The You Shoulds

I wrote in my first post that the age-old question of unfulfilled desires could be asked in any area of life, but subsequently have written only career-related posts.

So here’s a bit about the unfulfilled desire to meet a partner.  I’m 51.  I’ve never been married.  I’ve never lived with anyone.  I’ve received a lot of well-intentioned advice from friends, relatives and strangers.  Most of it could apply to job hunting, with a few judicious word replacements.  Herewith, the list:

You are trying too hard.  When you stop looking, he’ll just appear.

You are not trying hard enough.  You should:

–          try speed dating

–          tell everyone you know that you’re looking

–          shop at the most expensive grocery store in town, late at night, in heels

–          hang out in coffee shops/libraries/sporting events/hardware stores

–          try match/plentyoffish/

–          join a singles club

–          don’t have sex until the 2nd date/2nd month/you’re married

–          hire a matchmaker

You are too picky

You are not picky enough

You are too smart/well-educated/financially well off/serious

Don’t try to be funny.  Let the man tell the jokes and laugh at them even when they’re stupid.

Once you resolve all your “issues”, he’ll appear (note that this isn’t required for the other 99% of humanity, just me)

You travel too much.  You should stay put so you can meet someone local.

You should go work in a refugee camp so you can meet a doctor!  

You don’t really want a partner. 

Never let a man know that you want him; let him do all the work.

Once you’ve broken your pattern of dating alcoholics, you’ll meet Mr. Right.

It’s okay to date alcoholics, as long as they’re in AA, or rich.     

Try dating men 10 years younger than you.

Men are only interested in women 10 years younger than them.

Go to sporting events even though you hate sports.

Pursue your own interests so you’ll meet men you have something in common with.

More than once, friends have said something along the lines of, “I don’t understand why you’re single—you’re beautiful, smart, funny, kind—men should be lining up.”  Which is nearly exactly what others have said about my job hunt, “People should be lining up to hire you!”

Someone tell the men!  Someone tell the hiring managers!

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