Be your own brownie!
First off: look at that brownie! We can all agree that that looks like a fantastic dessert (thanks Google photo search).
When I first started my career I worked with a lot of teenagers and I began to develop this metaphor of being your own brownie. I heard from these lovely young girls (usually, but not always- teenagers identifying as non-binary and boys all expressed this) over and over the extreme focus, emphasis they were putting on "getting a relationship" in an effort to feel important or special.
I began to talk to them about learning to be their own dessert, delicious and fulfilling all on their own; then layering on the frosting and sprinkles (relationships). We don't frost a browning until we have a fully cooked and cooled brownie base. The results of rushing this frosting in dessert making is a hot mess of goo. Giving it all time, honoring the time each step takes creates a complete dessert with texture and taste.
Relationships are meant to add connection, depth and texture to our lives. Rushing to have one before you know your likes, quirks, needs or have t full confidence to set and adhere to boundaries can create long lasting patterns of "goo". Messy boundaries and limited ability to express your needs leads to a relationship filled with resentment or hurt.
We are a connection based creature. Those that couldn't connect in relationships with others did not get to stay in the community, they were left out of the safety of the many. This will always be a base need, to have relationships, be desired, adored and pursued. My work has been focused on trying to help my clients, especially my teenagers, to balance that urge to be wanted and the work of the "self": self love, self confidence, self esteem. This work of the self is about finding your values, deeply held beliefs, needs and wants in life. Once you have attended to the self, the brownie can get as fancy as what meets your wants/needs...a dusting of sugar, layers of frosting, sprinkles, fruit...no one but you can decide the flavor and depth you seek out. By giving yourself the time you need, it's worth the wait and the relationship you pick will have the spark that ignites you.