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Find Yourself Before You Find Love

Woman in the sun

“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” ~Alan Watts

After a few years of living through the betrayal and anger of my divorce, my friends decided it was time for me to start dating again.

They took me out to the bars, dressed me up, bought me drinks, and showed all the men how cute I was.

I didn’t feel cute. I felt like a fraud.

The bar scene was not for me. I felt like a piece of meat wrapped in cellophane on the shelf waiting for a man to decide which one he’d like to eat.

I dressed up in my newly skinny body and looked the part of the fun loving girl, but inside all I felt was desperation.

I put on makeup so men would think I was pretty.

I exercised so my body would look good for others to gaze at.

I smiled and giggled so men would think I was fun and funny.

I didn’t feel fun, funny, pretty, or like I wanted to be looked at. I felt scared.

I kept grasping at a portrait of who I wanted everyone to think I was. I so wanted to be this picture perfect representation that I thought men wanted. I wanted a man to like me so I could feel loved and validated.

I finally realized my imaginary self-portrait was who others wanted, not who I wanted to be now. I was not being true to my new self.

So I trashed the portrait, went home, and got my act together.

I wanted to find love again but not like this. Not by picking up someone in a bar who was looking for love in all the wrong places, just like I was doing. I needed to learn to love myself, because no one else could do it for me.

I wanted to find love by knowing who I was. Then I could find someone who complemented me. So I stopped going out and started to learn who I was, what I wanted in life, and what I deserved in a man.

What I did learn from speaking to men in bars is that real men want real women. I decided to learn how to be real. Learning how to be real would require some investigative research on my part. I had lost myself in my marriage. It was time to find me.

I decided to step out of my proverbial box. I had to try new things and figure out what activities I liked, and which ones I needed to stay away from.

I traveled to developing countries. I had my palm read and visited a mind reader. I went kayaking, took up road biking, hiked on volcanoes, rode zip lines through the rain forest, joined book clubs, learned to meditate, I found out what tai chi was.

I started to visit international restaurants. I went to museums and hung out in coffee shops. I got my yoga teacher certification and started to teach. I tried things I had always wanted to do but never could while I was married.

I had fun. I learned that I favored Thai food over Italian food. I learned that I can ride thirty-five miles on a bike and love it. I learned things about me I never knew.

I stopped wearing most of the makeup I had worn thinking it made me look good so men would like me. Instead, I decided to look good for myself.

I stared at myself in the mirror and told myself over and over that I am beautiful, even though I didn’t believe it. The more I told myself I was beautiful, the more I began to feel good about myself. 

I wanted my beauty to be defined by my self-confidence, which began to return when I started to truly believe in what I began to represent.

I started to dress the way I wanted to feel, not the way I wanted to be looked at. I wanted free flowing clothes that I could move in. I wanted to be able to feel my body, not the clothes pinching me.

I started to exercise because it made me feel good, not so I would look good. I accomplished both by doing what I wanted for me, not for them. I found exercise that I loved to do. I increased my yoga practice and kept on walking. I took up rowing and increased my biking.

I stopped going to bars to meet men. Instead, I went to the occasional bar to hang out with friends and to be social.

I stopped looking at men as the answer to my problems and started looking at myself to solve them.

I realized I needed to know what my interests were if I wanted to attract a man who shared them.

When I learned what I liked, I became happier than I had ever been before. I learned to be true to myself, not someone else.

I realized that I had been incomplete without the self-knowledge required to define my own boundaries, my likes, and my dislikes. Without knowing what my boundaries were, I could never attract a person into my life that could live within them. I had never known how to define and stand up for my own beliefs.

When I felt confident with my new self, I joined a dating site. I was far more aware of the kind of person I wanted to attract because I knew who I was.

Writing my profile specifically for what I wanted and how I wanted a man to treat me was far better than telling someone to take me on a romantic date, when I couldn’t define what I thought a romantic date was.

So get on with it. What are you waiting for? Get out there and experience life. Find out who and what you are. Live life by yourself. Be happy by yourself. It’s your life; make it what you want. Don’t look for someone else to do it for you, because they can’t. Only you can know who you really are.

About Melissa Terrels

Melissa Terrels is a yoga instructor living in Southern NJ. She spends her time taking care of her daughter and learning about life. Her passions are introducing people to the benefits of yoga, art, friendship and nature.

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  • Kurogane

    I like this post!

  • Tim

    Very cool post. It sounds like you really enjoyed yourself. I’m curious about the boundaries part. How do you set up and mantain boundaries? What were the boundaries that you needed to help you find happiness?

  • Martine

    I love this post! It is such good advice and helps me remember what I set out to do after the end of my relationship and how I’ve sort of gotten away from that. Look at all of these nourishing activities you have found for yourself! I hope you have learned that you can live a rich life with or without a partner. I’m still working on developing that mindset… It’s nice to see someone else on that path.

  • Naira

    Beautiful post:-)!!!!!!I am following that path right now…Reading your post has really inspired and motivated me!

  • naira

    Yes, please, I agree with Tim. Can you please define that? Any book you read?

  • Meelie

    This is exactly what I’m in the process of doing right now. I just got out of a difficult relationship and am wondering who I really am outside that context. Great read, thank you!

  • Myles Cummings

    Good post-until the ‘I joined a dating site’ bit..

  • Guest

    Yes, great up to the ‘I joined a dating site ” bit… just because you know/respect/like yourself better doesn’t mean you know the kind of person you want to attract. You might be completely surprised that they don’t tick your boxes or you might prefer to stay independently single.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Tim,
    Boundaries are tricky, at least they were for me. I wasn’t aware of what I wanted so I did whatever people asked me to do. I would just go along with whatever they suggested. For instance, my ex and children like to ride any motorized vehicles they could find. My ex would ask me to go, so I would. I didn’t want to go but I thought it would be enjoyable for him if I went, so I did. We would travel out into the cold at an alarming speed, I would stand around and watch him have fun, then we would get back on the machines and go home. I didn’t have fun. I would have had more fun sitting by the fire reading a book. Had I had boundaries I would have said “no, you go have fun in the snow and I will read my book by the fire.” My boundaries were crossed because I didn’t feel safe going really fast, I told him that and he went fast anyway. I didn’t have to go fast but I might have gotten lost in the woods if I didn’t and I wanted to prove I could hang with the men. Ego, I know. It’s complicated, but by finding out where my boundaries are in regard to safety and what I like to do I now know I can have a conversation with someone and let them know what I am willing to do and stand up for myself if I don’t want to to something. Sounds like a blog post!

  • Sara

    Wow this is so inspiring! I haven’t been through a divorce but I’ve experienced a few relationships which have traumatised me into starting again because I didn’t know how to. But, like you, I started searching for things and trying things out and doing the things I didn’t know how to do when I was in a relationship. I discovered Yoga and meditation and I love it so much and it helps me learn how to define myself. This is a great article, I can’t thank you enough for sharing this story. I wish you the best in your life and I also hope you do find someone who you are happy with and who is happy with you too. Namaste.

  • Graham

    Thank you for this, it made me see something about myself that I can be proud of – and provided an opportunity to finally see a similarity in the emotion, rather than the differences in fact.

    Unlike you, and many I read about, I knew at a very early age that I would never find comfort in the expectations of others – regardless of exceeding them or just “breaking even.”

    Or at least the only one I wanted it from.

    And though choosing to be “nobody” has clearly been the wrong path (for me) to take, I can at least be proud that I never once submitted to being “defined.” I allowed the “moment” to dictate my responses; I allowed my need to be liked by everyone to shape how I responded; I made many choices that were – perhaps – not “ideal.” (yeah, yeah, yeah – they were perfect for me; brought me to this realization, yada, yada…. I’m getting there, don’t rush me, lol)

    The one thing (that I can recognize so far) that a child knows that adults forget that I managed to never loose sight of:

    Don’t ever let yourself be “locked-in” to anything.

  • Graham

    Though I forgot the “even yourself” part.

  • Cat

    Thank you for this post. This is exactly how I feel. My friends keep hassling me to go out and meet someone or get into a relationship with any guy that’s interested in me. But I don’t want to yet. I’m still on this journey of discovering all the different elements to me. All my likes and dislikes and interests and passions. I am happy and grateful to be on my own right now. I want to full 100% unconditionally in love with myself and I’ll know I will attract the right guy when the time is right.

  • Sophia Tan Chay Lee

    This article comes to me at exactly the right time. I broke up with my ex last year and have spent the time rethinking what I really want in a man. Recently I thought I’d met the right one, but he does not love me back, so I was back in a rut thinking how everything was going wrong. But your article spoke right to my heart. Now I know it’s not about the man- it’s about me. Thank you. 🙂

  • Diane Boudreau

    I suppose this is great advice for someone who gets divorced and has the opportunity to really focus on themselves before seeking out love. But some of us married young and overall the marriage is good, but we realize later on that we didn’t fully know our own boundaries/needs when we got involved. In addition, boundaries and needs aren’t static–they change all the time. Part of being in a relationship is learning to navigate our own and our partner’s changes. You *won’t* know yourself completely before getting into a relationship–it’s not possible because who you are will change. A good relationship will accommodate those changes (not always easily, but it will). It is possible to figure out who you are and what you want without throwing away the relationship you had prior to figuring that out. No, not all relationships can survive it, but some can. And if you’re out there looking for love, it’s probably better to find someone who respects you as a person and is willing to learn and change as time goes on than someone who meets every one of the needs you have at this moment.

  • Coraline

    I had to write in. You just wrote about me, my life, what I am doing right now and trying and discovering without knowing or naming it. Living true to myself and finding the love and validation within, after it seems centuries of looking in the wrong places. And I seem to have taken exactly the same actions that you seem to have done. I still wont say I am in a happy place but I am definitely in a peaceful one! And I know I am on the right path. . . expressed so well.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Guest,
    Thanks for your response and while I don’t agree, I respect your right to say it. Fortunately, we are all individuals and get to decide for ourselves how we live. My choice is that I want to be in a loving relationship and not live alone. If you want to live independently single, that is your choice and I respect that.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Guest,
    Thank you for you comment. I’m sorry you didn’t like the dating site comment but I choose to write honestly. For me, the dating site worked. I hope your choices work for you.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thank you Naira,
    Good luck with your pursuits!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Martine,
    Thank you for your comment. I have been out of my relationship for over 5 years and have learned a lot about myself. While I loved my time getting to know myself and living singly, I am the kind of person that enjoys spending time with another person. I still live independently with someone who is also independent. It’s a great path for me to follow.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks Kurogane!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Meelie,
    Have fun on your journey!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Naira,
    Thanks for your comment. The book question is a great question. I haven’t read any specific boundary books but I looked it up on Amazon and there are quite a few to choose from. For me, I was aware where I had let my boundaries slip, it was more of a feeling then a thought process. I have the Tiny Buddha book that I always refer to, it has great insights. I also read Eckhert Tolle and Michael Singer and lots of others I keep for reference. If you find a good one, let me know.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Coraline,
    It’s kind of fun, isn’t it? I am still on my journey and find myself falling back into old bad habits. It’s when I lose my awareness this happens. If it feels right, stay on your path. Good luck!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Diane,
    Your comment is actually my story. I married young and we both changed. The divorce was not my choice. Unfortunately, both people need to want to stay and grow together. I would have liked to have had that opportunity. My story is a bit more complicated then can be written about here and what I have learned is that we all have our own stories with twists and turns that have made our lives what they are. And you are right, “a good relationship will accommodate those changes”. I am sorry to say I did not have a good relationship with room for accommodation. Thank you for your comment, it has a lot of truth to it that more people need to hear.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Sophia,
    Thanks for your comment. I have learned that sometimes two people just aren’t meant for each other. It’s not about a rut, or you, or him. Sometimes things going wrong are also signals that things need to change or are actually going right, if that makes sense! Good luck on your journey!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Cat,
    My friends pestered me too. I finally relented just to get them off my back (boundary issues again). Have fun learning who you are!

  • Sophia Tan Chay Lee

    Hey Melissa! Thanks for writing back, and yes- you’re right! I really like the positive way you look at it. I was very much in a comfort zone and it’s the universe sending all these signs for me to butt out! feel so much better now, thank you. 🙂

  • Melissa Terrels

    🙂

  • Navy

    I love this post!! I can totally relate to this because I also had came to this realization towards the end of the year last year. I allowed one man to consume my life and thoughts that I lost focus of myself and who I was, what I wanted. He lived his life but I wasn’t living mine. In the end, it didn’t end up working out, and I too didn’t know who I was or what I liked or wanted. This past year I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been, trying new things and experiences, whether it’s with friends or on my own. I realized I was missing out on life. I didn’t know who I was and part of me didn’t like who I was at that time either. At the end of the day, we all have to do what’s best for ourselves. I’m glad that things have turned out really well for you, best of luck with your journey. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  • Melissa Terrels

    Graham,
    Thank you for the really thought provoking reply. I pranced through life into my 40’s with no awareness of anyone other than me and my immediate family. It’s amazing you had that ability at such a young age.
    I’m not sure what you mean by the “nobody” comment. Everyone is somebody, which is defined by ourselves, not society. A hard concept for me to understand at times…
    Living in the moment is a work in progress for me, it’s really hard at times. But the practice allows me to not be “locked-in” to anything, I hope…

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks Navy, good for you! Sounds like you’re on the right life path too!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks Sara,
    It’s a work in progress!

  • Sara

    You’re welcome, and yes, it is, but behind it lays so much opportunity!
    And reading this has actually been a boost, so thanks again! 😀

  • Sara

    Hey Cat, I’ve experienced this too! It can be annoying and sometimes you can feel guilty for saying no because you know that their intention is to help you, but it’s the way that they do it that makes it worse for you. I too am alone but in all honesty it’s actually a good time to think of yourself and build trust, love, respect and compassion within you before sharing it with someone else. You can’t build a bridge without the foundation, same goes to your relationship with yourself. And indeed, you will attract the right guy when the Universe feels it’s right for you, because you are the Universe, and when you’re ready, the Universe is ready for you. Namaste to you 😀

  • Guest

    Hi Melissa, No I haven’t choosen the single option 🙂 but ended a 25 yr marriage, had 5 yrs happily single exploring great places which is why I connected with your post.. and the dating site worked for me, but the man I found is definitely not what I thought I’d be looking for and I was really surprised by that and a lot of our interests are different and yet it’s a fantastic relationship. I just wanted to point out that my experience has been you can have a great loving relationship and have some different interests and you might think you know what you are looking for on that dating site, but you might have it all wrong. If I hadn’t looked outside of what I thought I needed in a relationship I wouldn’t have found him.

  • Sally Brown

    Thank you for this lovely post. I have just recently gone through a divorce and learned that it didn’t work because I didn’t know who I was and didn’t have boundaries. Because of that, I attracted a guy who stepped all over my heart. I am now enjoying life and have decided that I will set boundaries and focus on the things that I enjoy–my job, friends, animals and realize that my own fulfillment will make me a better partner in the future.

  • lv2terp

    BEAUTIFUL and powerful message! Thank you for sharing your experience, and one that I believe is truly vital and the gateway to people’s happiness and complimenting each other instead of completing each other (which only leads to disappointment the majority of the time!) Well stated words of wisdom!!! 🙂

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Guest, I agree with that. The dating site I used was not one where I looked. It matched me with common interests, there was no “shopping.” The “shopping” sites scared me! I have even found, now that I am in a relationship, that it is still constant work. I also try to re-define “need” in a relationship. That’s why I did all the work on myself. I wanted to be whole so the only need I would have is the need to really want to spend time with the man I am with. Does that make sense?

  • Amen!! ‘Finding Yourself Before Finding Love’; I can’t stress the importance of this! There are tons of people that get into relationships/ marriage, and they never learned how to be one with themselves before trying to be one with another. Self discovery gives us the opportunity to find and fill our own voids, so we are able to be whole as individuals. When you show up as self-fulfilled person in a relationship there will be no need to yearn for a partner to complete you. If you’re just coming out of a relationship/ marriage, I definitely believe there needs to be a break to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate. Once you rediscover who you are, build up confidence, and are crystal-clear on what you want, then you can jump back in the dating world. Great post & advice!

  • dottie pastrano

    Having been divorced for 2 years now, I have yet to discover myself. Your blog has made me realize that I haven’t been living a life that I need to live. Thank you for liberating me! One of the things I want to do is travel and I know it will take much of my energy and finances to do that but I’ll find a way to do it, somehow, one day, soon. 🙂

  • Melissa Terrels

    Shawna,
    Thanks for your remarks, right on target!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Good luck Sally! It’s a fun ride and well worth it.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Dottie,
    It took me years to do the work. Good luck and have fun!

  • Gina

    I can’t tell you how much I can relate to this post. Thank you for sharing!

  • Rainbow

    This is beautiful!! I’m having a very similar experience with dating. Reading this has made me realize that I too have to step back from dating, and focus on myself, that’s the healthiest thing I can do for me and others. Thank you for writing this!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks Rainbow!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks Gina!

  • Janine

    This is a fantastic post! Love!!

  • porterman

    this says it all in a nutshell. I wish i had not jumped from one relationship to the other and had the opportunity to get to know myself as you did, to do the things i couldn’t do in my last relationship. now I have to summon the strength and courage to figure my way out of this mess. thanks for the great article.

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Porterman,
    Thanks for your comment. Everyday you get to start over. You have the strength, just make the decision to do it! One day at a time. Good luck!

  • rose

    so inspiring at my current state… would really need to enjoy life, discover myself and be happy on my own! 🙂

  • Melissa Terrels

    Hi Rose,
    I enjoyed learning about myself. Take some time and get on with it!

  • Melissa Terrels

    Thanks Janine!

  • Lina Romanova

    Beautiest Girls I’ve ever seen, I love them !!!
    http://youtu.be/UW233Z8BKk8

  • Olga

    Thank you for such an amazing post. It’s really helpful and inspiring. I can’t stop smiling and thinking about all the fun stuff I wanna do now.

  • Hi Olga,
    There’s a whole world out there waiting for you! Go find it!

  • Gerardo Ivan Morales

    Hi! Thanks so much for sharing this experience. I’m in a situation right now where I’m not married but I’ve been in a relationship for 3 years. I jumped into this relationship within a year of my last relationship ending. A lot of times I feel like I still have not had the time to discover who I am and it’s becoming very difficult to reciprocate the love coming from my partner. I wanted to get your take on why you feel you could not find yourself when you were married? Often times, I tell myself that I’m using that as an excuse to find an “out” in my relationship, and that there is nothing holding me down to find who I am. I think part of it is a fear that as I spend the time finding who I am, I will be neglecting and dragging along my partner only to discover we don’t share the same interests/passions. I’m at a cusp where I feel if I don’t decide soon I’m going to jump into something where I can’t find who I am and can’t give my hear completely, or decide to fly solo again. I’d love your input on this dilemma.

  • Keith HG

    I would like to add – that as a man I am going through nearly the same experience, the bars, the feeling that I need to attract, the expectations of others.

    I recently had these revelation as part of my on-going process to improve every aspect of my being. I’ve been exploring my likes and doing new activities, now I’m thinking of writing a page or two about the person I think I want to be, then spot the inconsistencies and finally putting down in words who I really am and where to go from here.

    If anyone has any additional tips on this process I’d love to hear them.

  • t

    I am happier than I have felt in a long time. A relationship and brief marriage completely destroyed my sense of self and self worth. Stupidly I began quickly looking for someone to fill the void and another 2 failed relationships with men who were so emotionally weak and it was again one sided! So as my ex husband had said I “looked ill” and “you should see someone” after finding out some unsavoury truths about the man I had met online and a six month relationship – I ended it – I took my ex husbands advice and began seeing a councilor. And with her great advice I chose to no longer put myself in a vulnerable position. Concentrate on what is really important. And now my life is on track. I am driving it’s direction, and I am creating my own success with my rediscovered self. So the above article has alot of very good points, but why not just carry on with what you want to do without pushing to meet someone else

  • Hi Keith,
    Absolutely write down what you are looking for. A good idea is to consider starting a focus board where you write down what you want and meditate on it. There are many resources online. Tiny Buddha may have a few too. If you know what you want in your heart, you will attract it into your life. Good luck!

  • Hi Gerardo,
    That’s a great question with a long complicated answer. I was married for 24 years and fell into a lot of bad habits. Looking back I see them clearly but I was blinded to them then. I didn’t know how to say what I wanted and felt trapped. I don’t really know your situation but I always believe honesty is the best policy. Maybe you should have this conversation with your partner. Open honest communication is always a great place to start. Good luck.

  • dina

    Omg so beautiful and inspirational, thank you for sharing your story 🙂 x

  • Trish Chasity

    Every thing you said here in the article is the truth and it helps aus cope with who we are and what are purpose is in life

  • t,
    I’m happy to hear that counseling has worked for you. It worked for me too. For me, once I felt like I knew myself, I learned that I wanted to share my full life with another person. We are all different and there is no judgment on what anyone else wants. If you are fine by yourself, that is awesome! Enjoy, and thanks for the comment.

  • Thanks for the comment!

  • Gene

    So well written Melissa, that’s what it is all about. It is amazing to hear someone else reinforce it and not always be the one to just tell others. Thank you for that because I needed a reminder! God bless you!

  • mayra

    I enjoyed reading this, but would like to know how you can make time to find yourself when you are a single working mom.

  • Me

    Thank you for sharing! gives me some hope

  • jeremy

    Excellent post. Very helpful and relevant to my current situation. Thank you.

  • viki

    Thank you s much for this post its very inspirimg. Alot of the times I wanted to have somone to make me happy to fill my emptiness inside of me but I learn it is me frist to change and be happy with myself frist rather then waiting for somone to make me happy.

  • hiwhatsup

    If that is true. Why do I see a lot of people that are married with children? I’m just wondering. Even obviously my own mother and father. Why do lots of people get married and have babies and kids? I see it all the time because I work in customer service job (cashier at a local retailer pharmacy).

  • Thank you Gene:)

  • Hi Mayra,
    If you are a single working mom, your child(ren) are your priority. I understand and empathize with the dilemma. My children are mostly grown so I had some free time.

    In your position, I would recommend moments. While driving in the car notice what you are listening to. If it’s stressful, change it. Soft music, a book on tape.

    Get up 5 minutes early and sit with a cup of tea. Just take a moment for yourself.

    Sit by the bed for 3 minutes while your children sleep and gaze at them being grateful for their health.

    While making dinner or grocery shopping, try and find something pleasant about what you are experiencing at the moment.

    Changing your life isn’t about one big step. It’s about the moments. One moment eventually makes two. The moments then grow exponentially.

    Know that you are doing the best you can at this time. With time comes change and growth. Visiting this site shows you want something more.

    Good luck and try to smile. Smiling does change your inward life and makes others look at your differently.

    Melissa

  • Thanks Viki for your comment!

  • lisa

    Thank u darling

  • HonestRealGoodAnswer

    The hardest thing today is finding love for many of us good single men, and for our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, it was so much more easier for them since the times were so much different years ago. Today with so many women now that are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, and very money hungry, really speaks for itself since so many women want the best and won’t settle for less at all which their really to blame why many of us men are still single now that so many women have their Careers which many of them are making a very high salary that many of us men are Not making. So as you can see for us men it is very difficult trying to find a good woman that isn’t like that to settle down with. And years ago many men and women had to Struggle to make ends meat and Accepted one another for who we were since both men and women in those days Hardly made any money to begin with. A complete change today from years ago.

  • Liv

    Hi Melissa, this article really spoke to me, I am currently married and Lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t know who I am or what I want in life, I don’t think I ever have. I’ve always looked for love from men, attention from men and realized that all along I never looked for it from me. I want to find out who I really am and what I really want because I have not liked who I’ve been for so many years. I have made mistakes and hurt people due to my mistakes and in the end it makes me feel miserable but I continue to do it. I’ve come to a point in my life where I no longer want to continue that path and I want to find out who I am and truly love myself as I am. My concern in my marriage, we’ve been married for almost 4 years and we’ve had so many problems, Infedelity on my end has been one of them. I feel like I want out so I can find out who I am and what I truly want, but I’m afraid of hurting him even more, and he doesn’t want to quit on our marriage. He claims I am quitting on our marriage and that I don’t have to go through this path alone. I am very confused and don’t know how to approach this. Any suggestions?
    Confused soul

  • Hi Confused Soul. Finding who you are and what you want is essential for living life fully. Knowing what I did not do in my past, the changes I would make would be to find a good therapist earlier. In any relationship, you can only work on yourself. Get a therapist to help you dig into yourself and ask the tough questions. Are you hurting your spouse by not showing up as yourself? Who is showing up if it’s not you? By finding our who you are you may not need to “quit”. Your spouse may be willing to go for the ride with you. Change takes work and getting out of your comfort zone. When you push up against something uncomfortable, question why it is uncomfortable. Usually it’s our own blocks, not someone else’s that make us uncomfortable. Good luck! Melissa

  • I agree it’s hard honestrealgoodanswer but if you are grounded in your truth and who you are then you will spot the money diggers right away. What our culture teaches us we don’t have to listen to. We have a choice. Women can have careers and love. They need men who are secure in who they are and can accept the women as equals. Change is hard but change is a guarantee. We all need to adapt to the change that we will all face in life. Thanks for the comment, Melissa

  • Tanya

    Hey Melissa, I came across this post because I am a bit lost. I have been on many dating sites and been on many dates but don’t seem to meet the ‘right’ guy! I think I’ve started to become desperate. I have now decided to come off of these sites to try and find myself. I’m not quite sure how, even at 45 I am still not quite sure what I am really interested in or what my passions are. I really do want to share my life with someone, someone normal and uncomplicated. But perhaps we all need to find ourselves first like you did aye? Thank you for this article, even though it seems such a long time ago.

  • Tanmay Bepari

    very honest and inspiring thanks mam

  • Wande

    Ladies and Gentlemen, please don’t let society dictate how to live your life. Always be true to yourself and know that you are your own best friend. It’s great to be single and satisfied, and it’s also great to be married. Just make sure that which ever of the 2 choices you make, it’s 100% your choice and not someone else’s.

  • SM

    Hey… This article is really helpful for me.. I was in a relationship and I broke up few months back. I was so despaeate to get back in to the relationship again I was trying to fix everything but I was losing myself in the process of loving someone else.. I used to think the motto of life is to find true love.. And always put love and my bf before me.. Which was my biggest mistake.. I was completely lost in life and love.. This break up taught me a lot about life.. After my break up I Joined a dating site and was trying to get over of my break up I talked to lots of guys but I know I was not happy from inside.. I realised I don’t need any man to make me happy I need myself. I am trying to find what I am and what do I want from my self. And I believe I will find myself soon. 🙂

  • john smith

    Very nice, but doesn’t tell me how I’ll get another girlfriend without hanging around pubs/bars??

  • Aditya Kaushik

    Thank you so much ma’am.

  • tombotvez

    Thank you. This helped me.