“My love life is in the crapper, and I’m going to be a lonely old cat lady. Can’t wait!”
…said no one, ever.
Dating ruts are tricky. They’re romantically frustrating, but they also make us reflect on everything else in our lives:
“Am I deserving of love?”
“What is my self-worth?”
“What is my purpose on this earth?”
It’s the domino effect: When one thing in life doesn’t meet our expectations, we wonder what we should expect of anything else. If one thing gets out of hand, we feel like we can’t handle anything. The bad outshines the good, and we're unable to see the good things for what they truly are.
I mistakenly allowed my dating rut to dictate how I felt about my blessings: my job, my family and my friends. I undervalued them. And this made me helplessly angry. Why did I let a stream of unfortunate men dominate the course of my entire life? Why did I ignore the loving network of people who would never shut me out -- even at my worst?
I wish someone had grabbed me, shaken me relentlessly and reminded me of one thing: “You know what’s worse than one part of your life nosediving? All parts of your life nosediving.” That’s the minute detail that we too easily forget: It can always be worse.
Too often, we let one little thing that’s gone awry influence how we feel about everything that’s going right. Too often, we succumb to relatively superficial "sadness" in hopes of finding true "happiness."
The mistake is just that: We strive for happiness. We think "having it all" will make us happy. We see other people smiling, and we wonder what they have that we don’t. But sustained happiness doesn’t exist.
No one is happy all the time. Not even the suited-up guy whose first love is money and who makes over $200k a year. Not even the writer who loves writing more than anything else -- and gets paid to do it.
It’s easy to say, “I’d be happy if I had what she had.” It’s hard to realize that happiness lies outside of comparison.
You’re not sad; you’re just not satisfied.
One of my biggest flaws is that I equate dissatisfaction with sadness: “I’m not fully satisfied with my dating life, so I’ll go ahead and let myself be sad.” But we think that optimal satisfaction exists only because we believe in relative satisfaction.
Satisfaction is greed disguised. We’ll never be completely satisfied when there’s always something better, newer or shinier. My iPhone 4s was enough for me -- that is, until the invention of the iPhone 5.
I’ll never be satisfied with my iPhone if Apple keeps coming out with an updated version every two years. (Damn them).
Satisfaction is all about understanding that life is a series of successes and failures. If we understand this, we'll never let sadness weigh down our chances of feeling satisfied.
You’re not in a rut; you’re just not in love.
In the words of Ed Sheeran, “Loving can hurt sometimes ... it is the only thing that makes us feel alive.”
We don’t like to believe that one area of our lives is more important than any other. But the truth is that having a sh*tty love life makes us hopeless.
We could be drowning in success -- with our names on book covers and hordes of fans waiting for our autographs --- and still feel romantically unfulfilled.
You just aren’t in love. And life is euphoria when we’re in love, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth living when we’re not. Everything is temporary, and you won't be single forever.
You’re not ugly; you’re just not ‘perfect.’
But no one is perfect. I’ll say it again: No one is perfect. Even the girl you think is perfect is not. She has bad hair days, and sometimes she thinks she looks fat in jeans.
Perfection is a cleverly crafted illusion. Once you turn up the dimmer, you realize that perfection is a myth. Someone fabricated the idea to throw off the rest of us.
You’re beautiful just the way you are, and striving for perfection is futile.
You’re not depressed; you just need change.
Monotony breeds self-destruction. I become my darkest self when I get too stuck in a routine; for me, a routine is quicksand. The devil takes up space in my mind, leaving me to question where I stand and how I even got there in the first place.
We know this story. People cheat on their spouses out of boredom, not malice. They've suppressed a desire for newness and have lived next to a ticking time bomb. They're eventually in bits and pieces from the explosion.
I got into a bad habit of feeling comfortable in a job I was too afraid to leave. Stability is nice, and we need it to an extent to survive.
But stability should stop after we reach the point of comfort. When stability makes life dull, we've got to do something about it.
Don’t end up ticking your life away.