5 more reasons it's all your fault
After all, there's no way that luck could ever be a factor in romance. Nope, if you're lonely, it's not the result of the ups and downs of normal life. You are a failed female. But iVillage is here to help with the five mistakes that you're making. As soon as you stop, you'll be married. Like in a day. Better start looking for the dress now.
1. If you think love will never find you, it won't. I receive many posts on the Dating Doyenne board from women whose romantic disappointments have left them convinced there is something inherently unlovable about them. They say things like: "Who would want me anyway? I'm sure I'm going to wind up alone."
Obviously these women are as worthy of love as you and I.
Which is to say not really, since you are reading this article and clearly the only reason no one loves you is that you are a screw-up.
But the more one walks around saying, "I will never find love," the higher the odds that expectation will come true. Contrarily, the sunnier one's thoughts -- "I'm such a cool, happy person that I'm bound to find love" -- the sunnier the forecast for her romantic future.
So remember, giving into that your human need to despair once in awhile when despairing thoughts occur to you will leave you a cat-loving spinster for ever and ever. You know all those women that have husbands and boyfriends? Yeah, they never had a moment of doubt. Also you never did until right this minute, which is why you had husbands and boyfriends in the past.
Start a journal. Each day write down something lovable about yourself. It will get easier with time.
Dear Self, I love the way that I read articles about how to alleviate my loneliness by telling myself I'm not lonely.
2. Kick the bad-boy habit. News flash: Good guys have not gone the way of the 8-track.
In the 70s, women were wildly drawn to the reliable, good guys. It was only through massive female will in past 25 years that being irreverent and rebellious became mysteriously sexier than listening to Christian pop and supporting the War on Drugs.
"For years I was attracted to guys whose mission was to hurt me," says reformed bad-boy lover Adelle Harris, a 32-year-old Chicago Web designer. "It would be obvious from the get-go."
There's really not much you can do for someone who goes out with guys who make it obvious that they get a sadistic kick out of hurting women and keeps dating them. But if it must be said, it must. If you are on a first date and the guys implies that he would like to see you cry, call for the bill and go home.
During these years, Adelle kept railing that her dates were the best of a bad lot: No man could be kind or faithful. Then she attended a cousin's wedding. "Naomi's bridegroom Rick was the sweetest man in the world. He obviously adored my cousin and lived to please her," says Adelle.
Men who look happy on their wedding day will never cheat. Duly noted. Too bad you can't figure that out about a man until you actually marry him.
3. Repeat after me: Love is not a synonym for leash. When Gina Thomas, a 29-year-old Manhattan magazine art director, got engaged, it seemed like a dream come true. In her fantasies she and her fiancé Bill would do everything together. Bill had a different definition. "Once we moved in together I assumed Bill would cut out the biweekly poker games with the guys and the occasional nights out after work," says Gina. "Our jobs left us little free time as it was. We shouldn't have wasted it on other people."
Ah yes, we women are vampires who resent men having any friends at all. Of course, I could point out that it's uniquely cruel to tell a vampire to quit sucking blood--fish gotta swim, birds got to fly, women gotta be insufferable bitches. What is one to do? I guess put up with us and complain constantly about how unreasonable we are. Maybe take away our right to vote. That'll learn us to appreciate poker night.
4. Don't commit emotional infidelity.
Translation: He gets his poker night, but don't even think about asking for one of your own.
It is vital that your partner be someone you treat with courtesy and kindness. If you tell all of your favorite jokes and "bad day" stories to a friend or male coworker, what will you have left when you get home to your honey?
My god! You may be forced to repeat your funny story! What inhumane torture--human beings have a universal repulsion towards repeating their favorite stories again and again, after all.
It may sound crazy, but there is a premium on a person's time and energy -- there is only so much of it to go around -- and if you spend yours with someone else, you're potentially hurting your relationship.
Yes, that means that you have to sit at home like a lump on a log reserving your energy while he's at poker night. Don't even think about calling a friend! You might spend all that valuable energy that belongs to him and him only.
5. You're wrong if you need to be right.
Give in now. Don't put up a fight. If he tells you that 2+2=5, well, you know what to do. Hey, do you want to be the crazy childless cat lady? Okay, then. 2+2=5.
"Sam was perfect except for one horrible flaw," says Anne. "He always needed to be right -- whether it was about which restaurant served better burgers or which of us had apologized first after our last fight. What I didn't realize until it was too late was that I was just as bad. I couldn't admit that I'd forgotten to give him an important phone message or that his desire to move to L.A. was something I should seriously consider. I wanted to stay in Chicago and that was all that mattered. It was my way or the highway."
I think we can all learn from Anne here. If your man is an insistent sort, you have no choice but to be a limp ragdoll and just do as he says. You don't think so? Well, who's sitting inside a cold apartment in Chicago and who's a porn actor in L.A. now? Granted, her cold apartment is one that is blissfully free of angry yelling about forgotten phone messages. But don't be tempted by that idea--there is no such thing as "good" or "happy" single.