 1-hour season finale of "Downward Dog" Tuesday 10/9c on ABC and catch up now on ABC.com or the ABC app.
ABC’s new comedy follows the day-to-day life of Nan, as told by her increasingly lonely and philosophical dog, Martin. Nan attempts to juggle her tumultuous personal life with a stressful career, unjustly supervised by her self-obsessed boss. Having her story told from the canine perspective provides a uniquely unfiltered point of view that helps us laugh and cry about what it means to be a human being in the twenty-first century. It’s a show about a dog and the girl he adores, and even at their worst, Nan and Martin just might be best for one another.