...And How Many Years Should Someone Sacrifice in Search of Theirs?
Yes, it is a long heading, and before you have EROS or CUPID sling their poison tipped arrows my way let me say: I'm only trying to help.
I'll address the first part of the question...it depends on the person.
If you've been playing dress-up bride since you turned nine, saw meaning in every meaningless gesture sent your way by whoever you happened to be dating, and you've elevated Valentine's Day to a national holiday, then you deserve to get whatever it is you're hoping for. Or think you're hoping for...just make sure it actually exists in nature and isn't a figment of your imagination. Because if it is, unfortunately there will be many lonely Valentine's Days in your future.
Waiting breathlessly for proof positive that the guy you're with is 'the one' can be soul-sucking and a needless waste of energy. Rather, spend your time looking for someone who has qualities you admire and respect. There is no absolute when it comes to love. There are no guarantees that you will find your soul mate and no guarantees that if you do find him/her, you'll be pleased with the selection the universe has sent your way. Take it from me, I'm a matchmaker that attends many singles events as a facilitator hoping to match up couples for a lifetime of long-lasting happiness and respect, except they often put obstacles in my way. And those obstacles are mostly themselves...armed with unrealistic expectations.
I know I'm sounding tough and I intend to because I'm frustrated with singles looking for love decade after decade while fruitlessly searching for something out of their grasp, all while a fantastic mate stands somewhere within shouting distance. And while these singles have been rejecting possible mates by the handfuls, their friends are getting married and creating beautiful families and lives.
I am a matchmaker, at least I try to be when a single will listen to me. My hero is Patti Stanger, The Millionaire Matchmaker, because I wish I could be as politically incorrect as she is and pull off the tough love she delivers in her signature no-nonsense manner.
I also wish I had a roster of millionaires as clients and her plastic surgeon...she's lookin' mighty fine... but I digress.
So here is what I really want to say to my singles: PLEASE GET REAL.
Is it about the hunt, or is it truly about finding a spouse who will be loving and supportive and make you happy? Are you truly looking to make things work with someone or are you spinning a fantasy in your mind that no human could possibly fulfill?
You need to become honest about your expectations. You're shaking your heads...what does she know, she's making it sound so easy.
But it can be. Please forgive me if I'm overstepping, by no means do I intend to minimize your pain, but it is precisely because I see the pain in your eyes and hear it in your voice that I can't be an enabler any more.
I feel your fear, I feel your frustration, but I am urging you to leap.
Trust yourself and your instincts and grab your life. Don't look for excuses, look for possibilities. Choose to embrace a future that will bring you joy, and a love that will be real and sustaining. Seeing stars and hearing bells ring are also signs of a concussion, so please don't rely on those to make a major life decision.
I think this is sound advice unless you truly enjoy the hunt...unless you've convinced yourself there is always someone more enticing around the bend. To those of you have used the 'looking for my soul mate' excuse well past its expiration date, I guess the only thing you can do is to keep on looking and prove me wrong. But please take a moment to think of all the wonderful years you've given up and all the lonely nights you've endured during your hunt. Please take a moment to envision what a spectacular life you could still have if only you relaxed that death grip you have on your list of ideals for the perfect spouse.
What works for you? Be honest. What can you change about yourself...yes I'm talking to you, oh perfect candidate who has evaded the marital net all these years, what can YOU change to move forward and find love?
It begins and ends with you. You've waited long enough for love, why don't you give it a chance?