High gas prices, sky rocketing housing market, the possibility of a black American president, same sex marriages and Madonna's affair with A-Rod. These are all highly important current affairs, the hot topics in the public conversations and day to day lives. Yet, what fascinates me the most and what has occupied my mind recently is the evolution, the progress and the process of finding love or human mating in 2008. What has happened to easily meeting, falling in love and getting married?
Every where I turn I see single people who are searching for love and being unsuccessful at finding it. Speed Dating, Match.com, E-Harmony.com, Iranianpersonals.com, Just Lunch are to just name a few agencies that have become super rich with more and more members. Friends setting friends up, family members introducing single adults to one another. And finally you have your good old Clubs, Bars, Lounges and Hot Spots. There has been books written on this topic, How-To books, books analyzing the subject, Self-Help books. What the hell is going on? Why has it become so difficult?
All I hear around me are horror stories, tragic date tales and reports of odd behaviors. The guy who disclosed to his date the fact about "hating" his mother, the guy who rented a high-end car to impress a girl on their first date, the guy who married his ex four weeks after a really great first date, the guy who seemed so interested during the romantic dates and the late night phone calls yet never managed to call again. And finally all of those 40 year old guys who STILL do not know what they want in life and STILL are not "ready" for the next step yet! (I am only aware of "guy horror stories" due to only having girlfriends who confide in me, however I realize that there also exists many many "girl horror stories").
Let me analyze this for you as I have spent hours pondering it. It used to be so easy, people met in high school or college and after a short period of time they were married. Some would meet at their first jobs or in social gatherings and shortly after were married, as the age of marriage was early twenties. What happened was that girls and guys became more and more independent and happy with their young and single lives (making money, partying, living alone, dating, having careers, etc.) that they postponed marriage until a later age for "when they are more ready". That later age is where the problem lies.
When you are young you do not have many "requirements" or expectations for your "mate" as you do not consider their job, car nor education, because they are too young to have acquired all of that. You do not consider their family, their friends and their hobbies because you do not care at that time. You do not consider their little quirks, their beliefs, their substance and their character because for one they may not have any of that yet, and two you feel that Love or Lust will conquer all! It is so much easier to fall in love with a brand new, fresh and clean heart when you are young and yes, love is all you care about. So you get married and you grow together. You are flexible and open to change, because you had not previously become so set on your ways. You build your life together, learn together and merge with one another.
When you do not get married young and continue to remain single (due to reasons mentioned above) you learn things on your own, become used to your way of doing things and yes, you get set on your ways. You have to sleep on the left side of the bed, you do not like to talk to any one in the morning, you have to travel three times a year, you have girls/boys night out 4 times a week, you have to go to the gym every Saturday morning, you have to wash your clothes a certain way, you have to watch TV before bed, you spend most of your money on clothes and you have to attend all of your Fantasy Baseball Team meetings. The list of likes and dislikes, the "have tos" and "can not dos" go on and on and on. You lived by yourself for so many years, you have become used to having things your way and having no one to answer to or to discuss things with. You and the others your age have had adequate time to acquire a high education, buy a home, buy a nice car and become "successful". You now care about much more in a "mate" than you used to 10 years ago as your expectations have sky rocketed where love has dropped significantly down on your list. So you still wonder why it is difficult to find love?
Here are some barriers to finding love in an older age in 2008: 1. You are too picky 2. You play too many games 3. You refuse to be flexible. You let go of a guy because he is too short, you dismiss a girl because she does not have long hair. You have to be with some one who makes over $100,000/year, you want some one who has higher education. You feel that you should not look eager so you do not call her for 3 days, you feel that you should not look desperate so you screen his calls. You pretend that you are busy, therefore you do not come clean about how much you would love to see him. You stay 100% true to your 25 item list of what your "mate" should be like. You do not stay out late with her on Sunday night because you have to go home to complete your Sunday night rituals.
Guys and girls (men and women by this point) are having difficulty finding love because they have high expectations and are not willing to change. Also because "marriage" has become such a big deal to them by now that they are looking for perfection! The women want to be swept off of their feet, wined and dined, men have become jaded and refuse to do that. The men want some one honest and sweet as the women have also become jaded and can not bring themselves to be that way. By the time people are in their thirties every one has had their heart broken at least once, been cheated on, lied to and have been disappointed so many times that their heart is no longer open nor inviting. You have a "do not enter" sign hanging from the gates of your heart and you still ask why it is hard to find some one to love?
If you are in your thirties and are desperately looking for love, first of all stop looking so hard, second, loosen up, third stop nit picking on every small thing, fourth be willing to give up some things and be a bit flexible, fifth stop playing games and be yourself for a change, sixth do not be scared by what you see in other people's relationships, seventh open up your heart and throw away the "do not enter" sign from the gates, eight open your mind and finally just have fun out there. It will come to you, I guarantee it!