THE REASONS WHY YOU
ARE STILL SINGLE AND LONELY
Tired of first
dates that don't result in relationships? Sick of chasing after guys
who clearly aren't ready to commit? If you've made an all-out effort
to find your match with little success, maybe it's time to rethink
your approach toward searching for true love. Here you'll find five
common mistakes women make in the dating game. If one or two sound
familiar, don't beat yourself up. Just recognize that you deserve
better and commit to making a change for good.
1. If you think
love will never find you, it won't.
I receive many posts on the Dating from women whose romantic
disappointments have left them convinced there is something
inherently unlovable about them. They say things like: "Who would
want me anyway? I'm sure I'm going to wind up alone."
Obviously these women are as worthy of love as you and I. (Yes,
we're worthy!) But they've come down with something so awful it can
keep them solo for years to come: self-fulfilling prophecy, or SFP.
SFP isn't contagious but it will make potential dates run the
opposite way. It's an insidious disease. Physically, it leaves the
sufferer untouched. But the more one walks around saying, "I will
never find love," the higher the odds that expectation will come
true. Contrarily, the sunnier one's thoughts "I'm such a cool,
happy person that I'm bound to find love" the sunnier the forecast
for her romantic future.
If you're among those throwing one too many pity parties for
herself, get busy: Start a journal. Each day write down something
lovable about yourself. It will get easier with time. You can even
consider calling or e-mailing a few close friends or relatives, so
they can share reasons they think a man would be lucky to have you.
Level with them about why you're making this request, and they'll
probably be happy to help. Whenever a negative thought threatens to
invade your mind, replace it with a positive one.
Uncover the other love mistakes that might be keeping you single
the bad-boy habit. News flash:
Good guys have not gone the way of the 8-track. They exist in bulk.
The trick is learning to both recognize and want a man of worth.
"For years I was attracted to guys whose mission was to hurt me,"
says reformed bad-boy lover Adel Harris, a 32-year-old Chicago Web
designer. "It would be obvious from the get-go. They'd never call
when they said they would, were constantly caught in stupid lies,
said they loved me, then ran around with other women. One even tried
to seduce my best friend." During these years, Adel kept railing
that her dates were the best of a bad lot: No man could be kind or
faithful. Then she attended a cousin's wedding. "Naomi's bridegroom
Rick was the sweetest man in the world. He obviously adored my
cousin and lived to please her," says Adel. "Seeing the sweet,
loving light in his eyes, I vowed that one day I'd meet a man who
would look at me like I was a treasure."
Adel took a dating hiatus and did some much-needed thinking about
the root of her obsession with bad boys. "My dad was a
life-of-the-party type, but as a husband and father he was cold and
uncaring," she admits. "He left for good when I was 10. After that,
the few times I'd see him I'd practically do cartwheels to win his
attention. When I was old enough to have a boyfriend, I began
metaphorically dating my dad. Once I realized what I'd been doing, I
started seeing the appeal of guys who weren't as flashy or
unreliable, guys who were capable of caring."
Today Adel is engaged to a Rick type. "I can't believe I wasted
all that time on men who treated me like dirt," she says. "But it
was worth it, I guess because it
eventually taught me to
truly appreciate a good man."
Repeat after me: Love is not a synonym for leash.
When Gina Thomas, a 29-year-old Manhattan magazine art director, got
engaged, it seemed like a dream come true. In her fantasies she and
her fianc้ Bill would do everything together. Bill had a different
definition. "Once we moved in together I assumed Bill would cut out
the biweekly poker games with the guys and the occasional nights out
after work," says Gina. "Our jobs left us little free time as it
was. We shouldn't have wasted it on other people."
Wanting your partner to be with you 24/7 is not realistic or fair,
yet like Gina many women feel abandoned or unloved if their other
half has needs (say, for male camaraderie or occasional solitude)
that can't be fulfilled by the relationship.
Gina's insecurity and neediness led her to make Bill feel like he
was under house arrest. And no matter how plush the jail, eventually
a prisoner wants to be set free. The two split.
The happiest couples allow each other breathing room to grow. The
more dynamic their lives apart (in terms of jobs, hobbies, friends),
the more they'll
have to share with each other when they get together.
commit emotional infidelity.
It is vital that your partner be someone you treat with courtesy and
kindness. If you tell all of your favorite jokes and "bad day"
stories to a friend or male coworker, what will you have left when
you get home to your honey? It may sound crazy, but there is a
premium on a person's time and energy there is only so much of it
to go around and if you spend yours with someone else, you're
potentially hurting your relationship. Even worse is betraying your
partner's confidences with a male friend or coworker. Just ask
Doreen Badenstadt, a 34-year-old chef from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"After six years of marriage my husband Ed and I started growing
apart. Nothing drastic, but he was no longer the first person I'd
tell when something good or bad happened," she says. "That honor
belonged to my neighbor Don."
Doreen never slept with Don, but she did begin sharing intimacies,
such as the fact that her husband wore a toupee, a fact Don joked
about at a neighborhood barbecue. Ed was shocked and felt betrayed
at hearing his business discussed over hot dogs and beer. He accused
his wife of disloyalty, precipitating the biggest fight the pair had
ever had. The couple patched things up, but Doreen was reminded the
hard way that her marriage needed to be the number one relationship
in her life.
wrong if you need to be
right. When Anne Ryan, a
29-year-old from Chicago, met her boyfriend Sam, she was delighted
that the two had so much in common. Both were lawyers and loved to
tango, downhill ski and play chess. Both were also stubbornly full
of pride. "Sam was perfect except for one horrible flaw," says Anne.
"He always needed to be right whether it was about which
restaurant served better burgers or which of us had apologized first
after our last fight. What I didn't realize until it was too late
was that I was just as bad. I couldn't admit that I'd forgotten to
give him an important phone message or that his desire to move to
L.A. was something I should seriously consider. I wanted to stay in
Chicago and that was all that mattered. It was my way or the