I saw some unsolicited advice on a friend’s Facebook post that was all-too-familiar: You’re looking too hard for love.
See also: It’ll come when you least expect it, a watched pot never boils, everything happens when it’s meant to, and a million other clichéd platitudes. I would like to respond to all of those with a big, tall glass of shut the fuck up.
This is not to say that I was heart-breakingly lonely over the years, crying in my wine every Friday or Saturday night spent alone, wondering when my prince would come along and save me from a lifetime of solitude.
What it does mean is that a single person can simultaneously be happy and want to find someone; the two concepts are not mutually exclusive.
Occasionally, during my adventures in the Toronto dating scene, people would ask if perhaps I should take a break. Sometimes some of them were right; well-meaning friends who knew when I wasn’t in a good place (be it due to a not-yet-healed heartache or just overall fuckboy fatigue). Others, however, were just concern-trolls who didn’t know what they were talking about.
If we were to apply this train of thought to anything other than dating, it would sound ludicrous. ‘Oh, you don’t have a job? Don’t worry sweetie, it’ll happen when it’s meant to. Stop trying too hard, don’t apply for jobs. Let them come to you. You don’t want to seem desperate.’ Another friend who met her now-husband online told me she realized she put a fuckton of effort into her career (I’m paraphrasing), so why wouldn’t she do the same for her love life?
I’m not advocating hanging a sign that says ‘Single and Ready to Mingle’ around your neck or asking every person you know to set you up with their single friends – or worse, I once read that single women should give headshots to their friends to help with said introductions. Don’t do that. That would be fucking weird. But this idea that relationships are just going to fall into our laps is outdated and kind of stupid.
I think there’s a happy place between oozing desperation and completely ignoring the dating world. I also think most single people are well aware of this, and don’t need unsolicited advice. If you really want to help, just shut your hole and bring booze.