All my single ladies, put your hands up! Single men, put your hands up too.
This blog is for the 'singles' (myself included), who are dating, wanting to find a partner and finding the whole process to be a little draining. It’s a you are awesome, keep going type blog that pokes fun at some of the unhelpful pieces of advice we are often given or myths we are told and offers a few suggestions of how to keep swiping when you cannot be eff'd.
When it comes to dating, there are two pieces of advice on how to 'find the one' that often float around the 'new age / self-help' space that seem particularly unhelpful. They are the ‘it will happen when you not are looking for it' line (is this code for stop trying, you seem desperate?) and the ‘just love yourself first, then you will find someone to love you' line.
Please excuse me while I vomit.
I don't think these pieces of advice are particularly helpful. Here’s why:
It's really deflating to tell someone who is desiring a relationship and looking for a partner to not take the steps towards what they want and to imply that wanting it somehow makes then ‘desperate’.
This leads me to that second piece of unhelpful advice, 'love yourself first before you can love someone / someone can love you back.'
For example if you are someone who partnered up at a young age and are still in your relationship it would be ridiculous to break up and be single just to ‘love yourself more’ then get back together. You can do self-love work on your own, or within a relationship. Implying to single people that one of the reasons they are not with someone is because they do not ‘love themself enough’ is ridiculous and hurtful, in the same way it is ridiculous to assume that all people who are coupled up are happy within themselves or with their life.
Here’s how stupid it can sound when you imply to a single person they will only meet their partner when they are ‘100% complete within themselves/their life’. I’ll use the example of wanting a pet dog to illustrate my point.
Let’s say you feel great in your life and within yourself, but you have this longing deep inside of you for a pet dog. You suppress this feeling though, because you feel it somehow makes you less than. When you talk about wanting a dog with your friends you tend to keep the conversation light and casual. Everyone always tells you how a dog would be so lucky to have you and how you would be a great dog owner. But the conversation never really progresses how to actually get a dog because it continues to circle back to how you should feel happy without the dog... as the way to get the dog.
So you don’t take any steps towards actually getting a dog. You don’t meet with breeders, or make a dream dog pinterest board or visit the dog rescue place and spending some time with the dogs that are available for adoption. You basically take no action towards getting your pet dog and instead keep living your ‘#bestlife.’
But it’s ok! Because you were told that one day you will be walking along the beach at sunset, minding your own business, living that best life of yours and out of the blue a perfect, available, emotionally stable puppy will run up to you, look you in the eyes and bark ‘I’m your dog’!
Could the human version of this dog story happen? Sure.
Do you know someone who knows someone who randomly met their partner while they were living their '#bestlife'? Sure.
I am all for us singles (and people in relationships for that matter) finding ways to genuinely feel good and to be satisfied with our lives. And agree that of course it is not healthy to look to another to ‘fill' the 'empty’ parts of you. But here's the thing, you can meet someone at any stage of your journey, just like they can meet you at any stage of their journey.
So if, like me, you are finding the whole dating experince to be just a little draining, I’ve got three suggestions for how you can put a spring in your step..or swipe.
1. Take breaks. Because let’s be honest, if you have been on the apps, on the town and on the sites for any longer than a day, you probably a little exhausted by dating. During your break times, you could read this book: The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherine Gray. It’s really good.
2. Know your attachment style and date accordingly. If you have no idea what I am talking about, start with this book: Attached, The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. This has been one of the most influential books in my life to date.
3. Tell your friends you are dating, and tell them about your dates. So if the dates go well, or terribly, your friends can celebrate with you either way. I have an awesome girl gang that keep my spirits high when dates turn out to be 15 years older than their profile says they are, or they are still hung up on their ex.
So to all you wonderful single people out there, courageously interning in the dating world… just remember there is someone, somewhere, thinking about you, hoping to meet you, wondering about you, looking for you, as you are them.
And as you get your date on, remember these words from Baz Luhrmann ('Everybody's free to wear sunscreen')
Love your single lady, Rosie
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