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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Single and Looking for Love...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Single and Looking for Love...



Or at least a date?


You are not alone. Seems that meeting someone has become more tedious. Why is it that so many people are finding that it's so hard to meet the right (right-enough) person. The difficulty meeting someone seems not to be biased towards men or women. In my office, I work with singles of both genders who interestingly enough have many of the same concerns about how and where to meet someone these days.

Most have tried online dating, the bar scene, a meet-up or two. A few have tried speed dating, bachelor auctions. A bunch more have tried flirting at concerts, on cruises, and at the grocery store. Some venues, it seems, work better than others. And some singles tell me that they are decidedly biased against certain kinds of venues, and for a variety of reasons. Some say having to be proactive at all feels wrong, who wants to feel "desperate" enough to have to actually go looking for love. (Though feeling desperate and being desperate are not the same. Feelings are not always facts, after all). But many believe you shouldn't have to look. Love - initial meeting and all - should just happen.


I agree. It should. But it doesn't always. One of the things that many singles who venture out looking must face is the slamming loss of that fantasy. The deeply romantic wish that love would just happen. The romantic in me must tell you that I do believe that it does happen. But the pragmatist in me also must tell you that going out looking can help things along.


Someone told me recently that she decided that she would have coffee with 200 men. (Not at the same time). She tenderly took her perfect "how I will meet the love of my love" fantasy, and all the longing that went with it, and tucked it safely away in her heart, and made a list of every possible way to meet a man. She then picked the three "best of the bad" options and committed to having coffee with 200 men. She married number 162.

I know the bar scene can be tiresome. I know that online dating is risky. I know that speed dating can be daunting and frenzied. I know that it's hard to bump into all that potential rejection and disappointment, to have to put in time, emotion, hope and effort. It does seem easier to curl up with a good book, a cup of tea and your cat. And your fantasy.


I think though, that there is an aura to meeting someone. The things you try may actually yield results, or sometimes, just by opening one door, somehow, another door opens too. I do not pretend that this is easy, not at all. It can help to stay curious about what the options are, what it means to try them, how and when to stay the course and when to take a break. It helps to unpack what gets in the way of making the effort, everything from fear to frustration. Usually, there is quite a list. And to consider that there is a difference between waiting and preparing. Doing what is possible to learn about ourselves, about what has shaped us, what holds us back, what we really long for, can go along way towards new doors opening. And of course taking exquisitely good care of yourself by nurturing your friendships, your body, your spirit and your creative drives goes a long way toward helping your resiliency during the search, toward surviving loneliness when it bites, and toward fostering a strong sense of self, which you can carry with you when love does, at last, knock.












4 comments:

Eating Alone said...

I met my future wife while playing an online game. I was not looking but she kept on messaging me and I would tell her the honest truth (because I was not looking). This gave her almost 6 months of talking to me before we met. I only found out later that she had been checking me out and was so supprised that we fit so well together.

Oh and we get married on Nov. 25th this year and the cold feet are turning into icecycles. 24 years of being alone is a tough nut to crack.

Lily said...

So many things floating through my mind that I could comment on. None of which I could do in any sort of precise or short fashion...

So I'm just going to thank you for the post and food for thought :)

Melissa Groman, LCSW said...

You're welcome Lily, and thanks as always for stopping by!

Melissa Groman, LCSW said...

Congrats EA!
So glad to hear your story! Thanks for stopping by!