I’ve known Maria, 35, for about 5 years. She and I moved to NYC around the same time. Occasionally we’d see each other at parties and catch up. She knew me before I got engaged. Next time she saw me I was married and had a six-month baby. About a year later we talked again – this time it was during a free intro coaching session that I offer to my prospective clients.
Maria told me she wanted to be married by the end of 2014 to a smart, successful, mature and down-to-earth man who would consider having kids and family. She explained that being in a relationship and having a partner to share things with would make her happier, more motivated and fulfilled.
When I asked her what gets in her way of meeting the right man, she provided a long list of challenges – from not knowing where to meet quality men, to her personal traits that “screw things up.” She shared some of the recurring negative and disappointing experiences from a string of her short-lived relationships. The last one was so bad that she took a break from dating for almost a year.
“So, what will you do to get what you want?” I asked her. She answered: “I’ll wait and see what happens. I know that I’ll meet the right guy someday.” I challenged her why she was so certain that “someday” will ever come. Besides, if it was supposed to happen, why hadn’t it already happened in the last 15 years of dating up until now? She jokingly said, “Good point. If don’t meet him in the next couple of years, then I’ll come to you for coaching. I’m not that desperate yet. ”
Her response was what I call the “someday syndrome”. You know, when women say “Someday I’ll meet the man of my dreams”. “Someday My Prince Charming will show up and we’ll marry and live happily ever after.”
Oh, the “Someday Syndrome”…it gets women trapped in a “single” status for years without them being aware about that. Some 30-something women who come to coaching with me have been single for as long as 9 years. It wouldn’t matter if they were content with being single but these women dream about marriage, a husband and children.
While we all have dreams, there’s a huge difference between dreaming of “someday” and actual day-after-day life that easily turns into month-after-month and year-after-year without ever reaching that “someday”.
The “someday syndrome” can interfere and consume us – and it can happen to the best of people. In fact, that’s not your fault! You’ve been a victim of beliefs that were told to you over and over again from the early age. Remember how you were told as a little girl that someday Prince Charming on a white horse will show up and sweep you off your feet? How he’ll resolve all your problems (and missing out on life) with a kiss and you don’t even have to move a finger?
So, you’re a smart and grown up woman who has a choice about what you believe in and what you do with your life. Now, it’s totally up to you. You can leave one of the most important parts of your life—LOVE— to a chance or luck that may or may not happen. Or, you can set the intention to have it and take consistent actions to go after what you want until it becomes your reality.
Another extreme of the “someday syndrome” is perfectionism which is the opposite side of procrastination. You know, after you get your MBA, move to another city, get a promotion, lose 10 pounds and get a new wardrobe…then you’ll be “ready for love.” However, have you noticed that there’s always something else that gets in your way? What happens next is that most likely you find yourself with more impressive credentials, bank account and a closet, but still single.
The biggest problem with the “someday syndrome” is that it “steals” the most important asset we have – our time. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to find love. I didn’t say it’s impossible but it’s definitely harder because of some basic statistics and facts. The availability of quality men who are looking to settle down in their mid- to late-thirties greatly decreases. At the same time there’s a lot more competition among 30-something women for the same shrinking pool of quality men. When men get older, they have more options to choose from. So, an established 40-year old man who’s ready to start a family will most likely choose a 30-year old woman over a 37-year old one simply because she’s younger, prettier (assumption but that’s how man think about women’s age) and she doesn’t have the pressure of her biological clock.
The intention of this article is to act as a WAKE UP call for you to do something differently to get different results in your love life and beyond. The reality is that doing the same things that haven’t been working in the past or not taking action at all and passively waiting for something to happen won’t get you the results you want.
Now that you have a choice, it’s time to turn it all around. Challenging your own beliefs, getting real, getting out of your comfort zone, taking consistent action and getting help are keys to getting out of an invisible trap.
Easier said than done, right?
Challenge Your Own Beliefs
Your mindset is what defines the kind of results you get in life. For example, if you belief that Mr. Right will knock on your door someday even though he hasn’t all these years, then the result may be that you’ll be still single at the age of 38 or even 48. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want. But if you want to have a partner to share your life with and have someone waiting for you at home every night, then it’s time to challenge your beliefs.
If you go out on dates thinking “It’s going to be a waste of my time”, then it’s exactly how those dates will go for you, because that’s the intention that you set for yourself. And it doesn’t even matter how great a man sitting in front of you is. You’ll see what you expect and “programmed” yourself to see.
Why does it happen like that? Because no one wants to be wrong, even the most open-minded and spiritual of us – the ego gets in the way. So, you prove to yourself that you are right. And to your single girlfriends who complain about their bad dates too. But the cost of it is that you still don’t have the very thing you say you want.
Another thing to uncover is your personal blind spots. Those things that you may not even be aware of that sabotage your success with men, dating and relationships. You know, how in tennis you need someone to watch your serving technique so that you can adjust it and instantly improve your game? That’s the same thing with your mindset. No matter how many times you serve in tennis or go out on dates, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, your game won’t improve.
With yourself and others.
What I mean here is that you don’t have to change who you are to find love. Getting real is about reconnecting with yourself on a deeper level and becoming very clear about what really matters to you. Is it about creating a life when you are coming home to someone who waits for you and makes you laugh after a hard day at work? You may be so strong and independent that you made yourself believe you are fine with just being single and with the way things are in your life. But, if deep down, you feel lonely and not as happy and fulfilled as you would be if you had someone special in your life, then be honest with yourself. It’s when you are authentic and vulnerable that you open up to possibilities to create the future you dream about.
Getting real is also about others. You don’t have to pretend and try to be someone you are not. In fact, even though men you date may not be aware of it, they’ll feel it on a subconscious level if you aren’t being yourself. This may partially explain why he doesn’t call you back and ask you out on a second date.
This comes down to learning to love and accept yourself as you are:
- Stop beating yourself up.
- Stop trying to be someone you are not.
- Stop trying to be someone you think your date wants you to be.
- Stop comparing yourself to “her” or to “them”.
Take Consistent Actions
There’s no point in reading this article or buying relationship books if you take no action in your own life. All it takes is the first step, no matter how seemingly small it may be. The point here is not to overwhelm yourself but to do something that will create quick and empowering wins for you. The point is in doing something that will inspire you to take consistent steps moving towards finding love.
- You may decide to sign up for an online dating website so that you can meet more men outside of your work-gym-home life.
- You may decide to work with a dating/relationship expert and coach to uncover and resolve your personal blind spots.
- You may get rid of your mental list for Mr. Perfect since no man has ever matched it and some of its points contradict each other.
- You may join a meetup group or community where you’ll meet guys who share your interestand/or have common values.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Here’s the deal: to get out of your comfort zone, you have to be confident, self-assured and willing to take risks. Stepping into the unknown can be really uncomfortable and scary. But, it’s a proven-to-work way to get something different from what you know and have already.
Imagine that you want to tone your body and lose some weight. It’s not going to happen by sitting on a comfortable couch and browsing pages of the “Shape” magazine. You have to get off the couch, get to the gym, sweat and do those uncomfortable pushups and abs crunches till you get the results you want.
But, of course, we often don’t follow Nike’s brilliant advice “Just Do It.” For instance, have you ever stayed in a 4-year relationship that was about 3,5 years too long? You knew something was missing and broken but you didn’t want to rock that comfortable old boat. You were stuck but you kept telling yourself that “someday” it would change until it got so low that there was nowhere to go but up.
Judith Sills in her book “The Comfort Trap, or What You’re Riding a Dead Horse?” explains how we can be terribly unhappy but yet comfortable with our certainty. So, we don’t do anything about our unhappiness and lack of what we really want. Happiness is a risk, but the current situation, no matter how painful, is safe and predictable.
Watch out for your comfort zone turning into an invisible trap that’s much harder to escape. Challenge yourself. Watch out for your comfort zone turning into an invisible trap that’s much harder to escape. Challenge yourself. Do something that may make you feel uncomfortable like go out for dinner or on a weekend ski trip yourself. You never know who may sit next to you at a sushi bar or in a gondola. Keep your phone locked in your purse so that you can be totally present to what’s happening around you.
Make a choice between comfortable but unhappy and unfulfilled or uncomfortable but blissful and meaningful. Personally, I constantly choose the latter and life keeps unwrapping its gifts right in front of me. The same is true for my clients who seek a clear, inspiring and result-focused way out of their traps. They get rewarded for their courage and love is the prize!
You may think that you can do it all on your own. Yes, you can. In fact, you’ve been doing it all this time. The only thing is that if the results you have been getting aren’t the same as the results you truly want, it tells me there is a piece missing in that puzzle.
Yes, you have friends and family who love you dearly and might be telling you what you want to hear like “Someday you’ll meet a great guy.” The only problem is hearing what you want and not what you need to hear is precisely what keeps you stuck in an invisible trap.
And, if you are not as lucky, they maybe asking a really stupid question like “Why are you still single?” as if there is something wrong with you. I assure you that there’s nothing wrong with you – the problem is in a trap.
So, if we were working together, it would be my top goal to get you out of that trap once and for all. The focus would be on you going the intentional and life-changing process until you get the results you want. Right, it wouldn’t be about listening to your complaints about “no good men out there” and feeding you an empty promise of “someday.” That’s not my job.
The bottom line here is that there’s no freaking someday. There’s only now. And what you decide to do now is what determines your future. So, my message to you is don’t waste the best years of your life. Identify one thing you can do to move you closer to finding love and do it right now. Invest in yourself. Make time and create space for love to come in. Open up to uncertainty and risks. And, of course, celebrate your life as you see it transform.
If you enjoyed this article and want to get into action, I’m inviting you to a special 1-on-1 coaching session “Find Your Soulmate Now” at zero cost. During this session, we’ll work together to:
-> Create a crystal clear vision of the kind of man you’d like to attract and the kind of relationship you’d like to have.
-> Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success with men, dating and relationships.
-> Ensure that you leave the session renewed, reenergized and inspired to find and keep a great man once and for all.
To apply now, simply email to [email protected] and answer these questions:
1. How long have you been single?
2. On a scale of 0 to 10, how important is it for you to get into a relationship right now? (If below 8, this session might not be right for you)
3. What do you see as your biggest relationship challenges?
4. What would you most like help with when it comes to men and dating?
5. What’s your age and occupation?
Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address so that Ksenia, my Client Management Administrator, can get back to you within the next 48 hours to schedule your 1-on-1 coaching session “Find Love in 2014.”
P.S. I can’t wait to hear how great things are for you once you’ve got that great man in your life!
About the author:
Polina Solda is a Dating/Relationship Expert and Certified Professional Coach. Her mission is to help thousands of women who are committed and ready to find love. Polina is the founder of Find Love and Keep It (http://www.findloveandkeepit.com/ – the site is currently in the process of rebranding and will go live soon.)