Another year is upon us, and like every other it’s filled with goals, aspirations, and resolutions all hell bent on making it the best one to date. Yet, here you are, like me, still single in a world that it’s becoming scarier and scarier to find true love… if that even exists.
The dating world that our parents and Hollywood-once depicted as requiring nothing more than courage and a nice smile to master, has long faded away. In its place is a bunch of bot-littered apps, way too many dick pics, and a dating scene so disconnected that texting one another has become too committal for some.
But what about those of us that still hope to one day “settle down”? Has it become so bad that we might as well wave our white flag in acceptance of Netflix and chilling with our cat forever?
The simple answer is no. As a currently single guy this seems quite bold of me to say, but there are 5 things all of us single-folk (myself included) can do to more effectively navigate the shit-show that is modern dating.
1. Own Your Stance on Online Dating
You either hate it or you love it.
If you hate it, accept that, stop using it, and don’t waste any more of anyone’s time –especially your own –complaining about how stupid it is. But also accept that it does exist, it does work for many people, and your choice to avoid it is going to require you rolling up your sleeves and meeting someone the old fashioned way.
If you love it, be proud of that. It’s clearly here to stay, so stop being ashamed of the fact that you need to resort to it and make that profile shine. And if you’re really serious about finding a potential life partner, dig into those pockets and pay for a real dating site that eliminates at least some of the stuff you don’t want to deal with.
2. Stop Blaming the Hookup Culture
It exists, you’ve probably dabbled in it, but you also know its about as likely to produce a life partner as some “magic” beans are to create a climbable beanstalk.
The ease in casually “hooking up” may be a contributor as to why no one you meet seems to want to settle down with you, but it’s not the biggest contributor. No matter what, you are always the biggest contributor to your relationship status, and no I’m not taking a jab at your physical appearance.
Rather than blaming something you cannot control, work on genuinely loving yourself for who you are and see where that gets you.
3. Use Your Friends
There seems to be this prevailing ego-driven thought that we should be solely responsible for finding our partner in life.
Why? If you have any friends that know you genuinely, shouldn’t they be equally as capable of setting you up with a potential mate?
Rather than leaving this mission up to yourself, be open with your friends about your status and desire to find someone. Even if they don’t know anyone offhand that you may be interested in, at least you plant a seed in their head should anyone come about.
4. Cut the Comparison
We all know that our social media news feeds for the most part are a highlight reel of everyone’s best moments. While many of those moments are undoubtedly exaggerated and fabricated to seem even better than they really are, we still see them and are susceptible to letting them affect us.
Rather than spending so much time looking at the “perfect” partners everyone else seems to have found, why not instead have some gratitude for what you have in your own life. We may not currently have a significant other, but we all have things to be thankful for in life.
Reflect on those things rather than scrolling through the endless couple photos, engagement shoots, and children your friends just seem to keep popping out.
5. You Don’t Have the Plague
Just like pretty well everything in life, being single is only as big of a deal as you choose to make it.
There are a lot of people who genuinely love being on their own, and there are also a lot of people who have been single for a lot longer than you have. Choose either one of these to remind you that this isn’t the end of the world, and you definitely do not need to settle just to avoid it continuing.
Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.