I am in my early 30s and I have recently begun seeing a really awesome person, and it’s all very unexpected and wonderful. I’m terrified! I’ve never been the marrying type, but I like this person enough that I want them in my life for a while, or however long we’re both happy together — and I know they feel the same about me — but I really don’t want to fuck it up with my insecurity and occasional social awkwardness.
I’ve have two previous serious long-term relationships, and my last one ended about a year and a half ago. I’ve been doing some kind of personal inventory on myself ever since. I dated, I spent a lot of time alone, I cultivated close friends and some new interests, worked at enjoying my job, and generally like myself more these days than I have in a long time and am mostly in a good headspace. I moved to a somewhat remote area recently and in my casing for new and interesting friends somehow managed to cosmically happen upon someone incredible. He makes me laugh, he’s straightforward and communicative, he seems genuine, people who know him really like him, he’s fucking cute and um, etc.
Needless to say, I’m pretty head over heels for him, which is wonderful and totally scary. I have some pretty serious trust issues, and while I recognise that I will never be perfect (and don’t want to be!) I’m not sure that I can be a good partner, and this makes me reluctant to enter in a new (and likely serious) relationship if I can’t ‘act like an adult’, whatever that means. I’m super nervous when I’m introducing him to people in my life, and I’m afraid to meet his friends and coworkers because I’m worried that I won’t measure up somehow. (His work is more ‘important’ than mine! He makes more money than I do! He certainly doesn’t make me feel this way, but I feel really inadequate next to him sometimes.) It’s not that I still want to play the field — dating and hooking up occasionally was great and all, but my connection with this person is really different — it’s that I don’t know that I’m okay with myself enough to not burden him with my likely eventual nuttiness, and am so over the moon that I feel like a little kid sometimes. But boy, do I want to try. How can I get over this? How can I learn to accept myself enough and not push away someone that is really offering themselves to me in a positive way?
Chances are you are perfectly lovable as you are. But, just like faith in G-d, we need to cultivate faith in ourselves with steady devotion. This is no easy task. No Ma’am. This can be a struggle, a fall in the mud and smear your face filthy process. But every step counts towards immeasurable results.
Lucky for you there are about 72 hours left for inventory before the upcoming year is sealed. You can hate yourself for not loving yourself, or, within this new relationship you can privately take steps towards self-adoration. There is a chance that he makes you feel inadequate, and there is the other side of blooming blossoming new love: your inadequacies refuse to hide any longer.
So, use these 72 hours to look at what you fear. Trust issues, schmust issues. If he is the one, he is the one. But your work, that inner searching that often comes after a breakup, it also helps to engage such devices during, before, after, and between relationships. During, however, is clutch.
Maybe you need things to slow down, maybe you need to meet those friends of his at a later date. Maybe you wish you made more money or that your job were more “important,” whatever that means. When we fall truly in love we are moving towards a wholer more exquisite version of ourselves. If you feel inadequate and he isn’t saying you are, then guess who is rapping at your door with Negative Nancy? You.
There is no shame in therapy for the sake of love. Maybe you need some extra help reigning in your dark side. Or, maybe you need to start being your own mirror, somehow curbing the conversations in your head, “I feel inadequate.” “I shouldn’t feel inadequate.” “I am inadequate for feeling inadequate.” And so on.
Love, marriage, trust, commitment: these things are a choice. If you choose, then stop indulging the parts of you that are resisting. Nudge them with love, with gentleness, with friends and with life changes towards the image of the woman you believe deserves this amazing love you are experiencing. You might be shocked when you realize you are the perfect worthy other half, and this might not happen until you begin to fall as hard in love with yourself as he has.
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