Thursday, August 30, 2012

Looking For Mr or Ms Right

"All the good ones are taken".... So many times I have heard this lament from my single girlfriends. Perusing Match, Plenty of Fish, being rejected by eHarmony, they enumerate the pitfalls of "getting back out there." Another hopeful online date, another "loser" kicked to the curb. It seems there are many post-divorce 40+-year-old well-educated, successful women who are single and looking. And perhaps even more men.... The stories I've heard over the past few years seem similar. Or at least similar within gender.

The single (straight) women I know who are looking for Mr Right tend to fit at least a few of the pieces of this story:

  • They've finally left a marriage or relationship (or have been left) that they KNEW was not healthy long before it ended.
  • They are frustrated with "the search" and feeling like a "3rd wheel" in a world of couples.
  • They fluctuate between being ok or perfectly happy with being single -- in fact, often loving the freedom it allows, perhaps for the first time in their lives -- to being so lonely they ache.
  • They are often scared financially. Even if there was a favorable divorce settlement, their lifestyle has changed, usually significantly scaled down, as they now depend upon their single income. (The combination of financial fear and loneliness can create a tone of desperation to their dating which can be construed as neediness.)
  • They are smart, and are at an age where they're not willing to pretend they're not.
  • They've often thought long and hard about what they want in a man, and may even have a clear wish list.
  • They are looking for a partner who is not afraid of their power and who will challenge them to become better.
  • They want so much more than "just sex".

The single (straight) men I know who are looking for Ms Right tend to fit at least a few pieces of this picture:

  • They REALLY miss having regular sex. Sometimes this comes across in their dating search as being single-minded, horny, narcissists who really don't care about anything except sex (which is rarely true.)
  • They're not sure exactly what went wrong with their marriage or long term relationship.
  • They are often extremely smart in their chosen professions and yet continue to be baffled by (and perhaps have even given up on ever getting the answer to) What Women Want.
  • Spending time with their buddies is great, but they also miss the allure of a woman's perspective, soft strength and nurturing.
  • They're frustrated with the dating game and wish they could just find a good woman to love who wasn't sending mixed messages or triggering their feelings of "doing it wrong."

So... if this is you, how do you find the partner you long for?
I certainly don't pretend to have the answers to that question; however, I'm willing to consider some possibilities. 

We DO all know that giving up and drinking ourselves to oblivion while eating pizza or bon bons on the couch isn't the answer, so clearly continuing to be out in the world is part of it. We know people DO find their true love at any age... (I did -- at age 50!) And if I can do it, YOU CAN!

A few thoughts that come to mind that can help move the prospect closer are....

  • If you're still pissed off at your last partner (or the one before that, or...), TODAY is a good day to begin to forgive. Baggage can --and usually does-- drag down a new relationship in no time.
  • Practice gratitude for everything you have and focus on the good stuff in your life. While every single one of us has gone through some painful times, we get to choose minute by minute whether to continue to rehash the memories and keep those feelings fresh or not.
  • Cultivate a "The Best Is Yet To Come" outlook. If you want a brighter future, you must believe it's possible.
  •  Remind yourself that YOU are the thinker of your thoughts. It takes work to tell those crappy thoughts, "Get thee behind me," but trust me, it's worth every conscious step, and before you know it, becomes habit.
  • A positive, hopeful attitude is contagious and magnetic. Remember that good, kind, fun, people are generally attracted to good, kind, fun people!

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