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.



Finding Love & Marriage in Your 30s & 40s

An introduction to my story of finding love and marriage. In your 30s or 40s? Stick with me for no-nonsense advice.

The content of this blog is for all women in their 30s and 40s who want to find a partner, a mate, a confidant, a friend—that one man who will be your loving husband. You are here because you know marriage is something you want for yourself.  What you have done so far hasn’t yet worked, but you’re open to advice and taking guided steps to get to where you want to be.  I’m here to share what I learned after two decades of dating so that you might avoid common pitfalls and attain your dream of marriage sooner.  

My Story

I found myself in the dating world for many years longer than I ever imagined. I assumed that I’d meet the love of my life by my late twenties and start having children no later than age 30 or 31. There wasn’t a map for how this would happen. I figured finding Mr. Right and getting married would fall into place as easily as it seemed to for so many others. Finding love and marriage seemed like it would happen in a timely manner, as if it were the natural course of life.

But it didn’t work out that way for me. Not by a long shot.

I had spent my college years with a boyfriend who wowed me with his great sense of humor and intellect. Looking back, our relationship was emotionally volatile and immature. It never had a chance. Of course I spent the whole four years of college with him, closing myself off from a wider range of experiences. I can chalk that one up to being very young in the world. I don’t blame myself for being struck by the intensity of a first love. Still, I wonder what more I could have made from my college days if I’d had a more mature vision.

I didn’t have another serious relationship until my late twenties. He was a talented musician, also with a warm sense of humor. But important pieces were missing. And he had his own demons to address. I knew for the duration that I probably wouldn’t marry him, yet his personality and our love kept my heart tied to him for three and a half years. I bound myself to something that wasn’t workable for either of us. I had spent ages 25 to 29 with him. These were arguably the most prime years of my life for finding a husband. Prime years that could have been spent more wisely. I don’t say that with any disrespect to this boyfriend. I say it with the benefit of hindsight. I should have moved on sooner for both our sakes’. He certainly found someone quick enough after our break up while I mourned over the relationship the better part of two years.

And then came my thirties, my most anxiety-driven, frustrating thirties—at least where dating was concerned. The whole playing field suddenly turned more serious and ominous. Because I wanted children, dating became high stakes overnight. Even if I dated someone “just for fun,” (because it was obvious he didn’t have the same expectations as I did) I knew I was wasting precious time. Time that needed to be focused on finding the right man. While I did some amazing things in my thirties and met some great single friends along the way, the exasperated undertone of finding love was always gnawing in my mind. There wasn’t a way to relax from the fear that life might not turn out how I expected.

I dated and I dated and I dated. I got hurt many times. And I probably hurt people who didn’t deserve to be hurt. I went through times of playing it cool and times of just being me. I looked for love as naturally as I could. I stopped looking for love at times because “they say” you find it when you aren’t looking. Nothing seemed to be leading me to him. I made mistakes. Unlike the cliché that says “I wouldn’t have done anything different,” I definitely would have! My journey was long and it was exhausting. There were many good times and there were many tears.

Finally, I found my Mr. Right at age 39. In the first few weeks of knowing him, I almost let him get away. Briefly, I was wishy washy about getting involved with him. I did my usual overthinking about whether he was a match for me. My better senses made me take stock that I had before me an attractive, intelligent man who called me, texted me, showed up on time, did what he said he would do, and made me laugh every day. And most importantly, I could totally be myself with him. I can remember the exact spot on the road I was driving when it suddenly hit me that he’d become the first person I wanted to call every day when I got off work. Love developed in a few short months. We married after a year of dating. And after years of fearing my biological clock would run out, I am fortunate to have two beautiful children as a result of my commitment to him.

I learned a lot from my decade of mistakes and my efforts to make good dating choices. Enough years have passed to allow me to form a mature perspective about all of it. I’ve started this blog to help women who are currently on their journey to find love and marriage. The thirties and forties can be emotionally tender times for finding your Mr. Right.

You can’t have blinders over your eyes when you’re on this path. You need a no-nonsense approach and you need to be committed to upholding what you value in life. When is the last time you thought about your values? When you are searching for a lifelong partner, common values are critical to the success of your marriage. If you make choices to feel good for the moment or to have fun for the short-term, you are short-changing yourself. And more significantly, you are wasting time. Some of what you read in this blog will apply to you and some might not. There is no “one size fits all” with dating guidelines. Take what applies to you and be consistent and dedicated in your approach. You will find him.

Stay with me for more content on finding love and marriage in your 30s and 40s.