Working Saturdays in a wine shop in Manhattan means you see a pretty consistent midday crowd. Relatively young couples who are looking for nothing in particular and only refer to each other as “babe” and describe everything they see as “hilarious.”
Still, they all seem happier than me. There must be some comfort in the banality, right?
People in long term relationships are happier overall, so studies have told us. Not that you needed academic research to convince you to seek one out. It always seems like a good idea unless you’ve just gotten out of one but let’s face it, if you’re interested in reading about this sort of thing, you haven’t.
Therefore, you could be in a mindset that I’ve found myself in countless times and still end up stuck in because I don’t learn from mistakes, “If I just had *WHOEVER*, I’d be happy.”
This is the sentiment of many songs and movies, so of course it seems totally reasonable. “Livin’ On A Prayer” is not, to my knowledge, based on any true story. Anecdotal at best and ham-fisted, schmaltzy, pablum at worst.
(It’s the second one)
This is a bad mindset for several reasons. The first one being that you’re wrong. If you’re the sort of person in the market for a cure all, you’re probably the sort of person who needs improvement in several areas. Being in a relationship only fixes the crippling loneliness part. If you’re also in wild debt, or overweight, or have been putting off going to the dentist for WAY too long(That one is me), all those problems are still there, but now what you want to watch on Netflix is being vetted by someone else.
The past is prologue. What you’ve done before you’re likely to continue doing unless you really focus on changing that. Your new boyfriend/girlfriend/genderqueer partner(Don’t want to be normative, this is Tumblr, after all) can’t do any of that for you.
A new area rug will not fix your rotting floorboards.
Secondly, that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone. “Fix my life” isn’t really something people are desperate to get involved in.
Some people are, but I won’t focus on them. That’s a certain personality type. Sandra Bullock might be, I think. Remember when she married the motorcycle man and he cheated on her with an actual Nazi?
Seriously though, please consider how much strain you’re volunteering onto someone else. In addition to their own problems, and the stress of any relationship, being responsible for your happiness is not going to make things any smoother. If everything else in your life is still terrible, and this relationship is a tentpole of your existence, if it doesn’t go well you have nothing.
I’ve definitely cost myself an important friendship because I put that pressure on someone and then got very resentful when she, quite reasonably, wasn’t interested. Yeah you’re sad, yeah it’s hard, but try to see how desperate and terrifying it looks from anyone else’s perspective. It’s a very selfish way to behave.
The only real advice I can give, and I know this seems impossible, try to calm down.
If you’re the sort of person desperate for a relationship, you probably don’t meet many new people. That I can’t help you with. Once I figure out how to meet people interested in dating you I’m cashing in and I will type these things in a much more expensive chair.
I can say this though. If your new relationship prospects are few and far between, don’t get 100% emotionally invested immediately. That’s difficult as well, but you’re not doing yourself or your new love interest any favors. If it all blows up, what can you do? You’re still allowed to feel bad. If you need a night of undignified, drunken, wallowing I don’t think anyone will begrudge you that.
Once you’re done though, maybe start working on your pile of unread books or something. If you HAVE to be alone, you might as well use the time to get some things done.
Idle hands, etc…