You’re Eager, NOT Desperate

This blog is for women in their 30s or 40s who want to find love and marriage. I’m here to provide encouragement because I spent twenty years of dating before getting married. I know a lot of the pitfalls to avoid and have some good advice for helping you figure out your best choices to meet your goal.

You are sooooo ready to be in a relationship. But you don’t want to be labelled as “desperate” and maybe you’re hanging low because you’re worried about appearing so. By now you know that men can sniff “desperation” ten feet away. I put desperation in quotes because you should never think of yourself as desperate. That happens to be a loosely-used term that people sometimes use to label women who admit they want a relationship. The truth is, desperation is something far from just being ready to be in a relationship. It’s taking extreme measures that go beyond what is reasonable or sensible to find love. Like throwing yourself at a guy who obviously is trying to nicely say no. Or calling a guy who rarely takes the initiative to call you first. That, in my opinion is desperate.

YOU, on the other hand, are anything but desperate! You want to find love and you happen to want to find it sooner rather than later. You are eager, not desperate.You put yourself out there. You’re willing to ask trusted friends or co-workers if they know anyone they could fix you up with. You’re willing to try dating sites and use honest profiles (as well as look for honesty in your prospects’ profiles). You’re willing to take the initiative to talk to someone new. You’re willing to get involved in outdoor activities that might be out of your comfort zone so that you can meet more people and have a life outside of work and the bar scene.

OK, so maybe you’re not there yet with regard to my suggestions. But these are the exact types of things you need to be doing to meet people. I’m not reducing dating to a numbers game, but you do have to try more than a few times and more than a few methods if that’s what it takes. It’s normal to feel eager for a relationship, especially if you’ve spent a long time without one.

Don’t fear the judgments of others when deciding to let others know you want a relationship. You might wonder, well, what should I say on a first date? That I AM looking for something serious? Honestly, I think you have to gauge that with the person you’re with. While a lot of “serious” talk can turn off men on a first date, there’s no reason you can’t feel out what HE is thinking. Or maybe he’ll be the one to ask questions to feel out what you’re thinking. Sometimes it just comes out naturally in conversation whether someone is ready for something serious. For example, if a man mentions his distaste for all the superficial women he’s been meeting online, that might be a clue that he’s looking for something deeper. And sometimes a man isn’t in the mode of thinking about a serious relationship, but a connection to someone special puts him in that mode as time goes by.

In your eagerness, remember to be yourself and don’t lose sight of what kind of person matches your personality. The last thing you want to do is jump into a relationship with someone who isn’t a good fit for you. That only ends up wasting your time. Eagerness should get you out there trying, and then a touch of patience will help you be discerning about who is ultimately a good fit for you.

NEXT: More thoughts on TIME and how long you should date someone before committing or moving on.