If your emotional fridge is empty, you could make a mistake and end up with a more bitter than sweet sweetheart.
Do you know how to choose a watermelon? That’s something I did not know for years, so I would do what I saw other people do. I would look at how people did it. Some would smell it, others would knock on it. Still others would turn it around and give it a good look. The problem is even as I was imitating the melon pickers, I had no idea what it was I should look for or avoid. In fact if I saw some yellowish dirty patch on the watermelon, I thought it was bad and did not choose that particular one. A few times, I even asked a few people who seemed knowledgeable to choose one for me. I have since learned, from one of the people I asked to choose for me, that it’s a good sign for a ripe watermelon!!!!
We often follow the same method to choose a sweetheart. We look at what others (our parents did), we assume that’s what we should do too. If we belong to the minority who saw their parents have a healthy and loving marriage, our mate picking radar is well calibrated. Otherwise, when we really don’t know what is truly important and healthy, we buy based on appearances and we often avoid someone who is right and just ripe for a good relationship because they lack the shine factor.
Or sometimes, we don’t spend much time choosing. We take the first person who shows interest, while it would never occur to us to grab the chicken or bag of apples because it was the last one on the shelf. Unless we were really starving.
How do you know if your emotional fridge is empty? First, your fridge could be empty because you have just been dumped, or because you have not been in a relationship for a while or your last partner made you believe you were flawed and nobody would ever want you. Maybe your fridge has been empty since childhood because that was a time when nobody could fill it well. When our emotional fridge is empty, we think this is our only chance to have a relationship, we tell ourselves that we are too old, that we are not pretty enough, that this is the last boat. We become clingy. We obsess over our looks. We do too much. We give too much. We let our life and our interests go. We excuse poor behaviours. We obsess over everyting. We become insecure and jealous. We don’t inspect to evaluate whether this is the same kind of “love” that got us sick before, or if it shows signs of toxic mould (people who criticize you, your appearance, put you down, make off-hand jokes, use you, laugh at you, how you look, what you are trying to accomplish, etc., etc., etc.)
Is your emotional frideg empty? What would fill it?
-The first way to fill your emotional fridge is to learn to love your own company. I know, you probably heard this before. I can assure you it’s true. Learning to love your own company is more than spending your evenings vegging out in front of the tv. It means getting to the point where your time alone is so precious you will not give it up unless you are getting quality company. See how this is important. You will not accept a date or to go out just because you are bored or lonely. It won’t guarantee that you will find your sweetheart, but what it will guarantee is that you will be happy, even without a sweetheart. This is the foundation and there is no shortcut.
-The second thing you need to do is to find activities that you love to fill your days. Activities with others and activities and creative pursuits you can do alone, when there is a snowstorm and you are trapped in the house for the whole weekend.
-Nurture your family relationships. Visit and invite your family over for brunch or a game of cards or to watch a movie. Make time to call your kids or parents regularly.
-Grow a small group of friends. Here quality is better than quantities. I distinguish friends from activitiy buddies. Close friends are those you can confide in and count on and they can also count on you.
-If you like group sports or activities, find a group to walk or play bridge, or go to movies. Meetup has thousands of different groups, for all ages.
-If you have the time and energy, get involved in your community as a volunteer. Some require that you commit for a number of months, others need volunteers once in a while, for a few hours, or a day. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new potential friends.
-If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of filling your emotional fridge, get support. Find a good therapist to help you heal what’s keeping you stuck.
Loving your own company and enjoying your life will help immunizing you against “buying” out of fear, boredom or loneliness.
Did you ever settle for the last “chicken”? If you find this post useful, please share on social media and with your friends. Please let me know how it was useful for you in the comments section.