The Barrier: You feel incomplete without a man and are always looking for someone else to make you whole. When you’re in a relationship, you drop your friends and interests to focus on your guy. Your concentration is shot because all you can think about is when he’s going to call and when you’ll see him again. You’re all too ready to give up your life to enmesh with some guy you might hardly even know. Being single is unbearable and you’re desperate to escape—from yourself.
Relationship Rx: As corny as this sounds, it’s the unavoidable truth—the most important relationship is the one with yourself. If you can’t handle your own company, it’s impossible to show up for a relationship with the self-esteem required to pick the right people, express your feelings, set boundaries, and know what you deserve—and what you won’t stand for anymore now that you no longer suck at relationships. This doesn’t mean that you have to get it all together and adore yourself a 100 percent of the time before you can be in a relationship. What it does mean is that no one person is going to solve all your problems and make you whole, and even if you get a boyfriend, fiancé, or husband, you still can’t neglect the relationship with yourself. Others will come and go, delight you and disappoint you, but you have to be there for yourself through it all. So start noticing what you’re looking to get from a relationship—whether it be intangible like appreciation and love, or material like flowers and home-cooked meals—and make a habit of giving it to yourself.