Finding the right one can be impossible when the desire to pursue new relationships gets in the way.
The idea of meeting someone to settle down with was something I always wanted. But whenever I met someone new, I wondered to myself, "Is this the best that I can do?"
With each new relationship, I found myself not so much getting restless; rather I was looking at my partner more as an accomplishment than an actual partner.
At first I wondered if it was the sex. Was I unhappy? Did I choose the right mate? Was I settling? Maybe I was a player doing player things.
Then, as I grew bored with each new relationship, I realized what the problem was: I was addicted to the chase. I was addicted to the feeling of pursuit.
For most people, love is a noun. For me, it was a verb; it was something I was actively compelled to do.
When chasing after someone, there's no real responsibility. The focus of your affection isn't your significant other. If you want to chase more than one, you're absolutely free to, provided there's no prior commitment. And even then, if the need to chase is there, you can choose to follow it.
While in a budding relationship, I'd always keep in contact with other women. For me, I considered it an insurance policy: I figured if things don't work out, I would always have someone waiting in reserve.
I chose to perpetually chase, because it felt good to be in pursuit. It made me feel alive.
Of course, this train of thought was wrong, because I wasn't even allowing the new relationship to blossom and take shape without already having a contingency plan in place.
And as I continued flirting and giving chase, I never took into consideration what would happen if things progressed with said contingency plan while trying to make a go of it with my actual relationship.
Chasing more than one partner didn't feel like cheating because it didn't have the gravity of "actual cheating." Or so I thought.
Sure, it seems like I was trying to have multiple relationships at once,but I was more interested in chasing the potential girlfriend/contingency plan. I never looked at it as having an extra relationship because I felt I had no actual responsibility to answer to.
As my behavior continued, I found myself losing more than I was gaining.
My addiction to chasing looked like I was simply uninterested in any of the women I dated, so they did the right thing and took off in search of someone who'd actually focus on them.
For me, the chase remained a sport. I might strike out more than I'd reach third base but if the point was the pursuit, wouldn't that be enough?
It wasn't long before I realized what my addiction was really about: I was afraid to fail.
Being in new relationships can be a frightening thing. No matter how much you want them to work, there's always that one thing that could blow everything up.
I was afraid of losing it all, so I gave into my fear and sought out those contingency plans. I was interested in the women but I was so afraid that they'd leave that I tried to have one or two in reserve to look to when my main relationship failed.
But the relationships were always going to fail because my addiction to the chase set them up to fail. Of course, the chase can work in more than one direction, and while you're chasing someone, they may be chasing someone else.
In time, my perspective changed because I realized that if I were to find true happiness with a significant other, it'd mean that I'd have to risk walking the tightrope of a relationship with no net underneath.
That would require work, and a certain amount of faith that the one I chose was indeed the right choice. By deciding to give my all to that one person, I had a much better chance of succeeding than I would if I spent my time chasing after one more option, "just in case."
At some point, beyond all the jumping through hoops and deciphering mixed signals, you have to make the choice to want to enjoy a relationship — and that means bringing the chase to an end.
Be willing to trust someone enough to build something that can last. Once you take your running shoes off and stand firmly long enough, either the person you chased or the person who chased you will be there waiting to take the next step — together.