Dating is different now than it ever used to be. With the emergence of the internet more and more people are meeting their future spouses on dating websites. I can think of a number of people off the top of my head who met guys and gals in different states, did the long distance dating thing and ended up tying the knot within a few short years (or months in a few cases).
Many people complain how difficult it is to meet people in “real life.” Perhaps you’re not into the party scene anymore (that was so old school Greek system!) and now you’re limited to work and friends-of-friends.
I can’t tell you how many blind dates I went on after college. I’ll never forget the one that lasted 12 hours! No joke, the guy wouldn’t leave! There was also the guy who was several inches shorter than me which I didn’t realize until the end of the meal when he stood up to say goodnight. A) I’m only 5’4″ and he was probably under five feet and B) It was quite a surprise!
It’s flattering to be asked out and fun to get dressed up for a big date. But it’s hard falling asleep that night realizing as you think back on the evening… that one wasn’t the one.
Here’s my story in a nutshell: I spent my 20’s going out on plenty of blind dates. I dated a few guys for months at a time but nothing longer term. I stood beside eight girlfriends on their special days wondering why I was always a bridesmaid and… well, you know the rest. Where was my knight in shining armor, I wondered? Well, as it turns out — when I was 25, he was only 17.
Let me back up… right out of college I volunteered as a youth leader at a local church. Little did I know my future husband was amongst those students. We hardly knew each other at the time and I never would have imagined we would reconnect years later and end up married!
If you’re anything like I was, you’re probably wondering… Where is Mr. (or Ms.) Right? Well, until you find him or her, consider the following tips:
Have fun and enjoy life, with or without a significant other
You won’t be happy looking back on your post-college years if you’re only memories are of moping around because you were dateless on a Friday night. Do something else with your Friday night! Volunteer! Hang out with friends! Develop a new hobby! Take a weekend trip!
Accept loneliness as part of the journey
Talk to any married person… loneliness exists in marriage, too. We all have to accept the fact that loneliness crops up in life and as my aunt says, it won’t kill you!
Figure out who you are!
It’s easy to get swept away in relationships. Did you ever see Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? I’ll never forget the scene at the end where Julia Roberts’ character realized she had no idea what kind of eggs she liked. With every man she almost married, she adapted her taste to suit his. Know yourself before you get serious with someone! Stay true to who you are!
Work through your issues.
Sorry for the movie references, but remember the famous line from Jerry Maguire? Say it with me: “You complete me!” I’m sorry but as romantic as that is to watch in a movie, no man or woman will every complete you! And if you’re looking for completion in another person you’re going to end up disappointed. Learn to love yourself first.
Cherish your time with and without a significant other.
Learn to be content with whatever circumstances you are in. I know, I know… it all sounds so cliche right? But I have been there and one of the things I am most proud of from before I got married was the fact that I had a life! A good one! Great friends, a loving family, some amazing travel adventures, a challenging work life… I’ll always treasure those memories.
I hope you find this helpful. Trust me, I know it’s hard at times. Ride the loneliness out and then move on to bigger and better things!