Okay I have heard it all; the moaning, groaning and complaining about why you haven’t yet found a man. Some of you have already written off the possibility of ever settling down in a serious relationship; much less marriage. You’ve basically given up the relationship ghost. Before you set your boat to sail off into the sunset of perpetual singleness, perhaps you need to closely examine a thing or two. Do you even understand why you’re not presently in a relationship? Perhaps an honest answering of the following may give some needed insight and perhaps empower you to move forward.
1. Do you still have an impossible list?
When it comes to a relationship, I admit we must all have some sort of standards. We all have preferences when it comes to selecting a life partner. Sometimes, however, it is necessary that we examine the source and soundness of our expectations. Are we perhaps missing out on love because we have decided for instance to stay within the parameters of our own race, ethnicity or nationality? Must our guy really be six feet tall? And worst yet must he past the “heft test”? For the uninitiated, this is one of my girlfriends ways of finding out if a guy is endowed enough to meet her approval and involves more or less ‘accidentally’ bumping into his “you know what”. What about things like salary, or his occupation? I know this is a ‘biggy’ especially with some professional women but should a man be wiped off your list simply because he doesn’t have a Harvard degree? What about more enduring traits like his ambition, dependability and integrity which are not contingent on where he went to school? While I am not suggesting that you throw all of your standards out the window, I believe that some of them are definitely worth re-evaluating as you look for love.
2. Are you really interested in giving up some of your autonomy?
Some of you claim to want connection to someone but are fairly afraid of releasing your independence. Yes you heard right. Lots of men claim to want independent women but what do they know about relationship success? I am convinced that some guys use this as a cover for not wanting a clingy or needy woman and I understand this. However, for a committed relationship or marriage to work, each individual must learn to share and live interdependently; not independently. This means having a willingness to unmask and be vulnerable with your partner as you benefit from each others strengths. It also speaks of sharing and mutual accountability. For a successful woman who has grown accustomed to calling her own shots, this willingness to compromise in a relationship may not be as easy as it appears and could actually work to keep her from totally committing to someone because she fears having to give up some of her autonomy. If you are like this, It may be necessary to re-frame this experience. Focus on what you stand to gain in a relationship, instead of what you think you are losing.
3. Talk about someone loving you, do you even like yourself?
Yes, you want a great love who will affirm you, worship the very ground you walk on and in Rihanna’s words, make you feel like “you’re the only girl in the world”. Sounds good to go but is your self-esteem dependent on what someone thinks about you? Do you even like you? How comfortable are you in your own skin? What energy do you give off when you walk into a room? Are you so worried about your size or shape that your lack of self-assurance rubs a guy the wrong way? When a woman is confident and comfortable with herself and understands her intrinsic worth, then there is an undeniable sexiness that is very attractive and hopefully the right guy will notice.
4. Are you “meetable”?
Did you ever consider what signals your body-language conveys? Is your demeanor one that invites conversation? Are you approachable or do guys look at your scowl and bolt with speed in the opposite direction? Does your air of superiority relegate all guys to the category of “worthless minions” to which you wouldn’t give the time of day or does your forehead carry an invisible sign which says “approach at your own risk”? Does your Diva-stance make you appear shallow and a tad self-absorbed; you know as if your heavily applied make-up is hiding your true personality? If you are to capitalize on the several meeting-opportunities that do come your way, then take some effort to ensure that your attitude and body language convey approachability, interest and availability.
5. Have you really let go of your past relationships?
It’s very difficult to move on to something new if you’re holding on for dear life to something old. If it is true that some guy in your past did you wrong, don’t give him any more power in your life by taking him into every other relationship you may have. The truth is, when you fail to forgive past hurts, you invariably short-change yourself out of your own happiness. Not only do you become bitter and resentful but it also becomes easy to tar each hopeful guy with the same brush and while some men are up to no good, each guy should at least be given a chance to prove himself. Expecting a new guy to treat you as your old flame did, will also erect unnecessary barriers between you and breeds mistrust even before you’ve had a chance to get started.
If I’ve read some of you ladies correctly, I know that many of you assume that real love from a real-life prince charming will somehow surmount all the flaws, foibles and barriers which you have erected. Many of you assume that real love from your true soul-mate will be so strong, that somehow, magically it will find you; no matter what you do. While I do understand the seduction of such beliefs, unfortunately, they represent an immature approach to love and easily abdicate you of the responsibility to change you. While this advice is not meant to suggest that there is no happiness or satisfaction outside of romance, if a great love is what you want, then it makes sense to reflectively examine whether or not YOU may not be your own greatest barrier. The best thing is that no matter what you discover, it’s never too late to change.