Why The Most Popular Piece of Advice About Love is Totally Wrong

Single people have to deal with a range of advice from a variety of sources. One of the most popular pieces of advice seems to come in one of the following forms:

You’ll meet someone when you’re least expecting it.

He’s out there. Just be patient.

You always meet that special person when you’re not looking.

Essentially what this  “advice” is saying is that you have no control over where or how you meet someone. All you have to do is sit back and wait for that special someone to track you down, as if your heart is microchipped. It doesn’t matter whether you go to the same places every weekend or whether you just binge watch Netflix on your couch. They’ll find you. It also implies that you don’t really have to focus on self-improvement, because your knight in shining armor is slowly making his way to you anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the basic principle behind this idea is a good one. Sometimes you have to stop playing puppet master and just let things work themselves out naturally. But at the same time, this doesn’t give you permission to kick back and wait. In fact, quite the opposite. While you can’t control fate, you can make sure that you’re doing everything possible to set yourself up to meet “your person” in a timely fashion.

When you’re single, it’s really easy to get into a routine that feels good and comfortable. You go to the same bars with the same people every weekend. You do the same classes at the gym and go to the same happy hour spots. When you do this, you’re making your circle really small. As a result, you may be closing yourself off to someone who could make you happy. Maybe the type of person you’re hoping to meet isn’t at XYZ Bar, the one you go to every weekend. However, they could be just down the street at ABC Bar. Perhaps they’re not at the bar at all. Instead they’re at the park in your neighborhood. You just have to break out of your rut to find them.

Being single is also the perfect time to work on self-improvement. Pick up a new hobby, throw yourself into your work, volunteer, or clean up your diet. Be selfish with your time and get introspective. Do the things that make you a happier, healthier, more interesting version of yourself. You want to elevate your life. When you really, truly feel good about who you are and what you bring to the table, other people will start buying what you’re selling.

You can’t control how things pan out for you, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to be an innocent bystander of your own life. Check out new weekend spots, try new activities, ask friends to introduce you to their friends, and most importantly focus on doing things that make you feel proud to be who you are.

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