Hello everybody, welcome to episode 24 of Optimal Living Advice. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino. I mentioned back in episode 9 that once in a while, when we’re feeling saucy, we’re going to sprinkle in some questions that I’ve received in the past from life coaching clients and gregaudino.com visitors that I’ve made into video responses. We’re gonna do that again here today and take a second look at a question I once received – a huge question about love and, frankly, what happens if we don’t find it. It’s simple, but heavy. Here it is…
QUESTION: “Why Can’t I Let Anyone In? What if I Never Find Someone and Never Have Kids?”
Pretty short and concise question, but a very powerful one that I would guess the majority of us ask ourselves at one point or another, especially those who don’t get married too young and are interested in starting families. This is a question that I personally have wrestled with quite a bit as I’m entering my late 20s, and am most definitely under the impression that finding the right woman and raising children would be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Expectations of Finding Someone
There are three elements of this question that I feel compelled to address. The first thing that pops out to me is the way this question is phrased. At first glance, “Why Can’t I Let Anyone In? What if I Never Find Someone and Never Have Kids?” hits me as just being relatable. As I said, it’s a big question that many of us face to different degrees.
But when breaking it down into it’s two separate questions, so “Why Can’t I Let Anyone In?” as one and “What if I Never Find Someone and Never Have Kids?” as the other, I can’t help but to wonder if they are two separate thoughts that very much fuel one another.
I may be wrong, but it seems to me you feel as though letting someone in is a precursor to having kids. That may be true, but could it not also be reversed? Is it possible that you’re not letting people in because of a huge expectation you’re putting on them?
As time goes on, the desire to find that right person and have kids can intensify in a big way, leaving many of us uninterested in people that may not show immediate signs of being “the one”, but you must remember that most long and happy relationships were not started by fairy tale moments. It takes time to know someone and get comfortable with them, and although we all know this in our heart of hearts, it’s easy to forget about it when you feel you’re running out of time.
Do You Have Fair Expectations?
So ask yourself if you’re putting unfair expectations on dating prospects these days in a way that you didn’t when you felt you had more time. Of course it’s hard to let people in when your aim is to seek the right person for the rest of your life, rather than the casualness of allowing yourself time to get to know someone and not having such a strong negative reaction to whatever attributes they showcase that you don’t like.
Forget about the clock, forget about the requirements. Allow people to have their faults just like you do, and you may find yourself more comfortable with letting people in.
You could try changing or widening your criteria to meet more people, while acknowledging your non-negotiable deal-breakers.
Are You Letting People IN?
Speaking of which, your faults are what bring me to the second element of this question I want to take a look at.
Maybe what I just said doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you don’t feel you’re putting expectations on people. Maybe instead you’re putting them on yourself. And that can be tough to realize, but take a second to psycho-analyze yourself and ask if there’s a fundamental part of YOU that you aren’t comfortable with and have barely let YOURSELF into? Is it possible you’re not letting people in because there’s something you don’t want them to see – something that even you turn your back to?
If you feel or know this is the case, I will say that a therapist or a psychiatrist may be a better course of action to take. There are times at which self-development and coaching like what I do here really separates from therapy and psychiatry and this is one of them. Anything that requires a deep and lengthy psychological dive, especially into the past, is much better suited for those guys whereas what I do is more tailored towards tackling future goals whatever they may be.
Certainly there’s some crossover, but again, if you do feel as though there’s a deep-seated something that’s keeping you from being comfortable with yourself, it might not be a bad idea to consult a therapist and have time and attention focused on it from a specialist.
Surrender and Acceptance
The final thing I want to bring up regarding this question is a little more personal. As I said, I’ve wrestled with this question a whole lot. I don’t worry much about letting people in, but I’ve definitely romanticized the idea of having a wife and a family but the conclusion I’ve come to for myself is this: It’s so important to understand that finding a spouse and having children is one of the many things you just can’t control.
Sure you can adopt children even if it’s not an idea that you were ever very into, or you can marry someone who you don’t really feel a spark for but they’re still ok. There are ways around it, but the magic you’re looking for is out of your hands. We all KNOW how much of life we can’t control, but it’s tough to be OKAY with that when it comes to the more life-altering stuff like this. Surrender to that. Accept that.
Surrendering and accepting this doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it, however. Like anything you desire in life, have your desires but don’t be so reliant on them that you can’t be happy otherwise.
Who’s to say you won’t be happy without a spouse and children? You’re the only one who’s made up your mind about this, and you can rewire that thinking. Ask yourself about all the wonderful things you can still do even if you don’t find that someone and raise kids with them.
Reflect on all of the other things you have and will have that you’re grateful for. Remind yourself that your most powerful engine for joy comes from within. It comes from you, not anything that comes from the outside, even that which appears to be most beautiful.
All right. Big question there; a question I was honored to have received and found a lot of comfort in answering for myself, in addition to, more importantly, the pleasure I found in answering it for all of you guys. So thank you for sending it, thank you for listening, and thanks for your continued support and contribution to the podcast, everyone.
Obviously, none of what we do here is possible without you guys. And as you know, our way of helping you out is by answering your questions, so feel free to send in a question about anything you might be struggling with via email to adviceAT oldpodcast DOT com
That does it for today, though. So we’ll look forward to the next one, and hope you do to. See you then.