When you’ve been single for a long time, you might start to wonder if you’ll ever find the one. You’ve probably been inundated with relationship advice from your coupled-up friends. You’ve been on dating apps, you’ve made an effort to speak to people when you’re out and you’ve been set up by your pals – but nothing seems to work.
It feels even worse when you don’t feel like you have any good options. This is what this week’s reader, Chanelle is currently experiencing.
“I’d rather be single for the rest of my life than have anything less than a healthy, authentic, loving relationship with a man,” Chanelle says.
“Unfortunately, the current dating landscape is depressing. How can I have something healthy and authentic, when most people don’t want to heal and are getting dating advice through what’s trending?”
Jessica Alderson, relationship expert and co-founder of So Syncd says when you’re observing the current dating scene from trends on social media and other outlets, in particular, can be discouraging, but it’s important to remember that this is a skewed perspective.
“It doesn’t represent the reality of what dating actually looks like right now,” Alderson says.
What would you say to this reader?
Alderson believes it’s completely understandable that Chanelle wants to prioritise having a healthy and authentic relationship over settling for anything less.
“Her desire for the type of connection she described is valid, and it’s important to stay true to your values when it comes to dating. Everyone has specific non-negotiable standards, and having a healthy relationship should be on everyone’s list,” Alderson says.
She believes that while there are some truths to some of the themes related to dating online, Alderson says they’re usually exaggerated, and it’s easy to internalise these messages.
“For example, if you are constantly seeing TikTok videos of people talking about the fact that their partner cheated on them, you might start to think that this is the norm when reality, it’s just a small number of people who are sharing their story on social media,” Alderson says.
How can we remain hopeful when waiting to find the right partner?
It’s so easy to get discouraged when you’re single but Alderson says the key to finding the right partner is having the right mindset. Without it, you could end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy
She believes “the idea of embracing uncertainty can be liberating if you look at it in the right way. When you come to terms with that reality, it can free up a lot of energy for you to invest in things that are within your control, such as going on dates or becoming the type of person who is ready for a lasting relationship.”
As cliché as it sounds, being the best version of yourself can help you find your future partner.
“Taking the time to work on yourself and investing in personal growth is a win-win situation. Not only will it help you become a healthier and happier person, but it also makes you more attractive to potential partners,” Alderson says.
Chanelle should also avoid comparing her journey with others around her.
“Everyone’s path to finding a partner is unique, and comparing yourself to others can lead to unnecessary pressure and stress. In the long run, it’s better to wait for the right partner than to settle for someone who you know isn’t a great match,” says Alderson.
What practical tips would you give this reader?
Alderson says “Chanelle’s desire for a healthy and authentic relationship is valid, and it’s something worth prioritising. Here are some practical steps she can take to find the right partner.”
Focus on becoming the best version of yourself
Love Stuck is for those who’ve hit a romantic wall, whether you’re single or have been coupled up for decades. With the help of trained sex and relationship therapists, HuffPost UK will help answer your dilemmas. Submit a question here.