Hey, what do you have against cats? Seriously. Maybe you should get one. I’ve been a cat owner since I was 22 and I’ve had three Facebook-worthy boyfriends and one husband since then. Just sayin’. I’m actually not kidding about getting a cat — or some sort of pet. A dog would be great, because it would increase your chances of meeting someone what with all the dog parkin’, and neighborhood walks and doggie parties dog people are always having. But the real benefit or being a pet owner is that it helps you cultivate love in your life.
Love sort of feeds on itself. When you get a little bit, it tends to grow and grow until you feel abundant in love. Do you think that’s just a coincidence? It’s not. Love makes people lovely, and lovely people attract more love. And maybe you can’t just go out and get a boyfriend, but you can go out and get a pet and trust me here, pets can bring as much — and often, much, much more — love to your life than some dude can. So, go to the humane society and get a cat or a dog or some other fuzzy, lovely animal and watch your heart grow.
If you can’t get a pet right now or you don’t believe a four-legged friend is going to solve your relationship problems, I have some other suggestions for you. The first one is to relax. You’re 31, not 81. You still have plenty of time to find a meaningful, long-term relationship. My second suggestion, and this goes along with the idea of getting a pet and cultivating more love in your life: start being the kind of person you want to attract. You describe yourself as educated, employed, decent looking, and free from having a mental illness (or a cat). Is that the best you can do? Really? Because if I were single and someone said he had a friend for me to meet who was “employed and didn’t have a mental illness,” I’d say, “Eh, no thanks” and I doubt I’m alone, which means you either need help selling yourself, or you need to become more interesting and appealing.
How do you become more interesting and appealing? Take some classes (improv, photography, and music classes are some good examples of classes that will broaden your horizon, change your perspective and attract new people to your life), travel, be a good friend, read a lot, see art, go to good movies, be kind to your family, be kind to strangers, volunteer … do things to better the world, or at least better other people’s lives. That way, when people describe you to their friends — friends who may very well be single, awesome and looking for someone special — you’ll sound like a catch. Because, seriously, “She doesn’t have a cat,” doesn’t sell you. Neither does, “She has a job.” That’s something you say about someone who … well, who kind of sucks in almost every other way.
Don’t be someone who sucks. Be awesome. Be so awesome that you actually start believing your own awesomeness and quit settling for these long-term casual relationships with guys who don’t mean that much to you simply because you don’t think you deserve — or can attract — better. BE BETTER. Be better at being you so you can attract the kind of person you want. It really is that simple. If you’re so concerned with dating your equal, be better so you’ll date better, because the problem here is not that you’re “unlovable.” The problem is you selling yourself short and settling for less that what you really want because you’re afraid of pursuing more and getting rejected and hurt. And until you pursue what you really want, you’re going to continue having a string of casual, meaningless relationships at best.
So, work on yourself. Work on yourself and mingle. Go places where you’ll meet a lot of people. Join groups, take classes, and get a dog. Make yourself interesting and available. Put the word out with your friends that you’re looking for someone special. Peruse online dating sites. Make an effort. Quit dating people who don’t excite you. Be a nice person. Don’t rule out potential boyfriends for stupid, superficial reasons. Send out good energy into the world. Do all these things, and it will happen.
And if it doesn’t? Well, there’s nothing wrong with being a crazy cat lady.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.