Whether you’re desperate or not, whether you are intending to come across that way or not, if you’re telling yourself things like “I must,” I have to” and “It is a catastrophe if they don’t love me,” then you are putting yourself into a state of desperation and panic, a state that screams, “I need. I want.” The state you need to be in to succeed is the state that can honestly reflect everything you want and value. It can also be a state that says, “I have a lot to give.” The difference between these mental states is all about your internal reality and the kinds of things you’ve been telling yourself. Don’t think that your social mask, your attempt to be “cool” about it, will fix the problem. You actually need to change what you are saying to yourself as well as how you think and feel. You need to relax, lighten up and realize that you don’t “have to have” an ongoing relationship in order to be okay.
Look over the following list of statements and circle all the ones that you’ve said to yourself or that apply to you:
- I must make this work because if I don’t, I am a loser.
- If I don’t get married by thirty-five, I’ll die alone.
- I must be a loser because everybody in my family and life is getting into meaningful relationships but me
- There must be something wrong with me because no one asks me out a second time.
- I need to please him in order to keep this relationship going, because it is so humiliating to be alone.
- I need his approval or this person will dump me like all the rest.
- I really am an idiot in relationships.
- If they love and accept me, then I can finally feel okay about myself.
- I don’t know when to stand up and assert myself, because I fear I might ruin the relationship.
- I really want to tell my family that I am successful in a relationship — especially that I am married to the right person.
- I am afraid or depressed most of the time I am with someone, because I fear failure.
- I never “live in the moment” and enjoy a relationship, because I am always worrying about whether or not there is a future with my partner.
- I want to avoid pain at all coasts, and I live in fear that my partner will hurt me.
- No past relationships have worked out, so I never let myself believe that there is one that really will work.
- I know they’re going to leave me eventually, so I’ll “get them” before they get me.
- I need reassurance, so I have to test them by pushing them away to see if they will prove that they care by staying.
- Relationships involve too much stress and drama.
- I am not really good enough for this person.
- I hate myself most of the time in relationships.
- I have to protect myself so that I will not get hurt again.
If you’ve circled even three of the above statements, yes, you are desperate. You’re either desperate to get a partner, or desperate to avoid getting hurt.
If more of your circled statements are numbered 1 through 10, then you are desperately afraid of being alone. If more are numbered 11 through 20, then you fear getting hurt and losing your balance most of all. In either case, you’re undermining your chances for the good relationship that I am assuming you want, given that you’re reading this right now.
You have to be able to decide that you will be okay even if you never find the special someone you are looking for. This means deciding that if you have to be alone you are not a bad person to do it with. It also means believing that in your most authentic state, you are absolutely worthy of having a committed partner of quality. And it means believing that by embracing who you are from the inside out, you will most likely find that quality companion. You need to know and believe that you can be and will be a winner.
*Modified excerpt from “Love Smart: Find the One You Want – Fix the One You Got” by Dr. Phil McGraw.