October 25, 2016

Feeling Down

I've never written to a total stranger like this before. I'm feeling like a bit of a mess right now in the dating/relationship spectrum. I'm 29 and I've dated people for years and years, never taking a break to know myself. I've been out of school and on my own again since May, and I feel so frustrated because I'm so out of the dating world I just don't know how to do it. The one person I met who I was attracted to and interested in wasn't interested in dating exclusively. There are a few men who have tried to date me, but I just don't have those same feelings for them. I'm losing hope of meeting anyone. I also don't want to just meet anyone; I want to meet the right one. All of my friends are coupled up in long term relationships or already married, and now are starting to have kids. I just feel all alone. I don't have a core group of friends either. Overall, I'm just frustrated because while my work side of life is great, my personal side is really sucking right now. Any advice or insight would be much appreciated.

It definitely sucks to feel like everyone else is moving forward and you're just...stuck.

But it sounds like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself to have these areas -- friends, boyfriend, companionship -- figured out. By comparing yourself to others, you're doing yourself a huge disservice. Stop doing that! Remove that pressure. Just give it the finger.

Here's a secret: relationships don’t magically make everything better. Let me say it again in caps so you get the message. RELATIONSHIPS DON'T MAGICALLY MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER.

You can still feel lonely and be booed up. You can still feel misunderstood surrounded by friends. That feeling you’re looking for, that all-encompassing love and acceptance, starts with you. Until you have it independently, you can’t have it instilled by someone else. Once you realize that no singular relationship will complete you, you will truly be free.

Instead of aiming for a relationship, platonic or romantic, to complete you, aim to find a relationship that complements you. Because until you know the difference, you might spin your wheels on relationships that aren't the best fit. It sounds like you're still in the "figuring out what kind of partner is good for you phase" so instead of fighting it, accept the challenge. Keep working on your personal and professional life so when you do meet the one, you'll be in the best position to make it work.

And, just so you know I'm not blowing smoke up your ass, I’ve been in your shoes. It’s not easy to keep hope alive especially when it seems like a romantic relationship and sincere friendships are so far away. If anything, the sooner I realized that the longest relationship in my life will be with myself, the happier I was.

If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t find myself in a committed relationship until I turned 35. Life didn't happen in the timeline I wanted it to (I definitely ached for a boyfriend at 29!), but it happened in the way it needed it to.

I feel like these relationships will happen for you in time. It may not be on your ideal timeline, but it will happen eventually.


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