One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire Cat. “Which road do I take?,” she asked. “Where do you want to go?,” was his response. “I don’t know,” answered Alice. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” – ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll
When reading this quote it reminded me of what so many of us have to face when we are looking for someone to date. If you don’t know who you are looking for then how will you know when you find them?
This is why it’s important to “find yourself” after a long-term relationship has ended. In finding yourself you will also find bits and pieces of the person you want to accompany you for the rest of your journey.
From personal experience I found that I avoided certain activities. Not because I didn’t like them, but because the ex didn’t like them. It took a little time to realize, “Hey, I liked rollerblading before I met him. I think I still do.” AND I DO!! The feeling was very liberating to be gliding down a trail on my Rollerblades that I had not used in almost 4 years. Why had I stopped? It’s great exercise, it’s fun…but why?
Some would say I assimilated to my ex’s whims. At the time I looked at it as a compromise. I believe I said to myself that if I stop rollerblading, I can spend more time with him. What was I thinking? An hour once or twice a week doing an activity I enjoy (while he sat on a couch somewhere) would not and should not affect a relationship.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if we have a good clear sense of self then it will be easier to recognize it in someone else.