1. You assume something’s wrong with you. There’s actually nothing wrong with or uncommon about being single. A 2010 census shows that 51.6 percent of households are headed up by unmarried adults, up from around 44% in 1990. (Source: unmarriedamerica.org). You assume one flaw is holding you back: hips, hair, age. Guess what. There is no height, age, or weight requirement in the world of love and dating. You’re not auditioning to be a Rockette; you’re looking to connect with another human being. Big difference.
>>DO IT: Look around. Open your eyes. Survey the subway, the restaurant, the sidewalk. How many truly gorgeous couples do you see? Since when is there a looks requirement for love? There isn’t.
2. You assume that everyone in a couple is happier than you. For every woman or man who believes finding a partner is the end-all be-all, there’s someone inside of a relationship dying to get out. Trust me on this one. Not saying it can’t be great, but life is hardly perfect on the other side. You simply trade one set of problems for another.
>>DO IT: Get a reality check. Talk to some of your coupled friends who’ve been together for 5, 10, 20 years. Talk to some divorced folks. Find out if your illusions hold up to reality. Recognize that your own happiness is what you bring to a relationship, and the idea that someone will come along and complete you or fix your life sets you up for disappointment now–and later.
3. You assume the worst. You’ve been hurt. So has everyone else. Past hurt does not predict future hurt. But one thing’s for sure–if you don’t open yourself up and practice trusting new people, that hurt will squeeze the life out of any potential connection. People can smell bitterness and distrust a mile away. And it does not become you.
>>DO IT: Open up. Your fear of hurt has you thinking you’ll be “smarter” this time, or better, or tougher. But none of these things makes you better at loving, and in fact can make things harder. Rather than run from this risk, embrace it. Counter that instinct to stay guarded, and open up more. When you go on a date, head in knowing that this person has had his share of pain too. You’re not opponents. You’re in this together.
Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.
I pretty much agree with you, but personally only first and third ones are my problem.
1: I always think I’m not pretty/smart/good enough so social situations make me overwhelmed. It’s difficult for me to ‘put myself out there’. And I see that lots of women have same problem.
2: I don’t really understand why people think that only being in relationship can make them happy. I know it can be difficult sometimes, especially because when you’re getting older more and more your friends are in long-term relationships and if you’re not you can feel like a third wheel… But how you feel depends on your and their attitudes. And if you still feel uncomfortable – finding new, single friends is not being unfaithful to your coupled friends and they will (at least should) understand that you need ‘singles time’ sometimes. I want to be in relationship, who wouldn’t, but I am happy on my own, since I started to appreciate my singledom and all its perks.
3: I still have lots of doubts when I meet new people but I try to overcome them. I am very nice and friendly, but some time ago some of my (male) friends told me that I behave sometimes like ‘Snow Queen’ (not all in those words). At first, I was outraged, but when I thought about it I realized that not trusting means I’m isolating from other people, because I don’t want to get hurt. Since then I started working on that and I’m letting others in, even if others means only friends and family. But it’s a good beginning, I suppose.
I love your advice. I’ll try to stick to them. 🙂
Good. because #2 is a big problem and can be more disappointing than the others–simply b/c you can end up expecting things to get easier in ways that they may not, just b/c you’re coupled. As far as your friend’s comment–well, if you got upset, maybe he hit a nerve. You can be perfectly nice and pleasant and still come off cold as a fish. The key isn’t “nice” but engaging, open, trusting. This is key–and it does take practice. You have to soldier on, even when you feel, or know, you could get hurt.
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