Who Are You Waiting For?
By Michele Russo
When I started my journey in the modern dating world, I found myself in a rut with each and every failed attempt at finding love. No matter how long I dated the person- two days, two months, etc., the hurt was all the same because at it’s core it was rejection. While dating exhaustion can be one of the most agonizing states of the game, it can also bring extreme clarity. And for me, clarity was the one thing I could use to pull myself out of the funk I had unknowingly created.
I began thinking about my situation. Maybe I was too picky? Maybe it was me? It seemed like I had a long list of attributes that my perfect partner was sure to have, but in reality I wasn’t holding myself to that same standard and there lied the problem. That thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I expected every person I encountered in the dating world to be at their personal best and I found myself disappointed when they didn’t meet my expectations, but I had forgotten to meet that same level for myself. How could I show up with 50% effort and expect some sort of fairytale? Somewhere along the way I got tired and stopped being my normal full hearted self. You see, when you’re out in the world looking for the perfect mate or the perfect job, the perfect anything for that matter- you have to match what you’re looking for. Sounds strange, but it’s true. We can’t expect for the best of anything to fall into our laps without effort if we aren't first stepping forward with our whole hearts. You have to do your part in order for the universe to show up for you.
The thought of showing up as my best seemed to be a good experiment. After all, I had nothing to lose. If you’re stumbling along the way, what harm could giving it your all actually cause? I first decided to start with my family. Sometimes when you’re in a relationship you forget to take that quality time out for your family because it’s so easy to instead be wrapped up in your relationship. I decided to be the best daughter and sister that I could possibly be. That meant planning family dinners, family parties just because and being 100% present in the moment. I truly enjoyed the time I was spending and didn’t have an expectation besides quality time with the ones I love most. And you know what? That quality time with my family made me better- it brought me back down to reality and allowed me to get out of my head. It’s true that you get what you focus on, so if all you can think about is dating, your future, or what lies ahead, there’s a good chance you’ll miss all the good that is surrounding you in the present moment. So often, we live our lives on autopilot while dreaming of the future. Stop and take a good look around now- where you are in this very moment is a part of your story. Appreciate it for what it is- good or bad.
Next I focused on being the best friend I could possibly be. I planned fun girls nights out with themes that were perfect for my friends. Going to bars gets old after a while and once again, my focus was on the quality time with those that I love. I planned a Strikes and Champagne bowling party, Bachelor watch parties and birthday parties for friends. Each party showed me that I was on the right path. I was showing up and giving full effort to enriching those around me which in turn, released the death grip of expectation I had on my future and allowed me to just live in the moment and enjoy what was in front of me. It was a win-win because all of this got my mind off my dating struggles and allowed me to focus on how great my current reality was.
The final phase was working on myself. In order for me to attract a person of a certain caliber, I had to match that same frequency. That meant getting in the gym and going on long runs that fueled my body and mind. I focused on my work and began being the best employee I could be during the day. At night, I spent my free time writing in an effort to grow a side hobby that I had always secretly hoped could blossom into a full career. When I had vacation time from work, I planned a few of my bucket list trips- one of which was seeing a concert at Red Rocks. I learned how to live my best life as a single person and in doing so, I paved the way to finding the person I was meant to be with. I truly believe it’s impossible to attract outside of who you are. If you want to best, you simply have to be your best. Amazing things happen along the way if you give yourself the grace to connect to exactly what you want out of life. Don’t wait for someone else to come along one day that is worthy of seeing your best. Be that person now.
Whether you want to attract the person of your dreams, the career path you’ve always wanted, or the lifestyle that calls to you, the beginning step must always be to go within. To attract the best, you have to be your personal best. You can only bring into your life the things that match where you are right now. If you’ve found yourself in a spot that doesn’t feel fulfilling, it’s time to start again. Start small. If you were living your life as the best version of you, what would your close relationships look like? How would you spend your free time? How would you show up to your job? All of these things matter when painting the picture of your ideal life.
The most important part in all of this is to start now. Start wherever you are and if you’ve already started and feel like it’s not working, start again! Don’t wait for the perfect person to come along before you begin to live as the best version of you. Start living that way now. Connect to where you are and decide where you want to be moving forward. Even if your life isn’t exactly where you want it at the moment, it’s still worth celebrating. Live to your full potential today, exactly where you are and watch the magic unfold. The life of your dreams is possible and it starts now. What are you waiting for?
Michele is a former St. Louis Rams Cheerleader living in St. Louis. Follow Michele from the sidelines of the NFL to the sidelines of the modern dating world.