We all know people who can’t seem to get into a successful relationship, no matter how hard they try. Maybe you’re one of those people. It seems that very often, those who desperately want to be in love never meet someone with the same relationship goals.
We hear a lot of “Most men these days don’t want to be in relationships,” or “Women my age aren’t interested in settling down.” While these people do exist, especially in their early twenties, there are a lot of relationship-minded people out there. In fact, a recent study by Match.com shows that men and women seem about equally interested in commitment. Problems arise when those with long-term relationship goals try to connect with those who aren’t interested.
If you’re one of those people who can never seem to get together with someone who wants a relationship as much as you do, it might be time to change your approach.
First, you must determine what your specific relationship goals are.
If it’s very important, then you have to focus on meeting and dating those who have the same relationship goals. Instead, we see far too many people focus on an individual they’ve fallen for and spend huge amounts of time trying to get them into a relationship, even if they’ve shown little or no interest.
This probably comes about because so many people are focused on dating the top 10-20 percent of the singles market. We’ve heard stories about guys who bent over backwards to be with the most beautiful girl they’ve ever met only to have her dump him when someone more interesting came along. And we’ve heard all about the women who pin all of their hopes on a man who has clearly stated that he is not interested in a relationship.
So, if you find yourself in this position, time and time again, what should you do?
You can start by clarifying exactly what your relationship goals are.
Are you interested in marriage and/or having children?
Do you want to date casually for a few years, then settle down once you’ve reached a certain age, or a certain career milestone?
If your answer is that you are looking for something serious and you have a deadline, you need to stop wasting your time on the wrong people.
Oh sure, we often pine for the ones that everyone else wants, but even if we can shoehorn them into a commitment we stay on pins and needles, worried that someone else will steal them away. Very often, we don’t even get a commitment, but pretend that the occasional text or booty call constitutes a relationship.
A now infamous New York Times article about the college dating scene in which women greatly outnumber men, quoted a student who
grumbled that the population of male undergraduates was even smaller when you looked at it as a dating pool. “Out of that 40 percent, there are maybe 20 percent that we would consider, and out of those 20, 10 have girlfriends, so all the girls are fighting over that other 10 percent,”
While you might argue that this is unique to the college scene, it really isn’t. Online dating seems very similar, with about 30 percent of female profiles receiving 2/3 of the messages, according to OKCupid. Even though the discrepancy isn’t as large for males, the best-looking men still receive twice as many messages as their average-looking counterparts.
If you are serious about meeting someone for the long-term, you might have to start dating different people.
And, since most of us are by definition average, considering other average people might be a good bet. Even if you are above average in looks, you still might find that less flashy types make better relationship material.
In addition, if you are looking for a relationship, don’t waste time on someone who isn’t, no matter how attractive they are. If they tell you they just want to be friends, or aren’t looking for anything serious, believe them.
If someone professes to want a relationship, but at some point starts to lose interest and seems to be backing out, let them go and move on. Sure, it hurts when you’ve already developed feelings, but just think of how much worse you’ll feel if you devote years of your life to someone who isn’t nearly as devoted in return, and never gives you what you want.
Try to get away from the idea that you’ll change their mind. This usually only happens in romantic comedies. You simply cannot make someone love you. If you are interested in a long-term commitment, find someone who wants that very same thing, and wants it with you. It might take some time. You might spend more time as a single and go on more dates than you’d like. But at least you can be sure that in doing so, you are leaving yourself open to finding what you want, rather than wasting time with someone who will never give it to you.