When I was a single woman, one of my biggest obstacles to finding a husband was my habit of "wishful hoping." I am long past that now, but as a coach I find "wishful hoping" is probably one the key factors that make finding your true love take so long.
"Wishful hoping" is very similar to being in a state of longing. You may understand it better if I share with you this definition of longing by Gay Hendricks:
"Longing is a persistent lingering feeling of wanting something you can't quite get or something you've judged unattainable."
So what are some of the ways "wishful hoping" can show up around your relationships? Here are some examples:
~ Waiting for a man to leave his wife or break-up with his girlfriend
~ Waiting for a man to drink less alcohol or stop doing drugs
~ Making excuses for a man when he doesn't call or email you as promised
~ Continually paying for everything as he's promised to look for work
~ Waiting for a man to take care of himself or lose weight
~ Waiting for a man to finally be "ready" to commit to you
There are exceptions to some of these situations of course, but you get the idea.
When you are longing for things to be different -- like the examples above --you are at the mercy of waiting for something to change that is outside of you, that you have no control over. The only person you have power over is yourself and it's useless to think otherwise.
I don't care how much you complain to him about his drinking or his attachment to another woman, most likely he is not going to change. In fact studies have shown that if you keep complaining to someone about their behavior, it just makes them dig in their heels and continue the unwanted behavior longer.
I bet you don't like to be told what to do, and if you are, your inner rebel comes out and stubbornly refuses to give the other person what they want.
You can free yourself from "wishful hoping" by getting real with what is happening in the present. Take care of yourself based on what is going on now, not what you think may happen in the future.
If you do this, you'll greatly shorten the time it will take you to find the man who is right for you. It may be hard to let go of what you have imagined for yourself, but trust me, facing the reality of what is feels better.