I spend much of my day talking, writing and thinking about dating. Meeting people who want to date, people who have been hurt but remain optimistic, talking to women still positive in the belief that there is a handsome Prince waiting for them round the corner. Now, make no mistake, I love nothing more than the idea of two people finding each other and living happily every after. However I have news for you, it may come as a shock, and likely not be what you want to hear, but there is no such thing as 'The One'.
The bad news is that you are unlikely to meet your soul mate, that person who fits so perfectly, emotionally, personally and physically that you finally feel complete and spend the rest of your life on a cloud of loved up fuzziness. Nope, not going to happen.
The good news is that although there is no such thing as 'The One' there is such a thing as hundreds, nay, thousands of people out there who could potentially make you happy. Or, to put another way, the chances of finding the perfect man are zero to none, the chances of finding a fella who's pretty good, can be a bit annoying at times, but is ace in the sack and finds Breaking Bad as brilliant as you do, are much higher.
This is not to suggest for one moment that I'd advice a person to settle. Hell no, just that if you want a happy ending, or to enrich your later life with more than three cats and a bottle of single malt whiskey every night while local adolescents spray 'the witch lives!' on your door - then you'd be well advised to learn from the following.
Life is not a fairytale.
The minute you understand this things will start to fall into place. Shit happens, dreams don't come true and people live with disappointment. Why so you ask? Expectation is the root of all heartache and the more you expect of another person the more likely it is you'll be disappointed. You're a 44-year-old woman looking for a guy your own age who doesn't have baggage? You're dreaming girlfriend! Expect to be disappointed. 'I know I'm a single mum of 4 but I've just always gone for the model types and would really like to meet a guy who's happy to move into my two bedroom flat within the month' Unlikely. This is not to say that finding your (fairly unrealistic) ideal is impossible, just that the more unobtainable your fairytale the less likely you are to get the end results you are looking for.
Open your mind and throw away the list.
All too often I meet women with a list of non negotiable rules they expect their ideal partner to comply to. Women in there mid-40s genuinely wanting a long term relationship who will not consider going out with a man who earns less than X amount, hasn't got dark hair, has a child from a previous relationship, isn't into gigs etc etc the list goes on.
Sure, carry a list around in your bag when your twenty- one, refuse a drink from a man because he's a little over weight or you don't like his glasses, it's ridiculous but, hey, at 21 so were you. The older you get the more you should open your mind, (which, I should add is absolutely not the same a settling) consider getting to know people who don't necessarily tick all the boxes, you might be surprised. Attraction can grow, but you're never going to know that by writing people off before you've given them a chance.
Learn to compromise.
When you do find a guy that you fancy, and, Lord knows, that's hard enough these days, understand this much, he isn't going to be perfect. No such thing. But instead of focusing on the fact that he's an inch smaller than you'd like or doesn't ski (yes, really, I hear this stuff all the time) focus on the positive. You have chemistry! He gets your dark sense of
humour, he votes Green! focus on what you do have in common, the positives, and except that, sure, him dropping towels bugs you a little, or you'd rather he didn't enjoy a crafty fag with a drink so much, but that you're not perfect either.
Accept that sometimes things don't last forever.
There are a million men out there who are right for you, maybe not perfect, (whatever that is) but right, and good, faithful, interesting, compatible and fun. Understanding that Prince Charming is a fairytale but there are a shit load of bloody decent men out there who'll make you happy despite not ticking all the boxes and you're halfway there. Relationships too, regardless of how compatible you seem don't always last forever. Things change as do people. And that loosing the guy you thought was 'The One' doesn't mean you'll be on your own for the rest of your life, hell no! it means that soon you'll meet another one and another, all as perfect for you at that point in your life as the previous.
There is no such thing as the one, but with an open mind, a positive attitude and a willingness to throw away the list you will find your happy ever after.