People often refer to older single's as 'leftovers.' Well, I am no leftover, nor do I deserve to settle for someone that is.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Help me, I'm...Desperate??

It’s a fine line we walk, us single girls. Young or old, we are constantly judged as being either desperate or too independent. Unfortunately I can’t exclude myself from this because I have done my fair share of judging. I know…I can be a stupid girl sometimes! Either way, nobody likes being judged. I have spent my entire life trying to avoid stereotypical behaviors relating to being labeled ‘desperate.’ At times I may even veer more toward the, ‘too independent’ side of things. Either way, the question constantly on my mind is…’how exactly am I supposed to behave when I do want marriage, it is my goal, without coming across as wanting it so badly that I repel any possibilities?’ ‘How do I live my life without becoming too intimidating for the egocentric male gender?’ It’s a real balancing act I tell ya. I can’t say that I have found any answers because, as it turns out, I am still single! My philosophy has always been to continue to make goals in my life to feel like I am moving forward so that I am not just sitting around waiting for marriage or a relationship to make me happy.

Despite my efforts to appear nonchalant on the subject, I still get reeled in by the excitement of any possible relationships. Sure I have goals in life and I’m trying my hardest to make the most of what I have but honestly, the only thing that I really, truly want out of life anymore is a family. Well, I want other things and enjoy the things I do but…you know what I mean?

Having decided to take on this challenge of dating 40 men in one year when, to be honest, I probably haven’t dated 40 men my entire life, has made me further contemplate my status in this dilemma. Don’t get me wrong, I have been on my fair share of dates, but dating has never really been my forte. Anyway, starting a blog, soliciting male attention on the internet, begging friends to set me up…it makes me wonder, am I desperate? Or am I just trying to do my part? I mean…in some ways, you have to put yourself out there. You have to try. I’m hoping that this is how I come across…not as the example of desperate which I will shortly give you. My reflection has caused some research and analysis of my situation as compared to others. Two sources have come to my aid in easing my conscience on the matter. One unlikely, and the other previously referred to. Yep…The Bachelor and Dr. Phil. I know it sounds like I watch too much reality t.v but rest assured, I’m reading Dr. Phil’s “Love Smart” and only currently follow two shows. Let’s start with the Doctor. I know I recently referred to his advice but I will probably continue to share some of his words of wisdom until I move on to a new book or learning device.

The first word of advice from the Doctor is to take a look at how much time you are spending each week on your quest to find love. He says that our time allotted to finding a life partner should be reflective of its place on our priority list. This made me feel a little better because all I’m doing now is making it more of a priority and keeping it a constant focus and goal. He also suggests that we take a look at ourselves and really try to be honest with ourselves about why we have not reached this goal. He advises that, “maybe there is something wrong with how you behave and present yourself in the eyes of the people you are trying to attract” (p. 71). Nobody likes to look at themselves this way but as he states, “you cannot change what you do not acknowledge” (p.70). Finally, he warns that, “you can’t continue to use the same behaviors and skills that haven’t worked so far and expect them to start working all of a sudden” (p. 71).

Okay, so Dr. Phil suggests some real self-reflection. This is a good reminder for me. I have to change my ways if I want to change the outcome. I’m hoping that that’s what I’m doing. More contemplation on this subject will certainly take place however, as I decipher my next move. He also describes what desperate is, which brings me to my next source: The Bachelor. More specifically, Michelle on the Bachelor. Don’t think I am going to give you a weekly update of my opinions on these ladies but I think that the best way to truly paint a picture of ‘desperate’ is to recount her behaviors. It was the first night of the show, she hadn’t really even met Jake and she was in the confessional crying, stating that, “if she didn’t get a rose, it would kill her.” Wow…pretty drastic! Having a man in our lives shouldn’t be a matter of life and death. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I am proud of who I have become and happy with my life. I would love, love, love to have love in my life but I refuse to let it take my life from me. If you didn’t see the show, see if you can at least find a clip. For some reason he kept her around but I think it’s just because he is such a nice guy.

Anyway, I think that as long as I don’t act like Michelle but I do put myself out there I’m doing alright. From what I have learned, it’s all in the attitude. “Loving smart means believing in you, your worth and your value” (McGraw, p.83). Some of the Doctor’s best advice is that, “thinking like a winner, feeling like a winner and behaving like a winner are essential to victory” (p. 81). In the midst of all the negativity that we face as women, this is quite the challenge! Every time I feel like I’m ready to rise to meet it, something happens…or doesn’t happen, to bring me back down. However, in the words of one of my favorite poems, “The Race,” the challenge in life is to “rise each time we fall.” In my case…this project is keeping me motivated to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task. Each time I feel like it is hopeless, yet I must continue, I feel like I am blessed with some kind of reward. Sure, it’s a slow start…but things will happen! I’m still learning and trying but they will happen.

Speaking of things happening….remember how I emailed some friends about setting me up? Just as I was feeling pretty ridiculous about the whole thing, I received a reply. An old friend of mine responded with, “Ask and ye shall receive.” How appropriate! He works with a ‘pretty cool guy’ that is 30 and willing to be set up. So, hopefully I can get another date soon. I gave him my number to give to this mystery man. Now I need to research and come up with a couple of possibilities for dates. It always makes for an awkward conversation when it ends up being, “I don’t know, what do you want to do….I don’t care, what do you want to do….” To avoid this, I am going to have some suggestions prepared just in case he asks! I will keep you posted on what fun things I find to do on a date in this city and the date itself!

P.S…thanks for all of your support! I love your comments and encouragement. Keep telling your single friends to join the blog and feel free, whoever you are, to comment! I love your advice and of course, it’s always nice knowing you’re not alone!!

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