Abandoned pursuit

Those of us with hermetically-sealed dance cards are pretty much sick and tired of this sort of thing:

Once you’ve been single for a few months years, you start to hear the phrase “when you stop looking for it, it will come” a hundred different times in a hundred different variations. It. gets. old. And besides that, it’s not even realistic. Why, when we’re told to work for everything else in life, do we have this prevailing view as a society that the universe is going to reward our apathy regarding relationships with just that: a relationship? It’s totally ridiculous, and I’m with Katie that it’s awful advice.

No way can I argue with Katie:

[S]ingle people are constantly encouraged to stop being single — whether it’s a friend setting you up, a relative you only see a couple times a year always making sure to ask if you’re seeing anyone, or the sad, simple fact that the most liked comments on Facebook are always about relationship statuses.

But I mean, yeah, I’ll devote myself solely to everything else in my life and stop thinking about romance just so that moment I “least expect” will come and I’ll find my true love.

Seems legit. And, of course, that’s the problem with it.


  1. fillyjonk »

    5 October 2014 · 5:19 pm

    Oh man, the “when you stop looking” advice. I fricking HATE that advice.

    (I wonder: does anyone tell the unemployed: “If you just stop looking for a job, the Universe will send the perfect job your way”?)

    And yeah, the “being told to stop being single.” I’ll stop being single when being coupled seems like a preferable state. But too many of the people around me seem to have really ugly couple-drama, and I am generally pretty happy as I am. It would take a pretty special guy to make me change my mind about that.

  2. McGehee »

    5 October 2014 · 5:42 pm

    It may be that “when you stop looking” has, for some people, coincided with taking a more relaxed attitude toward what they’ve been looking for. After all, 400,000 romantic comedies can’t be wrong!

    I do know that the most successful use of Mensa’s Singles group I ever saw involved a marketing-free approach that especially eschewed such selling points as “I’m honest.” To be fair, I didn’t see very many successful uses because my use of this approach succeeded so soon after I joined.

  3. backwoods conservative »

    5 October 2014 · 6:00 pm

    For me, that advice is like being told to stop looking at food when I’m hungry. I’ve never stopped looking; I’ve just stopped believing it’ll ever happen.

  4. Roger Green »

    6 October 2014 · 3:15 am

    I loathed being single, as much because of the unsolicited advice as anything.

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