Learning to be Loved

Overcoming the lies I told myself and obstacles while dating.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to blog. I’m glad to be back on the laptop and sharing my life with all of you. The last several months have been so busy – between taking foundation courses for social work and moving, I can breathe again!

Prior to starting the courses, I sent out a survey link about dating and relationships. I wanted to see if anyone else had a similar experience growing up and really only learning about dating and relationships from movies, other kids, watching people and listening to gossip. The truth is, I was bitter about some relationships/situationships I had in the past.

There were so many lies I told myself. I wasn’t worthy and no one would ever love me enough to marry me. I was content with not focusing on marriage because men were too much work and no one would ever gain my trust. I didn’t have the patience to be disappointed or work through issues with a significant other. It was easier to be alone, to be disposable. I told myself lies because I was inexperienced with dating and relationships, I had low self-esteem, and I needed someone to blame for my poor choices. I couldn’t be the one with the problem. It was definitely the people I dated. I saw a meme the other day that said, in summary, “You’re attractive and get the attention of others. You choose to give attention to men who aren’t compatible with you and aren’t good for you.” That’s so true. I knew the men weren’t good for me. I could see it in their spirit and through their actions.

Without going into too much detail, I put up the thickest walls to guard my heart. I had unintentionally did so much more damage to my mental health and self-esteem that it affected the way I formed all relationships – professional, friendships, familial, everything. After the last blow to my heart, my now partner came along. To keep it short and simple, I had to learn to be loved.

How does one learn to be loved?

Learning to be loved is a process. I love my partner with all of my heart, but I spent a lot of time apologizing because he absorbed some of the reactions from the trauma I had experienced. He has been so patient and a God-send. Our relationship isn’t perfect. We have overcome our own obstacles, but we’re in it to win it. We’re learning and growing; we’re very supportive of one another. We make an effort to communicate instead of sweeping issues under the rug. I’m still learning. I never really felt unconditional love. It’s like I’m fighting against myself sometimes. I will admit that learning to be in a relationship was the result of not want to relive trauma and wanting better for myself.

In an effort to continue the healing process, I decided to reach out and find out what had been the experience of others. I created a SurveyMonkey and shared it on Facebook. The survey posed general questions about how respondents learned about dating, how they learned about relationships, and how what they learned impacted past, current, and future relationship. There were 21 responses for the survey.

Without further ado, here are the survey results.

The answers were diverse and intriguing. I will say that if you have children or mentor young people, please make it a point to teach them to communicate, set expectations, and don’t assume they know about life situations. We are here to guide and support them. Our fears or lack of knowledge can lead to some undesirable outcomes. We struggled, but they don’t have to struggle and make the same mistakes we did.

What are your thoughts on dating, relationships and communication?

Leave a comment or send an email to naturalurbanllc@gmail.com. Let’s start a dialogue to help younger generations.

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