In this article, a professional Millennial woman wonders why she and her peers can’t find dateable men. She cites the usual suspects: being career-minded and a deficit of high-quality available dudes (paired with a surplus of educated, ambitious, gorgeous women).
But I’m not buying it.
What it sounds like is: they’re barely trying when it comes to love. While priding themselves on the effort they’ve put into their educations, careers and stylish closets, they seem equally proud of being too busy dominating the world to meet men (and not wasting time on guys who aren’t “really amazing”).
Question: How does one know if something could be amazing if they’re unwilling to “waste time” on someone who isn’t amazing on first impression?
And what if they applied a quarter of the effort they put into landing that dream job into finding a dream man?
I see this time and again with friends and clients. (And before I met my guy, I used to believe it, too). For all the strides women have made in schooling, job opportunities and financial independence, too often we cling to an outdated Cinderella fantasy that The One will magically appear in our life when we need him most (or when we “least expect it,” or when we aren’t even looking…all those clichés).
So we wait. And live our social lives. And wait some more. And wonder when Mr. Amazing is going to show up.
But what would happen if successful single women applied a quarter of the effort they put into landing their dream job into finding a dream man?
Yes, there is a blissfully easy period of regular parties amid tight-knit social circles where casual introductions can turn into lifelong relationships, no icky small talk with strangers required. It’s called college. If you’re past that point and wondering why you’re not finding anyone, consider: it’s time to stop hanging out in romance’s passenger seat and put some elbow grease into it.
Like most worthwhile things, you gotta work for it.
Is it sexy and romantic to think about working to find your soul mate? No. And some people never have to. But if you’re not getting what you want, in dating or in life, it’s time to take a look in the mirror.
What do I mean by work? Setting a clear intention and following it up with action. Creating time for the pursuit of love, as if it’s as important as that promotion. Staying open to possibility everywhere. Flirting liberally. Going out (sans intimidating posse) and starting conversations. Telling people you’re in the market for someone great and asking who they know. Going on dates. Getting your own limiting beliefs out of the way. Revising your checklist to reflect more character traits and values (kindness, curiosity, integrity) than status points (car, job, income).
When I was single, and banging my head against the same wall year after year, I used to blame “the scene,” which I saw as two (or was it three?) hot, intelligent females for every text-dependent, kid-in-a-candy-store guy. But it wasn’t the scene, and it still isn’t. I didn’t achieve success until I was willing to give up my story about “how things are” and change my actions to shift my results.
How? Well, a therapist, a life coach, singles’ mixers, speed, blind and online dates (three different services) and reading lots of dating self-help manuals to educate myself on the top dating do’s and don’ts I’d been flouting regularly.
Then one day, I asked a male co-worker if he knew any good guys. A week later, he invited me to meet a few of his friends on a night I didn’t feel like going out. But because I asked, and went (and had done the legwork), I ended up meeting my husband.
So, single Millenial ladies: Stay fabulous. Stay ambitious. Have faith that educated, gainfully employed and dateable men do exist. You don’t have to lower your standards. You have to up your game. Stop waiting for it to happen and go out and make it happen.
Thanks amyrod for the photo!
Sarah Showfety is a New York-based life coach, speaker and author of Dating by the Books: One Blundering Singleton's Search for Love in the Self-Help Aisle. An avid fan of Tostitos, cheese and the Snuggie, she'll travel just about anywhere you invite her. After years of bad jobs and silly dating shenanigans, she got hitched and founded Straight Up You to help women create careers and relationships that rock. Connect with her on Twitter @straightupyou or on Facebook.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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