TV’s on the blink and the antenna is out of kilter. You wish someone with good hands could take the tube apart and find out what’s wrong. Mind you, his hands could serve a hundred and one purposes too, but for now…
Enough already. You’re beginning to feel like the odd man out. And every time you go out with your friends for a drink, you stick out like a sore thumb because you’re the only one who’s coming without a half, unescorted.
You wonder if someone up there had other plans for you. Like be a missionary in some lost Pacific island and spread the message of Love. Ruefully, you look up in the skies and say, how can I teach brotherly love when there’s a huge vacuum in my heart?
Tired of the Single Life? – Welcome to the Club!
If the North American divorce rate is 50%, that means the other 50% of the population falls in either one of two groups: “never married” or “newly single.” While some people claim that there’s a lot to be said for being single, others have become tired of bachelorhood. All of a sudden, the wordcommitmentis getting to sound less of a horrible epidemic.
If you’re still single and reeling from the fatigue of bar-hopping, speed dating engagements and emails that come and go from people you haven’t met, console yourself. You’re not alone. You’re just a statistic that dating sites and matching agencies love to target. They’re looking for you because they want your business. And the longer you stay single, the better it is for their profit and loss statement because that means many more months of membership. But to be fair, most dating sites exist for the sole purpose of marrying you off to someone you’ve hand-picked yourself. Your happiness and satisfaction could mean added referral business for them.
That you’re truly tired of the single life is understandable. We’re crossing our fingers that you mean it because there’s a group of people who are consistently single and thrive in that world. One writer said that there’s a distinction between single professionals and professional singles. It’s the latter group that we have to be wary of because they don’t mean what they say. They use their single status to go hunting for “fresh meat” as this writer says, with no predisposition to belong or commit to someone.
What do these professional singles do? Not much really, but all their Saturday and Sunday nights are booked for the next speed dating event or the new bar in town. They’re pros when it comes to striking up a conversation with a catchy opening line (weren’t you in first class on flight 69 bound for Katmandu last week?), continuing through the evening with small talk (Colorado ought to be selling some snow to Montreal, don’t you think?) and the usual bait, peppered with sufficient tact and class (I prefer to go to your place, but if you don’t mind a messy pad and an empty fridge…).
Single professionals, on the other hand, are genuinely interested in connecting. Their parents have a good marriage and they want the same. They love kids and would like to provide a home. Their community figures high in their list of priorities so they want to keep it strong by building a strong family. Living in a large urban sprawl makes the hunt twice as hard, but we’ve heard the line repeated often that perseverance and persistence have their rewards.
No matter how young or old you are – 25 – 35 – 55 and 65 – if you’re determined to have a significant other whom you’d like to spend the rest of your life with, you will succeed. It’s going to take the right mindset and the most effective tactic but at least you’re not short of options. Don’t waver, don’t deviate, and most of all, don’t lose hope.
As for the right mindset, we’ve culled some tips from the experts:
Shelve the negative self-talk
All those voices inside you taunting you that you haven’t got what it takes, that you’re not attractive enough, that you’re not marriage material – get rid of them once and for all. Those voices you hear are turning you into a schizophrenic and who, in heaven’s name, wants to date a schizo? Negative self dialoguing is destroying you, so start believing in yourself.
Example: you’re in a bar. You see this good-looking man who’s chatting with two gorgeous blonds. What kind of self-talk is going on in your mind? “Oh, golly, he’s in demand, he won’t even notice me”, or “I can’t compete with those blonds because I haven’t got a chance”…
Shame. They call that kind of self-talk a self-fulfilling prophecy. He surely won’t notice you – not if you’re stuck in that corner. As for the blonds – they could just be all hair and no substance. You dig?
How about trying: “I like that man. He’s with two people. I think I’ll join them, and I’ll make every effort to turn his attention to me.” And: “They may be blonds, but I’m good at conversation!”
Make the first move because…
Most singles in bars are really shy and afraid inside. They’re groping for words, trying to come up with a witty remark. They’re just as nervous as you are, and probably dislike the bar scene as much as you do. Thing is, they’re making the effort to connect. They’d much rather have stayed home in their most comfortable sweats and furry slippers and sit in front of the tube with a barrel of popcorn, but they’re here, fiddling with their stockings and ties. They don’t have the luck of the Irish or the gift of gab, so have mercy and be a friend to everyone. Flash that winning smile of yours and before you know it, your date book will be full.
It’s not the end of the world if…
You don’t find the ONE tonight. There’s still next Saturday night and the next one after that. There are 52 Saturdays in a year. Improve your batting average by improving your attitude.
All men are equal…
If you’re Asian, don’t be clannish. Make friends with the Caucasians. If you’re Caucasian, reach out to understand the mysteries of the East. What we’re saying here is, why stay with members of the same tribe, when other tribes could have more interesting bows and arrows for Cupid? The United Nations wasn’t founded for frivolous reasons.
We’ve dealt with the attitude department, let’s now whip up some strategies for exiting the single life. Any or a combination of these strategies could be your “deal clinchers.”
Olivia Newton John says, “let’s get physical”
Indeed. Focus on your physical assets (or liabilities). Is there something about your physical self that could use some improvement? The human race, no matter how enlightened, does still get attracted to physical beauty. Your face may not launch a thousand ships, but if it could attract one soul, wouldn’t that be marvelous? Without sounding impertinent, we’d like to suggest you review:
- Your hairstyle – have you been sporting a style that might have been in fashion twenty years ago? Does your crowning glory sag or become limpid, lacking in volume? Is it making you look stern or flaky?
- Your clothes – does your wardrobe smell of moth balls and should have been sent off to a costume rental outfit? An image consultant could bring out your hidden sparkle with the right ensembles.
Online dating protocol
Do stay on top of your e-mails. If you’ve managed to build a fan base, don’t neglect them because you’re suddenly overcome with work. Looking for that person in your life is a full time endeavor. Make it a point to devote at least one hour on your computer and answer all e-mails you receive, even the ones you don’t like. Courtesy, consistency and concentration will get you somewhere. You have to maximize on that membership fee as well.
Be a listener of both spoken and unspoken words
You have a gang of boys and girls that you hang out with in the school and office cafeteria. Listen to what the boys are saying, especially when it concerns the opposite sex. And if you’re a boy, listen to what the girls are saying. What makes them tick, what are their hot buttons? Your friends are a sounding board, rehearse before you launch. If one of your male friends says, “wish she’d offer to pay the bill when we go out”, let that be a clue that maybe, that’s what 99% of the boys wish in the dating scene. And if a girl says “wish he could live a little in the past and practice some chivalry. He won’t even hold the door open for me.” That’s a message that girls – women – senior ladies – still prefer gentlemen over rogues.
Playing hard to get is a turn-off…
Unless you look like Nicole Kidman or are as sexy as Angelina Jolie, don’t think that you’re a gift to mankind. In the beginning, this tactic may contribute to the mystery, making the opposite sex want to gravitate around you, but get off that high horse and stop thinking that you’re a rare and precious metal. Costume jewelry is quite popular these days and relatively easy to obtain.
Playing too eager is also a turn-off
Moderation works. If you show the object of your desire that you’re over-eager, you’re only going to scare this person away. As Nicholas Boothman says, “when you know what you want and have done all that you can to get it, step back and allow events to unfold. If you do this, you’ll get more than you could have ever imagined. But if you try to force your desire…it’s like trying to force an egg to hatch or a flower to bloom. Instead, you must let go and let life and love (happen) in their own creative, surprising way.”
Take heart. You may be complaining now that you’re tired of the single life. But there’s this saying that you get what you wish for, so you may miss your freedom once you get hooked. In the meantime, don’t give up on dating and enjoy yourself. Things happen when you least expect them to.