Real Advice with Real Talk: Under a dating curse
Dear Real Talk,
They always say keep your head up, but I'm struggling. For the past few years I've been single-ish. I've had fling after fling, situationship after situationship, and I'm still single. I've had more boys break my heart than I can count. I'm doing everything "right" but nothing is working. I really miss having a partner, and one that I can actually trust. How do I stop getting f*cked over by f*ck boys?
Am I just cursed
A few years ago, a friend asked me what my ten year dream life would look like. She asked me to visualize even the tiniest details about this life: what time do I wake up? What does the room look like? Am I with anyone? What do I eat for breakfast? What do I do after that? You get the gist.
I was pretty surprised that I could picture this “dream life” in the first place. I was in a beautiful brownstone in a big city, with a partner I felt at ease with, about to head out for the day to work on my own business. Now let’s be honest, I know there’s too much uncertainty in life to make a plan like this. But I like to think about these things as guidelines: am I getting the right experience in my career to get where I want to go? Am I living in the right city? Am I spending time with the right people?
You might be wondering how this relates back to your question, I promise I’ll get there! It sucks you’re getting f*cked over by these f*ck boys. The sad reality about dating in this day and age is that people don’t treat each other very well (the dating apps provide too much anonymity and don’t get me started on the paradox of choice! That’s a column for another day.) You don’t need me to tell you dating is hard… but I do want to validate your experience because I’ve been there, and damn, it is hard!
Back to this ten year visualization, I want you to think about what YOU want in life. What do you want your home, career, and friendships to look like down the line? What kind of qualities do you want in a partner? Moreover, would your future partner treat someone the way these f*ckboys have treated you? I’m guessing no. We both know you deserve better.
Digging deeper into this “dream life,” I challenge you to write a list of everything you want in this future partner. Make it oddly specific. Read it out loud to a friend who gets it (or email it to me!! I want to read it! firstname.lastname@example.org). Hold onto this list and keep it in mind while you date. But more importantly, and this is the important part, start living by these qualities. If you want someone smart with money, start investing, baby! If you want someone who is loyal to the people in their life, call up an old friend and plan a trip. If you want someone who appreciates art, go to that museum and start that book you’ve been thinking about. Start creating this dream scenario while you wait for the right partner that compliments and adds value to your life.
This might be hard to hear, but I can’t tell you when you’ll find the right partner — it might be two weeks from now or it might be ten years from now. I don’t say this to discourage you, I say this because you have no control over it! What you do have control over, however, is how you sit with the uncertainty of not knowing, how you put yourself out there, who you spend your time with, and how you handle rejection. The cruel reality is that it kind of is a numbers game or luck of the draw. But listen to me carefully: all it takes is one. Write it down on your mirror, journal it when you’re feeling fed up, repeat it to yourself right now: All it takes is one!
Some practical tips while we’re here: therapy (this will help you sit with the uncertainty), journaling (this will help you visualize what you want), take considerable breaks from dating when you feel burnt out (this will keep you energized), prioritize time with single friends (this will make your life more fun), consume content from people who “get it” — I love Dolly Alderton’s books, for a start (this will help you feel understood).
Cursed, you aren’t really cursed! You seem intentional about what you want and who you deserve. I also think you need a nice long break from dating to re-energize yourself. Delete the apps for a few weeks. You deserve to feel at ease, and personally, I’m really glad you’re not wasting any more of your precious time with any of those f*ckboys.
Sending you all the love,
RT with Stix