Last night, as I took the train home, I was the captive audience of two women who were complaining about their dating lives in San Francisco. One was bemoaning how men in San Francisco are "rude" and "don't know how to treat a girl," while the other talked about how there was nobody who "could even come close to Dave." Whoever this Dave is, he must be pretty amazing.
This got me thinking: Why is it that you (an intelligent, attractive and perfectly nice, yet single, girl) can't find a happy relationship? I believe there are seven people to blame:
Your Crush. Every single girl has this guy in her life. Maybe it's a close friend, someone at work, your yoga teacher or your dentist. He's the one you've swooned over for years and compare every other guy to. Here's the real deal, though. If you've known him for over a year and he's never tried to get with you, it's because he doesn't want to. It's time to get over it. While you're saving yourself for your crush, he's out there living his life -- and you're wasting your time.
Your Ex. There's nothing worse you can do than "sort of" break up with someone. You're either together or you're not. As a general rule, I believe in clean breaks. If you're no longer dating, you should no longer be talking to each other -- let alone seeing each other. The unknown will always be scarier than what you do know. By holding on to a broken relationship, you're keeping yourself from getting out there and meeting someone who is truly perfect for you.
Kate Hudson. Don't get me wrong. Kate Hudson is my girl crush, and I love every single one of her movies. Nobody can sell a love story like she can... and that's the problem. If you find yourself believing that love isn't real until it's like a movie, get ready for a very rough road. Healthy relationships rarely start with drama, and they certainly don't end in tidy happily-ever-afters. So, if you look at your dating life and see that Kate Hudson should be cast as you, it's time to rewrite your script.
Your Father... or anyone else who may have taught you to believe that being loved means being babied and spoiled. If you think you deserve to be treated like a princess or if you expect men to provide gifts, attention and/or emotional support that you can't return, then you need a daddy, not a boyfriend. Relationships are about partnership and equality, and your potential partner deserves a woman, not a child.
Your Gay Best Friend. There are few relationships in your life that will be more rewarding than the one you share with your gay best friend. If you have one, then he's probably the best date you'll ever have. And herein lies the problem. No new, straight guy in your life will ever stand a chance. So, just be sure you aren't using your friend as a crutch and that you're open to new men coming into your life. Trust me, your GBF is doing the same.
Your Boss. As much as I hate to admit it, for about seven years, my former boss was the most important person in my life. No matter where I was, who I was with or what I was doing, I took his calls. If he needed me to work on a weekend, I cancelled my plans and went. As a result, I had a bunch of lackluster relationships with men who had the same skewed priorities as I did. It wasn't until I left that job and reclaimed my own balance that I was able to enjoy a relationship where we put each other first. Yes, your job is a priority, but nothing is more important than finding your own happiness.
Yourself. More often than not, women are single because of some fear they are holding on to. Maybe it's the fear of posting a profile online that causes you to deprive yourself of the ability to meet hundreds of great men. Or it's the fear of leaving a bad relationship behind. Maybe you're afraid to prioritize yourself over your work or you're afraid of being rejected. Dating is a painful process. It forces you to face truths about yourself while you evaluate others. It's guaranteed to leave you feeling rejected at times or cause you to hurt someone else. The reality is that searching for true love is often a process, but it shouldn't be avoided. It's the only way to truly learn about yourself and what you need in a partner. So, leave the fear behind and go on a bunch of dates. When you meet "the one," the only person you'll have to thank is yourself!