An Open Letter To My Single Self

Dear Single Self,

Hi. How are you this holiday season? Feeling a little hopeless? Downtrodden perhaps? Frustrated? Bitter? A little panicked about turning 32 with no potential prospects on the horizon? Feeling like a big, fat failure in the relationship department? Feeling like fate may have cheated you? I thought so. I’ve come with some words of advice: BE PATIENT, YOU PSYCHO. This is something you always say to your other single friends (not the psycho part), but it’s time to take this message to heart. Let’s get real here. It’s only but once or twice, maybe three times if you’re really lucky, in a lifetime that you come in contact with true and lasting love. It’s a really RARE thing. So stop pouting when it doesn’t materialize RIGHT AWAY. Sure, you go out on lots of dates, you meet lots of dudes, but that doesn’t change the fact that, statistically, most of them are not going to be the real deal.

Dating becomes an unpleasant activity when you place the burden of “real deal” on every guy you meet. Why? Because the odds dictate that you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment 99 percent of the time. Except for the one time that it’s different. You’ve had enough experience and you’ve made enough mistakes (oh the shame!) to know the difference between something that has long-lasting potential and something that doesn’t. You can smell it right away. Well, maybe smell is the wrong word. Sense it? So now you just have to wait for that person and let the rest go. Stand firm in your instincts — even if you find yourself in moments of loneliness or confusion, which occur all too often.

The truth is, you’re happy being on your own, happy with who you are. You’re not willing to give that up or compromise that as easily as you were when you were younger. You look around at all of the coupled people, but the truth is, you only know a few who are truly satisfied. That’s what you’re looking for. You’ve made a vow to yourself to wait for that. In waiting, you’ve grown impatient at times and have tried to force things that weren’t meant to be, fought too hard for something that you knew was wrong, held on too tight to something that was already dead and gone, or pushed people away out of fear. No more of that. The only thing left for you to do now is NOTHING.

However hard it is to accept, this is out of your control. As long as you work on being the best person you can be and remain open to new people, there is nothing else to do, nothing else to be, nothing else to try. There’s no timeline to fulfill, no model to subscribe to, no finish line to cross. There’s just your heart and the hope that someday you’ll be able to share it with another in the right place at the right time. This sounds like one of those ridiculous greeting cards or self-help books. I hate those, by the way. They’re lame. The idea that there’s a formula to master love is ludicrous. There’s not. Love is a mystery that you can’t harness or control or elicit or will. Accept that it’s a mystery and sit down, shut up, enjoy your freaking life, and patiently wait your turn.