Different doesn't have to be right or wrong
What if we just allowed "different" to be what it is
I was questioning myself―doubting and wondering…. “Am I doing the right thing?”
Considering myself a lifelong learner, I’m always finding ways to edge myself towards improvement. (Yup, even in dating and relationships.) I would explore and try various options to see what kind of feedback I get from them. So if something in my past didn’t work out, I’d ask myself: “How can I show up differently?” and “What else can I do to get closer to my desired results?”
Of course, my results have varied greatly. Some have panned out. There are times it has left me more uncertain. I also get plenty of hand palming fails or have stumbled so hard that it takes me some time to recover. But no worries, curiosity can’t kill this Kat! I’m quite resilient, and it just inspires me to try something else.
It can be fun to experiment, but the doubt and uncertainty have also stopped me in my tracks. It has made me question myself: With all that I’ve learned and studied and the depth of the internal work I’ve done, shouldn’t all this be easier to figure out, or shouldn’t I have had what I wanted already? (Cue the frustration and sounds of drawn-out “ughs”.)
Dating feels like a gamble sometimes. You don’t exactly know what you’re going to get or what could happen. The human element is always so unpredictable and complex.
With each new person you’re in a relationship with, you can’t just apply what you knew or have done before into this new one like copy-and-paste. You are learning the nuances of this new person you’re dating and how you can blend your life with theirs. But, all your past experiences can only be potential reference points to help you gauge possible outcomes.
When you’re dating someone new, you’re not just dating the person themselves, but also their life’s complexities, any previous unresolved drama and baggage, and the involvement of the other people in their lives, too.
And if you’re also trying something different with this new person, different can feel so abnormal and foreign.
Oftentimes, we try to do something different in hopes of recreating something we’re familiar with instead. For example:
You’re dating a new person but want to relive how it felt with a past someone you had a strong connection with.
You loosen the “requirements'' of your list to see how things pan out, but when they don’t act in the way you expect, you get frustrated, upset, annoyed, and question yourself, “what the hell am I doing?!”.
You do the same things and expect the person to respond in the same way, but when they don’t, you wonder, “uhhhh…. wtf is going on?”
Comparison always creates contrast. If you keep comparing your current person with the past, are you really seeing this new person for who they are? Or are you merely hoping to recreate a shadow of a previous lover? What if you miss out on an opportunity for something even better because you’re stuck in the past?
Internally, we seek familiarity by setting expectations and assumptions of how things “should” turn out.
In reality, we can either create something somewhat similar (as nothing can be identical) or something different (ideally better).
But what if we just allowed the “different” to feel “different” and that there is no right or wrong to that difference. Let it be what it is.
Right, wrong, good, or bad are all defined by which perspective you choose. Let go of the judgment and focus on the person you’re with now and your present relationship. That’s all that matters at this moment. Avoid letting your past dictate your future.
And, obviously, you do want “different” because it didn’t work out with those in your past, right?
Enjoy the journey of experiencing something different, and let that lead you closer towards what you want.
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