The fear was never about being single. It was about wanting to control something that wasn't mine to control. So when self-sufficient, happy, single women come to me saying they aren't in a rush to settle down today but that they want to get all their ducks in a row and want to look at their past relationships to make sure they aren’t doing anything wrong, they want to understand why nothing has worked out yet, I get it.
And what I often want to say is this one word: Relax. Maybe you just haven't met him yet.
Now, I'm certainly not one to pass up an opportunity to be proactive. I love having a plan, taking action and assuming full responsibility for my own life. I'm not denying that side of things.
I'm also not swinging to the other extreme, assuming that true love is up to fate and that we should just sit back and wait for our pre-determined match to show up at our door, ready to commit. But there is a secret lurking somewhere in between these two extremes that most happily coupled people get and most single people don't: When you meet the person who is right for you, things often move along quite quickly and quite easily.
It can feel as if the relationship is being guided by force larger than two people. Things aren't so hard, because you're not trying to force a fit. Of course there are still obstacles — nothing is perfect. But it's more like working together to get your matching puzzle pieces to fit just right, than it is like trying to force two mismatching pieces together.
I certainly don't mean to imply that there is one perfect match for everyone. I don't believe that. But what I know to be true — and what many happily coupled people also know — is that with the right person, things are different.
As soon as that right person showed up, everything in the past made much more sense. Not that the right guy made everything perfect but that all those break-ups and "failures" and struggles were already perfect. The right relationship just allows you to see that. (Not surprisingly, the same was true for me when it came to the right job, house and due date. As soon as things work out, the past begins to make a lot of sense).
If you happen to be struggling to try to make something fit that doesn't or wondering why it feels so hard, maybe you just haven't met him yet. Have faith that with the right person, things can be easy, drama-free and more natural than you think. And the struggle can be over, just like that.
If you are ready for easier, more fulfilling relationships, check out Dr. Johnson's Radical Relationship 911.