You Have Your Own Life – Fulfill It

“You have your own life, why do you have to live his life?”


This from a father to his 20-something daughter on maintaining a sense of self and a degree of financial independence when you commit or get married.  At first it may sound like a bit of a juxtaposition from the advice to the woman dating a guy in the military a few weeks ago…

“Be strong and learn how to support someone who is working on THEIR dream or goal, so that he can do the same for you. No one wants to call home and hear an ‘I need you’ voice.'”

But in essence they are saying the same thing. You don’t need someone else to give your life “life”. Make meaning in your own life so you can enrich another person’s life when the time is right.  The more you get into your life and what interests you, the more you have to give to your relationship if you are in one, the more you will be fulfilled without a relationship and the more likely you will be to meet someone who you want to be with . . . rather than you need to be with (or think you need to be with).


That’s not to say you don’t need to be there for a partner …or that they can’t be the most important thing in your life next to YOU. They just shouldn’t engulf your whole life. There may be times where you are literally more dependent on them and other times they will be more dependent on you, as the case for the military girlfriend above…but be emotionally co-supportive. Supporting each other’s dreams and ambitions, knowing that you are working on a common goal. The 40-something woman above is telling the woman who’s partner is leaving for basic training to get a life so she doesn’t have to be dependent on him to give her energy and her life color. You don’t want to suck up all the energy of your time together living his life vicariously.


This really applies to the world of dating as well. Recently I’ve been answering the question on when do guys grow up and become open to commitment? Most men do say that there comes a time when they get tired of the running around, doing the guy thing and hooking up. And when they are ready for something more, they usually aren’t interested in the girls that have been “hanging out” with them. The women who were always adapting their schedule to fit into their life, who were always available when the guy did feel like “hanging out” (that’s why some women are surprised when the guy who said they weren’t ready for a commitment, commits to the next woman and not them).


I was so surprised when a guy in his late twenties told me he had a hard time finding women to date. HUH? Well that was because he was running around in the party scene and happy to accommodate, but not “date”, the women who were willing to hang out with him. When he was ready for more, he wanted a woman who was into her own career and life and had her own friends. He’s the one who said, “Do what you do well so I can do what I do well”.  That means he’s working hard, still in the relatively early days of his career and doesn’t want to hear an “I need you” voice either. So yes he wants a relationship but he doesn’t want to carry the relationship.


Like any relationship …you each have to offer something. That can help you learn and grow by yourself and helps you grow together.   Imagine if you had a friend who only wanted to do things with you and had no outside interests other than you…or would forfeit other plans to do something with you….would you want to be friends with that person? When you put it in that context it sounds like a case of  “Single White Female” . But how many times have you seen a friend’s relationship with a guy border on that territory?  So back to the friend analogy. Wouldn’t that friend be more interesting and engaging if they introduced you to new things, had stories of their career and adventures for you to learn from and friends for you to meet?

As many 40-something women say, stop looking for someone to fill your life and start fulfilling your own life. It will come!

“Stop looking for it. You have it. They will come to you. Stop looking around and start looking at your own life. Stop being insecure  and just be yourself. I took that advice and I stopped looking and I decided I’m just going to go live my life. Then when you go out with your friends, you’ll just have fun with your friends, not looking for the guy. That is attractive. That changed my life. — 40-something, married, entrepreneur, mom, Los Angeles, California

And the last word from a 40-something guy who summed this all up well. On seeking your own accomplishments vs seeking a ring:

“If you really want to show off and make sure you feel proud in front of your friends, run a marathon, or get a second degree or invest in a portfolio that makes you so much money that you can buy Laboutin’s times 12. That is really impressive. And any man who is interested in being with you should think that is really cool too. Especially when you tell him how you got to where you are now. Be your own person because any man who is out there in the world is trying to be his own person….any man who is worth being with is trying to do that too. So don’t you want to be with that person?”




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