I’ll be the first to tell you: singles get endless amounts of conflicting, confusing advice.
Among the most infuriating? Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “If you just stopped looking for love, you would find it right away!”
Let’s take that apart for a minute. If you wanted to find a new job, would anyone tell you to not look for a job?
Obviously not. They’d tell you to update your resume, hustle on LinkedIn, network, tailor your cover letter, possibly hire an interview coach, and so on.
So why does everyone act like when it comes to finding love, you should bury your head in the sand?
Here’s the hard truth: for many singles, actively looking for love has all sorts of unnecessary shame involved.
(Back to LinkedIn for a second—did you know that lots of singles are using it as a dating site, rather than openly looking for dates on apps? The shame factor is real, people! Talk about mixing business with pleasure.)
Why is that, exactly? It is perfectly natural and healthy to want to share your life with someone. Our lives were not meant to be spent alone—an affirming, loving, mutually respectful partnership can add great value to your time on earth.
And yet, many singles won’t admit their desire for love because they don’t want their lives to be perceived as “lacking.”
You’ve got a great job, a full bank account, meaningful friendships, interesting hobbies, a well-worn passport, and you love animals. You don’t need anyone to complete your life!
That may all be well and true. But…do you want someone?
Your desires are every bit as valid as the life you have worked so hard to build.
In addition to admitting your desire for love, you know what else is okay to admit? That sometimes—you can say it—prolonged singleness can be really, really hard.
It’s hard watching your peers pair off one by one, wondering when (if ever) it will happen for you. There it is again, that last-kid-picked-for-the-kickball-team feeling from elementary school; that feeling you thought you were over by now, but keeps on rearing its ugly head.
“Somebody, anybody!” you think. “Put me on your team!”
Maybe you’ve tried the whole vulnerable-open-heart thing and been burned. (In the words of Bruce Springsteen, “So you’ve been broken and you’ve been hurt? Show me somebody who ain’t.”)
You’ve been around the block a time or two, and life has taught you to turn it down a notch, vibrate at a lower frequency, to keep yourself from getting hurt.
So, you self-sabotage. Like an actor desperate for a role but terrified of rejection, you reluctantly show up at the audition and throw up your hands when you don’t get the part. “Oh well,” you think. “Guess it wasn’t meant to be.”
Admitting wholeheartedly that you desire love requires a great deal of vulnerability, and as any sociologist can tell you, vulnerability often goes hand in hand with shame. (For the record: it absolutely shouldn’t. Yet we as a high-achieving, surface-loving culture tend to have a real hard time exposing our vulnerabilities.)
Our number #1 desire as human beings is to connect with each other. That’s it, folks. That’s the whole name of the game. Human connection is right up there with air and water on our hierarchy of needs.
Admitting you want—and that you are actively willing to pursue—a love relationship is scary and vulnerable. But it’s also a move towards authenticity and truth; a move that will help you drop your defenses and take one step closer to your valid, wild, wonderful desire.
You are worthy of being liked, of being loved, of being desired, of belonging. Right now, as you are, whoever you are.
Maybe the answer isn’t pretending that you don’t want what you really want. (Who, exactly, do you think you’re fooling?) Maybe the answer is leaning into your desire, fully vulnerable and without shame.
Okay. Deep breaths. Leaning yet? Wondering what comes next?
If you’re tired of the app game and the bar scene, it may be time to consider using a matchmaking service. Remember: I only take on clients I think I can help, so I’ve got your best interests at heart at all times.
And my services are more than just matchmaking—I also provide coaching, if you’re good at locking the first date down but need a little help securing the second and beyond. (You’d hire a coach if you weren’t getting callbacks for interviews, right?)
You are worthy of giving and receiving stupid amounts of real love. You just might need a little help to get there.
I’m on your side, coaching and cheering you on toward the happy ending of your dreams.