Advice

Let’s Stop Letting Every Conversation Devolve Into a Complaint About Being Single

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Earlier today, I wrote a post on dating resolutions, but I left an important one out. One that I think can have a huge affect on both your dating life, and, perhaps more importantly, your dating outlook in 2012.

In 2012, stop complaining about being single.

Look, you certainly don’t have to be happy about being single if you would rather be in a relationship. And I encourage you to make proactively seeking out a boyfriend or girlfriend a big part of this upcoming year. But it’s really, really important not to let yourself become one of those people who is constantly going on and on to anyone who will listen about how much it sucks to be single.

Most anyone who’s ever been single for an extended period of time has been guilty of this — I know I have. It starts out small: a whine to a best friend, a joke with an office-mate about dying alone, becoming a cat lady, etc., etc. Pretty soon, casual acquaintances who ask you if you’re seeing anyone are hit with a bombardment of complaints about the dating scene — how’s there no one in the city to date, how man/women all suck, how all your friends are in relationships and you aren’t. You meet with a friend for drinks to “catch up” and end up lamenting your single state for an hour. Eventually, you notice that you’re always talking about this: the conversation doesn’t change, just the setting.

It sounds deceptively New Age-y to talk about “vibes” and “energies,” but the truth is, if you spend a significant amount of your time putting mental energy towards expressing your dissatisfaction with your relationship status, it will bleed into other aspects of your life as well. You will become a less happy person. If you’re upset about being single to begin with, despairing about it will only make it worse.

And here’s a truth for which I have no scientific back-up: people instinctually gravitate towards happy people, and away from tense, upset, unhappy people. By letting yourself fixate so much on your (lack of) relationship status, by feeding your obsession by constantly discussing it with other people, you’re doing very little to make yourself happy. Talking about it might be cathartic in the moment, but it’s not making you feel better.

The Solution:

Stop talking about it. Sure, you can confide in a few trusted friends on those rare occasions when you just can’t bear it. But apart from that, don’t let yourself focus on that one, small aspect of your life. There is more to you than whether or not you’re in a relationship! Concentrate on those things, and you’ll start to feel better about yourself, and better about your life.

And trust me, trust me, trust me: other people will notice.

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