(OMTimes | Lisa Becker) Has Cupid’s Arrow found your heart, or does Cupid keep missing his mark?
Back in 2000, I was 30 years old, single and convinced I was going to die an old spinster with a house full of cats. Never mind the fact I didn’t own a cat, let alone multiple cats, and didn’t even like cats. I was certain the cliché would apply. Flash forward to today and I’m happily married for fourteen years to a man I met online. (We joke we have outlasted a lot of Hollywood marriages.) We also have two amazing daughters.
So how did I go from “I’m never going to meet anyone” to “See you tonight for dinner, honey, after the PTA meeting?” To understand how I got where I am, and the advice I would give to others in a similar situation, we need to go back to the beginning.
I was a young, single professional living in Los Angeles. I had a phenomenal family and great friends. I had just spent my 30th birthday living it up in Vegas. Yet, I found myself in a funk at the thought that life wouldn’t be complete without a mate. And I had always wanted a home. Tax benefits notwithstanding, I knew I wanted a permanent place to call my own. And if I wanted to paint the walls, plant flowers or hang up a piece of artwork, I didn’t want to ask permission.
It was during that year, I had an epiphany that life as it was, at that moment, maybe it. That moment may be as good as it gets. So I decided to buy my own place. Why wait around for a husband that may never materialize?
Before escrow even closed, I met my now husband. He’ll joke that he liked me for my amazing West LA condo and only married me for my money. He’ll also tease that the next time he marries, it will be for love. I jab back that the next time I marry, it will be for looks. But I digress.
When Cupid’s arrow won’t strike? Give up!
The point is, Cupid’s arrow seemed destined to miss its mark with me. But rather than let being single hold me back, I decided to live my life on my terms. It reminds me of that quote from the modern classic film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” Tim Robbins’ character, Andy Dufresne, says to Morgan Freeman’s Red, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
That movie quote also comes to mind when I was asked to offer advice for others who similarly don’t seem to be finding favor with Cupid. What do you say to someone when they feel like they’re never going to meet the right person and can’t bear the thought of trying another online dating site, swiping left or right, enduring another setup, or shuffling through another round of speed dating?
My advice? Give up. You heard me. GIVE UP! Just surrender to that notion that you’ll end up alone. If that is truly the case, do you want to spend the next 30, 40 or even 50+ years wallowing in misery? Sitting around and lamenting your singleness? Or are you going to get busy living?
Like me, buy your own home! Travel to all of the places you want to visit! Write that novel! Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy!
Case in point. I have a friend who was perpetually single and in her early 40’s. Even more than wanting to be married, she wanted to be a mom. After much deliberation, she decided to foster a one-year-old with an eye toward adoption. She focused all of her love and attention on a deserving little boy and in the process let her amazing qualities of compassion, caring and selflessness shine through. She was married to a wonderful man before the adoption was even finalized.
She gave up! Instead of channeling her energies into finding love, she did what she loved. You see, chances are, when you start focusing on what will make you happy – not who will make you happy – you will be happy. Happiness is evident and infectious. Happiness makes you more interesting and more attractive to someone else. And when that happens, you are more likely to meet the right person.
Now you’ll notice I didn’t say you will find someone to complete you. Believe me, if that’s your end goal, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I’ll admit I swooned pretty hard when I heard Tom Cruise’s character say to Renee Zellwegger, “You complete me,” in “Jerry Maguire.” It was and still is a great, romantic moment on film. But in real life, that would scare the heck out of me. The idea of completing someone else – being wholly responsible for their happiness – is a lot of pressure. That’s no way to start or sustain a relationship.
Instead, I say focus on making yourself happy and whole. When you give up the idea that you need someone else to make that happen, I think you’re more likely to find a partner who wants to complement the amazing life you’ve created for yourself.
About the author
Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas. Her latest romantic comedy, Links has been called light, fun, sexy and smart. You can share your love stories with her at www.lisawbecker.com.
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