I have fabulous married women friends. Many of them know I’m on a quest to find love, and many have taken this quest on with and for me. And while I love that they’re looking out for me, hanging out with them lately has become full of ideas of who I could possibly get set up within our community, comments about how bad and rough it must be to be dating in these times, and more recently, a friend shared how she thought she had found a great guy for me then realized setting me up with her house maintenance guy might not be right.
While I appreciate how much they want me to succeed in finding love, I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. Sometimes they seem more concerned than me about it (and even more pro-active!) They make assumptions about what I’m even looking for and they don’t really ask.
I’m noticing I’m starting to feel shame that I shouldn’t or don’t normally feel because of how invested they seem in getting me to lose my single status. Recently, I caught up with a friend and she expounded on how amazing I am and how much I deserve to find that special guy. I appreciate she cares. And…how can I let them know I appreciate them, and that I’m still OK single, and that love will happen when it’s the right time?
I 100% get it. This applies to all the singles out there: Once your friends learn you’re dating (or thinking about it again), they feel compelled to share their finest tips with you and potentially fix you up. They have opinions and strategies and well-laid plans they must. Share. Like. Their. Lives. Depend. On. It. In short, they want to save you (and possibly the whole world while they’re at it, no big deal).
Your Friends Mean Well
While your people mean well, what they don’t understand is that they’re acting on base instincts.
Lindsay, what are we as humans put on this earth to do?
Can you guess?
Take a stab at it…
We’re here to stay alive and perpetuate our species.
From our animal-mind’s perspective, how can you fulfill your biological imperative (couple up and have babies) if you’re solo?
Your friends doubtlessly also want to make sure you’re happy and have what (and who) you need in your life. It’s a combo of these two motivations that gets you unhelpful tips like:
- He will show up when you least expect it.
Really? I experienced a full decade of dating, and there were multiple stretches in there where I “least expected” it. I know hundreds of singles who never expect it, and guess what? Still single.
- You’ve got to put some effort into it.
Yes, doing that, thank you.
- You shouldn’t try so hard.
I thought you wanted me to put some effort into it?
- You can’t force it.
Right, not doing that, thank you.
- You’ve got to make it a full-time job.
Wow, really? Dating doesn’t pay the rent.
- Being single isn’t the worst thing in the world. Think of all the wonderful times you have with your friends! Just enjoy life and appreciate how much fun it is to be single.
This is commonly used by married people and people with kids.
- That’s why I don’t date.
Usually said by someone really hot who seems to have everything and is single by choice.
- Your bar is set too high.
That one’s my personal fave. You aren’t setting your bar too high—trust me. You might have conflicting things on your have-to-haves list, however, but you can sort this hurdle out in a few hours with my self-guided audio series, Partner Have-to-Haves. Otherwise, you need what you need, and you don’t need to settle.
Be careful with the fix-up. As I said, your coupled friends mean well. When they set you up, they rarely think, “would these two make a good match?” Nope, they think, “hey, I know two people I like who are both single. Let’s randomly throw them together and see what happens.” They don’t mean to be careless. Culturally, there’s an underlying assumption that “anything is better than single,” and they may, unfortunately, be operating from that point of view. I see this sometimes with straight people trying to set up their gay singleton buddies. “You’re gay? I know someone who’s gay! You should totally go out!” Um, do they have anything in common besides their sexual orientation…?
Anything is NOT Better Than Single
I admire strong-willed individuals who know themselves and their needs and are willing to hang out and wait for the right person to come along. I admire you—in fact, I’m one of you. And while being single isn’t always amazing, it’s worth the wait to not settle. You don’t need an excuse or an explanation for your friends. A happy life can look a million different ways, and many of those ways are as a happy, single person.
I like your attitude and think you’re on the right track, Lindsay. Good luck on your journey to finding love at whatever pace works for you.