Love Not Guaranteed

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How many pieces of dating advice have you read or heard that implicitly say “If you do X, you’ll meet someone”? How much of what you read or hear guarantees that if you follow their advice, or their best practices in dating, you’ll get the results you want. I know that there have been times I’ve done it, whether in writing or verbally, and I know a lot of my peers do it too. I understand why people tend to guarantee things, especially when it comes to relationship. When what you’re trying to give people is hope and help, we tend to over emphasize the best possible outcome. Whether it’s optimism, fatalism, or just a belief that if you do good things good things will happen to you, people tend to make guarantees about dating or relationship advice. Here’s what I believe about guarantees in dating:

Love is not guaranteed. 

There are no guarantees when it comes to dating and there definitely aren’t any guarantees when it comes to dating advice despite what some of us may say. I know that might sound simple to you, but I promise you that there is something about your dating life, right now, that you think is guaranteed, that is almost certainly not guaranteed. “If I become more attractive I’ll meet someone” or “If I conduct myself in a respectful way, I will be treated with respect”, you get the idea. Many of us, myself included, tend to think of dating in terms of guarantees, whether we realize it or not. We think we’re guaranteed a certain amount of love, sex, or commitment  if we just do X, whatever X may be. But we’re not. We’re not guaranteed a thing in dating, good or ill.

You might think this is weird for me to say because I write an advice blog, and I give advice on a daily basis. Yet here I am telling you that in no uncertain terms, I will not be able to guarantee that my advice, or even my beliefs are always going to be right. In fact, I’ll extend it further. There are no foolproof solutions to any of your dating problems. Period. Sure, there are some pieces of advice, or steps you can take, that will work 99.99999% of the time, but even they aren’t guaranteed. No agony aunt in the world will ever be 100% right. No matchmaker can ever guarantee that they can match you with someone, or that they can guarantee they’ll introduce you to your future spouse , or that you’ll stay married forever. No dating app can guarantee that the person you meet is who they say they are. Life just doesn’t work that way.

There’s a reason I close every post with “Good Luck Out There” and it has very little to do with branding. Yeah it’s great to have a catchphrase and all, but I really do think that there is a certain amount of chance that plays a role into your dating and relationship success. There’s also a few other factors, outside of whatever your dealbreakers might be, like availability of viable dating options. Let’s say you’re a catch, like full-on undeniably a catch to the point where most people would say “Oh this person will have no problem meeting someone”. Sure it’d be a bit easier to meet someone in New York City, but if you live and work at McMurdo Station, there’s no guarantee you’ll meet a single viable romantic option while you’re there. A little less extreme, if you earn a million dollars a year and want to meet someone who makes as much or more money than you, it might be a tad bit difficult to do, regardless of whether or not you’re a catch. Only want to date people who share your religion, but live in a place where hardly any viable romantic candidates share your religion? No guarantees for you either. The same way that there are countless ways in which you can be a viable romantic option, there are countless ways in which the things that should guarantee your dating success simply wont.

I say all this to temper people’s perspective on finding love. A lot of folks who stand to make a certain amount of money by guaranteeing results, benefit from having their potential clients feel as though a romantic guarantee can and will be fulfilled. There’s also the folks who truly believe in fate, and soul mates, and while they’re allowed to hold those beliefs, I simply do not agree. I don’t think that a soul mate is just going to magically pop up in your life and solve your dating problems. I also don’t think that  if you did everything right in dating, that automatically guarantees dating success. There’s a certain amount of luck, opportunity, seizing those opportunities at the right time, following best practices, AND a resistance to dating fatigue that goes into success in love. Even then, even if you get all those things right, sometimes things still just do not work.

Love isn’t guaranteed. It takes work, and luck, and being in the right place at the right time with the right person. Even then, your “happy ending” all depends on when you end the story. How Stella Got Her Grove Back is a movie with a happy ending, but the true story that inspired it did not result in a happy ending. Sometimes a window is closed and a door doesn’t open. I don’t want this to be a full on doom and gloom post though because even I’m not that much of a sadist.

The same way that all the best practices in the world wont guarantee dating success, whatever your dating fears or insecurities are wont guarantee dating failure either. Not traditionally attractive? No guarantee that you’ll fail at dating. Think everyone in your dating market is out of your league? No guarantee that will stop you from finding love. When I say that love is not guaranteed, bear in mind that the absence of love is not guaranteed either. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes the best laid plans just don’t work out. But sometimes they do.

Good Luck Out There.eriously, I really do wish you the best of luck out there. Dating is tough.

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