Friday, January 6, 2017

Dumb Luck

In the last years of my off and on again singlehood, I’ve heard one consistent thing from men and women: “Stop looking for it and it (love) will find you”.   And, I’d like to address this common catch phrase now because honestly, it gets on my nerves.  

If I stop looking, a man isn’t going to fall out of the sky and into my lap.  We don’t live in a cartoon.  He isn’t going to arrive at my doorstep with flowers in hand, smile at me with a twinkle in his eye and ask me out. 

A single man will not know I’m single if I’m spending my week days at work, and my evenings home alone on my couch.  
How would any single men out there in the world possibly know I am single if I don’t put myself out there?   The bigger question is why shouldn’t I put myself out there?  Why is there this stigma that if a woman is looking for someone, she’s trying too hard or afraid to be alone???

Funny enough, these same people that tell me to sit back, stop looking and some man will find me don’t even believe in God or any other higher power.  So which is it people – fate? dumb luck? God? Karma? Fairies? Unicorns?  Harry Potter?  Is there some sort of cosmic alternate reality that I’ve failed to locate?  

I am not going to split my life between sitting home watching my daughter grow up and being nothing more than a Mom and full time employee.  I still need to live and be me.  If I don’t look, my daughter will be 25 in the blink of an eye, and I will still be waiting for Mr. Right to fall from the sky.  Is trying to find someone who will enjoy the ride of life with me and coast off into the sunset of our lives together such a bad thing?   
I am not afraid to be alone, but I cannot meet anyone with the same values if I do not keep my opportunities and life’s doors open.  

So single ladies here it is:
If we close ourselves off, men will simply assume that we are either in a relationship or a reclusive cat lady with a few screws loose.  Men don’t like to be shot down so they’d rather just not embarrass themselves by randomly asking a woman in a grocery store if she’s single.  So unless he’s married or boldly arrogant with nothing to lose, no man with any level of class will be asking you for your number in the grocery store.

As for dating sites, I’ve heard that there are some happy endings from these toxic places, but again they’re usually involving couples under 35 years old who have never been married before.
So where does that leave a single woman over 40?  It leaves her approaching dating like looking for a job.  But hey, what if we apply the same principle to searching for a job “just stop looking for it and it will find you”?

Well then we would all be living in a van down by the river (with the late Chris Farley) wouldn’t we?  If you need groceries, you go out and get them.  They won't appear in your cupboards by themselves.  If you need gas for your car, you don’t just stop filling up and hope your tank will be filled daily by the Gas Fairies.

So why are we supposed to sit back, become passive, stop looking and let love find us?  Does a job find us when we need one?  No, it does not.    
Does money find us when we stop working for it?  No.

It’s just not that simple anymore.  There are many more single women working against you, putting themselves out there, advertising themselves as available and on an aggressive search for a partner.  In this day and age, you can’t just hope that Aunt Ruby will hook you up with her butcher Fred (who’s wife just died) and set you both up after church on a Sunday.  Those days are over, if they ever existed outside of some TV show or classic movie starring Judy Garland.  

Dating has to be approached with the finesse and assertiveness of job searching.  You want it, go get it.   Ask questions, network, put on your best shoes and go find “It”.  Love fairies aren’t going to sprinkle fairy dust on you, and Cupid isn’t going to shoot some guy in the ass so you both can be matched up by the magical forces of love.  

Lastly, I know there will be some women that will read this and say “Well, I wasn’t looking and I met my husband at a BBQ at my cousin’s house.”  Good for you!  You must have been wearing lucky horseshoes that day under your bra, and that’s a one in a million chance so hold onto him my dear.  But my guess is at the time one or all of these things were true:  you were both never married before, at least one of you was under 35 and it was like 20+ years ago that that happened.  Things just aren’t that easy in 2017.

So to the single women out there, the first step is you need to love yourself.  Wholeheartedly.  Be happy with who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and be thankful and have gratitude for what and who you have in your life.

After that, once your head is in the right place and you are sure you are ready to find it, go find it.  Put yourselves out there.  Smile, laugh, enjoy your friends, be social, attend gatherings of friends and family.  Let people know what a great person you are and that you’re single.  Do the dating site thing if you need to, but be safe about it.  And remember that what you put out there into the dating scene, is what you’re going to get back from it.  Advertise yourself well and be happy and positive.  You will only attract what you’re advertising for.  If you advertise yourself with too much sex upfront (sexting, photos, dirty talk), you’re going to find men who are scum and looking for just sex.   

Last but not least, do not take it personally if someone is not interested.  It’s not you, it’s him. 
Keep pushing on, things are going to get better. 

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