If you keep saying men suck, you're probably going to get sucky men.
Are you single? Cool, welcome to the club (I’m three years and goin’ strong!). Like me, you probably straddle the line between hating your single status and not minding it. You probably also have those moments where you think: What is wrong with me?
Afterall, I’m a pretty great catch. I have a career I’ve worked 11 years to create, I’m in good shape, I’m educated, I’m well-traveled, I have a loving, thoughtful heart, I can hold my own in a conversation and at times, I’m wittier than I give myself credit for and I’m rather confident in my bedroom abilities.
And yet, YET, I’m still single. I'm still sitting in a New York cafe, writing this piece, wishing and hoping that some wonderful man will burst through the doors and profess his love for me.
I’m no dating expert - or else, DUH, I would have figured out why I'm still single already - but in the past few months, through conversations with my friends and yes, actual dating experts, I think I’ve finally figured out why I’m flying solo:
I keep saying that men suck.
Yep. Simple as that.
To test this theory, I spent one week counting how many times I said one of the following things:
"OMG, all of the good ones are taken.”
“Why do I even try? Men are the worst.”
“Where the hell is he? I don’t think he even exists.”
“Yeah right, Mom. You really think I’ll bring a boyfriend home for the Fourth of July? It’s already mid-January!”
“You’re soooo lucky you have a good guy. All the guys I meet are terrible.”
My grand total of man-slamming comments I actually said out loud in one week: 46. FORTY-SIX. Yep. I was negative about the very gender that I ultimately wanted to not only meet but be in a long-term, loving relationship with and eventually marry. And yet in my search for Mr. Right, I degraded, generalized, and stereotyped him.
Think about it: when you really, really wanted that promotion at work and your boss asked you to give a presentation and outline your goals to get that raise, what did you tell yourself to calm the jitters before you went into the office? Surely you weren’t saying, “OMG you’re the worst, you’re never ever going to get this, you shouldn’t even try, everyone else is better than you.” (If you did, hush that self-hate nonsense - you’re awesome!)
More and more studies (like this one) show that the language we use to talk to ourselves shapes our experiences. And if we keep repeating the same negative mantra over and over again, well, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you keep saying men suck, you're probably going to get sucky men.
Of course, you shouldn't give yourself too hard of a time for voicing these (totally reasonable and warranted) frustrations but also don’t spend the next year(s) of your life discussing how terrible guys are. Because the truth is: some of them are, some of them aren't. Sure, I’ve had really awful experiences with the oppposite sex (like the one who cried on our first date) but I also know plenty of AMAZING guys, too, like my wonderful dad and the boyfriends of my best friends.
I believe in love. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t put myself through all of these romantic trials and tribulations just so that someday, I can hopefully find someone I can snuggle when it’s less than my age in degrees outside. The whole point of datingis to find a man that isn’t like the rest and whoever that man is, I don’t believe he sucks. I'm also pretty sure if I keep expressing that hostility in my words (and more importantly, my thoughts), I’ll be rather grumpy when I do meet him in real life.
So, this year, I’m giving this phrase up: "All men suck, I’m going to be alone forever” and I’m replacing it with this one: “That date wasn’t what I wanted, but there will be a man that is. Until then, I’m enough.”