Confession: Entitlement Is Ruining My Dating Life

Her Voice

Let's get real honest, sis. I'm a 20-something woman who is too old for the games but still has milk on her tongue when it comes to love.

My experience with dating and relationships hasn't - in the slightest - been linear, but there are patterns that I've uncovered in hindsight. Now that I'm more comfortable in my skin, but out of the blinders of self-denial, I'm able to operate in the dating scene from my center.

My center, however, is full of multitudes and contradictory wants and needs.

Some days, it's raining inside of my womb and I only want someone to experience the storm with me. When the sun is out and our mouths are dried of the memory from the night before, I will gracefully walk you out. Other days, I crave emotion. I want the same hands that can grip me to softly hold my well-being, mirror my sensitivity, and light the candles to serenade the romance of eternity.

Some days, I want to be alone in solitude and solely focused on myself until I am nestled in the company of money bags on my silk sheets. But then, my neighbor Loneliness peeks her 'Bye Felisha' braided head in through my window and bares a gold-tooth smile.

To be honest, sometimes these multitudes got me f*cked up.

I'm beginning to wonder where I presently fall into the spectrum of dating. In past situationships, I've been the money bag, the wound healer, the faithful, naive, unassuming girlfriend, the doormat, and the maid.

I've also been the side piece, the emotional abuser, the sugar baby, the arm candy, the booty call, and the emotionally-detached-friend-that-told-you-she-liked-you-but-never-responds-to-your-texts-because-she's-living-a-double life.

I have a full resume of experience and can probably do a TED talk on them all.

Currently, I am in a space where I am looking back at my past selves and realizing a common pattern in the way I behaved that probably led to the black hole that is my dating history:

I was acting out of entitlement.

I adopted entitlement from the acceptance of my past pains that turned into victimization.

From this space of victimization, I conditioned myself to believe that I automatically deserved to be treated the way I wanted to be treated, without reciprocating the energy. After my first relationship (where I was the money bag, the unassuming, faithful girlfriend, and the doormat), I subconsciously vowed to myself that I would not be taken for granted ever again.

That only created a monster of ego. I was walking around with a crown on my head that only I could see. Such an aura only stained my situationships with resentment and toxicity, but I carried it with me into every union. (Though sometimes not consciously.) It wasn't until I sat back and wondered why everything around me was always heavy but veiled with misunderstanding.

Entitlement is just open wounds clothed in designer.

There is a whole demographic of women who aren't entitled that understand the value of reciprocity and a balance that breeds beautiful, healthy unions. It doesn't necessarily need to be in the materialistic way, either.

I am learning, through being the silent observer of my multitudes, that I am a woman that enjoys being spoiled but also spoiling the person I love; however, my entitlement that was rooted in my scorning limited me from opening myself up in such a way that could ultimately lead to that point of reciprocity. For a minute, I was walking around men's minds like I owned the place but also bringing in my past baggage and moving in without consent.

Ego checks are in commencement.

This is not an ego check that requires me to start doing a man's dishes or jump out of my skin to show him that I'm wifey material. (Because that's a whole ass "no.") This is me recognizing my own quirks as a woman and making a commitment to myself for perpetual self-improvement. I am worthy just the way I am, as I am able to accept my thorns that come bound, unassuming and inevitable, to the flower I am.

There is a thin line between knowing my worth enough to not settle and entitlement. But I'm beginning to believe that it is the very act of accepting my whole self. A part of that entails me having the confidence to tell another that they are not obligated to love me, but if they choose to, they must embrace my whole self just as I am embracing them. Because, any relationship is a mirror and we all deserve to leave the cracked ones behind.

When we act from a place of wholeness, we are never settling because we know our worth.

I'm still on the bridge about if I want to dedicate myself to a full-on relationship or enjoy the colorful canvas of dating, but I do know that I am able to operate from my center and truly assert the love that dwells within me.

Whatever reality I choose to nourish from my multitudes, I can definitely check my entitlement, and my ego, at the door before entering that sacred space.

Featured image by Shutterstock

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