It’s a question so many people today are asking. Heck, the hit TV series How I Met Your Mother is based on it. Those of us who sit on the couch with roommates watching rom-coms and eating pints of ice cream, those of us who get all dressed up and go out on the town every weekend, and those of us who go through heartbreaks and stagnant relationships are all asking it. We look high and low, find someone we think we’re going to spend a decent length of time with (if not forever), and then it ends. So we cry or bawl, binge on junk food, drown our sorrows with the bottle of wine we thought we’d never open, throw things and rip up of all our photographs (or just un-tag him from all of them on Facebook), listen to some Taylor Swift revenge songs (admit it, you’ve done it, too) and Netflix marathon our grief away all asking the same question: Why haven’t I found “the one”?
I may not have or know the answers, either in this or my Stop Looking for Love article. But this I do know: All joking aside, it can be frustrating to be single and waiting for “the one” to come along or in a relationship that is going nowhere, giving you the feeling that you’re not with “the one.” You don’t feel like you can be loved for being yourself, or the person you’re with won’t (or doesn’t know how to) commit. Either way, you’re not sure when you’re going to meet someone who you’ll be with for the rest of your life.
To all my fellow singleladies, youmay be looking in every possible place for someone who just might be Mr. Right. It doesn’t matter where you are—you could be in a coffee shop, a library, at a bar, the gym, walking through the park, or even the film-worthy “across a crowded room”—you are always looking. You may not have a “checklist” for a potential partner (tall, gorgeous, athletic, hilarious), but you know what type of man you’d like (a cross between Hugh Jackman and Adam Levine). You can’t just sit around waiting for Mr. Perfect to come and sweep you off your feet. You have to go out and meet people. Talk to the guy you think is attractive. That doesn’t mean you immediately have to ask him to come home with you, but ask him out for coffee. Finding the person you’re going to spend a majority of your time with starts with baby steps. Baby steps out to coffee, baby steps to a nice dinner, baby steps to meeting your family, baby steps to getting engaged, baby steps down the aisle, and baby steps through your marriage (and possibly future family).
To all you ladies who seem “stuck” in a relationship where your partner doesn’t seem ready to commit: TALK to him. It’s a lot easier said than done, but talking to him will open doors so you see where your relationship truly is. Any relationship requires communication—effective communication. You may think you’re being totally obvious with the all the signs that say “I’m ready to move forward,” but he just may not be getting it. I knew a woman who was talking to her then-boyfriend about their relationship and where it was going when she blurted out “Well, I want to make this permanent.” Sixth months later, they were married. Moral of the story: It’s OK to be honest and be obvious about your intentions. If he doesn’t feel the same way, then maybe he wasn’t “the [right] one” for you. If that’s the case and you end up breaking up: don’t get discouraged. Drown your sorrows in some Netflix episodes, eat some chocolate, drink some wine with friends, or go kickboxing to get out any aggression. Then, don’t waste your time crying over him. Instead, do things that make you happy: get a manicure or pedicure, get your hair blown out or chopped off or dyed, and go pick out a new sexy dress or jeans or stilettos.
Being in a relationship won’t solve your problems. In fact, sometimes not being in a relationship allows you to grow. Coming from someone who has been single for quite some time, I know that I tend to grow and find out more of who I am when I am talking with my friends and family about deep issues. You can grow in so many more ways when you’re single and “waiting” for your dream partner than being in a relationship trying to conform to their ideals. That isn’t to say that you don’t have to compromise in a relationship, but practicing self-discipline and routines when you’re single can help when you’re in a relationship. For example, if you practice now picking up your bobby pins off the floor when they inevitably fall off your desk, it may be something your future boyfriend will appreciate when (or if) he ever does the vacuuming.
No matter the case, be yourself, even if it seems awkward at first. Shakespeare said (or wrote) it best: “To thine own self be true.” If you aren’t being real with the person you’re interested in, then you’re not only fooling them, you’re fooling yourself. Communicate with the person you’re with about what you want. If they don’t want the same things, maybe they aren’t the perfect person for you. You’ll probably be happier being yourself single than being a fake “perfect woman” for someone else. Give yourself time and space to find “the one.” After all, love doesn’t have an expiration date.