Although my track record of relationships is filled with innovative ways of screwing up, I remain committed to finding lasting happiness. Despite my past mistakes, I am determined to continue on this journey and remain optimistic about my prospects. In fact, I believe that my past experiences have taught me valuable lessons, and I am now better equipped to make wiser choices and build a healthier relationship in the future.
1. Most successful people fail repeatedly before achieving their goals — relationships are no exception
To improve in any area, including relationships, one must be willing to endure initial setbacks and failures. While we often accept this idea in the context of sports or professional achievements, I believe it applies just as well to romantic pursuits. Rather than seeing my past struggles as an indication that I will never find the kind of relationship I desire, I view them as valuable learning experiences. With each mistake, I gain more data and insight, which I can use to make better choices in the future. I remain optimistic about my ability to correct my errors and am confident that eventually, I will achieve the lasting relationship I seek. Even if it takes 50 or 51 tries, I am determined to keep going until I succeed.
2. The dating scene is such a mess, most millennials feel lost sometimes
I embrace the uncertainty that comes with modern romance and don't yearn for the days of traditional expectations. Although we have gained greater personal freedom, we have also lost some of the structure that came with it, making it difficult to predict what to expect from a relationship. As a society, we are navigating through major cultural changes, and my own personal life is subject to these shifts. However, I am adaptable and can adjust to changing circumstances, going with the flow as needed.
3. Stressing about it is useless
While I acknowledge my anxieties, I refuse to use them as an excuse for my actions or allow them to shape my outlook on life. Despite feeling like I am not ready for a relationship, I understand that this status is not permanent. Recognizing that the only aspect of life and love that I can truly control is my own reaction, I am committed to avoiding a negative mindset and instead focus on making positive choices.
4. I can't be happy in any relationship if I'm not happy with myself
While some may call me a late bloomer, I took the time to go through a grueling trial-and-error period that allowed me to discover my ideal career, political beliefs, and other elements that make up my identity. While I continue to learn every day, I now have a clear understanding of who I am and where I am going, which has prepared me to focus on my romantic life with greater confidence and determination.
5. None of my former flames were truly right for me
It's no surprise that I was not ready to commit to a long-term relationship as I was still unsettled within myself. Due to this, I did not attract anyone who would have been an ideal partner for me, even though I was in a deep relationship for a couple of years that would typically lead to marriage. While we did love each other, we ultimately recognized our mutual need to move on.
6. I've learned to be picky in all the right ways
During my 20s, I had strict criteria for the career and appearance of anyone I dated. While having a "type" can be acceptable, I was overly focused on superficial qualities. It took me some time to understand the underlying qualities beyond their profession and physical appearance that I found attractive in these men. However, when I identified these traits, such as great conversational skills, wry humor, and independence, I learned that I could still be discerning about the essential characteristics while letting go of arbitrary criteria like job title or hairstyle.
7. I'm great at being alone
The most valuable aspect of my challenging pursuit of love is how it has strengthened my self-reliance. Even during those lonely Saturday nights, I am able to enjoy my own company by reading a book, experimenting with new recipes, or working on my writing. While I do experience moments of loneliness, I recognize the importance of avoiding an excess of solitude. Nevertheless, I am proud of my ability to keep myself occupied and content, which is a crucial skill to possess.
8. I've developed a killer sense of humor
When you stumble and make a mistake, the best reaction is to laugh and accept your clumsiness. I appreciate a good comedy, complete with slapstick humor and awkward storylines. It's fortunate that my own life often provides me with all the material I require.
9. I've never been intentionally cruel
Despite my mishaps in the love arena, I have never committed an unforgivable act. I am consistently honest (sometimes too much) and have never remained with a partner solely for physical comfort. As I have always prioritized the significant things, such as being truthful and direct, I am compassionate towards myself regarding any doubtful decisions I have made in my previous relationships.
10. There are benefits to all my uncertainty in love
I admire women my age who have already been married for ten years and have two charming kids, but I prefer to explore diverse options. I will never be left wondering what it would be like to go on a short date with an Olympic athlete or spend an evening of engaging conversation and cuddles with a mysterious philosopher. With experiences like those, I have no room for complaints.
11. I finally know that I do hope to find my soulmate
Perhaps because love is so perplexing, I have come to the realization only recently of how much I yearn to find my perfect match. While I am uncertain about marriage and certainly do not want children of my own, I am wholeheartedly searching for a remarkable relationship.
12. Happiness has no age limit
At 31, I find it amusing when younger people get anxious about turning 30 without a partner. I may be on the older side of being single, but I'd rather meet my ideal match at 50 than be in a miserable relationship for decades. I learn something new from each romantic setback and I only get better as I age. I hope my future Mr. Right is out there doing the same.