Updated: Dec 31, 2021
When I left my marriage, I pondered the idea of how to make sure this NEVER HAPPENED AGAIN. How to stay safe. How to ensure a lasting relationship. My fear of getting into another toxic relationship prompted me to set RULES to keep me safe.
Some of the conventional rules I heard around me were:
Don’t date for at least a year.
You need to “focus on yourself”.
You need to “heal your codependency” before you get into another relationship.
You should date someone for at least a year before getting serious.
Don’t go fast. Reign in your emotions. Don’t trust your feelings - they will deceive you.
Don’t get physical. Nail down a commitment or even get married before you go there.
Play it safe in dating, to make sure you won’t get screwed over in marriage.
Be calculating and cautious. Be suspicious and tough. Don’t get burned at any cost..
Fortunately, through all of the relationship trauma I had experienced, I had learned a thing or two about trusting my own intuition. I had learned a thing or two abut fear based decisions and the illusion that rules keep us safe. When I quieted the fears and leaned in to what my intuition had to say, my heart begged for a different path.
My intuition prompted me to:
Allow my heart to stay open and soft to love.
Have the courage to take risks, even when I didn’t know how it would turn out.
Practice loving and taking care of myself, regardless of my relationship status.
Lean into my own intuitive insights and prompting, even when it wildly “broke the rules”.
Develop my internal security, not based on trusting my partner, but rather my trust in myself to have my own back.
Identify and address any temptations to betray myself that were triggered in the dating process.
And I was COMMITTED to following my intuition. Although following a culturally approved set of rules could have given me the illusion of safety, having the courage to allow my intuition to lead was scary. It meant whatever attachment I allowed myself to make with another human being, the attachment to myself was greater. It meant my own values trumped my desire for connection, even when that meant facing letting go of someone I didn’t necessarily want to let go of.
Following my INNER BOSS required so much more of me than following the accepted societal dating rules and never gave me a false sense of security. It never claimed to be less risky or more likely to end in a lifelong marriage. The only thing my INNER BOSS assures me of is the greatest thing I could ever have - THE GUARANTEE I WON’T LOSE MYSELF.