Reasons (some might say excuses) why we’re still single abound: it’s so hard to meet men in this big city, this town’s too small, all the good ones are married, I hate going to bars, the internet dating sites are full of creeps, I never meet anyone new, my colleagues are too old/young/gay, I work from home, etc etc. Sometimes it feels so much easier (on our egos) to put up zillions of roadblocks than to actually make a change.
If you’re really serious about being in a relationship, here are 4 things you’ve probably never heard that if taken to heart, are guaranteed to change your attitude, and your relationship status:
STEP 1: Self-help Cleanse
Shake off that He’s Just Not That Into You depression. Burn that copy of Mars and Venus for the Single Girl that your great-aunt sent for your birthday. Throw out The Rules, Never Eat Alone, and even The Ethical Slut which you ordered as a joke but keep under your bed for reference. There is no point in caring what all guys want because you don’t want all guys, you only need one.
STEP 2: Romance Diet
Limit all consumption of rom-com/rom-dram movies and TV shows for minimum one month. This is deprogramming phase! Years of Hollywood brainwashing and disinformation via the big and small screens about true love have stunted your vision of a good relationship. If he doesn’t stand outside my window with a boom box/chase me down at the airport to profess his love/make a big speech in the pouring rain/light candles and throw rose petals on the bed, he doesn’t really love me! But by limiting your exposure to any more unrealistic romantic propaganda you’re giving yourself space to figure out what exactly ‘romance’ means to you.
STEP 3: Want vs. Need
When we were younger, we left decent relationships on a little ‘gut feeling’, which was really just the confidence that we could find someone else who would fulfill us that much more. Nowadays when the man buffet is a bit less bountiful, it’s harder to see the wisdom in that mentality. But some of us are so stunted by unrealistic expectations, that we still don’t recognize that the perfect man does not exist. In the same way you might want a pair of suede Calvin Klein over-the-knee stiletto-heel boots, you know that it snows or rains half the year and you actually need all-weather Sorels to keep your feet happy and warm.
STEP 4: You Complete Me
The worst myth of all! No one person is going to be all things for you. And they shouldn’t be. Unless you and your mate plan on moving to a deserted island, your guy doesn’t need to fill in all of your blanks. Do you have chemistry, find him interesting, respect him and his beliefs, and trust him? Awesome. So, art galleries bore him, he can’t stand playing volleyball with your work team, and he hates shopping? Totally fine. That’s why you have great friends and family in your life. Also good news if a relationship does not end up in happily ever after – there is always going to be another guy who meets many of your needs in a romantic partner, just in different ways.
* Would it matter to you if the details of your relationship would never qualify for an epic romantic film? Have you ever bought a self-help book and been offended by its content?