It’s been said that during the height of Sex in the City mania you couldn’t go anywhere in New York without overhearing someone talking about the show. Even now, ten years after its final episode has aired my friends and I watch re-runs and debate over who is more of a Carrie or Miranda. The effects of the Sex in the City era are far from over. In my estimation the show did two things for the world of dating: proclaimed to people everywhere that women didn’t necessarily need a man to be happy, and that being single until your thirties was a very real possibility.
I think the latter has had a bigger effect on the female psyche than the former. Although we loved the characters of Sex in the City and revere them as probably the closest thing to feminist heroes as we are going to get, we don’t actually want to be them. Ask any one of your friends and I doubt they would say their dream is to be, or was to be, single into their late thirties.
This fact has sent us on the hunt for a suitable mate. At the risk of making the biggest blanket statement you’ll ever hear, we are a country obsessed with finding love. Turn on the television and our programming is centered around competing for love, documenting two people seemingly in love, finding love in mysterious places (i.e. the dark, the wild or “the real world”), and all the nitty gritty that comes before you find true love; enter the smush room.
Some would say, hey that’s not such a bad thing; there’s nothing wrong with wanting to find someone to share your life with. And, you’re right, there isn’t. But sometimes I wonder if perhaps we are a little too desperate for love? The fear that a year long dry spell brings can send a woman settling faster than you can say, “He’s kinda cute, right?”
Dr. Karen Anderson, associate professor of psychology, wrote a book called It Just Hasn’t Happened Yet, in which she suggests that if you haven’t found love you should just buckle down and wait for it. That isn’t the book in its entirety, but by and large it suggests that singles are not at fault for well, being single. It just hasn’t happened! While I have many concerns about this kind of thinking and would suggest everyone to take that advice with a grain of salt, I do agree with one point. Perhaps we all should just chill out a little bit.
I know personally I have acquaintances or people in my friend circle who seem overly eager to be in a relationship. I’m not going lie, most of the time these “people” are female. I see friends trying to make relationships with guys that I wonder if they would even find attractive had they not felt some sort of external/internal pressure. Heck, I’ve done this before too! I’m not so high up on my soapbox to say I haven’t pursued a man that I knew I didn’t have anything in common with just to have a date to social events.
The tricky thing with that kind of behavior is that you run the risk of getting attached or falling in love. Before you know it you could find yourself head over heels with someone who you weren’t even that crazy about in the beginning. Are we really so desperate for love that we are willing to participate in relationships with people that don’t suite us?
I know how hard it can be to see friends get boyfriends/girlfriends and stay single. But that is no reason to rush into a relationship or put pressure on someone you are casually dating. If it is meant to happen, it should happen organically. Imagine marrying someone you had to convince to propose to you? A lifetime of “she talked me into it” as the “how did it happen story”? Yuck!
Let’s stop being so afraid of our singleness and start embracing the time we have alone to figure out what it is that makes us happy. What are you looking for in a mate? What are your turn offs/turn ons. These are the things that the luxury of time will allow you to figure out so that “the one” comes along you will be the best version of yourself, or hey at least more toned.