I met a lady who said she had been on 15 dates through Match.com. I want to meet someone but don’t see myself going through date after date. Maybe I’m not desperate enough or don’t have her energy. I’m sure she will be married soon (like most people). I don’t see many happy couples. People seem dead inside. Most people my age (I’m 40) have been married. I’m not willing to settle but I’m lonely and don’t know why I haven’t met a guy. Is it better to repress my loneliness? Or drink to forget this stuff? We’re going to die anyway, right?
Do you want to live while you’re alive? Or be a zombie? That’s the question to ask the face you meet in the mirror. Living fully is the practice of embracing the meaning of life: to enjoy yourself, to learn to love and be loved, and to be of service to others. The secret is that these essential experiences are packaged according to a Divine plan, and not our will. So, for example, if you marry because you expect to be loved, it’s unlikely your spouse will meet that expectation. Instead, real love might arrive through a platonic friendship that breaks your heart open to a lesson in intimacy the universe prepared just for you.
Let’s slice your other worries into bite-sized morsels. Begin here: You don’t see yourself going through date after date? Honey, admit it—you’ve already had a series of dates. Some connections deepened and seemed to have potential, but ended. Or maybe after one man raised your heart rate, you daydreamed about future dates with him. That’s date after date.
Beneath your story of dating and loneliness is the real dilemma: an attempt to bend your life into a prefabricated framework. I mean, who cares if other people are dating or married or settling or desperate or more energetic? Why does it matter? Divest yourself of the fairy tale that says being in a committed relationship or being married will solve your sadness. Loneliness arises from within. It’s possible (and common) to be in a committed relationship and still be lonely. Your work is to fill your mind and heart with awareness of all of the ways you are not alone. There are birds, trees and stones to accompany you in this life. Sweet convos with strangers are lovely reminders of our place in the human family. There are countless opportunities to serve brothers and sisters in need through programs for immigrants, the homeless, migrants, foster children, etc. Roll up your sleeves and share your love.
One last thing: From a spiritual perspective, a relationship isn’t responsible for saving us from ourselves. A relationship is a life experience that directs us into self-examination and transformation. Spiritual development calls for willing surrender. So release your fixation on needing to be partnered. Let go of the fear that you will never be partnered. You’ll feel happier. Your mind will be free, and your heart and soul will open to all of life. Then the world—and everyone and everything in it—becomes your soul mate.