Earlier this year I wrote an article about the extra challenges that dating as an adult bring with it. If you missed it, have a quick read here first.

As spring faded so did my hope that anything would happen from the encounter that inspired that article. They say hindsight is twenty-twenty, and I was beginning to realize that saying held some merit. I’m not here to talk about my seemingly hopeless search for ‘the one for me’, but more so to say some more shit that you’ve been told over and over again but refuse to listen to.

If you’re single, and you’re getting tired with the struggles 2017 dating brings with it, or just tired of trying to force new people into your lives, take a serious breath and pause for awhile. The most important thing you can ever do is find out what makes you happy, what you as an individual want to do. If you are like so many people out there I know (myself included) you may find someone you think is good for you, and then you bend and change yourself to please them. In the end things don’t work out because you’re changing yourself and then you’re left with only questions; the biggest one being who am I anymore? Am I nothing without her(him)? Well, you most certainly are, and you need to rediscover what makes you who you are again. Just shake off the feeling of I’m going to be alone forever and hang out with some friends or have some serious alone time with just yourself. It might be odd doing things by yourself at first, but it’s important to rediscover yourself. Stop searching, stop hunting, stop worrying (the hardest of the three for sure), and start being you. Find out what you really love on your own, work, hobbies, etc. Reignite friendships that were lost, or just kinda floated around and didn’t go anywhere. Go see family you never see anymore and get in tune with who you were, who you want to be, and who you are. It should be so simple but we make it so complicated, here’s the reality:

How can you find the puzzle piece that connects with yours if you don’t even know what shape you are?

You can’t jam a puzzle piece into a place that it doesn’t fit. You might trick yourself into thinking it will work, but if you actually take a step back and look at the whole picture it just doesn’t make sense. Not to mention you are now blocking out a specific part of yourself that is actually missing. Everyone does change and evolve over time but to a smaller degree and not the types of things that truly define you. If you like blue cars this week but last week you liked red, it’s not going to change your underlying puzzle piece. If you don’t want kids but are with someone that does that could be a bit more of a varying puzzle shape. As people get older their opinion on kids generally changes but if it’s something you for sure know you do want, don’t be so sure you can convince Mr. Right to want them as well.

Never settle for what feels okay, or better than before. When you finally land on the unbelievable, you won’t be asking yourself is this it? You’ll be shouting This is it! This is what I’ve been waiting for.

It’s alright to be searching, just don’t drown yourself in it, it can get depressing. Don’t forget yourself, be selfish with your happiness when you’re single, when you’re smiling and you’re happy you’ll attract others more than being mopey anyways. Don’t put up blinders and ignore those in your life already, you may have already met your future partner and just didn’t know at the time. The most important thing to remember however:

You don’t need someone else to be truly happy.

Just restating what I have mentioned: don’t force yourself into a relationship because you think you need to be in one. At this point in our lives we have all dealt with our friends’ moods changing based on their partner at the time, and if it’s not right, your buds generally know so before you can even see it. Sometimes love is blind, (more proverbs). You’re happiest just being you, and if you can’t be that version of yourself with someone who doesn’t complement and build upon that, then maybe you should re-evaluate things. Your partner should be there holding a microphone to your voice not talking over you, or covering your mouth with their hand.

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After hours you can find Ben enjoying a beer while working in the garage. Or working on another digital project, enjoying a beer. The common denominator is beer.

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