Here's Why You Might Be Single
And what you can do about it.
Hey single girl, how's it hanging? Did you manage to get through Valentine's Day relatively unscathed? Did you, perhaps, try that ex-banishing spell we recommended in our anti-Valentine's guide? Do tell.
If you're reading this right now, chances are that your heart is still very much intact – well, how else would you explain BEING ALIVE? – and the only real harm that befell you on February 14 came via your Facebook feed and all of those soppy statuses that provoked you to violently regurgitate your entire being. Hmm, we wonder how many of those smug relationships will actually weather the year.
Regardless, if, between puking, #RevengeBody posts and teeth-gritting masturbation sessions, you found yourself wondering why you haven't found your dream guy or gal yet, then perhaps a little professional matchmaking advice might take the edge off the dread. Writing for Goop (we know, we know, but bear with us), Santa Barbara-based psychotherapist and psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed, Ph.D., M.F.T. shares her tips on how to find love. She's been counseling women on this for thirty years so, frankly, she must really know her shit.
Realize that gorgeous love stories can be found anywhere
We've all had those moments: when you're single and scrolling through Instagram wondering, if I could just have more flawless skin, longer legs or a rounder ass, would I finally find my dream partner? It's as if only goddess-like models can find love which, when you consider that they are actually just people too, isn't all that logical. Guess what! It's your stupid insecurities talking again.
As Freed says, she has “witnessed exceptionally attractive, intelligent, self-sufficient women choose to keep their own company – for a variety of individual reasons – sometimes rather than compromise their fulfilling lives with partners who cannot truly meet them or enhance their lives.”
She has also witnessed incredible love stories that you would never read about in the fairy tales: “One eighty-two-year-old woman helped her best friend die, then fell in love with the friend's husband – with whom she traveled the world (and also reported having great sex with). A sixty-year-old woman reconnected with her high school sweetheart; he now flies monthly from the East Coast to be with her in what she describes as an exquisite romance. One thirty-year-old woman went on thirty dates in thirty weeks and then met her guy, who was completely not what she expected, but with whom she feels absolutely at home. A fifty-four-year-old woman found the love of her life to be another woman, despite having never been with a woman before.”
In short, there's still hope for you yet – you won't have to wait until you're 82, we promise.
Be the person your ideal partner would choose
We know what you're thinking: GTF out of here, bitch. I ain't about to be no '50s housewife. Cut ol' Jenny some slack though, she kind of has a point. “So often, we look outside ourselves for inspiration to feel attractive and desirable. Rather than doing it for ourselves, we look to do it for a beloved. We want their interest to motivate us to do and be the best we can,” she explains. But this is a flawed approach.
“If instead we take care of our body, mind, spirit, and emotions as though we are preparing for the romance of our life, we cultivate an irresistible glow. Don't wait for someone else to turn on your pilot light – be the light that calls out to the best (for you), no matter how far away they seem.” You tell 'em Jennifer! Freed continues that the people she knows who draw others to them are simply so full of contagious and generous life force that it makes them magnetic. They live their lives actively, express themselves and seek to contribute to others' lives.
Spend time with healthy, happy and inspiring couples
If Valentine's Day was anything to go by, we kind of want to stay as far away from loved-up couples as possible. Call us conspiracy theorists, but there must have been a fair amount of chaps who knew that every rose petal they laid down on the bed sheets would equate to a real-life like when their girlfriend inevitably shared this “intimate” moment with the entire virtual world. Even worse if that chap decides to upload his grand romantic gesture to Facebook himself to try and make all the single bitches wet. WE SEE YOU. But we digress...
Freed reckons that it's good to catch the vibes off people who have found a great match. Think of it as your own personal field study: you need to have ample evidence and confidence that great couples exist. “If you find yourself habitually critiquing other couples – saying things like, “I wouldn't want to be in that relationship,” or “I can't believe she puts up with that!” – check yourself. Energy follows thought. Attitude derives from the conversations and narratives we speak out loud,” she says. It's confirmation bias, essentially; if you have negative feelings about relationships, you'll likely scan for stories that confirm your suspicions.
Freed recommends trying a new habit: “Tout the virtues and benefits of healthy coupling wherever you see them. Scout situations and people for positive possibilities. Great couples are also usually good at referring healthy singles to one another!”
Put in the leg work
So you don't have time to find the love of your life, huh? Then how do you figure you're going to have time to fall in love? Hah! If you truly wanted to find a partner, surely you would be doing anything and everything to reach your goal. If you actually do want to meet the right person, Freed recommends that you put it on the top of your priority list every day: “Consider the ways people meet their special person and make a point of doing one or more of these things often:
- Participate in a spiritual group
- Try online dating
- Go on blind dates referred by friends
- Be open to meeting someone through work
- Travel on singles trips
- Volunteer at places you value
- Join political or activist groups
- Frequent local restaurants or coffee shops on a regular basis
- Hit the gym, yoga studio, or other workout classes regularly
- Hike with groups
- Take cooking classes, art classes, and other higher education programs.”
And to be fair, Jennifer has a point. So often people of our generation expect to meet the one through Tinder or at a club, when one is based on pure superficiality and the other – most likely – on poor perception. In short, make time to do the things you love and you'll find someone with similar interests – interests that aren't just banging and raving.
On the point of bad hook-ups, steer clear
We all love a no-fucks-given fuck now and again – if the hook-up can at least make us orgasm – but if you're truly on a quest to meet the love of your life, banging people just for the sake of it is an unworthy distraction. “The one thing I see that absolutely derails the match quest is getting involved with inappropriate people, for whatever reason,” Freed says. “Any liaison involving a person who is somehow not truly available – because they are married, or whatever other reason – keeps the psyche cluttered and distracted.”
It's simple logic: if you are devoted to finding the best person for you, you're more likely to find them. “Mind-blowing, outstanding connections come from open and clear spaces within us. Relationships that are noble and fulfilling take time. Spending our precious moments in trysts that don't really go anywhere dilutes our power,” Freed continues. And it's okay to be lonely from time to time: “Get massages instead of seeking out meaningless sex. Try an extreme emotional risk like a singing or stand-up comedy class rather than the far-more-toxic thrill of hooking up with a married man or woman,” she advises.
The bottom line: “Every day, act like you are a catch, and treat yourself as if you are the one you have been waiting for. Spending time this way brings you more joy along the way; and when you find your person, it will be as if you have been with them all along.”
Next up, five secrets to long-lasting love, according to relationship experts.