Early in my current relationship, I dealt with feeling I didn’t deserve the love I was shown by my partner. No matter what he said or did to express his love, I kept reminding myself, “That’s only because he doesn’t really know me yet…” or “We’re still in the honeymoon phase. What’s cute now is going to be annoying later…” At some point, these frequently recurring thoughts manifested into a need for affirmation and validation through reading articles titled something like “5 Traits of a Great Life Partner”, “6 Signs You’re Dating a Keeper”, “Only Be With A Guy If He’s Willing To Do These 10 Things”, “If You Want a Good Relationship, Be Ready to Walk Away”, “Can Your Relationship Pass the Soulmate Test”, etc… you get the point. Reading these articles further manifested into micro-analyzing every little thing between my partner and I, from the way he turned down my outing ideas to how often he looked me in the eyes during sex.
I obviously already knew he was someone I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. I was terrified. And these articles did nothing for me except fuel my neurotic need for affirmation that our relationship was true. As Medium kept feeding me more and more articles of the like, I realized how easily technology, obviously well-meaning but without relative insight into how it was serving me, was reinforcing my unhealthy behavior.
Sometimes when you’re so caught up in your own story, you will strategically find ways to angle every other story to reinforce your beliefs and vice versa. Find ways every so often to question and break down your beliefs to first principles to check if it’s still your truth. Turn off the continuous barrage of propaganda once you get the point. More often than not, you will find that your beliefs have shifted or completely changed altogether.