I had one of you message me and ask if I could share my tips on how I am navigating dating, and not meeting my person, and also how to deal with feeling like you’re not going to ever meet someone (and the pressure to meet a certain timeline).
Let me start off by saying, I totally get it. I am with you and I feel exactly what you’re feeling. Once I started opening up and sharing with you all, I realized how many of you can relate to exactly what I am going through (or what we all are going through).
Growing up, I always imagined myself at this age (almost 30), to be married with at least one child. Well, life never goes as planned, as we know. Life has different plans for me, and I am learning the not-so-easy thing of embracing that and knowing that it is meant to be this way. I have so much to be grateful for and because I have been single for all this time, I have been able to really focus on my career and be selfish.
You all also may know I am an identical twin, and that Samantha is newly engaged. We have hit every milestone in our life together, and are extremely close, making this time even more challenging for me. The natural instinct is to want my own partner to be able to go through these milestones together. As I shared in our podcast, the first few days of the engagement were very tough for me. Everything I had known for the last 29 years was going to change, and I felt like I was going through a “separation” with my twin. I would be okay for a moment, and then would be a mix of anger and sad.
Like everything else, I just needed to get adjusted, and after a few days, I felt like I could *truly* be happy for her and Taylor. It wasn’t that I couldn’t or didn’t want to happy for them, I just was struggling and juggling all of my emotions and trying to wrap my head around what was changing around me.
I have currently been single for almost two and a half years. This is probably the longest I have been single, ever. Did I think I would still be single by now? No. I remind myself that I could be in a relationship just to say I am in one, but I am choosing to not be. I am being intentional with who I go on a date with, who I spend time with, who I date.
Before that I had several long-term relationships, all of which I learned A TON from. Everyone says you learn what you want and don’t want from who you date, and I could not agree more with that. You would never know what qualities you didn’t want or actually want if you didn’t put yourself out there. I thought I could live with certain qualities in people, and learned that, nope, can’t live with them, but doesn’t mean someone else will be the same way.
Every time I would go through a breakup, I would meet another guy pretty quickly after I would start looking (when I was ready to date again). However, this has not been the case this time around, and that could be because I am looking for different things.
I started journaling on and off a couple years ago when my mom got me this 5 Minute Diary. Now, it has become part of my evening routine. I usually write a few things I am grateful for, what I did that day, and also something positive that happened that day. I have really enjoyed it mainly to look back at older entries and so what has changed since that entry. Sometimes not much has changed, but I am reminded of how much I have grown mentally and emotionally from even months prior.
Where do I even start with these apps?! First off, I have had success in meeting guys on here and actually dating them longer term. All of my previous relationships have been from people I have met on a dating app (Hinge and Bumble). I have been on the dating apps on and off for the last almost two years. I have definitely been on a lot of dates and dated some people for a couple months here and there, but ultimately, have not met my person.
Samantha met her fiancé on Bumble back in 2017, right as I was going through a breakup. I have heard SO many success stories from the dating apps, but I have also heard so many bad stories, including my own from these apps.
I really think that they have been around for a while now, and people abuse them. Some people do not them seriously, and are just on there to kill time, play games, lie, get attention, etc. Yes, I have caught people lying (and not just about petty things like height). I have caught three people pretending to be someone else (catfishing), and I legit could have been on that TV show, haha.
With that being said, I do think that there are people on those apps that are serious about finding their person, and using it for the “right” reasons. Unfortunately, I have either not come across them yet, or I wasn’t as attracted to them as I felt that i should be— which is so hard.
I am currently taking a break from the apps because I felt that mentally I *really* needed it. I also now feel like I am not doing “anything” to meet guys since I am off the apps. I could be better about working at coffee shops and going out of my routine more, which is something I am working on,
You all sent me some success stories, and messages about feeling the same as me, which I will share below. I think it helps to read other people’s stories:
Also, some food for thought:
I would by lying to you if I said I have it all under control and I am not “worried” about finding my match, or that I don’t think about dating all of the time because I do. It is easy to feel that way and also to start imagining your life working out and meshing well with someone after just a few dates (of course not saying that publicly 😉 ), only for it to all fall apart and not workout in the end. I have to remind myself that there is a much much better plan for me out there, and nothing that is meant to be will ever pass me by, as hard as that is to hear.
I am SO grateful for your support and you sharing your personal struggles with me because we are all truly in this together. Doesn’t matter what city you’re in, or what age you are, we ALL go through this, and that is so comforting to know.
I could write a whole book on this. If you are reading this and you have been ghosted once or ten times, I am with YOU. Yes, I have ghosted people in the past, but I have really made it a point to NOT ghost people. First off, it says a lot about you when you do that, and also I think it is only right to let that person know that you don’t see it working out, but you really enjoyed getting to meet them. You don’t need to give any huge explanations or essays, but just ignoring someone’s messages and disappearing, is wrong.
I have done it before, and the main reason I did it was because I felt badly, and didn’t want to make it more awkward, BUT, you are making it worse by just leaving them hanging, making them feel like they messed up. Trust me, just let them know.
Similar to ghosting, rejection can be HARD. Remember though, rejection is redirection. You may have just saved yourself from a bad relationship, or someone who is not ready or meant to be with you. It sucks in the moment, but every time I have been rejected in the past, I was always being redirected to an even better spot.
Share your thoughts/experiences
I am very vocal with my thoughts. I talk to my friend sand family all of the time about what I am feeling and going through. I think it really helps to get it out. Cry if you feel like crying. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried in the last few months, weeks, days. If you feel like you can’t talk to your friends or family, a therapist is so helpful, too.
Tell people you’re single
We had a matchmaker on our podcast a few years ago, and she said to tell everyone you’re single, in a non-obnoxious way, of course. Maybe they have single friends or family members that you didn’t know about and can set you up, never know!
Journal your thoughts
I talked about this earlier, but I cannot recommend this enough. It helps SO much and iI find it so therapeutic writing all my thoughts down.
Turn being single into a positive
Being single is not always easy and fun, but there is something to be said about being able to do what YOU want all of the time. No where to be, nobody to balance, nobody to buy gifts for, haha. Not saying that those aren’t worth it, but hey, alone time is nice sometimes!
Always take an opportunity to go somewhere new, even if it is out of your comfort zone. It could be where you meet someone new. I am a homebody so getting out, and going somewhere Im invited is not easy, but I never regret it.
Trust your gut
I can’t emphasize this more. Your gut always knows! If you have a bad feeling about someone, or a situation, you are usually right.
Be up front
As I get older, and because of my prior experiences, I am learning to be up front with what I want and am looking for. If I am looking for a serious relationship, I am trying to be upfront with that on the first or second dates, so I don’t waste either of our times.
Have no expectations
This one is a hard one for me because I always have expectation in my head. The best way to be is to have ZERO expectations and then you won’t be disappointed, and can be open-minded.