t’s that time of year again. Many of us are starting to watch those calories a little more closely, the gym clothes are getting more wear and swimsuit shopping is hovering over us like a big ol’ storm cloud. A cookie is no longer just a cookie; it is an evil tool of seduction aimed at keeping us from fitting into our favorite sundresses. But empty calories can show up in other areas of our lives that have nothing to do with baked goods. Empty calories can find their way into your dating life and taking in too much of them could derail your goal to find the person who will make your heart sing.
There was a time in my life when I really didn’t like being alone. My dislike of being alone, paired with my total avoidance of having the “it just isn’t working out” conversation, created the perfect recipe for empty calories in my dating life. In fact, it was one of my best friends who first used the empty calorie analogy with me about my dating habits. It was so spot-on and brilliant that I couldn’t be mad at her for calling me out on my not-so- productive dating pattern. There was certainly a part of me that was enjoying the male attention and I was avoiding having to disappoint anyone, but I would always end up feeling empty. I felt empty because I wasn’t on a path to what I truly desired; I wasn’t getting the sustenance that I really craved in my relationships.
In dating, empty calories are consumed when you are spending a significant amount of your time and energy with someone you know is not the right match for you. Empty calories may be in the form of a great guy who just isn’t the right fit for you or a bad boy who is not interested in changing his ways. If you are looking for a long-term, significant relationship, I caution you to beware of empty calories. Just like a cookie, indulging in dating empty calories can feel good in the moment, but they could be preventing you from meeting the right person for you. And more importantly, they could be preventing you from being your best self and living your most authentic life.
Some dangers of consuming too many empty calories in your dating life include:
Wasting Time- OK, this sounds harsh. Yes, I believe that every person and life experience offers us a chance to learn and grow. But, once you know you are not compatible with someone, you really are wasting valuable time: both yours and theirs. Time is precious and something to be valued. Time spent in dead end relationships is time that could be spent nurturing your friendships, working on your health, exploring a new hobby or even just being still and resting. Unlike empty calories, these things feed your mind, body and spirit. They make you a happier, healthier person and, yes, a better partner when someone special does come along.
Worry and Anxiety– I don’t know about you, but when I’m not being honest with myself or others I can’t shake a feeling of uneasiness in my gut. When we aren’t being congruent with our words, feelings, and actions it can make us feel really yucky. Many times we don’t feel that great about ourselves when we’re consuming empty calories. After the high of the attention is gone, we might find ourselves feeling down about spending time with someone who is not what we really need and want in a partner.
Missed Opportunities– Of course there is always the risk that spending too much time with someone who holds no future for you will cause you to miss out on meeting someone who does meet your needs. There is no guarantee that you will find “The One” if you give up your empty calories. You may end up spending more time alone than you’re used to and that’s OK (in fact, it could be good for you). However, it doesn’t take a genius to see that lounging on the couch all weekend with empty calories limits your ability to be out there and available for a better match.
Girl, don’t let those empty calories sabotage your most heartfelt goals. You deserve to find deeply satisfying love.