This is how you can reclaim your dating life

As women, we really shoot ourselves in the foot when we settle down at the first sign of compatibility, building all these ideas around this guy to justify why he’s ‘the one’.

No man deserves to be ‘the one’ until he proves to you that he deserves to be chosen by you. It literally doesn’t matter how great he is in looks or on paper.

Having multiple choices is quite unheard of amongst women, because we are taught that men are the ones who are ‘naturally’ the choosers and we just have to wait to be picked. But the egg doesn’t chase the sperm and even if you don’t have ovaries, you still should never feel inclined to chase anybody who benefits from your existence in their life, unless you really want to.

There are many reasons why women are scared to utilise their ability to have options, but the main one tends to be a fear of coming across as sexually deviant or ‘loose’, which is an idea deeply rooted in misogyny that we must break away from in order to unshackle ourselves.

As someone who has recently begun practising what it truly means to keep my options open, I have never felt more powerful, level-headed and relaxed. One single man no longer looks like a golden opportunity to me. There’s just more of them: more men with which to learn about myself; more men to spoil me; more men to experience new and exciting things with. A lot of women are anxious about talking to multiple men at once, but that is literally what the dating stage is for: testing your compatibility; waiting it out a little to observe how he behaves when you’re distant or busy; and giving him room to crave you amongst his other options.

Dating from a place of co-dependency, like a lot of us do, is immediately feeling as though the guy you went on a few dates with (who keeps ghosting you) is suddenly the one – just because he ticks a few of your boxes, texts you back sometimes and happens to be cute. But no, he’s not being mysterious for intermittently disappearing on you. He’s actually keeping you at a distance and playing on your need for validation, so that when he’s done with his other options, he can return to you with minimal effort, knowing that you’ve been waiting for him all this time.

Keeping men at arm’s length until they make a clear and visible effort to stand out to you reaps wonderful results, even if you find that, from doing so, you don’t even like them half as much as you thought you did. That right there is an efficient way of exercising your feminine power. As women, we don’t weed out and vet men enough – because we fear ‘losing’ them. But men are not suddenly going to become extinct. They will remain on this planet as long as we do, which means we will always have the opportunity to meet and date new men as long as we allow ourselves to remain open to doing so. These men need to understand that they are the lucky ones if we choose them.

For me, removing men from a mental pedestal has meant that they have become just another avenue through which I can explore myself. I am fascinated by the unlimited number of experiences waiting to be lived by me. And I enjoy observing the ways I respond to different men. There’s something exciting about treating men as an experiment to investigate your own personal framework. Women aren’t encouraged to view dating as light-hearted and fun, because our culture needs us to remain desperate in order to keep selling us romance and keep letting men get away with mediocrity.

But when you remove all the cultural associations, prioritise yourself and constantly enter new situations with the mindset of ‘he’d better hope I like him’, you’ll actually find yourself meeting more men who enjoy earning your grace. It CAN happen for you. In this social climate, women absolutely should be way more conscious and calculated about who we share ourselves with.

Men should be prepared to perform for our attention rather than feeling entitled to us. We deserve to decide who is worthy of our love, and it is well within our rights as women to decide what our determining factors are in finding a partner. And those factors should never involve the fact that they are good at keeping you on your toes – because what value does that add to your life?

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