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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do you ever worry that you won't meet your soulmate?

Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Jerry says that only 5 percent of the population is date-able? Elaine asks, "Then how are the other 95 percent getting together?" Jerry's response? "Alcohol."

When I was single, I felt the same way. I was meeting lots of people--but no one I really wanted to date. And the guys I did like already had girlfriends (or just weren't interested, sad). My mom kept telling me that I would definitely end up with someone fabulous and that I shouldn't worry so much. She said she was 100% sure and that it was normal to worry but that I didn't need to. But it was easy for her to say--she was already blissfully married! And I was 28 (which felt old to me at the time). Plus, New York seemed like the roughest place to date: You're always surrounded by models (honest-to-goodness perfect-skinned, long-legged, 6-foot-tall Ukrainian models), and the guys you meet seem to either be married or a little nuts.

Once I met Alex, I realized that I was silly to have worried so much. We're all such smart, funny and wonderful people, and so many people would be lucky to have us. Why does it often take a relationship to realize that? Plus, as my mom says, "It only takes one person to have met the love of your life!" A while ago, I heard another great quote: "If you knew you were going to meet the love of your life in one year, how different would that year be?" That awesome quote reveals how much we sometimes worry about our dating lives when we could be relaxing and enjoying other parts of our lives.

What's your relationship status? What are your dating woes? Do you ever worry that you're never going to find your soulmate? Do you think your city plays into it? If you're in a relationship, how do you feel now? I would love to hear... xoxo

548 comments:

1 – 200 of 548   Newer›   Newest»
girlseeksplace said...

This post really spoke to me. I'm 29, single with no prospects. I have pretty much made the decision to stay that way. It seems easier than going through heartache a dozen more times to find Mr. Right.

Nesa said...

I've been dating my boyfriend for a couple of years now. We're only halfway through college right now, so it's wayyy too early to be thinking about marriage! ;)

Dancing Branflake said...

Such a great question. I don't believe in soul mates but I am married to a man who is absolutely and completely perfect and perfect for me. We are complete opposites (we laugh that the only thing we have in common are our last names, religion, and sense of humor) but we fit together like puzzle pieces.

cp said...

I sort of lucked out with this. I dated around and was very worried about finding someone, all the while having a good guy friend from my hometown who I would stay in touch with to discuss music, books, etc. It took me 9 years to realize everything I was looking for in a guy was right there the whole time! We decided to start dating in 2009, he proposed 8 months later, and now, we have a baby on the way!

Amy said...

I was convinced that I would never get married or want kids - not that I wouldn't find someone, but it just didn't seem like something I would want - it seemed like a loss of too much independence. And when I started dating my husband (of 10 months) all I knew was that I always wanted to be around him. For him, that meant we would someday get married. He apparently knew right away that he wanted to marry me... that was 6 years ago. It took a lot of time and growing together to get to the point where I was ready to agree that marriage could be something I want, and for him to adjust to my outside the norm concept of a partnership.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

I think we all worry about that until we find the "one". But I think you can't make this the main thing of your life... let the universe guide you, open your eyes, your heart and be less picky. That can help too! :-)

Have a great day.

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Nina said...

i just turned 22 and i've never been in a serious relationship - so sometimes i am worried if i will ever find someone.
i don't need to have a boyfriend to tell me that i'm beautiful/intelligent/etc but sometimes it's just hard to remind yourself about that kind of things

Marie Antoinette said...

Oh man...funny that I just read this. I read your blog everyday. And I just finished writing an email to one of my best friends about how I'm going to start replacing my search for dates with other stuff I like to do...like cooking and running. But I also feel worried that if I don't look...no one will find me. Thanks for making me remember to just relax and do what makes me happy!

Beth Krynick said...

I'm not thinking about marriage (still trying to get my art career together), but I have found my soulmate :) He's wonderful and I can't imagine a life with out him.

Anonymous said...

Do you believe that you can meet your soul mate when you are young? I'm 19 and I've been dating my boyfriend for four years. We split up for the first semester of college to meet our own friends (we went to college in the same town, but different schools) and to form our own lives separate from each other. We always meant to get back together and we eventually did. Before we split up, I was having a lot of doubts. I didn't know my boyfriend was the person I was still supposed to be with. But when I realized what my life was like without him, it made me realize that I didn't want to lose him. I still made friends and I still went out and I even went out on a few dates with other guys. Now, as we are starting our second year at college, I do believe he is my "soulmate" though I never believed int them before. It's scary to admit something like that, when you're 19. Most people smile knowingly and tell you to just have fun. What do you think about the stigma of finding love young? I guess since you and Alex didn't meet until you were 28, its a different situation, but I'm curious to hear.

Joanna Goddard said...

yes, nina, i agree about forgetting to remind yourself that you're beautiful/intelligent/etc -- that's what moms are for, i guess! :)

Keegan said...

I felt the exact same way as you Joanna. I am now 28 and have been married one year to the man of my dreams, it's incredible. However, before we met four years ago I didnt really date at all, there were no guys I wanted to waste my independance on. One thing I learned about the "right" guy is that the relationship doesnt feel like a loss of independance but rather the gaining of a partner in crime. I'm so happy for you and Alex and I totally lurve your blog!

Anonymous said...

i met my fiance 10 years ago while we were still in school and we're getting married next year. when i was younger i used to look forward to being all grown up and going on multiple dates before settling down when it felt like i was ready.. but I guess i'm pretty lucky to have found the one right from the beginning!

f

Robin said...

I worry about it a lot. I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year, but lately it seems like it might not work out, and that is heartbreaking to me to think about starting over. I am 29 and have never felt so worried about my future.

Joanna Goddard said...

girlseekplace, i knew a few people who took "dating vacations," where they promised themselves that they wouldn't date for 3 months or a year -- and they said it was amazing. they could clear their heads, relax and enjoy life....and two of them met their husbands!

andrea despot said...

I never had a boyfriend or kissed a guy until college. I was the only one of my friends who never dated anyone in middle or high school. I was super shy and had really low self esteem and it always seemed that the guys I liked, didn't like me. And the ones that did, I didn't like! (Looking back, I realized that guys I liked were always the popular ones that I idolized more for being cute than for having a great personality. I wouldn't have liked them if I'd dated them anyway.)

My mom always told me that once I realized I didn't need a boyfriend or worry about it so much, I would find someone. And you know what? She was right! I went to college, still shy and awkward but I grew into myself more and had a wonderful little group of friends. I felt more confident and lo and behold! There must've been around 7 guys that all of the sudden started asking me out around the same time! Crazy! But Sean was the one that got me. He was my very first boyfriend and very first kiss and is now my fiancé.

Looking back, I realize I was only 19 when I met Sean which is incredibly young! I remember feeling like it was forever that I was single and really it was no time at all. If I felt the way I did in high school, I can't imagine how I'd feel now in my mid-twenties. Like you said, we all worry about it too much and when we do find the one, we always wonder what the heck we spent so much time worrying about! We drive ourselves crazy!

Clio said...

I've been going out with my boyfriend for over two years... we're young but I know that this is it. I just love him!

Jackie B. said...

I'm happy to say I never really worried too much about this. And when I least expected it (and in the least expected way) I met my husband to be. It's so much better to be with the right person when the time comes than to be with anyone just for the sake of it. JB.

http://madewithlovebyjackieb.blogspot.com/

Kipin said...

I'm a practicing Mormon, and I definitely come from a culture obsessed with marriage and love. Girls who are 24 and not married can feel old and forgotten!! It's ridiculous! At 21, I felt that way. As much as I didn't want to,and felt like a fool, I still did.

I did meet the person I want to be with forever, and I am so grateful for that, but I wish that I wouldn't have worried so much and just eliminated that huge stress in my life.

Kat said...

i love this post because so many of my friends in {their mid-twenties} are worried about this! especially those living in NYC. i've never really worried about this, and haven't been a huge relationship gal myself, but i am currently in a wonderful relationship with an amazing guy. i found him while my dad was sick with cancer -- a time when i thought i'd be taking care of my dad and be a spinster until i was 30 {i was 23 at the time}.

however, i did just find out this morning that my ex-love just got engaged. is it weird that i'm so upset about it? we broke up three years ago and i've been with my new guy a year and 8 months. i'd love for you to write a post on that!

Chapstick Fanatic said...

i have been married for about 10 months and we have been together for almost 6 years. but when i met him, i wasn't looking. i was going through big changes in my life - changes to make myself happier.

i think you find the perfect person when you aren't looking. my advice is go out and do stuff and just have fun. that person who you are going to spend the rest of your life with will see you having fun and want to join in.

http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

Kim said...

I truly believe that most of us only meet our soulmates once we stop looking and remember to take care of ourselves. I had finally stopped trying so hard and settled into taking care of ME when I met my husband - I was completely myself because I wasn't trying to meet anyone and because I was comfortable in my own skin. I have a few friends that just can't seem to exist without a significant other and it breaks my heart. Love yourself so others can love you.

emerson merrick said...

Shoot girl! Nothing like living in a big city to make a girl feel alone.

I swear, new york is the only place where two attractive single people would rather "look at their phones" while waiting in a bar than chance having an ego bruise.

Halina said...

Joanna! I wish I had a wise mama like yours :) I had done so much worrying on my own, never feeling good enough or pretty enough. It's just too exhausting. Even after meeting my boyfriend (of six years now) I was stuck with that kind of thinking. But just think how life could be if I knew back then what I know now?

Anonymous said...

oh gosh, i did love this post too. i worry about finding my soulmate, yes. it always seems like a read posts about girls not wanting to date certain people. i feel like i never have options to date. plus all my single girl friends are so great, i worry that once he meets them, he'll ditch me. insecurity much? thanks for your encouragement

dear pony said...

I've been deeply in love for the past 15 years, so much that it sometimes scares me. (seriously!)
To those looking, relax and do what makes you happy, filling your life with fantastic people. Relationships come in all forms.

Kersey Campbell said...

I drove myself mad worrying I wouldn't find the man of my dreams. Finally, I decided to stop worrying about it and focus on other things. I decided to move abroad for a few years. I was getting ready to move to Argentina and right before I left, that's when my husband popped up! I still went to Argentina, but when I got back we were married a few months later :) I'm pretty sure he's the only one that would be able to tolerate/love me for me. So soulmate? You bet!

Megan said...

I'm only 17, but I do worry about these things! I see friends and people my age with boyfriends and then there's me, who's never even kissed a guy! I probably shouldn't worry as I'm still young but I sometimes think, 'what if I don't meet someone who wants to be with me?'

Lindsey said...

I'm absolutely married to my soulmate. We met at the end of college when we were 23 and got married three years ago after dating five years. I'm glad we managed to get through our 20s and all the moves and opportunities and moving for jobs and being apart. Now we are so happy together! The best part about being married is being loved so completely by someone else. Flaws and all. It's also incredibly frightening because the level of vulnerability required to experience that is significant.
Meeting someone in college is easy. I don't envy those looking for love out in the real world! But stick to it, guys and gals. It's worth it!

B. in the Know said...

PErfect timing for this post. I feel like my friends are dropping like flies. I am not stressing out, but at the same time I do feel like - eah, that is never going to happen for me. There are moments where I hate that idea because that would be lonely, but then again I remember I may not have met him yet - and that is okay. Everything else in life is going well, I can take care of myself and have great friends - I just do not want to lose them all to their Mr. Right's! And if I do, guess that is one more reason to move to a bigger city filled with other people who embrace their singleness.
Much love,
B

Evelyn said...

Spring Quarter 2009 seemed to be a pretty normal semester of college.. until I met my Bio TA. This November will be 2 years :)

Clare said...

yes! I know 3 people who are engaged right now who met their fiances on dating vacations! funny! I met my own husband two weeks into my 6-month dating vacation... needless to say, the vacation didn't last long :)

Tabitha Lynn said...

I love Seinfeld, my boyfriend got me hooked. Before him I felt like you, that it was impossible to find the right guy at the right time. And even during the first year I questioned how string my feelings really were. But now we are cohabitating and happier than ever!

Tabitha
My-cliffnotes.blogspot.com

wonderousclusterf#@k said...

In college/my early 20s I spent my time crossing my fingers that I'd meet someone, but beyond that I did nothing. I stayed in my apt and waited, and dreamed. I was hopeless and sad and shy. Then, one day, when I was 23, after a year out of college and living on my own, I took the bull by the horns and tried online dating. Within a week I met Antoine. A month later we had our first date. And we've been together for almost 3 1/2 years now. We own a house together and have basset hound puppy named Cheese. I couldn't be happier, he's the perfect man for me. I look forward to many many happy years together.

Ellie said...

So funny that you bring up this topic today!

I just JUST started dating a new boy I adore... but he is JUST starting law school. We're only on day two of school and I'm already freaking out about him diving into this huge journey/stress case/time suck when this is (in theory) the time we should be getting to know one another and spending every moment together we can.

And if I DO stick it out, does that mean its 3 years before a real relationship/talk of marriage can begin? At 28 its a worrying thought.

Seeing as its only day 2 of school, I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. But yeah, I'm definitely getting to the age where finding 'the one' is starting to weigh on my mind.

Anyone else dated a first year law student?

Elz said...

I've been happily married 10 years to the love of my life. We are that couple who just "knew" we'd be together forever right after we met. Like, literally, right after. I don't know if location has any bearing on it, other than being in the right place at the right time. Oh yes, I worried about it. I kissed my fair hsare of frogs, that's how I knew it was him.

kendra said...

ah! I love this!
I'm single, turning 30 in 2 weeks. i can totally relate to every part of where you were out. Everyone telling me not to worry. Meanwhile, i am thinking "how many kids would i be able to have? What if i don't meet him for another 4 years? why is this taking so long". it is so silly to worry about it. I am trusting that the Lord knows. If it happens, it happens and nothing i can do will thrwart it. If it doesn't happen, then nothing i can do can change that.
but i have bad days. yesterday was one. My birthday will be one too. :)

Leslie said...

Wow! This was such a great and timely post. my first serious-could-see-myself-marrying boyfriend dumped me out of the blue almost four months ago. it was really hard to move on from him because i was terrified that i wouldn't have these feelings for anyone else. i was also terrified that i wouldn't be able to snag another guy.

but then i wised up. i'm young (early twenties) and there are a ton of guys out there. i have time to wait for my soulmate, and during that time i'm going to have the time of my life and be the happiest most fulfilled girl he can ask for!

Anonymous said...

i've always thought you'll never find the right guy if you are on a "man hunt" for him. i think that you have to be really comfortable in your own skin before anything meaningful will present itself. that said, i just turned 40 and am newly divorced. i still believe in love and soul mates, and i still believe that you have to believe in yourself first...although it takes a little more reminding for me these days.

Ellie D. said...

I totally feel the same way sometimes. I decided to work and travel outside the United States after college, so getting married isn't exactly on my radar right now. But each year I get invited to more and more weddings, and I start to question my choice to travel. I can't help but to wonder that I have missed my chance to meet someone while working abroad.

Maggie said...

I was lucky to have met my husband quite early on in my life. I'm so happy about that because I'm sure I'm just not a dating type of person. I've always had a lot of male friends, and I mean real friends. I would give them relationship advice, we rode bikes together and chatted for hours but I never approached or even looked at them as at potential boyfriends.

After I met J we were friends for a year before we started dating (I sure had butterflies in my stomach every time we met up and I was already in love with him at that time but I was trying to hide it from him:)), and we got married after 5 years of our relationship. He is still my best friend:)

Amy said...

My first marriage didn't work. I was devastated. I didn't believe in divorce and here I was, getting one. (I believe in fidelity more than I believe in staying together no matter what...)I was thrust back into the dating world at 27. (And dating as an adult is WAY different than dating in college, let me tell you.)

I had bad blind dates and awkward moments in bars and at grocery stores. I decided to try online dating and after some experiences that nearly drove my non-denominational butt to a convent, I found a man who fits perfectly.

I've never really believed in the soul mate concept, but I do believe that what I've found is pretty darn close to it. We've been together for a year and a half, and will (hopefully) get engaged soon. It is a scary thing for both of us, but we know we're right for each other.

For you gals out there looking, I promise he's out there. And he'll come along at the right time--it just might not be on your timeline.

Stephanie said...

I am 29 and have a couple of long relationships under my belt. I haven't dated anyone since my last relationship ended a year ago and have no prospects in sight. I finally have a job I like and plenty of things I like to do alone or with friends. I don't feel like I'm ready to actively look for someone (with online dating), but like one of the earlier commenters, I sometimes worry that no one will find me because I'm not really trying to find someone. Being in a good relationship is wonderful, but being in a bad one or even going on dates with guys I don't like is worse than being single... So here I am. Also, thank goodness for my mom -- she's the best for the type of encouragement you got from yours, Joanna.

Megan said...

I'll be 27 in a couple of months, and I've only had one serious relationship in college. But I must say I'm extremely happy being single. I can do what I want when I want. I'm living my life and figuring myself out. Its important to know yourself and make yourself happy before you try to add another life into the mix. I think its a shame when girls feel pressure to find someone and settle down. You miss out on so much life. I believe when it is suppose to happen it will, so you might as well stop worrying. Otherwise before you know it, you'll be much older and wonder where your life went because you never really lived it.

nickandnoragettingmarried said...

I'm getting married in a couple months to the most wonderful guy. But before meeting him, I didn't date at all! Family members kept asking "Are you seeing anyone?" or saying, "Your friend X is so cute! Would you ever date him?" For the most part, I had minor crushes but nothing strong enough to really compel me to a relationship. I wasn't worried, exactly, but I wasn't sure if I'd find someone to make me feel real love. Then I met my now-fiance and we totally clicked. We were friends for a year before we started dating, and I couldn't imagine myself with anyone else. If I weren't with him, I don't think I'd be dating anyone now either. It can be really tough to be single and think it's never going to happen, but I think it's better to wait for the right person than to settle for someone you're not that into.

Laura. said...

girlseeksplace: i'm in the same boat!
emerson merrick: the phone thing happens in other cities. SUCKS.
staying away from men has always been my m.o. because the hurt of breaking up DESTROYS me and i don't know how to change that about myself, so dating seems like a waste of time. at the same time, i want to take risks and see if dating is something i can possibly take a little less seriously and just enjoy for the sake of meeting people and learning about myself--getting my probability up of meeting someone great. but it definitely feels discouraging. maybe everywhere is tough for dating, but in minneapolis, it seems like all the men are married, living with their girlfriends, gay, or in their 30's and still acting like frat boys. sigh.

Caroline Royce said...

I have sort of the opposite problem. I'm 23, and one of those liberal women who didn't want to get married or have kids until my 30's, because I want to establish a successful, meaningful career as a graphic designer.

But. Last year I met the guy I'm going to spend my life with, and suddenly, that whole plan feels shot. Especially since this guy is 31 and is ready to settle down soon and have kids. I want that for him, because he's an amazing person and would be a fantastic father. I want to give him kids while he's still young. I feel comfortable that I will "settle down" much earlier than I had planned, but at the same time, I was really thrust into it! We've been together over a year and are close to buying a house together, so marriage probably isn't far away.

I don't have too many concerns with being married in my early 20's, though that always seemed reserved to me for young conservatives where the husband works and the wife bakes (sorry to employ stereotypes), but I wonder what my parents will thinkg. My mom, who is independent, who had a job before she graduated college (at a major newspaper, where she still is today) and didn't get married until she was 29 (and kept her name too!) thinks that 24 or even 25 is too young.

It's a weird thing. I DID have that worry about finding my soul mate for a while, even though I knew I was too young to really worry about that anyway. Then, without even looking, I found him, and I have this ridiculous anxiety that I'm kind of denying myself the future I had planned out, even though I'm so happy with where I'm at.

macaca grava por cima said...

married to my highschool sweetheart. 10 yaers dating + 3 years of marriage and we are still the best friends in the whole world :-) can I call it soul mate?? I guess so...

Lisa said...

My mom always said that "every man is the wrong one, until you find the right one." Though obvious :), it took the pressure off ending relationships, and made it okay to wait for the right guy. It gave me patience and hope through the things that didn't work out. And now, after being married to my favorite man ever, I know that the right man is absolutely worth the patience. I also love your point about really living life as a single person!

macaca grava por cima said...

I'm 31 now! ;-)
Our firts son was born in the 1st December 2010

Anonymous said...

Joanna,
This is totally off topic but I've been meaning to ask you for awhile about biking with Toby...
how do you manage that? Do you guys have a special seat?
I'm trying to figure out the logistics of biking with twins!!
xo
Lisa M

Amanda Blair said...

I'm single and happy to be. I've been trying to get to a better place solo before embarking on another relationship and this journey feels really important. I've never worried about finding "the one", I know that he will come when I'm ready. I know that I'm not ready yet and that is a-okay with me. Life is too good to not enjoy and though I can't wait for marriage and all that stuff, it doesn't make this time any less special/important. The way I figure it, I'm the person I will 100% be with for the rest of my life, so my time alone is just as well spent, if not more so, as it will be with my soul mate.

Alyssa said...

Oh my gosh. This was me. I came to college having suffered from a bad relationship in high school. I was currently in a really bad relationship which I wasted my first year on and then there was no one on the horizon. There were those little fun times here and there but no prospects. Until I went on a dating site and found the love of my life. True story. I thought I would never meet anyone, let alone meet the one! But once you do meet them, you realize that you were silly to doubt. Thanks for bringing this up!

Blue Is Bleu said...

I don't think I was ever worried about meeting the one because I was always happy to be single. I figured if I met someone, that'd be an added bonus to my life. I was 28 when I met the hubs. Couldn't imagine life with anybody else and I'm always thankful for him. Esp when we met by such random chance :)

macaca grava por cima said...

I guess the most important thing is to be happy wuith yourself, If you're not you can't be happy in a relationship. And try to mantain the individual person, even in a long relationship. Although I dated for so long, we had different jobs, we kept (and still keep) going out with our friends separetly, and we only moved in together after marriage. It could have gonne wrong, but here we are, happier then ever

Lauren said...

Oh I have so many thoughts on this!
1) When I was a kid, I remember watching Blossom (remember that show?) and Blossom was deciding whether or not to go away to college since her boyfriend would still be in her hometown. She said "But he's my soul mate" to her grandpa who responded "Isn't it funny how soul mates always conveniently live within a 50 mile radius of our houses?" That always stuck with me.
2) Now I'm 28 and engaged and I see my fiance as a great partner, rather than a soul mate. We help each other grow as people.
3) When I was in high school and lamenting the single life with my girl friends, I used to say "Do you realize that the person you will marry is somewhere right this moment living his life? We don't have to create him, all we have to do is find him." It was a good reminder to stop pining away for the future and start living my life (as my future husband was surely doing).
4) I realize I'm saying all of this as someone who is engaged, but please know that I've had my fair share of cheaters, losers, and tear-filled nights (my boyfriend of two years broke up with my on the day of my graduation from college). I've been through the ringer and I like to think I'm better for it.

Kelsey said...

Yes! I did worry about this! My best girl friend and I would remind each other, "You never know what will happen tomorrow" when we worried too much because you really never know who you might meet and under what circumstance. When I met my husband-to-be I was in grad school, just at the point where I was starting to feel worried about not meeting the right person. We met over a game of pool - I never would have predicted that! And now we're happy as can be. I realize now that I was so young (24) and really shouldn't have worried as much, I love that quote.

Meredith said...

Thank you for this post. I'm 29 and I worry about this ALL THE TIME. I feel exactly how you describe---they're not dateable, or not interested, or already taken, and it sucks. I have such a fabulous life otherwise (for me---I enjoy it)and this seems like the thing that is missing that I am powerless to find.

Anna said...

I worry about this all the time which is absolutely insane because I'm 20. 20!!!! But I live in Utah and the majority of my friends are married already. CRAZY. So I panic every now and then because of that, but then I have to slap myself and realize how young I am.

thenodramamomma said...

I don't believe in soul mates, but I do believe in a partner for life. I met mine young, and that was just as annoying as meeting him late! Here in DC, dating is difficult, so my girlfriends tell me. So I am glad I met my husband young, but remember that it's also hard to go through all the changes a person experiences during her twenties and still stay together.

STLcolleen said...

Ahhh...I am pretty sure I did. Almost 5 years, and then last fall he just left...unexpectedly and probably due to many many varied issues (for us both, individually and together though I don't believe they would have been impossible to overcome).

So now I have to decide if I had no idea what I was talking about then and he WASN'T my soulmate. Which is proving to be incredibly challenging, especially as age 30 looms...

Kylie said...

I'm 23, and I am VERY picky, and am more than willing to cut it short if it didn't feel right. (Like, I went two years in between kisses... and then two years again!) I used to worry about being so picky, but it is just what my womanly instincts always told me to do! I didn't know exactly what I was looking for, but I worried I would never find it! I'm young, and I am not terribly social, but I insisted on just living my life the way I wanted to with the (worried) hopes that the guy I wanted would be apart of the flow somehow.

Then I met the guy that I am with now... we worked together, and we had developed a very friendly rapport. But the moment he told me his feelings for me, it's like my soul went "Oh, THAT'S what I've been waiting for!" We've been together for over a year, and it has been the most amazing ride. He's my favorite person!

Julie said...

Thank you for this post. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I am still relatively young (23), but I am single and living at home because I recently graduated from college and can't find a job! I am so ready to be in a big city, working hard, with people my age, having fun so I can meet that perfect guy, but I feel so far from it. So thanks, your post helped me breathe just a little easier :)

Julie

Snappy Di said...
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27 and a PhD said...

Oh, I remember being so worried I'd stay forever single after my college sweetheart and I broke up. But a little over a year after I met my current boyfriend, and we're gearing up to celebrate 6 wonderful years together. Some of those years have been apart, due to the constraints of grad school. But we managed to live together during his breaks from school, and after I took a job to be closer to him in Canada. Now I'm back in the States, and he's still in Canada, but we are very committed to each other. When I think of how wonderful I've felt for the last few years, and how, even if we're not together I feel him close, I can truly say I'm the happiest person ever (though it would obviously be wonderful to be living together again). I know we will be together in the same space sooner rather than later, it's just a matter of time. And OMG I loved, LOVED, Alex's side of the birth story. It was fantastic. I've always loved reading or learning about how guys experience things. Thanks for sharing.

Snappy Di said...

I am married now but that was after being divorced at the age of 24. I didn't find my husband until 19 years later at the age of 43. He was sooooo worth the wait. The only advice I can give young ladies is to stay out of bars... you will not find him there. Voice of experience here

Erin said...

I'm young, twenty, and met the guy of my dreams my first week of college when he asked me about my messenger bag (it was green and the size of me) while he got me my morning coffee at the cafe a block down from my horrible apartment.

Our experiences in dating are as different as can be. I had a few boyfriends in high school, nothing much. He's 28, was in "high school sweetheart" relationship for years, then "dated" with no relationship longer than three months for EIGHT YEARS.

I swear, that whole "it happens when you least expect it" is the truth. I had settled to part with my last high school boyfriend, focus on school work, and not really worry about finding a boy in Berkeley until later. He had just decided that dating was crap, and he just was going to burn the midnight oil working on his PhD, not hitting the bars. Then we met, we bacame friends, and then three months of hanging out every day later, we kissed, and it was like we'd been together for years. We're both pretty darn happy it worked out.

Darina Daniella said...

I'm loving reading all these comments! It's funny, but just today I posted about all the different ways people are looking for love- online, singles parties, social events, etc. Tomorrow, I'll be posting comments from my friends on their experiences with online dating...I can't wait to share!
Check it out at afoggycitylife.blogspot.com

xo,darina

Jessica Wray said...

I'm very young, 21, and have been with my boyfriend since we were both 17. This past saturday marks the first day of our LDR (long distance relationship). He moved across the state to finish up his BA.
I've often worried that we met too young. I do in fact believe he is my 'soul mate' but fear that because we are so young we could grow apart.
With this new chapter of our relationship I'm not as worrisome - we already miss each other like crazy and if we can make it through the challenges of a LDR, and at this young, we can make it through anything. I love him.

Kaitlyn said...

Love this post. Before meeting him, I constantly worried about meeting my soulmate. I was 20 years old and had never even been on a date! That was the hardest, I was too picky about men and I started to think I would never find one that was interested in me. Eventually I did find one, and I am so glad I was picky! We've been together 2 years and I'm so proud he's my one and only. Still, I remember being so depressed and discouraged. It's hard!

Jesse said...

makes me think of good will hunting "she's not perfect, but the question is if you're perfect for each other." my husband and i are far from perfect, but through everything we've been through we've become more right together as the days pass. it's amazing to grow with someone:)

mr.darcy1 said...

I married my first boyfriend that I met when I was twenty. I wish I would have dated.

ChickFlickChic said...

i love this post (and your blog!) i used to have those same thoughts and i used to think it was crazy that i could meet someone and marry them when they didn't know me for my first 25 years! i ended up falling in love with my guy friend who saw me at my best and worst before our first kiss!

Laura said...

I am 23 and just last year I was broken up with by my partner of 5 years. I had never really believed in soulmates, but I was still devestated by the break up. Fortunately, it led to me dating the guy I am now with and it is so different with him, I never worry about whether we're soulmates or if I will find the one, because he is it and I didn't know before how amazing love could be.

I am glad you and Alex found one another too, it's great when people are so happy together.

charinthecity said...

Your Mum was right but the waiting around does suck! The important thing is to enjoy yourself while you're waiting, keep an eye out and keep a hopeful heart. After my worst first date ever age 26(the first time I tried internet dating!) I thought I might end up a little old cat lady. And then a week afterwards, I went on my very best first date ever. This boy just felt like coming home, magnified 100x sweeter. I married him this year, 3 years on and life is wonderful as a newlywed.

Brooklynne said...

I had trouble the other way around. I met my future husband in college, and things moved pretty quickly! We fell in love, got engaged, and boom, I was 21 and married (my husband's 4 years older, if that helps). A lot my friends didn't understand (and still don't) and I still get a lot of flack from people I've just met for being married, though I'm 25 now. Most of my friends are single and refuse to take dating advice from me because I don't know what it's like to be single anymore, and they roll their eyes when I assure them that they'll find someone! It's exhausting sometimes, but thank you for sharing!

Sunshine on my window. said...

When i was single, i never worried about not getting someone, i knew i would someday, i was just enjoying everything and everyone in my life at that particular time.
Next month, we will be celebrating our 6th birthday. However, it gets really difficult because of the distance, now that he works overseas.

I find myself worrying about us most of the time. The fact that he is there for me, but never really "there". I can't help feeling that if i were single, i would really rock!!!

At times like this, i remember those days when we weren't separated, how he tucks me in at night, kisses me gently on my forehead, and pats me to sleep(insomnia).

Don't worry too much girlies, or you will miss out on everything around you.. =)

chanel said...

Great post, I think it's something people think about a lot. I am married now and before I was I always thought, "There can't just be one person (soulmate) for everyone!" It just seemed like too much pressure. Like, there's a lot of people in this world, what if you and your one just never find each other! My best friend's grandmother always told us (she probably made it up) that 85% of the things you worry about don't come true so there's no need to worry about them to begin with. Even if there is no research to back it up it's always seemed to play out thus far. ;)

Amelia said...

I'm married to my college sweetheart so I kind of missed the dating boat in a lot of ways. He and I did have the early predictable ups and downs of young love and did briefly date other people (during which time I learned that my favorite pick-up line to use was in a dark corner at the end of the night: "I would like to make out with you or go home, your call". Wildly effective and lead to lots of dark bar corner smooching which was all I was in the mood for) But I digress...your post prompted me to comment because I thought of something that I heard years ago.

There's a great Marianne Williamson exercise that involves envisioning the partner of your dreams, imagining his or her interests, hair, family, dreams, goals etc etc and you're trucking along envisioning this perfect person and then she turns to the audience and says, "now, would he/she want to date you? That's the list you need to be focusing on!" I first heard that when I was 16 and it still comes to mind every now and again when I find myself working harder on everyone/thing else other than what I'm bringing to the table and offering. I think that ties in so nicely with your quote about knowing that this is the year--and allowing ourselves to shine rather than whither. Although I'm not dating, I am waiting to find out if a job I interviewed for is going to call me back, and this is the perfect post to be reminded that all good things come in good time. Lovely day to you!

Prasetyo said...

Nice blog post brow.

Don't forget to visit me back, wokey !!!

marisol said...

i think God has the perfect timing for everything! im 26 and ever since i remember i was "in-love" with the wrong guy, they all cheated and just wanted to have a non serious relationship, for sometime i thought it was my fault, that something in me was attracting the wrong guys. did i really wanted a serious relationship at the time? or whats wrong with me? i cried for over a year for this hot guy(jerk!) i was in my last year of college, the last semester, the last project of the class and by the very end of the meetings for that project was when i looked up and saw a beautiful warm smile ! a smile that i still love after 2 years. my boyfriend now, Piotr, says we had classes for almost the past 2 years and i NEVER saw him because i was crying a river for the wrong guys. but thanks to that i now appreaciate the great guy thats next to me, im glad i didnt meet him before, i wasnt ready! But now, we are gonna move-in in a few months and go to Europe to visit his family and travel next year! so i feel very blessed =)I always told my mom that i felt i would marry my first and only boyfriend, and hopefully soon i will :D.. so yeah, the key to everything is Patience believe me.
have a great one :)

- Marisol <3

Tragic Sandwich said...

Mr. Sandwich and I have been married for seven and a half years, and we dated long-distance for three years before that.

I don't really believe in soulmates. I don't think there's a one-to-one correlation. After all, if I'd gone to another college, would I have no friends?

What I do think is that sometimes we're lucky enough to meet someone who can--and is willing--to grow in the same direction that we are. And who that person is depends on where each of you is in life at the moment. Most of the time, we're not with that person. But sometime we are, and that's when it's really great.

I wanted to get married, but not to just anyone. The odds are very good that if either Mr. Sandwich or I had not been willing to date someone across the country, I would still be single.

Here's the thing, though: my life is immeasurably better with him. But it was pretty good before, too. So while I don't believe in soulmates, I can't imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

melissa said...

I grew up in an environment where you were pressured to have a serious relationship and get married...so my dating life is a string of relationships with no actual dates. I've got an amazing boyfriend who loves me to pieces (and I can see it working out long term) but I've also got a lot of self esteem issues exacerbated by a bad marriage that ended in him leaving me for someone else. Hellooooo hangups! I'm doing what I can to not let it subconsciously sabotage the amazing thing I have going.

I honestly don't know how the whole dating thing works. I have a hard enough time making friends and I am not exactly the type of girl that guys notice in general. I'm very thankful that I'm not feeling the pressure to be "out there."

Alioco said...
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Katya said...

Than you so much for such an inspirational post. I was not dating anyone (at all!!) until I turned 21. I felt so lonely and left out. But here I am: 25, found my soulmate, getting married in 3 weeks and found out few days ago that we are expecting a little one. What a bless.

P.S. The funny thing is that I'm ukrainian (not model though, at 5 feet)

sarah said...

After 2 1/2 years of living in New York with no guys ever sticking past the 3 date (or unfortunate one night stand) i felt hopeless. then one night i was riding the "F" train looking over beautiful Brooklyn and had literally the clearest thought. "I already know the man I will spend the rest of my life with, we just have not come together in that way yet." I don't want to say it was God, but it was more like my sub-conscious telling me that what it knew, and to relax. i did relax and a few months later got an email from a friend from college, Thomas, saying he would be in NYC for the summer. We had a "first date" and 2 1/2 years later I am more happy and in love than I ever knew possible. I just had to trust me.

love is out there for everyone. we just don't get it on our terms.

Anonymous said...

I broke up with my boyfriend of three and a half years (who I thought was the one) around this time last year. At first I was devastated, but over time I refocused my life on the things I COULD control like my work, my friends, my family, and my future plans. Now, I have been promoted, I have made a ton of new friends in NYC, my relationship with my family is better than ever, and I am applying to grad school in the fall. On top of that, I met someone completely unexpectedly who makes me see all the things my ex (formerly "The One") was lacking. It's only been a couple months (and who knows how it will end up) but I finally feel completely happy and know what I really deserve from a partner! The best things happen when you least expect them to...

401 said...

When I was 16 I had the biggest crush on this guy. We got really drunk together and confessed our likeness for one another but after a week of awkwardness we parted ways. Four years later we run into each other and start hanging out to find out we always liked each other and we've been dating for almost 2 years now. I don't know if it will last forever, if it does awesome. If not, I'm sure I'll find someone. Everything happens for a reason, right?

Anonymous said...

Such a great topic. I know being 32 and single I sometimes worry about ending up alone. I sometimes ask myself if I put my work ahead of my love life and have thus made this position (medical field). I live in Boston, and even though it's a big city, I have a hard time finding guys to date. It seems as I am getting over the bar scene, and I am hesitant to try online dating. I'm curious if other women have tried and what they think of online dating. I guess I'm old fashioned, and think I'll eventually meet my Mr. Right on my own, but that biological clock of mine is ticking!
Christy

jenny said...

I actually have tons of freakout moments, and I've been with my current boyfriend for almost 3 years! Crazy, I know. But I can't help it. My parents went through a bad divorce so I think I always have that little worry in the back of my head that something isn't going to work out.

But I just have to keep telling myself that it will. Because I love him.

Karaugh said...

I am notorious for being a serious relationship dater. I have been in 3 fairly long relationships, one for four years, another for almost four and the most recent for almost three, with a few shorter term boyfriends in between.

After my most recent long-term relationship hit the two year marker, things seemed to be going sour and it was so difficult to pinpoint why because it was so many small things. I had true feelings for this person and was determined to fix the little things when the person I believe to be my soulmate walked into my life. At first I paid Tim little attention because I was still in a relationship with someone else. But after the third time meeting him among friends, I knew I was supposed to date him.

Supposed to? It was the weirdest feeling. Being the realist that I am, I thought I couldn’t possibly believe in soulmates and certainly couldn’t continue on with my pattern of moving from one serious relationship to the next. So even though I knew I “should” be dating Tim, I made myself date other people. I met a lot of guys through friends, but no one compared to Tim. Joanna knows this—I used to dish the gossip when first arriving to take care of Toby. Haha

At one point I had 6 dates in one week! And two in one day! I was exhausted, I couldn’t remember what funny stories I had told to who and it felt ironic to be turning the stereotypical tables. Suddenly I was the player, and all the guys I dated wanted relationships. But I only wanted one.

After beating around the bush for awhile, we both confessed how we felt about one another and started officially dating. I have never met someone who is on the same page as me on just about everything. We have a lot of different interests, but enjoy doing just about everything together. It’s probably repulsive to everyone around us, and we acknowledge this, but we simply don’t care. And I have never been happier.

My favorite thing about our relationship? Since we started officially dating, we’ve mailed each other quirky cards via snail mail even though we see one another about every day and live 10 minutes apart. It’s a really sweet reminder to find a card in the mail. And it will make for a great collection to look back on.

Wow... that was a long story. :P

Ana Magdalena said...

I am currently single. I have been single for a year since my ex (who I thought was my soul mate) left me. I am not sure if soul mates really exist, but I can really agree with everything @ tragic sandwich said on her comment

Josefina said...

I absolutely love this post Joanna, because it's something I think about all the time. I felt you were reading my mind when you wrote this post, it could not have been closer to my reality. Amazing! I am currently single and 34 years old, living in the Dominican Republic. To me it feels like most guys here are either married or just too superficial. Also, there's a lot of competition from the younger generation of girls. I guess the best thing to do is to not give it so much thought and simply enjoy life. xo, Josefina.

Lindsy said...

I just got out of a three year relationship and it was heartbreaking because I thought he was the one. I'm just starting to date again but you are right, dating in NYC is rough. Something about it makes you feel like you are a dime a dozen. So now I'm just going to focus on being happy. Not finding a guy that will make me happy.

Oriana Zens said...

I always feel like this :( Sometimes I think I'm being too picky because every guy I go on a date with, I don't feel it. There is typically nothing wrong with them, I just never feel like there is a connection. Then I over-think it and obsess over how maybe I'm not giving them enough time to grow on me. uugHHH, I frustrate myself!

Michelle (michabella) said...

Oh this is great. And exactly what I needed to read today. I find myself constantly worrying about if I will ever meet the one God has for me. I have come a long way and am thankful for the jerks I have dated. I think I worry so much because I am getting "older" and am surrounded by friends who are engaged, married, popping out babies left and right. I feel...left behind or that I don't "belong". It's rough. But I just need to be patient. Timing is everything :)

Alice said...

I always assumed I would never meet my "soul mate"... it just seemed like such an impossible task. And then I met my husband at age 22 and the rest is history. I think the problem for me (and likely a lot of women) is... all the silly terms we use... love of my life/ soul mate/ my one and only/ prince charming/ etc. etc. It puts so much pressure on dating and on us and on men. No wonder it's hard to find a partner. I met my husband just days after breaking my leg and he was in the process of finalizing his divorce with his ex wife... we both have never been less interested in dating in our lives... I had zero expectations. I wasn't looking for anything. Except maybe a little company and he was the same. And I honestly think that's why we're still here, together and married, 3 years later.

Mandy said...

Such an interesting post!

I met the love of my life when I was 17, right when I started getting serious with guys, almost 10 years ago. So I've never experienced the 'search'.

I do have 2 friends who are single for a very long time now (they are 27) and I see what a struggle and otoh how much fun it can be. If that were me, I would be nervous and worried, I guess.

Kiss!

Jules said...

I love this post, Joanna! I've been head over heels for my guy for going on three years now, but man do I remember feeling like I'd never meet anyone who was:

A) Awesome enough to be with long term and B) Actually wanted to date me!

It was always either A and not B or B and not A.. it seemed like I'd never get anyone who was both! But the minute I stopped obsessing about it, along he came. Funny how it usually works out like that.

Megan said...

I just had a huge melt down the other night about not finding my soul mate! I live in Chicago and my most recent boyfriend (of one month) broke up with me via text message. I'm completely at a loss of what to do. This post (as well as my Mother) have really helped me realize that there is hope. It's hard when everyone around you has found "the one" at a young age and you're still single.

allthingssplendid said...

I love that in your post you mention that you were 28 when you really started to worry...I just turned 28 this summer & have to say that I'm a bit concerned myself about still being single! But I made a promise to myself this past year to stop living my life as if I'm waiting (waiting for the perfect man, job, etc). I need to live out each & every day embracing the small joys I do have...and hopefully if a man comes into the picture (a big “if”) he will be icing on the cake! Thanks for the post!

Kirstin@CrimsonRosella said...

I just lost what I thought was the love of my life. After 4 years he broke up with me with no warning and everything seeming perfect. I am so lost right now because how can one person feel that they have found the "one" and the other just leave?
I know that perhaps he was just a stepping stone to find the one and that I am still young (turning 24 in a few months). Perhaps I need to discover who I really am and what I want out of life before I can find the "one".

freckle face said...

I've been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year. He's 23, I'm 20. He's my first actual relationship that I haven't ruined. Our first date was one in which we went to a pool hall (my idea) and I won (yes!) but then went to Denny's and talked.. for 3 hours! Can I just tell you how amazing and refreshing it was for someone (who didn't know me before puberty) to sit and talk about anything and everything that came to mind. we are complete opposites in which he was in a punk band and did a ton of drugs growing up. Doing the whole rebelling thing. I, on the other hand, was in an orchestra for 9 years, honor roll whole entire time in high school, and took college classes. My parents pride and joy. Now I'm heels over head in love with this kid that my father highly disapproves of.. after over a year of dating he still hasn't talked to my boyfriend's parents. No meeting, no phone call, nothing. & my boyfriend makes such an effort. it just kills me inside when my dad talks about my boyfriend's parents and their parenting with their son. Now I'm going away to Ireland for a whole 3 months in a couple of weeks and it's going to be so hard. But it's something I've wanted to do for a very long time and he understands this. I'm glad I'm going away now compared to last fall, because being away wouldn't of made the relationship last. But the one thing I believe in is us. I know it's going to be hard. But I wouldn't want to fight, wouldn't want to laugh, wouldn't want to share my day with and love more than my boyfriend. He is my soul mate.

laurenjeanallece said...

I was with the man I love for 2 1/2 years until April when he ended it, not sure where life was taking him and not sure if he was able to be in a relationship. It almost broke my heart, but a few months later here we have found that we are still each other's best friends and nothing will ever change that. I think it's possible to be soulmates even if we're no longer romantically linked because our friendship in unscathed. It may have turned out that we needed each other as friends more than lovers. I'm still hopeful for the future though!

Andrew and Crystal said...

Love this post! I had an interesting situation. I had the "dilemma" of finding my soul mate at age 17 :) Which is awesome, but hard at the same time. I wasn't ready to settle down. I knew if we stayed together we would get married at the first chance. And I didn't want that. So, we lived separate lives for 8 years then reconnected at age 26 and got married at age 28. The End. (or beginning!) -crystal

Sarah O'Brien said...

I use to be one of those hopeless romantic kind of girls who would do any and everything for the men in my life. However much has changed since then. I've been in two relationships over the last six years, both who were absolutely in love with me for the entirety of our relationships. I ended one because we were headed in different directions and the other inevitably broke my heart. Just recently my boyfriend of three and fiance for one year ended it with me because he simply fell out of love with me. Of course I was devastated and almost completely lost it. It stirred so many emotions, I began to think is there such a thing as a soulmate, does love really exist. How could two people spend the rest of their lives together and not get bored. Although I'm only 24 and still quite young, i'm over being in relationships and trusting men. I wish all of you who are in relationships and married the best, however I just feel that men are incapable of loving the same person for the rest of their lives. I'm not blaming them, it is just who they are.

Tam Hess said...

My post was to long...three main "keys" to marriage and happiness. Because I know it all! HA #1 Do not move in together till marriage. #2 Respect yourself so others will. #3 Respect your partner, no matter how different you are. #4 Have a good sense of humor. There...but still I really don't know it all. :)

Raechel said...

I moved to New York in 2007, and dated around a bit. It was really difficult because the guys I ended up dating were young and successful and were always looking for the next best thing, like I was a placeholder or something... After about 8 months of this I finally ended up meeting my (now) husband at a concert. The biggest takeaway from this, was that I never gave up and I never got jaded. It is easy to believe you are the one driving these men away or that you are somehow inadequate. I just tried to love myself and treat myself as best I could, because if you don't recognize your value, you will never be comfortable with whomever you end up with.

Trina said...

Um...isn't this a 2008 post from your days at Smitten? I remember because, well, I've been reading you for that long, and it really spoke to me then--so much so I think I printed out the post and pasted it into my scrapbook. :} And I still remember and think about it!

michelle said...

Thinking about not meeting the perfect man was definitely a big stress throughout my twenties.I moved to New York, got sick of internet dating and just started making an effort to put myself in different situations. Not necessarily for the purpose of meeting someone, but to open myself up to new opportunities (as cliche as that sounds). I did meet someone and we are happily engaged. But I can't say it was through anything I did or didn't do. I'm lucky. Very lucky. And I think most people, at some point in their life, get lucky.
I always hated it when people tried to tell you what to do in order to meet someone (i.e. Put yourself out there! Go out more!)Ugh. I think you just have to have your eyes and heart open so when you do meet that perfect person, you are aware of it.

Christine said...

Great post! I'm 26 and single. For the most part I'm happy with my life (I have wonderful friends and am excited to be starting graduate school), but I definitely do worry about meeting someone. I feel like most of the guys I meet are nice but I'm not attracted to them, attractive but not nice, or they're the holy grail of nice AND attractive, but they're not interested in me. People always say that the right guy will be worth the wait, and I hope they're right!

Kate said...

I was 22 when I met my now fiance (I am now 28 and we are getting married in October) and I can honestly say I wasn't looking for a relationship or even to hook-up with anyone at that time (I was still young, I know this). Then one day I met my future husband and something told me that I must accept his offer to go on a date. I can't explain it, even to this day. It wasn't love at first sight, but something deep down told me that I must go out with this person and not reject him like I had done the few others that had tried.
We have been together happily since our second date and now I can't wait to be his wife.
In polar opposite to this, my sister who is two years older than me has always wanted to be in a relationship. She subsequently always chose the wrong men and ended up with her heart-broken many times. Her last relationship was pretty toxic and I begged her to end it, which she finally did. I told her to enjoy being alone for a while, do whatever she wanted to do and just focus on being happy on her own. That was a year ago and I am happy to say that she has now met a very nice man and they are really happy together.
I am still young and I don't have all the answers but I believe very strongly that it you aren't happy on your own or within yourself you aren't open to meeting the right kind of people, especially that special one.

Jen R said...

I was in a relationship for 6 years and when I was 25 we broke up. Part of me was worried that I was 'too old' and would never meet someone, but another part of me really enjoyed the next 2 years of dating a few people, and getting to know myself again. For some reason, I always knew that I would one day meet the person who was perfect for me. Little did I know, I already had. My boyfriend and I have been blissfully happy for the last 2 years, and he had been my co-worker all along!

Sea Shellis said...

I am 45 and still waiting on my sooulmate, the love of my life. I spent 20 years with someone I tried to MAKE my soulmate - turns out you can't do that. I'm not a slow person, but whoa, 20 years? This is my life's DUH moment. I claim it. Now, I'm moving forward. I'm moving forward happily, but very leary that I missed out on meeting my soulmate. On some level, I know if I did, I'm still ok and happy because I have the love of my life - my son - and he has turned out to be a good and honorable man. I know he and his future family will complete my life even if THE ONE never comes along.

Sarah said...

It's funny how many posts on here are from other women who met their Mr. Right so yound. My soon-to-be-fiance (cross your fingers) and I met our freshman year in college and have been together ever since (5 1/2 years later). There are times in the past where I would wonder if I was missing something by staying with him. I have always been head-over-heels in love with him, but the prospect of only being with him for the rest of my life was scary. I couldn't be more sure that he is the one for me, the one to grow old with, the father of my future children. Marriage here we come...My best friend and roommate, however, still has yet to find that special someone and she oftentimes is emotional becuase she thinks she'll be alone forever (she's 24 by the way, waaayyy too young to be so worried). I have always struggled with how to help her be independent and happy and also be more social and confident. Almost all of our friends are in relationships/engaged and I can see where it's hard to be the single one. That being said, any advice on how to kindly suggest that she get out of the house (on her own, or with other single friends) and just have fun being single? I think that if she starts to really put herself out there that something is bound to happen, right!?

Bethany said...

Happily married for two years, but we've been together for almost 6. I'm blessed to have found my match in college. I think because of my experience I can definitely attest to how much your environment factors in to who you meet and how compatible you are. And if you're not involved in anything, like school or a cooking class or a gym or a softball league, etc, then how can you expect to find a person that meets all of your standards, shares your interests, and is on a similar or compatible "life track" so to speak? That's why I think it's so important for people to stop simply looking, but to go about life as they want to live it, doing things they're passionate about, so that people notice their contentedness and confidence, but so they can also utilize the opportunity to meet compatible people.

Anonymous said...

I'm 35 years and single and funny enough it doesn't really bother me so much. I think I stressed more about finding someone when i was younger, like in my 20's. But another aspect of being single is that it is so hard financially, I live in London and it's so expensive, I actually worry more these days that I will have to live in a flatshare or a studioflat the size of a shoebox forever than getting married and being with someone.

Anonymous said...

There were many, many moments when I thought that I would just be single forever. I've had several serious, long-term boyfriends (was even engaged once) with periods of sporadic dating in-between. I left my last relationship because I felt 'stuck' - basically settling for a guy I loved but wasn't truly in love with, but at 30 yrs old & the last one not married or engaged amongst my family & friends, foolishly thought he was my last chance. While going through that messy break-up, I met a guy that was too good to be true - all around amazing and treated me like gold. I instantly felt that he was my soulmate, but because of the circumstances & fear of getting hurt again, I kept pushing him away. Luckily for me, he had no doubts that I was the one for him and waited patiently for me to realize that we are perfect together. We are still taking things slow but for me, just the awakening that I could completely fall in love with someone again after all these years/ relationships/ heartache makes me hopeful for the (our) future.

Stephanie of Pretty {much} Art said...

I sort of have the opposite problem, dating wise. At (almost) 26 I'm living at home with my parents, after having moved back home after college. I'm not actively seeking "Mr. Right" because I often feel that I don't want to be stuck in this small mid-west town that I grew up in. So I spent the first couple of years after moving home refusing to date guys thinking that they'd tie me down here and make me "settle".

Now, however, all my friends are in serious relationships (do we get married younger here in the mid-west??) and I still haven't made a decision as to where I'm going with my life. It is starting to get scary. Especially because I'm shy and just haven't dated much period. Once I do meet someone I'm even a little interested in dating, how long will take take before I'm married and can start a family? Damn biological clock!

I sit here hoping God or fate or whatever will take care of my decisions (dating, moving and otherwise). But maybe I need to just decide what I want and start doing something about it.

chopsuey said...

This was exactly what I was thinking. I dated a guy through most of my 20s. We lived together, etc. and then we broke up. I was 28 and had never really dated. Ugh.

Then I tried it all - meeting guys "out," online dating, dating friends of friends (with some luck and some disasters : ).

By the time I was 33 I had started to believe that although I was going to keep on trying, I needed to figure out how to continue make my own life because maybe I'd never meet a guy I clicked with.

But in February my oldest friend set me up. It was the first blind date I'd ever been on and the best first date ever. We've been together for six months and while I know it's still new, I've never felt so powerfully about someone or had it just be so fun and easy. And now that I have the perspective (and luxury of knowing), I'm happy it happened when and how it did. I had a lot of fun for a lot of years and am independent, confident and knew when he crossed my path that he was the right guy. That might not have been the case when I was younger.

So, even though it was very hard for me to believe,your mom is right. Whew, it's been a relief!

Maura said...

Oh boy, I worry all the time! I had a long-term boyfriend with whom I lived, and thought we'd be married in a year or two from now, but we broke up a year ago and I thought I'd never recover! I tried dating (to no avail), and this summer decided to take a break from men in general. I haven't felt so good in years. I still worry I won't meet my soulmate, though. The only thing I find reassuring is that I don't doubt I'll find someone because I'm worried they'll like me - it's the reverse! I'm struggling to find anyone I like. I live in NYC, and most of the men I meet are either horndogs, total careerists, gay, or just plain boring. I've just decided I'm not going to look for as long as I'm living here. I'll put myself out there, do what I love, and hope that brings in satisfying relationships - whether platonic or romantic.

Stephanie said...

Thank you for posting this today. My long-term boyfriend and I just broke up late last night and into the wee hours of today. While I'm not totally surprised, I am unbelievably crushed. I guess I need this reminder today, to help me remember that it's not so hopeless, I'm not so old and that Life Goes On. If I knew I was going to meet my soul mate one year from today, I would enjoy every moment of my single life, taking in all of the alone moments and all of the boisterous moments, assured that soon I wouldn't be able to enjoy those times in the same way. Not knowing is hard, but I guess this is my only life and I better enjoy it :) Thanks for having great timing for me today.

JESS HUDDLESTON said...

Can I just say ... you have one of the most refreshing, sunniest outlooks on life - and it is SUCH a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it's just nice to hear that someone else is thinking what we're thinking, pointing out the fascinating little parts of life, telling us to stop and smell the roses and agreeing that, yes, things go wrong - but it will all work out.

You are a real treat to read. Keep it up. xo

PS If you'd like to check out five Canadian girls writing about life and all of its little quirks, we're giving it a whirl at http://inanutshell.ca

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Anonymous said...

I'm in a relationship right now. We're nine months into it, but things have been pretty serious for a while. This is the first healthy and serious relationship both of us has ever had.

For me, I'm glad I went through the weird guys and all the headaches that came with them. Each guy led me to the one I have now, and I wouldn't change anything.

I definitely remember worrying all the time. I thought I wasn't date-worthy, that something was wrong with me, etc. etc. It's nice to know that all that worrying was really not necessary.

Mia D. said...

Oh, man. Thanks for posting this, Joanna. I often feel like something is wrong with me (patently not true) since I can never find nice, available, date-worthy guys but you're completely right. It just takes a little patience and confidence in yourself. You have to go through all the crappy things before you can fully appreciate the person you're meant to be with.
Thanks for the reminder :)

Anonymous said...

I just started following you blog. I love it! It is interesting though how much we worry about meeting Mr. Right and then when we do, our worries completely change- at least for me. I dated a guy for 5 years and always thought he might be the one but never got that feeling of when you "just know." Then, I meet my husband and I knew within 2 months he was the one I would marry. Now we are happily married and my fear of meeting Mr. Right has been replaced with having my husband's child. Now that we are about to start a family all the years of worrying if I ever would meet him are replaced by a terrifying fear of what if I can conceive...

Lindsay said...

Oh, this post so resonated with me! A fear of being alone, of not being pretty enough/smart enough/funny enough etc., completed dominated my teens and early to mid twenties. And looking back, I was a smart and funny girl! So much time wasted on worrying. Because it's so true that you find "the one" when you finally stop looking. And I think it's because when you start becoming the person YOU want to be, you attract the people that are meant for you. At least, that's how it worked for me...

MEL said...

When I was young, my parents got divorced. Then a year later, they decided to get re-married...to each other. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Of course I'm endlessly grateful that they worked out but I'll tell you what, that really screwed with my vision of marriage and relationships! I didn't understand how 2 people could get married, have 2 kids, then take a year long break, and then try again. I didn't understand how marriage could just come and go like that.

I didn't really believe in marriage or a soul mate for a long time. I had many relationships, some serious and some not-so, and looked at love more like a state of mind I guess. My freshman year in college I met a great guy who became my instant friend. We were best friends throughout college--we were inseparable and talked about our future together as best friends. He had become my family. Super long story short, 4 years after we met and started our friendship, we fell in love and the rest is history.

I never believed in soul mates until I met my Mr. I even believed he was mine before we were romantically involved, when we were best friends. He really made me work out what marriage and love and relationships mean to me and how I can make these things work for me. We've been married for almost 2 years now and I can't imagine my life without him. He is my best friend, my husband. Lover or friend, I know that he's my soul mate for sure.

Angry Asian said...

i will be 34 in Dec and have been in a relationship for 6 months. dw says that i am the love of his life and while that is so romantical to hear, i am more pragmatic about it as we are still young and hopefully, have a long life to live. i have dated wonderful men, men who i thought i would spend the rest of my life with. but with dw, i will admit to feeling like i have finally found my so much better half, he makes me happier than should be legally allowed.

ruthy ann said...

I was soooooo feeling the same way. I was 31 when I met my husband...but being single once I hit 30 was really hard. I have many girlfriends in the same situation who are in their mid to late 30's who are wonderful, beautiful people--I pray they find their partners soon.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Wow so many people have quite a bit to say about this. My daughter is 25 and thinking about these things as of late. She told me whenever this discussion comes up with her friends she tells me she defies anyone to meet her parents and not believe in soul mates. Makes me happy she feels this way and I would have to agree. I still simply adore my husband and he me. I suppose it's part of the whole destiny belief.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think City plays into it, I live in San Francisco, a city which basically supports and endorses arrested development in men. I am 34, single, and perfectly, wonderfully happy. I spent 8 years in a horrible, no good, very bad relationship. Being coupled is not always better than being single. Do I wish I had someone? Sure, but not because I need that person, more because I look around at my life, beautiful place to live, successful career, wonderful dog, amazing friends, and think what a bummer it is I can't share that with someone special. I know I will meet someone someday who perfectly compliments my every kooky weird habit, but until then, I am literally having the time of my life. Remember ladies, never give up on the idea of what your life could look like. Believe in love, and believe you are worthy to receive it, and it shall come.

Erica C. said...

Though I'm somewhat young (just turned 26), there were moments I felt like I'd never find anybody. Right after a hard breakup is when I would usually feel that way, but living in Iowa (where most of my classmates were married by 21-24) made me feel like an old maid. I'm happily engaged now, and know exactly what you mean about not realizing how awesome you are until you're in a happy, secure relationship!

anu said...

Going to turn 30 in a few months and single. I was seeing someone for 7-8 years and we got engaged last year, but broke up soon after :-( It's hard, but I am moving on now..although at times I do feel that either I don't like the people who like me or the ones I like are either not available or not interested in me.. ha ha!

mosey said...

After 5 years of being in love with the wrong guy I was stuck single at 28 and strongly wondering if I would 'ever love again'. Growing up, I never dated and so I thought that with my picky personality, I was particularly doomed. Well I found my 'real' soul mate 2 years later and now we're happily married.

Stephanie said...

I totally agree. Before I met my wife I was dating men and it was going terribly for me. I would sit for hours with my mom as well and talk about how guys just didn't get me. Then night I met my (now) wife, it was like a HUGH lightbulb went off in my head...Oh, so here you are! :) Funny, yes, because I didn't realize I would end up with a woman, but seriously it was such a revelation and it wasn't even so much about the fact that she is a woman, it was her and she seemed so familiar, home. She is my soulmate and I knew it from the moment I laid my eyes on her. And here we are 6.5 years later. Hindsight really is 20/20. :) Thanks for the great posts!
Stephanie

caitlin szabo said...

I started dating my husband when I was seventeen but before then I remember thinking I would never find anyone I was truly compatible with. I never really even had crushes on the boys in my small town and felt doomed. I think the pressure to not be an "old maid" is something ingrained in girls' from a very young age. I wonder, how many men feel as if they'll never find their soul mates? I've met many 35 year old, even forty year old bachelors with seemingly no worries.

hello jack said...

I think location does factor into it...I'm from the Bay Area and from a town where the statistic is 5 men to 1 woman. You'd think with those odds that there'd be your pick of dudes, but I've found more "bro's" than actual prospects.

I have to admit, though, I hadn't been interested in romance when I moved back from college, since I had been concentrating on figuring out what I wanted to do with my life (professionally). It took almost two years back to even build up new friendships and social circles and my boyfriend (of over a year, now) was a complete surprise. A good one :) He's younger than me and while that can sometimes raise my own worries (as in, when I want to get married will he be ready?), it's the best relationship I've been in. He makes me incredibly happy and I feel lucky to have him in my life.

@meg (17): I was like you, too. Don't worry about it and enjoy the drama-free times when you DON'T have a guy in your life.

Megan said...

So interesting. I spent a lot of time dating, and most of my relationships lasted way longer than they should have, because I always wanted to convince myself that the person was my soul mate. It wasn't until I stopped worrying about it and let myself enjoy being single for a little while that the right guy fell into my lap!
I also agree with Jeanette from Everton Terrace's comment--I think parent's relationships have a HUGE effect on how we feel about finding love. My best friend's parents were high school sweethearts, so she took her high school relationship WAY too seriously. Now that she's in her 20s, she's absolutely distraught that she hasn't found love yet. She doesn't realize that her parents' relationship is the unusual one! But on the other hand, parents with a very loving relationship can certainly give you a better outlook on love.

Thanks for this post!

Stephanie said...

This is such a great post! I'd say this is something most people worry about. It's hard not to worry about your future and just focus on the present and enjoying your life. I've thought about this a lot until recently. I just started a relationship with the most wonderful man I've ever met. I knew instantly that this was the person I could spend the rest of my life with. Now i'm just worried if he feels the same way or not. Thats another thought: to be so in love with someone and not knowing if they feel the same way and the chance of it not working out. Heartbreaking.

Amadea said...

I think it's really easy for people who naturally gravitate towards relationships to say things like "don't worry, it'll happen" or "just when you're not expecting it . . ." But the truth is that not everyone is made to pair up. That's the ideal that the world would have you believe is the standard, but it's not. Many people go through several minor relationships throughout their life. Or no relationships at all. I've had trouble with close relationships my whole life and by the time I was 29 I was severely depressed because I hadn't had a relationship that lasted longer then 5 days, and life wasn't turning out how I had been led to believe it should. I'm 41 now and have long since given up looking for a partner. I realize nowthat I work much better on my own. I guess you could say I have a natural aptitude for it. I'm done with the heartache of trying to fit into someone else's ideal. But it still is hurtful and sad to feel that the rest of the world considers people like myself to be anomalies or worse invisible. That "there's someone for everyone" attitude is really hard to stomach sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in soulmates. Relationships are about love, respect, and compromise. While having the same fundamental beliefs is helpful, you aren't going to agree about everything (in fact I think healthy disagreement is healthy).

I spent my 20s living in NYC, and loved it. I dated guys I met at the gym, at work, out, and even online. I finally met my husband when I was 29. My sisters (who did not spend their 20s in NYC) both met their husbands in their underclassmen years in college (lucky) so sometimes I felt a bit concerned that I would never find the right guy. But I did, and 7 years later (to the day – our "meeting" anniversary is today!), and one baby later we are still happily together, even if we don't believe in soulmates.

Roseann (The Naked Rose) said...

Great post Joanna!

I fell in love at 14 years old. I was a freshman, he was a senior, and I was really scared of how much I loved him. When I was done with high school we moved to San Francisco to go to college, got our first apartment, then our second, and then I was tortured by the realization that I needed to study abroad my senior year.

Before I moved to England my mom gave me some really good advice. She told me that love has a way of working itself out, that if we were meant to be together we would be, and if we weren't, then it was as good a time as ever to find out.

We started really living and making the most of the time we had left together and appreciating one another. Saying goodbye to him was the hardest thing I have ever done. But he was supportive of my big adventure and worked really hard to save money so he could eventually join me, but he made me pick the day. I left in September and chose March for him to come.

While apart we learned to truly communicate and we decided that we never wanted to be apart again. Before he came to England he moved to Hawaii to work for my parents and while there asked my parents for my hand in marriage.

Our reunion was beautiful. We spent a few days in Ireland, then went back to my home in England, and then we were apart again when I went to Italy with my soccer team, but he met me there and we got engaged in Florence. And then we got to spend the next three months traveling Europe.

And now we're back in San Francisco and planning our wedding. We're getting married 3 days shy of our 9 year anniversary on my parent's farm.

Thanks for letting me share!
The Naked Rose

leathergal said...

I met my husband in college, but we def. had our ups and downs before we both realized we were meant to be together for the long haul. We've been married a year, together for almost ten, and we both talk about how lucky we are to have a great relationship-one that we are both willing to put hard work into! Before him, I did worry I wouldn't find a great guy:) Now, I can't imagine my life without him in it. I love the quote from When Harry Met Sally: "When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right now."

Sarah said...

Wow, what an appropriate post! Lately I have been worrying myself sick about meeting someone that loves me. I do surround myself with wonderful friends and family, but I tend to rarely enjoy myself because everyone seems to be in a relationship, or seeing someone, or having sex with someone.
I suppose it has to do with self-esteem, and according to a close friend, it has a bit to do with feminism. If I were more in touch with my feminist side, I would be able to enjoy life without the support of a man.
Patience is key. We've just gotta be patient.

Thanks for a wonderful post, Joanna!

kyracross said...

all the time. i am 28 and i feel the same way you did at 28. old. i thought my life would have been much different... but learning to be patient and realize that i am at where i am for a reason. trying to think positive.

hello. said...

when i was younger, i did worry about it (when i think of it now i realize how young i was + how much more life i had to live). it took a cheating boyfriend later to realize he really wasnt the one + to realize i was happier alone. + then i met my husband months later (after swearing off all men...) at my cousins wedding. it's almost like when you stop looking for it in a forced way, things will fall in place eventually.

Zana Fauzi said...

I'm 29, married for four years to the love of my life, or at least, the second man I met after having my heart broken. The funny thing is, my husband, who went to the same high school as I was, confessed he had been having an eye on me ever since we were 13, but he was too shy to come up and say hi!

To be honest, being married in 25, I used to never worry about not getting a soulmate. Not because I was self-absorbed or overconfident, I was just always buried in work I never had the time to think about this!

Melissa Blake said...

Wonderful post! This is something I worry about a lot. I'm a self-professed romantic at heart and looove hearing everyone's stories!

For me, I worry about how my disability will affect my search for love and if it will scare guys away.

Lynn said...

Have you read this article about dating in DC? http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-03/-intellectual-meat-market-makes-washington-long-odds-for-women.html

It's pretty spot on in reflecting the scene. I think the city has a huge influence on the potential. Not that that's the reason, but I am moving to Chicago in the next few months and look forward to a change!

http://jesuismarta.tumblr.com/ said...

Joanna, you have no idea how much this post resonated with me! Although i am now in a relationship with a wonderful guy, prior to meeting him (just shy of my 30th birthday!) I was feeling everything you described! Like your mother, mine would say the exact same things to me and I thought exactly what you thought about what she had to say. Now that I am with him I can't believe there was actually a time I didn't think I would ever meet someone! So, to the young women who feel as we did, there IS someone out there who will love and care for you even though at times you might feel otherwise. That person will be everything and even more than you ever imagined you wanted!

gia said...

I have finally realized falling in love isn't the same as loving someone-- and I am someone who loves easily. So I am taking time off from dating, considering grad school and career. And I am open to love, but I want it to be the falling in love kind.

Anonymous said...

im 20 and single and ive never been in a real relationship (by that i mean with someone i actually like). Im not worried I wont meet someone, im worried that i wont have the courage to love them back. at this point ive got shit to work out involving me and only me, so im in no rush.

also, college is a weird place to be when it comes to relationships.

Kelly R said...

Well, earlier last year I thought I was on my way to blissful happiness. We were together for nearly 6 years and about one year ago now, he broke my heart for no apparent reason (I think he was just too immature and scared) so he broke it off and I moved out. I'm 30 now and had moved across the world TWICE for him so I felt very lost when it ended. I had a mourning period, but in the past few months have dated here and there and it's exhuasting. I'm in NYC as well and I think the problem here is that guys are outnumbered by women significantly so it seems like all of the good ones are taken and the others aren't interested in anything serious because there are so many single women to bang. I guess I've turned into a complete cynic! I'm trying to focus on myself now (which is difficult for a nurturer like me - I feel so selfish!) and just hope that Mr. Oh-You'll-Do (heehee) comes around one day. And if he doesn't, at least I've lived my life the way I want without trying to be something I'm not.

Channeling Contessa said...

Before I met my boyfriend of 4 years, I was always the one without a boyfriend, and I often worried I'd never have one. At the end of college I met the most wonderful guy, we're so happy. Now though, as friends start to get married, and my boyfriend and I aren't quite there yet, I often worry, should we be getting married now? Will we get married? Aaah! Why can't we just stop worrying sometimes??? Ha.

Anonymous said...

i never thought that i would find my soulmate or a partner that really fits to me, until 2009. unfortunately he broke up with me almost a year ago, because i was very jealous for no reason (this was possibly because of the relationship in which i was before). we still meet eachother, call eachother and i still wish it would be more than a friendship, but i know it won't be. the worst of all is that we study with eachother in a very small art-university, so it would be even hardern not to be friends..

plaisirs simples said...

Man oh man does this post speak to me. I'm 29 and was with the guy i thought I would marry a year ago. Since we've broken up i've been lucky to date a handful of guys but i'm absolutely and completely burnt out. Dating does not make me happy in the least anymore- i used to enjoy meeting new people but i've hit a wall. I just decided i'm much happier not thinking about guys at all anymore. I have no clue what will happen to me, all I know is that I can't do it ANY-MORE. it seems to be a lose-lose situation every time...either i'm hurting a nice guy's feelings bc he's not a fit for me or i'm getting my feelings hurt. both feel pretty bad. i can't do it anymore so i'm not. and i'm debating getting a cute pixie cut in the meantime! ;)

elegant storms said...

hello. well, i'm 17 and don't know much about relationships. i've never been in one or even gone out on a date. i've never even been kissed. amongst all my friends, i'm the least experienced in this area. the majority of my guy friends are older than me and think of me as a best friend or little sister. however, i don't get too frustrated about it though. i'm just gonna wait until the right time. besides, i'm off to college in a month.

Anonymous said...

(i'm 25)

Sunshine said...

OMG! I wonder about it everyday! I am approaching 40 and I think it bothers me more and more everyday. I thought I found the perfect soul mate but he didn't want to get married and he knows I do. I hope and pray one day I will find my soul mate. I guess I have to be patient.

www.cancerinthecity.com

gabrielle said...

i met my bf of 5.5 years right before college ended. i was ready for my life to change, i didnt think settling down would be that change. he took my heart completely and has made my life so easy. marriage may someday happen for us, but if it never does i can be happy living as his girlfriend for the rest of my life.

xxoo
www.paperplanesandmaryjanes.com

erin said...

This is the exact post I needed today. Thanks for the wise words and encouragement.

JoL - Amazon freak-a-zoid said...

for damn near 10 years I knew I was with my soul mate

even spent that last 8 months planning our wedding

he woke up this morning and told me he wasn't sure he wanted to be with me anymore

not sure about the soul mate thing now.....

brianne said...

Oh my god, before I met my current boyfriend (and likely fiance), I was SO worried. Like cry myself to sleep everynight worried. Then I met him and felt that first day like we had known each other our whole lives. Its crazy how fast and unexpecedtly things change when the timing is right.

Paper Heart Girl said...

So glad to not be the only who worries about such things! it's hard finding the right guy, and one who actually wants things to get serious.. I do worry about these things a lot. xxxx

K said...

I am happily married to my soulmate expecting our first child! I remember running around in my early twenties worrying if I'd ever find someone worth settling down for... Little did I know, completely out of the blue (yes it always happens when you aren't expecting it) I met him! We've been together ever since! Ladies, there is no use worrying! Enjoy your days and be the best self that you can to all people. You never know who might be waiting around the corner... (Cliche, yes I know. I'm pregnant so give me a break! ;))

teeny84 said...

I think and worry about this ALL the time! But I actually tend to think back to your parting post on glamour.com Joanna. It usually calms me down and makes me feel like there's still hope. It's frustrating though, I feel pressure from all sides. I just (last week) got a really difficult financial designation that I'd been working on for four years and it's like no one even noticed. Instead everyone focuses on the fact that I'm single. Ah!

Sameer Vasta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby said...

oh man Jo... haha i'm 100% sure a BILLION people are going through the same thing. i'm 25 and haven't ever had a boyfriend. so... yeah. i've almost resolved myself to the fact that i'm gonna be alone. seems inevitable. but thats okay! i've got a lot to work out with myself anyway (i'm not on the BEST terms with myself right now) so who knows.

: ) thanks for this post!

Kelly R said...

plaisirs simples - I think we're kindred spirits! Totally go for the pixie cut! It will be adorable!!!!

leigh said...

I'm 31, and I've been married for almost 2 years now. We've been together now for 10 years, we met in University. I remember that moment when I said "Oh, it's you!" I never thought I'd get married... I just didn't see it - but when I met my husband and got to know him more and more I couldn't imagine not being with him for the rest of my life. We've been through some hard and tough times but we're a team.

Molliee said...

I live with my bf of over 3 years... I hope we will get married one day!

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arrtee said...

This post resonated with my 28 year old self. I was so discouraged with my series of disappointing relationships, and starting to imagine my life as a single woman. There are a lot of things to love about being single: the freedom for self-discovery, more time to explore interests, deep and enriching friendships. I also loved traveling alone! All that said, I was lonely and knew I wanted a family.

I am now engaged to such a wonderful man after 2 years of dating. We met shortly after I moved to a new city, and just clicked. I was at ease with him. It was a level of comfort I hadn't experienced before. So many of my bullshit neuroses just never came up with him.

It is so easy to be discouraged when you're single, but can also be such a rich and exciting time of life. Try not to be weighed down by the disappointments.

CG said...

Hi Joanna and fellow readers,

I just want to thank you for posting this today. I have gone through almost all the other comments below and, like many of the other women here, this is exactly what I needed to read today.

After about a month of back and forth--talking and not talking, are we right or are we wrong--my boyfriend of the last year-and-a-half--the guy who I swore was "it"--and I called it quits yesterday. Needless to say, I have been a mess. I am finding it so hard to concentrate at work today (hence why I am reading this and typing to you rather than doing my job).

I have been in other relationships and I have been in random flings; but when I fall in love, I fall deeply, which is why this is such a blow.

I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason--it might be the only thing I truly believe. But when that moment comes where you have to let go of someone, it is hard to trust that it will really work out the way it should.

The one thing that has helped me walk away from every romantic experience with my head held high, is thinking about what I can take away from it. Try this, really: Look back at every boyfriend or guy you were with for as long as you can remember (for me this is since I was 13) and think about what you learned from him, and how and what from that has shaped you who are today.

We are definitely all better, more complete human beings after every hardship, heart break, and new love we encounter.

We have to all learn that rather than be so quick to beat ourselves up after we lose something great, we should be proud of ourselves and thankful that we have had the chance to experience something great. Know how that has helped us develop into better versions of ourselves. And know that, because of that, we are worthy to draw many more "something greats" into our lives in the future.

xo.

thinkpriddy said...

I'm 23 and for the first time ever I am in a happy/healthy realtionship. With myself.

http://thinkpriddy.blogspot.com/2011/08/in-relationship.html

I realized loving myself needed to be my top priority if I ever wanted to fully love another. I still worry about finding my partner. But it's nowhere near as time consuming as it has been in the past. Thank you for this post. It helped me feel confident about the wait.

mlleEmme said...

I do sometimes worry that I'm doomed, and that I will die an old maid. The last thing I want my eulogy to say is that I never married or bore any children!

At the same time, everyday I'm in awe at the new lessons I learn about life and myself. This lets me know that yesterday just wasn't the right time for him to find me. I've got some tweaks to make on my end, so I focus on those.

He is out there, at the door of an overcrowded room. I've got to work out the kinks so that he can find me, and he needs to fight through the crowd to see me.

I'm hopeful.

(Wow. I just surprised myself with this post!)

Anonymous said...

I'm 36 and single and it's sometimes great and sometimes horrible. My advice for younger women in relationships? Please, please, please don't tell your single friends to "Stop looking and he'll come along". I've lived my life, had great adventures, and know I've been blessed tremendously in my single years. But, in those painful painful moments of loneliness, it doesn't help AT ALL to hear those "words of advice". They're not helpful at all to someone who has done everything she can and still feels like she obviously hasn't done enough. In fact, don't offer words of advice. Offer love and offer to separate yourself from your significant other to spend quality time with your single friends. You have no idea how many friends through the years have ditched me in order to only spend time with their husbands. Quality time means the world to us.

Wendy said...

With my soul-mate now. Never worried that I wouldn't meet him, instinctively knew I would. I worry about keeping him, though. Relationships are fickle entities that take a lot of hard work.

Leslie said...

I can't tell you how many times I worried, complained and cried to my mom that I would never find a good long-term relationship (let alone a husband!). Her advice was a lot like your own mom's, but I worried my way through my entire 20s, seeming to be perpetually single or dating people who weren't right for me. The most annoying part? People who kept asking "So why are you single?" I hated that question.

When I met my now-husband at age 29, things just felt right from the start. For the first time ever I didn't worry about where things were going, or try to analyze every detail. It felt liberating and secure at the same time.

When I look back at my 20s I'm not regretful that I spent a lot of time single because it gave me the time and chance to focus on myself, career, interests and friends. I think if I had "settled down" (sorry to use that lame term) too soon, I would have missed out on a bunch of things I needed to figure out about myself.

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of a cute movie I recently watched. It came out in 2009 & was a bit under the radar . It's called "Timer" and it's about finding your "one" with some help from technology. It's on instant on Netflix if anyone's interested.

Anonymous said...

I always thought I'd be the lone wolf. But I started dating my bf when I was 21 and he 20. We actually went to high school (and j.r high!) together, and graduated in the same class, but somehow we never really seemed to cross paths. I remember him, but only slightly -- he was in band, he rode BMX, and a few of my friends had crushes on him. A few years later we met when I was visiting my hometown. Sparks flew right away. Right time. Right place. We did the long distance thing for a year, broke up for six months, and both graduated college. We now live a cute flat in S.F. and are two peas in a pod. We'll likely be engaged soon, now that our moms have put the heat on us. (I guess six years is awhile...)

Kiley said...

I'm 23 and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 3 1/2 years, 1 year of that being long distance while he gets his masters degree. I never really worried about finding him because I had gotten out of a long term relationship that was abusive right beforehand, and I was just focused on having fun (I was in college after all). Being with him for this long through good and bad has made me realize that I do want to marry him someday, but we're in no rush! He needs to go to school and I was to establish myself before we settle down.

April in Autumn said...

For the past few years I had a routine. I dislike dating, but I did want to find a partner so in the Spring for a month or two I'd try online dating or just go out and try to make new "friends." It never worked out, but I figured I could at least say I tried and then I'd go along and be happy living my own life.
Well, before this year's date I was planning on moving back home over the summer. I went on the date, met a great guy and now I'm not planning on moving home for the near future. I do see that as my main hang-up in the future... I can't imagine raising a family away from my family, but he's a born and raised Southern California guy who will probably not enjoy the mild Ohio winters. :)
At this point, I'm just enjoying where we are and figuring we can cross that bridge when we get to it.

bugg said...

When I lived New York I dated so many crazies... not really realizing it until I moved to Austin and was engaged in 6 months! Amazing how things happen sometimes. I don't think the city really played a part in it though, I think that my soul mate was simply waiting in Austin for me.

Jenna said...

Love the post today! I think everyone can relate and even though it's pointless to worry - it makes it all worth it when you do find that someone. I always had crushes but never felt comfortable around anyone or even dated until I met my current boyfriend (of 3 years!).

As many have said, it happens when you least expect it but it also happens when you are most content with yourself, I think. I wasn't looking for anything, but I was just truly happy, hanging around the city with friends & enjoying my first job.

Samantha said...

I am 27 and have been married 2 years to a guy who is perfect (for me). We started dating when I was 19 (so young!) and he was the first boyfriend I had ever had. Funny, back then I felt like a total loser for never having dated anyone...if only I could have looked ahead and realized that 19 is SOOOO young, and lots and lots of people were in the same boat I was (even though it didn't feel like it at the time). Nick and I have always fit together perfectly, which is lovely and scary at the same time. He really has become a part of who I am because we grew up together. I love the intimacy that brings, but it also scares me a bit. Both of us come from broken homes and I guess I always feel like the other shoe will drop one day, even though we are blissfully happy right now and have been for over 8 years. Funny how those childhood scars pop up every once and a while. Oh well, I am now focusing on enjoying him as my husband, best friend, lover and partner...and hopefully soon co-parent! :)

BL said...

I was the opposite - I assumed that there was no man out there who would suit me. Instead of focusing on relationships, I spent all my energy on my friendships and career. Until I met my husband. He was everything I wanted in a man and more than I ever expected. We've been together for nearly 5 years and married for one. The most important thing is not to be with someone, but to be comfortable with yourself - then it makes everything more wonderful if you end up in a long-term relationship because that person will love you for who you are.

Laura said...

I'm 31 and single, and don't quite know how I ended up in this place but I'm really scared about it if I'm being honest, which I rarely am. I do a good job pretending I'm just fine with the way things are but I'm actually terrified that I won't find a guy that likes me enough to have kids with me before all my eggs dry up and stop working. That would make me feel like my life wasn't worth living. And I don't think I really even care that much anymore if he's The Guy, I just want someone I like enough to hang around regularly who would be a good dad. I don't really think I'll find him.

The stupid part is, I know that this is not intellectually logical but I can't shake the belief nonetheless... I have gained about 20 pounds since the last time I was single and dating, and I've also gone from being in my 20's to in my 30's, and I've noticed that these two factors combined have led to absolutely NOBODY showing interest in me that I would actually like to date. I kind of think that I'm not good enough for the guys that I'm attracted to, because they are attractive enough to get attention from women who are better-looking than me. And guys are so visual, they just don't notice me anymore. So yeah. I'm single and really scared. It's purely because of the baby timeline... I feel like I have a deadline.

MissMtheBeekeeper said...

I really enjoyed reading this post Jo. My boyfriend of 5 years and I broke up 18 months ago (I was 26) and I was utterly heartbroken. It was a beautiful relationship but ended in an utterly horrible way (he cheated) and I lost all faith in building a future with someone. I would go out with friends and feel an immense pressure to talk to or flirt with men and the next day I would always feel disappointed if I had gone home alone or without male attention. I got really low to the point where I stopped going out altogether because it felt more hassle than it was worth. Then, 3 months ago, I met a man who I never expected to fall for. He is Spanish (I am English) and is a very calm and peaceful sole (my ex was far more vivacious bordering on volatile). But somehow it works. I still grapple with the idea of settling down or being with one person, particularly after having my heart so bruised, but for now I am loving the sensation of falling in love - but now I have the knowledge I can survive if I end up alone again. To those who may be doubting the future of a long term relationship I would say have faith...you will survive and I do believe you need time alone to realise how strong you can be and to be sure of what you want.

Gemma said...

This post really spoke to me - I just turned 27 (yesterday!) and have just ended a relationship that I knew wasn't working. It's scary being alone and I sometimes I feel I will never meet the "one" but I know I am ok alone and keep faith that it will all work out.

Monica said...

I just read a wonderful post addressing this very thing from tne single girl perspective: http://www.mooseinthekitchen.com/2011/07/06/just-me-part-2/ Yes, always appreciate what you have when you have it.

fleur_delicious said...

aw, what a sweet post! I guess I never had this anxiety because I was 18 when I met the love of my life. It was one of those crazy things; he was down for a weekend visiting friends. I met him on Friday, and by Sunday I knew he was the one. I dumped my serious boyfriend (with very sincere apologies) a month or two later, and then spent 2.5 years stuck in the friendzone because he was SO NOT interested in me. Eventually I made plans to move to his city (what can I say? I *KNEW* he was the one), sparks finally flew, and we immediately moved in together (a risky move; we were both nervous). We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary and our 1st wedding anniversary this year. I'm still amazed at the generosity and serendipity that brought us together.

Rachel said...

Haha I have dedicated the past few years to writing about these thoughts(www.guidetomenhattan.com). I was feeling very sorry for myself that dating was so hard was mostly because of New York and every guy I meet is a Peter Pan who doesn't want to grow up. I figured I could always move back to Austin and meet someone until a friend complained one day, "I'm never going to meet ANYONE in Austin!" Now I'm in Berlin for the next four months with even fewer prospects...but I have faith (although very little patience). Fingers crossed I meet The One sooner rather than later (preferably not one who wears man capris and black socks. Oh Euros!)

Ms. Blocked said...

How fun! I moved to NC in 2001 for college from NJ. After college I decided to take the job my intership turned into. And, besides missing my parents, I've never looked back. I went to school to study Interior Architecure. There was kind of a draught in the straight guy department. I ended up going on dates with friends of friends, brother of friends and other random acquaintances. Then it was...ENOUGH! I took matters into my own hands and joined Match.com. I liked the idea of getting a guys personality over email and talks before a date actually happened. Then one day, I got an email from Matt. Wow! This guy could write. His initial emails had be hooked. We met downtown for dessert and drinks. I was smitten. That was 5 years ago and 3 of those years of us living together. I still get butterflies in my stomach when we get to come home to each other after workdays. We are on our own schedule in life and enjoy each other. Stay tuned for the next chapter, marriage :-) There is always something to be excited about when you are with the one.

Jen said...

I'm 27 and single and most of the time I'm totally content with it!! Of course there are times I wish I had someone special but for now I'm ok with just being me. Ask me again next week and I may be singing a different tune. :)

Sam said...

Ugh, with my 28th birthday only a couple weeks away and having broken up with my boyfriend of 3 years (who may or may not have been The One, were he not (probably) gay) only 4 months ago, yes: I worry about it all the time. Especially because I live in a college town full of guys too young for me and married men too old for me and not a lot in between. It feels like everyone is coupling off except for me.

But.

Don't let my sob story fool you: I'm really, really enjoying it. I worry sometimes; I panic sometimes; I am concentrating on getting my own life in order and my career figured out. I want to fall in love again and I want to spend my life with someone, but I want to figure out what kind of life I want that to be first. And I want that someone to like ladies. ;)

Miss Mary Edith said...

I'm 31 with no prospects and it is hard not to worry sometimes. I was seeing someone for a few months earlier this year, but I just don't care to put any effort into dating right now. It's hard not to think that I'm going to stay alone if I don't put myself out there, though.

I live in DC and think it shares a lot of Manhattan's problems when it comes to dating. It's a transient place where a lot of people aren't looking to settle down or form lasting relationships.

Sam said...

For the record, I wouldn't date the married men if they weren't too old for me. I just meant to say that they are not only too old for me but married. Jeez Louise, that's just what I need: an online reputation as a homewrecker.

sumslay said...

I'm 29, and I've got to say, this is something I've never worried about. In fact, I've never understood women who do. I don't mean this as offense to anyone, I've just always thought women who were constantly pining for a man/marriage a little sad....like they were just waiting for someone to propose (no matter who the guy is). That being said, I do think it's good to surround yourself with good people who make you happy. I'm single, but I'm not alone, and if I do ever get married, it will be because he's the right guy. :)

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