I’ve been single forever. I finally tried online dating, and I can’t find anyone. I’m desperate to meet someone, and I feel like I should have by now. I thought the online thing would solve the problem. I feel so lame being single, and I wish I had someone.
Dear Lonely Loser,
I wish I could say to you that Mr. or Ms. Right will be waiting for you at such and such a time and place, and all you have to do is show up and smile. I wish I could say that when you meet this person, it will be easy, smooth and conflict-free. But I can’t say that. No one can.
Failing that, I wish your perfect person would materialize from those dating websites you’re trolling, but nothing in life is that simple. Landing a dream job, getting in shape, achieving spiritual harmony — whatever is on your lifelong to-do list, add creating a lifelong partnership to it. And take a deep breath, because it could take a while.
Here’s the good news: You have someone waiting for you, ready to give you some fierce, unconditional love. Guess who: you!
I know, it’s not the answer you wanted. But learning to love yourself is the first step to a contented, satisfying relationship. If you think your life will suddenly be complete when you find someone, you’re mistaken. You’re responsible for your own happiness. If you don’t know what makes you happy, how will that future partner?
Here are some homework assignments to help build the self-esteem you need to feel good about being on your own:
- Write in a journal. Get in touch with your interests and feelings beyond romance.
- Travel. There’s a whole world out there that’ll put your situation in perspective.
- Find a hobby. Always wanted to sail, skateboard, learn to tango, skeet shoot or volunteer at a local nonprofit? Now’s your chance. You’ve got all this solo time. Use it to focus your energy on something other than your loneliness.
- Change up your routine. Take a different route to work. If you drive, try biking or riding the bus. Go to a new restaurant during your lunch break. Experiment with your wardrobe or exercise routine. Get outside your comfort zone, and you’ll start to see the world differently.
Instead of waiting around for someone, use this time to figure out what makes you happy and pursue it. Who knows? You might even meet some dating prospects along the way.