Seven billion people in the world are split 50/50 between women and men. Surely there’s someone out there for us all? Maybe we get it wrong the first 10 people we date. Or maybe we think we get it right the first try only to end up divorcing several years later. Whatever the case may be, I believe there are multiple “the ones” out there for us to find. If we end up lasting with that person for the rest of our lives, then clearly there is only one.
The thought of living life alone is somewhat frightening. I wonder if this is part of the reason why we have children? We’d like to increase our chances of always having loved ones around us until we are gone. I do feel optimistic that if I were to find myself coming home to an empty bed that I would have the gumption to find someone eventually. But who really knows?
I’ve witnessed seemingly normal, decently attractive people miss their golden window for finding someone. We can argue how big the golden window is, but the fact remains that most people go through their first serious relationship before their mid 30s. I do hope that age is just a number.
We love to talk about how our 30s is the new 20s, yet our biological clocks don’t agree. 35 is still the age where doctors warn about an exponential increase in child birth risks. If a woman doesn’t want to have children, then who really cares? But the anxiety, however small, is still there. Maybe a woman who doesn’t want to have kids will find some incredible man who changes her mind and vice versa. Relationships have a funny way of softening the most adamant thoughts.
The following is a list of issues that prevent connections from being made. Please let me know if you agree or disagree.
* Too picky. Is it better to be alone or settle for someone who doesn’t check all your boxes? Everybody would probably rather have a more attractive mate than a less attractive one. But when you’re a 6 trying to chase a 10, you might feel sorely disappointed as the 10 only goes after 8s and above. The concept is very similar in personal finance where “C” students chase after “A” lifestyles through overspending on things they cannot afford. Both paths eventually lead to misery. The key is to realize you are a 6, shoot for the stars, but find congruency if you’ve failed.
* Too nasty. I don’t mean nasty in the ugly sense given how many of the most interesting looking folks find someone. I mean nasty in personality. There are some folks who are serious black clouds. Everything is negative in their eyes. They love to put people down. They love to pick fights and carp over the silliest of things. They love to complain about this and that. No wonder why they’re constantly at risk of being fired at work and are perpetually single after work.
* Too insecure. If you don’t love yourself, then it’s hard for anybody else to love you. Women talk about meeting men with charisma. Men look for women who are comfortable in their own skin. Confidence and knowing what you want is very attractive. Everybody has certain levels of insecurities, but some let their insecurities control their actions to the point of debilitation.
* Overly confident. Being overly confident can be very dangerous. Maybe we are beautiful, rich, and successful and therefore don’t feel the need to work on our social skills as much. Everybody comes to us already, so why should we ever proactively go for them. One day our looks will fade and we’ll no longer have that fancy corporate title. Then what? Will only money and our lack of personality be enough? Maybe not because you’ll then be competing with someone who has the personality, looks, career, social skills, and money as well.
* Too career driven. The problem with going to a good school is that you’ve got to prove the money and time spent was worthwhile. The pressure to perform is always on. Plenty of successful men and women on Wall St. reach senior levels end up alone because of tremendous job demands. 70-100 hour weeks are the norm, leaving very little energy left for romance. One of my doctor friends is 35 and just got done with his second medical fellowship in cardiology. He’s anxious to pass his Boards and get started in a career of medicine. At the same time he’s not quite sure which cities he should apply for jobs because of a woman that has caught his fancy. Although he hasn’t even started his career, he’s well aware that if he blindly focuses all his efforts in medicine he might end up old and alone.
* Too misleading. Online dating is commonplace today. The absolute biggest complaint I get from all my male friends is how misleading pictures are in profiles. The biggest warning signs are women with glamour shots that have glowing lights and blurred features to smooth out any blemishes. If you make yourself look way better in a picture than in real life, your date is going to be seriously disappointed. Some might just continue to walk on by because they feel absolutely lied to. Do yourself a favor and put up the most natural, recent picture possible. A little underpromising and overdelivering goes a loooong way!
* Blind faith in destiny. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be right? Not necessarily so. When nobody came showering me with fortune while I was sitting on my bum, I decided to get to work. It takes constant effort to find love. We increase our chances by putting ourselves in the right place. If you sit alone every night watching a movie, do you think destiny will even bring you a sexy pizza delivery guy if you don’t even call? Of course not. If destiny isn’t happening, work to make it happen.
One of my mentors is an incredibly successful woman. She was a VP at a prestigious firm who got her MBA at Wharton and made over $500,000 a year. Her only issue was that she was alone. Sure she would meet the random Tasmanian stud on ski trips, but those never panned out.
One day 10 years later at the age of 45 she gives me a ring to invite me to a house party where I meet her new boyfriend Tariq. Tariq is in late 40s and divorced, but it was clear he loved her with all his heart. A year later my mentor let us all know she and Tariq got married in a quiet ceremony in southern France.
We’re never too old to find someone. Maybe we just have one too many filters set up to prevent love from happening. There are seven billion people on Earth after all.
Readers, do you think there’s someone for everyone? How much is serendipity involved? Do you think many people settle without truly being in love?
Here’s comedian Louis CK’s hilarious take
Photo: Happiness in Santorini, FS.