1. Dating should be fun
Dating seems like such a stressful experience when you’re on Tindr or on one-off going nowhere dates with people you meet at the bar. Try to talk yourself out of feeling this way. Dating is like, the great American pasttime. You get to get dressed up and meet a whole new person. They might not be a great match for you but you will get to try something new, have fun with a new person, and improve your dating skills for the next one.
2. It’s not about “your standards being too high” or “not settling”
It’s about learning to love yourself and learning to find people that are capable of love. Maybe this means you’re working on yourself for right now, maybe it means you are still searching through people. Try to avoid feeling like being single is a state you are in because you are doing something wrong. People on death row have boyfriends and girlfriends and spouses so it’s clearly not about being “good enough.” Be open, try new things, be the best person you can be — it will happen.
3. It only takes one
My family has a harvest party each year (we live in the country). A few years ago my 30-year-old sister was there feeling sorry for herself for still being single. At that same party the next year the man she’d started dating six months earlier proposed. At that same part a year later they got married. So, she went from hopelessly single to very happily married in exactly two years. The great thing about being single is that at any moment you can meet the right person. You don’t have to have a high batting average, you just have to have one home run. One out of thousands.
4. It’s never too late to start over
If you’re stuck in a casual relationship and it’s going nowhere but you’re afraid to break it off because being single again is scary — take a leap. End it and feel fresh and ready to try again. Don’t drag it out because of the sunk cost fallacy. Breaking yourself off from something that’s not working makes you more open and hungry to find something that does work.
5. It’s okay to be lonely sometimes
It’s not pathetic. And, secret time, people in relationships still feel lonely sometimes too. It’s natural.
6. Being in a relationship doesn’t guarantee anything
It won’t make you happy if you’re unhappy now, it won’t fix your life problems or cure your anxiety. Being in a relationship is just living your life with another person and for all the great things it brings it also comes with its own set of problems. And, not to be morbid, but if you’re anxious to couple up so that you won’t be single in your 30s or when you’re actually old or so you can raise kids with someone — shit happens. People die or get divorced. Even if you stay married for the rest of your life one of you is going to die first and the other will “die alone.” That’s why it’s important to maintain relationships with your social circle, not disappear into a relationship and lose all your social skills.
Relationships aren’t a capital ‘A’ Answer for anything, they are something you do because you love the person — not because you need them to solve your life.
7. Never stop giving people a chance
The more you date the more you can get an ego about how easily you can read people or tell if they are the right kind of person for you. Stop doing this every once in awhile and check in. Look at your opposite sex friends that you respect, do they have weird quirks that would cause you to write them off right away? No one is perfect, and not everyone shows their best qualities right away. Let go of the things you don’t care so much about in order to determine whether people have the qualities you care deeply about before you dismiss them.
8. Like attracts like
If you think “all men suck” you will attract a man who sucks. If you think “all women are irrational” you will attract a woman who is irrational. And vice versa. Don’t be bitter. Absolutely no one likes that. Become a great, loving, happy person. Et voilà!
9. Be willing to date someone as ugly/financially insecure/sexually experienced/weighed down by baggage as you
If you have kids, be willing to date someone with kids, or a messy ex-spouse. This is why self-improvement is so important — you should try to be the best person you can be and as a result attract the best person you can. Most people that are doing really well in their lives don’t want a charity case, they want an equal.
10. Your worst fear is probably not going to happen
Does it ever? Do you ever have a goal and work towards it for years and never see progress? That’s just not the way things work out most of the time. When being in a relationship is a priority for you, put your time and energy into it. Just like every other goal in your life that you work at and improve on, you’ll eventually figure it out.