If only you could pick a boyfriend out of a catalog and have him mailed on over. Life would be so much easier. When you don't want a boyfriend, it seems like they're coming out of every corner and climbing through the windows just to be with you. But when you're finally ready to settle down with Netflix nights and Thai dinner dates — poof — all the men disappear. You couldn't catch one's attention if your life depended on it. What gives?
It could be possible that you're just in a dating dry spell (we all have 'em), but another reason could be you're doing something that blocks you from all those potential first dates. Let's go over the theories and see if we're guilty of any of them:
1. You Don't Put Yourself Out There
Listen, we all have this Meg Ryan fantasy where you round the corner in your baggy chinos and white sneakers and -oops!- bump into this handsome stranger and all your groceries scatter all over the sidewalk. Then you both scramble to pick up the runaway oranges, you touch hands, and the beginning of your romcom begins. But...It's not the '90s anymore and that stuff just doesn't happen nowadays.
Which means you actually have to put yourself out there. Say hi to that cute guy you made eye contact with at the coffee shop, chat up the man you're riding the elevator with, get on Tinder, actually socialize with people at house parties - whatever you do, put yourself out there! Prince Charming isn't just going to ring your doorbell after all. Get movin'.
2. Your Standards Are Impossibly High
In the words of Liz Lemon: "I want someone who will be monogamous and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I'm watching Lost. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And that's what I want."
While we all have our standards, sometimes our bar is a little bit too high and no person can meet it. And that includes really great guys that could have made you really happy, but haven't quite checked all the boxes on your list. While I'm not saying you should lower your standards to nothing, maybe tweak them a little so you're not shutting out great people for superficial reasons.
3. You're Too Scared Of Rejection To Make The First Move
You see someone that puts hearts into your eyes at a house party, but firmly stand by the bean dip because you're too nervous to approach him. Or you see that one guy for the fourth time at your usual coffee shop, but refuse to say hello because that's nerve-wracking. Or maybe you keep locking eyes with the cutie standing next to you at the bus, but you stay silent because what if he doesn't want to talk?
But what if he did? Instead of letting the fear of rejection keep you firmly rooted in singledom think of it this way: You're just saying hello to make a new friend. You're not saying hi to find the love of your life, but you're just being friendly. That takes a ton of pressure off of the situation and just might convince you to get out there and get to mingling.
4. You're Constantly Rolling In A Group That's Six Deep
It's lovely that you have a friend group bigger than the whole band of Arcade Fire, but if you're constantly surrounded by a giant entourage, you make it a little intimidating to approach you. Think about it: Would you infiltrate a group of 10 people just to say hi to one cute guy that caught your eye? Some women would brave it, but to me that sounds super stressful. Just the image of ten people staring at you as you stutter a hello makes me want to grab my clutch and go home immediately. If you're at a bar, try removing yourself from the group every once in a while, giving yourself a chance to socialize with people that you haven't known since grade school. You never know who you might bump into that way.
5. You Just Don't Love Yourself Yet
Even though you want a snuggle buddy, you first need to learn how to find happiness on your own and not in other people. No one wants to become someone's center of the universe (too much pressure,) and they can sense that type of need a mile away.
When you don't fully love yourself, you put all the responsibility on the other person to make you happy and don't bring much to the table on your end. So instead of taking time trying to rustle up a guy, switch gears and learn how to appreciate yourself and really enjoy your own company. Spend time alone, figure out your talents, your cute quirks, your passions. When you fully start understanding how awesome you are, you'll be more confident in sharing that with others, and the guys will come running.
6. You're Bad At Picking Up Signals
Maybe people have been approaching you all along just you're bad at taking a hint. Granted, people should be more direct, but this flirting thing has many levels. For example, that cute guy at the bodega that gave you a compliment was interested in starting a conversation, but you batted the flattery away. Or one acquaintance mentioned a cool bar he's been curious to check out, and you said you'd definitely hit it up with your friends sometime. (That one happened to me, friends.)
Or maybe one particular guy keeps asking you to hang out, but you're just assuming it's on a "friends" type of basis. There's a fine line between taking a hint and reading in to something, but maybe you're getting thrown chances left and right but you're bad at picking up the signals. Start decoding those messages!
7. You Spend Too Much Time Looking For A Relationship Than Living A Spectacular Life
I know, having a hunny is fun. But you know what else is fun? Taking random road trips, trying out new classes, spending weekends tinkering with hobbies and trying out new brunch places, learning new languages and making exciting plans for the future. When you meet someone, you want to bring just as much to the table as they do, and you can't do that if your sole objective that year is to find someone to become your plus one. Become interesting and people will become interested. Live your life like you're constantly exploding fireworks and watch how intrigued people will be to know you. And the best part is? You'll know that they're right to feel that way.