Dating is not about finding your person. Or a person. Most people don't understand that dating is never about finding love with another person. Dating is about learning to understand your own patterns and changing what needs to be changed if those patterns have not gotten you what you want or deserve. In order to find true love, we need to understand the ways in which we need to grow and evolve to attract and choose true love. And no matter what your growth or "work" looks like, it can all be tied back to one thing: how much you love yourself.
If you believe the only thing missing in your life is a partner, and that when you find him/her, you'll finally be happy, complete or fulfilled, I can guarantee you that won't happen. You MAY meet a wonderful person but anything or anyone outside of yourself can only make you happy for a short amount of time. Sustained happiness has to come from within. So maybe you meet someone amazing but if you don't know how to cultivate happiness on our own, it will begin to wear on the relationship. When we look externally for happiness, we may spend our whole lives searching.
What is your "work" in your relationship life? Is it the partners you choose? Are you unconsciously attracted to partners who can't love you? Do you have difficulty setting boundaries and being true to yourself? Do you even know what boundaries feel good to you? Do you feel lucky or surprised anytime someone likes you or pays attention to you? Do you have trouble moving on when someone isn't treating your how you deserve or isn't making you a priority? Or maybe you're dating to get recurring fixes of attention and validation. All of these patterns point to a lack of connection to yourself or a lack of self-love, self-confidence or a deep knowing of your worth.
Here's the thing: you have to understand what your patterns are and what your work is or you will keep playing out the same unfulfilling patterns over and over again. In 5 years from now, you won't be different, your relationships patterns won't be different, and your love life won't be different unless you become conscious and aware of how you need to change.
Dating is now about finding your person. It's about finding yourself. And learning to love yourself so hard that you expect everybody else will, too. When we come from a place of self-love and self-confidence, it becomes easy to move on from the wrong partners, to ask for what we want and need, and to attract people that will treat us the way we deserve to be treated. If you struggle with knowing your worth or value, commit to growing in that area. Read books. Ask people around you what they love about you. And write those things down. Then write down the things you love about yourself. Talk to a therapist or a coach. The more work you do on yourself, the greater the likelihood you'll attract and create love in your life with someone else. We cannot accept love greater than the love we have for ourselves.