Dating dry spells.
Lousy blind dates.
Saturday nights alone with your TiVo.
Being the only unattached woman at your friends' "couple-y" dinner party.
Sometimes, being single feels anything but fabulous. (I've been there. Trust me.)
But before you go getting down on yourself, you'll really want to read this article. It's all about the power of positive thinking and how keeping your attitude upbeat can actually attract love into your life just like a magnet!
Here’s a letter from a reader who's feeling down and more than a little bit skeptical, along with my reply explaining exactly how she can turn her life around by doing ONE SIMPLE THING.
READER COMMENT OF THE WEEK: "Some Women Don't Deserve Love"
Do you really believe every lady out here deserves healthy love?
There are plenty of needy, whiny, controlling women who I don't believe deserve to be in a loving relationship.
And I would LOVE to have a single gal out there tell me that she is enjoying her single-hood. But everybody who is telling me to "get out there and enjoy being single!" is married or in a relationship.
Who are YOU to tell me to pack my days with fun-filled activities and enjoy being single? YOU are married. What's so great about being single?
Yes, I am alone. No, I do not want to be alone. I am sick and tired of being told that the guy will come, that he's out there somewhere. How do you know that?
Of course, you could just be making all of this up. Who am I complaining to? You probably don't exist."
PAIGE'S DATING TIP: "A Negative Attitude About Being Single Will Keep You Single... Only Positivity Will Turn Your Dating Fate Around For Good!"
First things first - let me lay your skepticism to rest: I absolutely DO exist, I am a real woman (not a computer or a man!), and I genuinely care for you and every other reader who has invited me into her life to share my thoughts and experience on dating and relationships.
In fact, my only deep dark secret is that sometimes I write the Dating Dish while in my PJs. (I think better when I'm comfy!)
I can tell from your email that my focus on self-esteem building and affirmations as necessary steps to achieve healthy, drama-free relationships has hit a nerve with you.
First of all, you ask me if I really believe that every woman deserves healthy love.
My answer is yes, absolutely.
But this is where I think you're misunderstanding me: just because I say that every woman DESERVES healthy love doesn't mean that I think women are never RESPONSIBLE for unhealthy behavior.
The self-esteem exercises and affirmations I encourage are not meant to puff women up and make them think that they're perfect, blameless, and totally above doing their part to make a relationship work.
Quite the opposite.
This positive thinking is aimed at curing the very root cause of unhealthy behavior - INSECURITY.
Think about it.... Why would a woman (or anyone, for that matter) behave in a dramatic (to use your words "needy, whiny, controlling") way?
The answer is in the very words you use:
They have NEEDS (namely love, acceptance, security) that they desperately want to be met.
What comes to mind when you think of whining? Babies. Infants whine out of frustration because they don't yet know how to ask for what they want or need. The same goes for women of any age who haven't learned healthy ways of communicating.
Why do people become controlling? Because they feel out of control. This feeling of having no handle on their life scares them so much that they delude themselves into thinking that they have the power to MAKE someone love them or FORCE them to behave in a certain way.
In other words, she's ACTING OUT because she's hurting and she doesn't know how to get the love she so desperately wants and needs. Somehow along the way - whether it was a difficult childhood, a traumatic dating experience, or for any number of other reasons - she never learned how to love in a healthy way.
If I were to adopt your attitude, it would mean dismissing these hurting women as "lost causes" - unlovable and unworthy of a healthy relationship.
I'm sorry, but I just can't do that!
Instead, I choose to encourage women to take a look at their own lives and teach them how to fill their hearts up with love for themselves. And when my readers apply what I teach - focusing on creating a fulfilling life of friends, activities, and passions for themselves rather than waiting for a man to
come along and make them whole - the results are absolutely ASTOUNDING.
They feel happier. They wake up in the morning, excited about the day to come and the possibilities of love it brings. They get out and enjoy the fabulous life they've created, and while they're doing that, men just so happen to sit up and take notice. They see this confident, irresistible woman strolling down the street with a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her lips and think, "Wow...there's something about that girl. I've got to meet her!"
And listen, I understand that it sounds too good to be true. But believe it or not, it works.
When you're confident in yourself, you radiate happiness. The neediness that once scared men off has been replaced with deep contentment.
You cease to focus on CONTROLLING a man and instead put the focus on what you DO have control over... your own life.
The desperation you once felt (and BELIEVE ME, men SENSED!) has been replaced with security - a knowing that you WILL meet someone wonderful to share your life, but in the meantime, you'll enjoy everything that life has to offer.
Speaking of enjoying life... you ask me what's so great about being single, and how I would know since I'm married.
Well, I was single for many more years than I've been married (it's still plenty fresh in my mind) and I can tell you that it's not about "loving" being single or "loving" being married...
It's about LOVING YOUR LIFE no matter what phase you're in.
When I was single, I loved my life because I got to spend time with my friends, I had an great job and enjoyed some pretty cool career successes, and I got to go on dates with interesting, fun guys.
Yes, some men were duds. Yes, some dates were disasters. Yes, I even got DUMPED a few times in my day. So why didn't this take me down for the count? Because I didn't make these guysmy LIFE... I HAD a fabulous life and I was trying these guys out to see if they fit in it.
And one day, I found the man who did.
Yes, he's an amazing guy. Yes, I'm glad every day that I married him. But guess what? Marriage is not the end-all, be-all magical recipe for happiness either. I'm happy today in the same way that I've always been happy - because I still have those great friends I had in my single days (and some pretty wonderful new ones too!). I have an even BETTER job - connecting with, and helping - women like YOU - and I can't tell you how much fulfillment I get from that.
The relationship I have with my husband brings me joy beyond measure, but even on days when we're on each other's nerves, I still have my very own happiness that would be there if I were to become single tomorrow.
(This is the secret formula to keeping our marriage fresh and exciting too... because we have our own lives, we have more to share with one another.)
Penelope, I'm sorry that you're alone. I don't mean to make light of your loneliness. (I've been there myself, and it's not easy.) I'm sorry if I've come off to you as the head of the "Dating Without Drama" cheerleading squad - with a peppiness and positivity that seems too good to be true.
I just get excited because I KNOW that I've discovered the secret to achieving the dating life of your dreams, and I just want to scream it from the rooftops so women don't have to suffer through painful, confusing, and dramatic relationships anymore.
I DO believe that every woman deserves love - YOU included - and that old wounds and insecurities CAN be healed to make everyone capable and worthy of a healthy, loving relationship.
You say that everyone tells you that "the guy will come." The thing is, Penelope, when you hold onto that negative, self-defeating attitude, he's probably NOT going to come. That's because you've closed yourself off and – whether you're conscious of it or not - are sending the signal "stay away." Men are just as afraid of rejection as women, and they are not going to approach you when you're giving off such an unapproachable vibe.
Albert Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results." You've been carrying around that "being single sucks" and "I'll never meet a man" attitude every day and the result is that you're alone.
Maybe it's time to try something different.