Okay brace yourselves. I am about to say the most cliché thing ever, but I am saying it because its true. You’re going to meet the right guy when you stop looking AND everything is going to work out the way it is supposed to. Cue the eye rolls and the, “yeah because I haven’t heard that one before.” But, I am here to tell you a little about my experience with it and how to embrace it so that it happens to you.
First off, I went through a horrible heartbreak. A year of hellish ups and downs turned into a year of learning to be single. No one starts off being single with a positive mindset. Instead you go into it feeling like you’re unlovable or the person you invested everything in does not want to be with you anymore and you are almost purposely being ignorant as to why it didn’t work. So going into the single life I was just focused on having fun and not putting myself into a position I could get hurt again. My roommate Erika was single also which made things a bit easier.
It was a good spot for the two of us to be in. She had gotten out of a miserable relationship a few months prior to my breakup and then I suddenly was in the same boat. It definitely makes being single easier when your best friend is as well. You can go to lunch and bitch about your exes, talk about your flings or go to the bars and scout the men out together. Sadly that seventh month journey we shared ended in August 2017 when she met her current boyfriend. We had a good run. I’ll never forget the night she went on that bumble date with Frank and I couldn’t wait to hear how bad it went, but it didn’t. The more and MORE they continued going out, the more my mind was screaming “No..NO…NO!! I AM LOSING HER!” So then there was Erika and Frank and Katie Ann was officially solo.
I don’t know why we as humans feel this way, but the longer they dated I began to feel so much pressure to get into a relationship as well. She was glued to him. Our four times a week lunch dates turned into once every two weeks if I was lucky. When I’d come into her room to talk about something it was the two of them together every time. I don’t think I ever really felt how single I was until this point. Naturally, I spent more time on bumble or meeting people out. I would go on a bumble date and come home and Erika and Frank would be waiting to ask me how it went. Believe me I think they wanted me to have a boyfriend again as much as I did. One, so I would leave them alone and two, Frank would have someone to talk to if we all went out. But, nothing was working out.
I remember feeling so hopeless. I thought maybe I wasn’t even capable of having feelings for someone again at one point. I was looking for reasons to like the guys I was out with and overlooking the things that were red flags to it never working out. Then I was getting mad when it didn’t work out when realistically if I wasn’t feeling the pressure to be in a relationship I would’ve never even expected a second date out of any of these guys. I remember Erika and Frank lived less then 10 minutes away from each other and I would always joke and say, “Why can’t I just meet a nice guy in Hoboken I actually like.” Erika and everyone else would say the same thing, “You’ll find someone when you stop looking and least expect it.” Well in my head that couldn’t be a more annoying statement to comprehend. Basically I was supposed to stop caring about it and finally when I was okay with the way things were I would find someone. While that was an aggravating statement what was even more aggravating was the miserable dates I kept going on.
Now to back track on the timeline a bit, the summer that Erika and Frank met was also the same summer that I met Joe. The first time I saw him I was a bit down in the dumps over in Ireland on a trip with my mother that was supposed to get my mind off things. I saw Joe in Erika’s snapchat story and I was like, “Whoah. Who is the one with the brows and the hair?” I’m actually laughing as I’m writing this because if you know him you’d know its the first thing you notice about him. Joe and I met at the pier on the water in Hoboken when Erika and him said hello and I immediately recognized him from Snapchat. We hit it off and after hanging out a few times he asked to take me to dinner and I had said no. Keep in mind this was about four months into me being single and I didn’t feel like I was ready to jump into anything. At one point him and I spent so much time together just sitting at the table for hours at night laughing that Erika said, “I feel like you two are going to date.” I think I laughed her under the table because the idea of getting into another relationship at this point was comical to me.
Joe and I kept hanging out, but eventually as winter rolled around him and I didn’t talk as much. A bit into winter was when I felt in a much better place and started to go out on dates again. Now we are back to where I was getting fed up with all of this and it was in about the beginning of April that Joe and I reconnected. We were friends, going out to the bars with other friends, but got closer and closer over the course of a few months. I think it was at the point where my bumble account had cobwebs on it, I stopped texting any guys back and I found myself looking forward to getting off work and meeting up with Joe that I admitted to myself, “Okay, what the hell? I actually like this guy.”
I finally opened my mouth and said, “Remember when you asked me out to dinner last summer? Well I want a raincheck.” Which then he proceeded to swiftly respond with, “Okay what do you like to eat at McSwiggans?” (The local pub that you needed a crowbar to physically pry him out of.) Long story short we went out a bunch of times and now we are dating. Looking back at the mysterious way life works it all makes sense. I wasn’t looking for anything from him and actually denied a date originally. I got sick of going on dates and was preoccupied with going out with my friends in Hoboken. I wasn’t searching anymore and then found someone who made more sense for me then anyone else and had been living just around the corner. Everyone had been right. Things just fall into place and I got exactly what I wanted the whole time without forcing anything.
Now this is just the beginning of a chapter in a story that I don’t know the ending to, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant to be in my life at this exact moment and happen the way it happened. If you are asking yourself what is wrong with you and why the dating scene is miserable because trust me it is, just take a deep breath and know that things are going to work out how they are meant to. After all is said and done it makes sense that you can’t force a relationship out of thin air. Things need to form organically and because you genuinely like each other. I am not knocking dating apps either because my roommate and her boyfriend are still together a year later. But, I remember she went into that date not expecting to even like him and it just happened. The best thing you can do is focus on rebuilding yourself and your goals. Do what makes you happy. Get to the point where you are having a great time with your friends or you’re so happy in your daily activities you don’t feel forced to go out with anyone unless you really want to.
I think the whole idea of finding someone when you aren’t looking doesn’t necessarily mean dating in general. I think what it means by looking is looking for reasons to like someone. Like when you are forcing something unnatural because you want to see relationship potential in the person because you’re just so sick and tired of being single. If you can get yourself to a place where you’re not looking for a reason to like someone, you’ll surprise yourself when you take it day by day and you might actually catch yourself admitting, “Okay, what the hell? I actually like this guy.” And trust me, it’s a such a good feeling to have.
“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.” -Mark Nepo