Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Dating Suggestion to the Deeply Frustrated

So, you've done the work on yourself to be ready and open for a relationship. You've tried every option and avenue you can think of. You been on countless dates with countless people and still, you're sitting here single.

May I suggest something? It's time to give up.

Specifically, give up the attachment you have to finding and having a committed partner in your life.

The way I see it, the effort of going on dates, trying out new ways to meet people, and opening space for dating and a potential new partner are all necessary ingredients. However, at the same time, none of that will necessarily lead you to getting that person you want into your life. And to push the idea above further, there's a point where focus on finding a partner slides into obsession.

In other words, sometimes more effort and mental energy are not at all what's needed - letting go completely is is what's needed. Because when you actually finally do that, you realize that it's all an ebb and flow and that letting go of your desire for relationship doesn't have to be some depressing finality, but that it's basically about admitting that you don't know. Don't know if doing anything else is needed. Or if it's going to happen or not eventually.

How can you find joy and satisfaction now, as you are? Not only is this attractive to other healthy, intelligent, creative people, but it's also an attractive way to live, period. But in my experience, it seems to require being ok with not knowing a lot. With learning to balance intelligent effort with some form of faith that it will all work out in the end.


  1. Well said. I would never put dating over working out, my friends, my dogs, my work, my family . . . Because when you do, it's a whole lot of effort and sacrifice for what may end up being nothing in the end.

  2. Yes. I'm glad you specified the difference between letting go and giving up. I know that I've never had much dating success when I was desperate to get into a relationship. Once I was able to stop being invested in the outcome every time I met a guy, I apparently became a much more attractive prospect. Besides, dating is a lot more fun if you're not worried about meeting "the one" every time you have coffee with someone new!

  3. "Besides, dating is a lot more fun if you're not worried about meeting "the one" every time you have coffee with someone new!"

    No doubt!

  4. True, but what about the people we date who may still have that mentality? While we're letting go and living it one day at a time, the person is trying to figure out if we're "the one" and close the deal if the answer is yes. Should we turn the person away just for that, or give them some room and hope they'll grow? After all, we've all been there.

    36andsingle - LOL, I'd like to think that, if I'm dating a guy, then I'd take priority over his dog... he'd probably take priority over mine! I'm sure my dog won't mind playing second fiddle :D Now kids and elderly parents, that's another story... Seriously though, at this point I see dating as a way to meet new people, with many of whom I'd like to remain in touch afterwards (we do have a lot in common and a lot to talk about, otherwise we wouldn't meet). So, I try to give these people at least some priority, treat them at least the same as I would my casual friends. I'm still new to dating, so this approach may change.

  5. Goldie - I think you're whole comment can be boiled down to a need for balance.

    I wouldn't turn away a date for simply having a mindset of searching for "the one." Each one of us will have areas in our lives in need of growth, and other areas where we've developed moreso than our partners perhaps.

    And as for prioritizing, there's a difference between giving people you go on dates your attention and basic respect, and obsessing about their every last thought and motive. I always offer the former, and am willing to give my full attention while on a date. And if I'm interested, I'll make an effort to demonstrate that. What I'm writing about above is about not making dating your only focus (outside of work, eating, and sleeping). Which some people seem to do. In fact, their dating life even starts to impact their working, eating, and sleeping. That's not healthy, in my view.

  6. Your post couldn't have come at a better time for me. And there is a difference between giving up and readjusting your priorities. It's time for me to change my focus. Thanks!!!