For most of my life I’ve clung to the romantic belief of each of us having a soulmate – otherwise known as the one.
I say clung because at times that belief was literally my life raft, keeping me from drowning during bouts of depression anytime I had my heartbroken.
“Just keep swimming, ” I’d tell myself. “He’s out there.”
While the idea of the one and a forever kind of love is a beautiful thing, it can also leave you disappointed and bitter. It took me until recently to realize that the same belief that often saved me was also causing me unnecessary pain.
Any time I’ve fallen in love and it didn’t last I’ve felt like that love was a failure – all too often forgetting about all the little triumphs, joys and lessons I got to learn along the way.
Maybe romantic connections shouldn’t have to last forever to be appreciated.
Yesterday I made the choice to stop waiting for the one. Too many amazing men come into my life for me to miss out on opportunities to experience living in the moment with them.
There’s the male friend I have that I used to date, but wrote off romantically because I just couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life with him and his three kids… but what’s so wrong with having a friend with benefits right now?
There’s the adorable and intriguing 23-year-old guy who’s been messaging me on OKCupid, who I’d normally have never even messaged back since I thought there’s no way in hell I could spend forever with a guy 11 years younger than me so why bother… turns out he is more mature than the older guy I recently dated and we have some things in common.
Each day this week has brought another interesting guy into my life…
Online dating sites, bars and restaurants have now become my playground since I’m no longer preoccupied with whether or not things will last forever.
I used to think saying “Yes” to dating anyone that didn’t meet my lofty ideals of the perfect partner meant I was settling. But saying “Yes” is less about settling and more about staying open to all romantic possibilities.
If by chance I meet an amazing guy that sticks around long enough for me to giddily change my relationship status on Facebook I’ll surely be happy, but I’m choosing not to be heartbroken anymore when a man doesn’t.
They can’t all be winners…
Accepting that and being at peace with it sure makes dating a lot more fun!