Are You Lonely Or Just Addicted To An Unrealistic Romantic Myth?

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Are You Lonely Or Just Addicted To An Unrealistic Romantic Myth?

Do what you love and the rest will follow. This is the premise I operate on and is often one of the things, which I will say to single people who seem at wits end trying to figure out why they are alone. But this idea is often scoffed at.

And I get it, actually. It’s hard to do what you love when you feel like you are lacking in some areas of your life, namely love. Some of my biggest accomplishments in life have been accomplished because I felt I had the loving support of a caring partner.

Something, on the other hand, feels like you self described single and unhappy people are alone because of something within you, which might suggest that you are focusing on the wrong things (being in a relationship) and not being truly honest with yourself (that you might not really want to do the work it takes to get one, and stay in one).

There seem to be a number of people who are not in a committed relationship, who are desperate to find a partner, yet seem to be wholly unsatisfied with the people they do meet because of their unrealistic expectations. They will nit-pick, fuss, fight and push the other person away. Or they are desperate to find a partner, but have a long dirty list of unrealistic expectations, which they are unwilling to compromise and some even go so far as to basically admit that they are unwilling to do the work it takes to even really meet someone.

Many complain that they cannot seem to meet anyone and seem bitter and jealous towards their friends who are in couples, and often just bitter and jealous in general. They think that everyone got into their relationships and love lives easily, and that they too should be entitled to the same kind of love.

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You have to let it go. Everyone has a different path of love. You are focusing on the wrong thing. You are focused on the negatives (what you don’t have, either the relationship or the person) instead of the positives. You are being driven by an unrealistic absolutist fear (of not finding your one true love).

Unfortunately, my words often fall on deaf ears, and I am met with a whole lot of resistance. Ruminating on the lack of love in one’s life may just be a part of the process, and I am open to that, just as long as it doesn’t become the whole process.

Many seem to suffer from anger, frustration, anxiety, and a fear of being alone but I wonder do these people really want to be tied down? Do they really want to put in the work it takes to be in a relationship?

It often seems like the list of expectations are exceedingly too long and on the surface it looks like you just haven’t met someone compatible, but on the inside and upon deeper investigation it often looks more like you are not willing to compromise. If you were really lonely you would do just about anything to find a decent companion, be engaged in dating, and you would do anything to compromise for it.

I’ve seen it a million times. In fact, I would harness a guess that a majority of marriages fall into this category. Many, if not most, married people have made a conscious choice to avoid the harsh realities of loneliness and stay with someone, who is not perfect, but the truth of the matter is, these realists know that no one is. Perfect. That is.

Relationships take compromise, sometimes a lot. Married people know this. If you are not willing to compromise for certain things, then you are going to have to let it go. If you are not willing to put in the work then you have to let the idea of the relationship go.

Let the relationship go, and then seriously let the idea of your perfect relationship go with it, because it doesn’t exist except in your mind. Focusing on the very thing that you do not have puts all the rest of the wonderful things you do have out of focus.

RELATED: 19 Ridiculous Expectations That Keep Your Relationship Unhealthy (And Damage Your Self-Esteem)

Some may claim that they have not met the right person with whom to compromise with. Let’s tackle this issue first. What you may be looking for is a romantic movie. You may be attached to an ideal that happens to some, if they are lucky, once in a lifetime, it happens to even fewer people maybe twice in a lifetime, and for many, if not most, it happens almost never.

The smart ones recognize that it might never happen again and they will compromise their world to hang on to this one big romance, despite how painful it may become later. The main thing again here is choice, commitment and compromise.

At some point we do have to decide if we’d rather be alone for the right reasons, as opposed to being in a committed relationship for the wrong reason. So, if we choose to separate or divorce from a big romance, we have to accept our choice, and know that we did the right thing. We also have to recognize that the type of love we expected may never come or may never come again.

This does not mean we have to stay in abusive, stagnant, malignant relationships. It just is what it is. Reality. Life. Romance is fleeting at best, and at worst it never happens. You might be thinking that there is some easy shortcut that others got, that you haven’t been afforded.

You may think romance comes easy for some people, and you wonder why you’re not one of them.

Some say they never meet anyone. Or maybe you may have met this person but were rejected by them. At some point you have to accept that the concept you are holding onto may never happen, and/or may have already happened.

If you are truly lonely and want to find someone comparable to spend your life with then get out there, go on dating sites, get hooked up by friends and family, do something, do anything, find someone who you get along with and make a commitment to make it work.

Some say they are dating someone but there are way too many red flags. Take a step back and assess the situation. Put your needs aside and honestly look at the person. Is this someone you are interested in? Are you attracted to this person? Can you see yourself with them in 5, 10 years? Do they feel the same way about you? Do they call you, show up for you? Do you have fun?

If you answer yes to some of these questions, stop the full court press, relax, enjoy your time together and focus on doing the things you really love about each other, that is if being in a relationship is something you truly desire. Just know it is going to take work regardless of who you choose.

I understand that physical attraction and social skills have a lot to do with our success in relationships also. In that vein, make yourself as attractive and happy as you can be, smile a lot, be outgoing, be open minded, be kind and friendly. Go out of your way to help others. Stop focusing on yourself and give back to others. Let yourself go. Love freely.

And above all else be honest and real about love. Ask yourself, are you holding out for that one true romance or is there something you’re missing like the knowledge that romance might actually be a myth, in that it doesn’t just show up on your doorstep and you never have to raise a finger. The truth is that romance takes work, commitment and dedication to find, build, manage and maintain. Are you willing to do the work?

RELATED: Relationships, Like Life, Are Imperfect — How To Accept The Imperfection

Moushumi Ghose is a Los Angeles based Sex Therapist. She is the author of Marriage, Money and Porn, and is the co-host of The Sex Talk, a web-series dedicated to sex, dating and relationships.