Single…And Sick Of It?
Feeling frustrated with your lack of luck finding love? You’re not alone. Here’s how to put it all in perspective and stay happy until it happens.
s a dating coach, I spend a lot of time trying to manage people’s expectations. Yes, we all want love. Yes, we all deserve it. And until we find it, it’s tempting to get frustrated—to lament the lack of good options, get jealous when our friends are in relationships, and feel hurt when someone we do like doesn’t call us back. Still, if you’re tired of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being single, there are ways to cope and come to terms with the fact that love really is a matter of luck and timing. Here are a few concepts to keep in mind until you find your soul mate.
Shooting for the stars: It takes time
I live in Hollywood. When I was younger and frequenting bars, I’d meet actresses who moved to L.A. to become the next Julia Roberts. No crime in that. It was when they told me their timetable that I knew they were doomed for failure. “If I don’t hit it big in the
next year,” they’d say, “I’ll just move back home.” This was said matter-of-factly as if giving oneself twelve months to become a celebrity was a reasonable time frame. Thankfully, falling in love isn’t as rare as superstardom, but it’s a reasonable thing to consider: How many times in your life have you truly been in love? You can probably count it on one or two hands. So let’s reflect: Let’s say you’re in your forties, you’ve got four “loves” on record, and you’re upset that you’ve been on Match.com for two months and you still haven’t found anyone? A little perspective: If you’re fortunate enough to find someone special every few years, you’re extremely lucky. Which means that there’s going to be a whole lot of dates in between that don’t pan out. That’s life… and it’s OK.
|Falling in love is like panning for gold: a lot of effort for little reward… until you strike it big.|
Playing the lottery: What are the odds?
There are three things that can happen in every relationship: You dump someone, someone dumps you, or you live happily ever after. Since the last one happens really, really rarely, can anyone explain why we’re surprised and upset when potential relationships don’t work out? Imagine buying a lottery ticket and then losing sleep when your numbers don’t come up—that’s what we’re talking about here. I’m not saying you need to be callous and stoic over emotional issues like dating, I just think we need to get better at accepting that like it or not, things often (maybe even usually) don’t work out. Thomas Edison said it right, before finally inventing the light bulb. “I have not failed,” he said, “I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” So if, in fact, dating is like playing the lottery, don’t forget the lottery’s most popular slogan “You’ve got to be in it to win it!” Quitting is not an option.
Setting the bar high—so very few can jump it
Scroll through 100 Match.com profiles of potential partners in your demographic and area. Then ask yourself the following questions:
The results of this exercise tend to be eye-opening. Most likely you’ll find that the percentage of people who hit all (or even most) of these requirements is slim. We’re talking “less than 5 percent” slim. This is not a
- What percentage did you find physically attractive?
- What percentage had information that led you to think you’d enjoy having a conversation with them?
- What percentage met all your basic checklist qualities: height, weight, income, smoking and/or [fill in your criteria]?
- What percentage of the online dates you meet in person do you click with?
- Assuming a person meets all of the above criteria, what percentage of those people feel the same way about you?
judgment on anybody, except to illustrate how high we raise the bar when searching for a suitable partner. Given this, it only stands to reason that the vast majority of people are not The One, and that even a smaller percentage have future life partner potential.
|Millions of people fall in love and get married each year.|
All of this is no reason to despair. Millions of people fall in love and get married each year, tens of thousands from online dating alone. It’s just that I consistently see kind, optimistic people collapsing under the weight of their own lofty expectations. There’s nothing wrong with getting your hopes up each time you meet someone who excites you. But even if we think there’s something there, remember, they have to think so, too, and be compatible, and be open to a long term relationship, and be willing to attempt to make it work for the rest of your lives.
Falling in love is like panning for gold: a lot of effort for little reward… until you strike it big. But when dealing with such important matters of the heart, do we have any choice but to persevere? Logically, the very nature of love is that it’s rare. If you could walk down to the street corner and purchase it for ten bucks, it wouldn’t mean very much at all. So do yourself a favor and try not to get so frustrated when the needle in a haystack is, in fact, a needle in a haystack.
Dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the founder of profile writing service E-Cyrano.com and the author of Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad. Reach him directly at evanmarckatz.com.