The #1 topic everyone I know is talking about are their relationships. If they aren't in one, they're talking about how to find one. If they are in one, they're talking about what's wrong with it. I've been on both sides... so I totally get it.
I know how to see my failed relationships as a victim and make a hell of a lot of excuses for why life hasn't worked out exactly how I had envisioned. But once I became aware of my role in my own choices, I could no longer accept that this is the way I should be showing up in my own life.
The singletons want a partner... they want connection... they want the dream of the "happy couple"... the fairy tale of lazy mornings in bed after passionate, sleepless nights together, a plus 1 to bring to parties and events, someone who will love them and all of their odd little idiosyncrasies...
There is no age immune from this desire. I hear it from my 22 year old co-workers and from my 65 year old single aunts. We want love and we want it NOW!
The trouble is, most of us don't know what we truly want. So if we found the perfect mate, we'd probably miss out on the opportunity. Or... we have set such strict and quite frankly, unrealistic parameters on what we're looking for in one person that we bypass some pretty amazing potential lovers because they don't fit our prototype. EPIC FAIL people.
There are a litany of things holding us back from finding the love we want but here are the 5 that I see most consistently:
1. You Don't Know What You Want. You say one thing, but you seem to gravitate towards the total opposite. Sound familiar? "I want him to be successful and a great communicator." Then you date the unemployed guy who texts you maybe once a week if you're lucky. Do yourself a favor... write out your "Essentials"... those are the things that your partner absolutely MUST HAVE and they're non-negotiable. Maybe she's got to be independent, funny, a great communicator and in good shape. GREAT. If that's what you want, that's what you should be looking for. Just realize that once you figure out #1, you don't want to end up with #2.
2. You Know What You Want, But Make No Effort. You know what you want, but then make no effort to get out and meet people. Online dating isn't your thing, you hate blind dates, you're "too busy" or "too tired" to get out. OR better yet, you meet someone you're really into and then have a bunch of excuses why it's probably not going to work. The person is geographically undesirable, maybe your friends won't mesh, I dunno if I'm ready to be in a relationship now. Blah blah. Excuses, excuses. Let me sabotage this before it even gets off the ground. And you wonder why you're still single.
3. You're Afraid of Going Outside Your Comfort Zone. Everyone.. and I repeat, everyone...is afraid to put themselves out there. It's scary. Nobody wants to be rejected. But we need to let go of our fears, if we are ever going to find love. It's part of the deal. As they say in Lotto, "If you don't play, you can't win."
Going outside your comfort zone might also mean dating someone who is outside your "norm". Keep in mind that if you keep dating your "type" and your "type" hasn't been working out for you, it may be time to mix things up a bit just for sh*ts and giggles.
4. You're "Check-List" is So Long, Nobody Could Ever Meet It. Yes, it would be great if he was 6'3", drove a Lamborghini, spoke 3 different languages, and put Derek Hough to shame on the dance floor. But you know... maybe narrowing that list down to something a bit more in the realm of someone who actually exists might help. It's important to know what you want and to not compromise, but you need to be open to dating people who may be a few qualities short on your list. They may even have other amazing qualities you didn't even know you wanted.
5. You're Afraid to Commit . I sometimes have a hard time committing to an outfit in the morning but I've got to get to work, so I make a choice and stick with it throughout the day. Fear of commitment is the #1 reason people aren't finding love. The grass is maybe greener over there... A Victoria Secret model might walk into the bar next week and want to date me, and I don't want to be "tied down".... Yep, that could happen but the bottom line is, you'll never find true love this way.
You have to be willing to open your eyes to the possibility that love can work out. That great relationships do exist. That you can feel that amazing connection with someone for an extended period of time. But it takes a leap of faith, some openness and risk and a commitment to trying with someone. Yes, it can be scary and yes, we may get hurt.
But we also may find love. And wouldn't that be pretty darn worth it?