Meeting Your Own Needs
One of the best things I have done for myself, and invite others to try, especially if they have found themselves in a cycle of unhealthy, unsatisfying, and heartbreaking relationships is to take a substantial amount of time being single and abstinent while intentionally doing inner work and self-reflection.
As long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with falling in love and getting into that relationship that would complete me, the fairy tale that’s sold to us early in life. I discovered my clitoris very early on, maybe three or four years old, and have had a fascination with the development of my sexuality. I have been diving into learning about sex, love, and relationships for over two decades, so it’s no surprise that now I’ve made a career out of helping others in these areas. The heartbreak of ended relationship after another would wear on me, but I always remained hopeful and would jump into the next dream container. I still wanted the fairy tale to be real, this person would be the one. I projected onto them what I wanted to see, their “potential”, and would ignore red flags because I so badly wanted what they were selling me to be real. I had a compulsive urge to be in relationship. Even right after a breakup, I’d go out and hope to get noticed, or even do something desperate to get attention and validation from the men around me. I would weigh my worth against how often I would be caught in the male gaze, who wanted to date me, how often someone would call me, and if they wanted to commit to being with me.
This part of me, that I call the ‘fairy tale princess’ piece got me into a lot of trouble. I ignored my own needs and wants so that I wouldn’t be abandoned. I changed who I was to fit into their world, so I wouldn’t be alone. I would fantasize about the future with them, and many times they would play along with me. I have had several relationships where I would tell myself “this is it, he’s the one” and would prop him up on a pedestal, ignoring how unhealthy all of this was. The last relationship I was in, our future was totally mapped out. We had a baby together, were engaged, and made the commitment to each other that we wouldn’t abandon each other. I so badly wanted to know I was safe, that I could finally relax now that I found this ideal mate who was going to help me finally feel worthy, loved, desired, and needed. I was betrayed on a heinous level, but looking back, I knew. I knew EARLY on, but ignored the signs in my nervous system that screamed “danger!” I wanted to believe the fairy tale over my own body’s wisdom. When we started dating, it was from a place of scarcity. It just felt so good to be touched, to receive attention, and it was all consistent in the beginning. Things happened that began to chip away at the illusion of fairy tale bliss, but my desire to feel connected to another outweighed the toxicity of our relationship.
My schooling for the VITA Sex, Love, and Relationship coaching program started in the summer before I got pregnant, but officially started a month after I found out. January of 2021 was the beginning of a huge transformation for me in so many ways. I got to process my shadows through pleasure practices, looked at my patterns, and was exposed to texts like “The Body Keeps the Score” while my body and being were transforming and creating new life. Being pregnant felt like I was completely anchored to him, and ALL my insecurities erupted out of me. It was one of the most brutal and ongoing ceremonies I had ever experienced. With consistent work and then moving through being coached and coaching other women in my cohort, I began to remind myself of my inherent worthiness and deservingness. So when I found out I had been cheated on by contracting gonorrhea, I was so calm in the moment. It was my ticket out of the hellish confusion and carousel of abuse I found myself in. I knew I was worth SO much more than that treatment. In hindsight, I am not surprised about any of this, and I take full responsibility for getting into a relationship without listening to the inner wisdom, but no one deserves abuse.
Leaving was incredibly hard, and I had no real proof I would be able to make it work, but I knew I had to move fast. That’s another story. I have been out for over a year, and I have spent the majority of that time healing myself through VITA coaching methodologies, therapy, EMDR, floating, massages, acupuncture, getting movement in, and so much more. I have committed to myself to stay single and to have a sexual relationship with myself. To bathe my nervous system in pleasure has helped me heal so much trauma. I can breathe again, literally! I can comfort myself, I have found my worthiness, I set healthy boundaries and enforce them with glee. I have learned so much about myself, have been having the best sex of my life with myself, and have created a new hierarchy: my self-care, my purpose/business, my children, my friends, and then romantic interests. For decades, this was flip-flopped.
I am not dead, jaded, or cut off from the desire to connect, I am just doing it in a way that is in alignment. I have been on dates, and to me, they are continued field research and a mirror of how far I have come. I get to sit across from them and ask “do I like them?” Instead of the normal inner dialogue “I hope they like me”. Then, I weigh them against my values, and have no problem letting them go even if I really liked them if they don’t match up. I allow myself to see the reality instead of clouding it with what I want to see, with a fairy tale, with an illusion. I feel uncomfortable if I don’t follow my own hierarchy of needs, and have no problem saying no. For the first time in my life, I don’t believe I need to be in a relationship. Am I drawn to others? Yes, definitely. Do I dream of or desire someone who is in alignment with my wants and way of being? Of course, we are all built to attach and connect. But I am not in a state of being where I will connect just because someone expresses interest in me. The compulsivity is gone, and it’s freed me up to really enjoy my life. I refuse to settle. Just recently, because I ask this question A LOT, I was asked “well, what do you want?” I described the type of relationship I would love in my life. He stopped me halfway through and said “you should really broaden your wishes, you’re describing like 0.05% of the world.” I told him, that’s fine, I am so good being on my own that I refuse to settle. In the meantime, I can enjoy myself and enjoy making connections, but I’m not going to weave my life into another’s without knowing it’s in alignment. I also don’t believe his statistics are correct, but if they are 0.01% of the world population is 800,000, so I’ll take my chances. My point to him was, I’m going to be happy here and now without sacrificing who I am to fit into someone else’s box. I believe that’s where our true power lives, is in not needing to be with another, but coming into relationship from a place of fullness. Where we have something to offer, not coming in because we are needy.
Taking the time to develop a relationship with yourself and your sexuality is so vital! How else will you know what you can offer another or stand up for yourself if you don’t have awareness of you? You can meet others from that place of knowing, of overflowing fullness, instead of hoping someone will like you so that they can give you what you’re missing. It’s not uncommon for people to get into relationships to get their needs met. We have pieces, like my ‘fairy tale princess’ that have unmet needs from childhood that we are trying to seek to satisfy through relationship of another. Getting really clear about what your unmet needs are and how you can give them to yourself will change how you interact in the world. No one will ever meet your needs, even if we had five star parents, there are parts of us who feel we are lacking and it’s easy to think someone else can complete us. Doing this inner work is key.
In my coaching practice I offer a couple of exercises that will transform your relationship with yourself and your inner parts. One is “Transformation of the Caregivers” where we identify unmet needs from one caregiver/parent, the gratitudes and lessons from the parent, and developing and embodying the relationship with our inner masculine and inner feminine to be able to give ourselves what we feel is missing in our lives. It’s a potent exercise and I will be sharing my own experience of my father and inner masculine that have helped me to trust myself and remove the armor. Then you can meet a partner with your whole self, and not expecting them to fill the cracks that only you can.
Another is “Inner Child Integration” which helps by giving our inner child a role they are suited for. So many of us operate in relationship from the lens of our inner child. Children don’t belong in adult relationships or the bedroom, but deserve to find a role in your life where they can thrive- like when we want to be creative, curious, playful, or see the world with wonder. After assigning a new role to our inner child, and giving them a safe place within us to explore and thrive in, we can give the key to the empowered part of ourselves that desires an aligned relationship. We get to choose moment to moment how to live and show up in our relationships, this exercise brings awareness and clarity to how we are operating the the world. Our daily choices are what transform our lives.
If you have read this far, I invite you to book a mini session to experience this powerful coaching methodology that has and continues to transform my life. Whether you are newly single, are in love with being single, in a longterm relationship, beginning to date, or unsure if you should break up with your current partner, I have something to offer you!
My link to book a 45 minute coaching session: