I’ve seen it all too often where a woman who has big dreams for her future, puts her plans on hold when she begins a new relationship. Of course men fall victim to the monster too. The monster is called LOVE. They say love makes you do crazy things (LUST too), and apparently it also makes you forget; forget about YOU. In my late teens and early twenties I was a victim of “love.” I put my focus on my boyfriend, instead of on the goals I’d set for myself. The relationship was new, so he and I were together all the time. The more time I spent with my man, the less time I focused on myself. At the time I was in school, and although I attended classes, my focus was elsewhere. I’d hang out with my boyfriend after school, go home to quickly “study,” then it was phone time with my boyfriend. There was obviously too much focus on him. I could blame my actions on my youth, but I know grown women and men who are victims of new “love.” I know someone (31 years old) who when he is single, talks about going back to school for his Bachelor’s degree to pursue a career in Engineering. Almost immediately after being smitten with a woman, his focus changes from moving forward to being stagnate. He’ll suddenly decides he doesn’t have time for school because he has to work overtime at his job to afford lavish dates for his new girlfriend. His focus gets lost in the sauce, if you know what I mean (again lust). It’s frustrating to see this pattern among women and men (especially grown women and men), which led me to ask why we lose focus of self in new relationships, and what is the solution to being a victor and not a victim of love.
As I previously mentioned, age has nothing to do with being a victim of love. A lack of self-esteem plays a major role in why people revert their attention to their partner, rather than themselves. During my experience, I know I had low self-esteem. I thought if I wasn’t available to my boyfriend, I would lose him. I knew there were plenty of fish in the sea that were willing to catch his bait, so I made sure to give him my undivided attention. Previous to that relationship I took pride in being a good student, but the pride in my schoolwork dissipated once I found “love.” Low self-esteem is the same reason why my acquaintance abruptly changes his plans for college. I can time his actions perfectly. When he’s newly single, he’s ambitious and motivated to pursue his dream, but as soon as he gets into a relationship, he derails his dreams. His low self-esteem is largely in part to him feeling obligated to financially support his girlfriend. He is most likely fearful that if he doesn’t appear financially stable, he will lose the girlfriend. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he is fearful to go back to school at his age, but it’s clear he fears the inability to find a woman who is accepting of his low income and his college objectives at 31 years old. It is sad, but true, that low self-esteem is the silent trigger to an unhealthy relationship. It is an unhealthy and imbalanced relationship when both parties don’t have individual goals. A relationship is only healthy and balanced when the individual goals come together, and a couple motivates one another to achieve their aspirations. Before this can happen, each person within the relationship has to recognize their worth and love themselves first!
In previous posts I’ve discussed the importance of self-love, and honestly it is the only solution. If you don’t have confidence and love for yourself, then everything you say and do will exude low self-esteem. Don’t take single life for granted. Use that time to reflect on relationship patterns, your direction in life, or lack thereof. It’s easy to boost the ego, especially coming out of a bad relationship, by making empty promises to yourself such as “I’m going back to school” or “I’m going to start a business.” However, the instant someone shows you attention, you’re back where you started. It’s easy to get motivated once a relationship has ended, but it’s harder to maintain that motivation once a new relationship has began, especially with low self-esteem. You may have to refocus some aspects of your life when entering into a relationship, but don’t lose focus! Embrace love, but don’t fall victim to it (lust too;))…Dating Do and Dating Don’t!