Lately I’ve been asking random strangers at coffee shops and bars, neighbors on planes, people on street corners waiting to cross in the same direction as me, customers in line at grocery stores, drug stores and just about every other place, one single question, “What’s the greatest thing in life you can have?” The answer keeps coming up the same: Love. It seems no matter who I ask – young or old, boy or girl, single or married: they all perceive love as life’s greatest commodity. Some of my questioning with these strangers led to deeper conversation which proved what I think we all know: that most of us in theory are willing to do whatever it takes to get that magic dose of greatness that we either have and hope to hold onto, had and lost and desire to have again, or have only fantasized about and dream of having someday. I say “in theory” because when it comes down to it, many of us are pretty love lazy. We’ll put our blood, sweat and tears into achieving in our education, our careers and so on, but when it comes to winning at love, we get pretty beat down after only minimal effort resorting to waiting in our castles for our prince to trot along and scoop us up. If only.
I remember when I was about 6 years old, I was at the beach with my mom. I innocently frolicked into the ocean and within minutes I was attacked by an army of jellyfish. All 3 feet of me was stung, from head-to-toe. I ran out of the water screaming my heart out in terror and after the lifeguards treated my stings, I swore I’d never go back in again. To me, the ocean and everything in it, was evil. Thirty minutes later my mom dragged me back in that angry ocean, kicking and screaming, to face my fears. To this day, I'll dive into any ocean, jellyfish infested or not (thanks mom!) with an enormous smile on my face. When it comes to love, it doesn’t matter how often or how badly you get stung, you have to get back in the sea, jellyfish and all, and swim again, because what you can catch, love, is too great not to take the risk. That is, if you want it, more than theoretically speaking.
I get it. Keeping up your dating stamina isn’t easy. It is easy to get stuck in the “I’m just unlucky in the love department” or “All the good guys are taken or gay” or “I just need to concentrate on me right now” or "It just hurts too bad" zone, but getting deflated by a string of unfulfilling dates or relationships, simply doesn’t get you any closer to a good one. Therefore, to maintain your dating endurance, to get you swimming again and again, keep these inarguable points in mind:
1) Your true love is not at the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s; wallowing in pity will get you nowhere. At the very least go out and live your life - building up a great life will make you shine brighter and in turn will make you more attractive to the kind of men you want to attract.
2) Dating is a game of numbers. The more you date, the better your odds. And if you seriously are so convinced that the pool is shrinking, what are you waiting for?!
3) There is always the one before “the one” – that is the magic of love! The date before my first date with my now husband was pretty pitiable. If I had given up on love because of that experience, I wouldn’t have met Jason.
Here's to swimming for love!
Live and love largely,