“One day someone will walk into your life and make you see why it never worked with anyone else.”
I am not sure what I thought would happen after I completed egg freezing, but I was almost certain that the experience of dating would change for me. I’m not particularly good at dating…well to be fair, that is because I do not really date and have this bad habit of sleep with my Mac Book and iPhone every night. I have been known to jump into relationships from time to time, unsuccessfully I should add. So it is not a lack of trying to find Mr. Swipe Right. It might have something to do with the fact that I don’t feel like I click with people often. When the “spark” does occasionally happen, a knee-jerk reaction takes over me and I tend to jump all in before I realize what that means or who that person really is.
Over the years, dating feels like a waste of time and energy. It is rare for me to make the effort to pursue a romantic relationship. I blame it partly on my passion for work projects that seem more fulfilling than any dating relationship has done for me. Or maybe it is the responsibility of caring for my dog that overpowers my desire for human connection. Or perhaps it is hearing about all the failures of my friends’ relationships that discourages me. I’ve always struggled with striking a balance between meeting someone’s needs and finding time to complete my own life’s work. In the past, dating has left me heartbroken and misled. You would think I would have learned by now. Been there and done that mentality so no need to have to repeat it, but the hopeless romantic in me says keep going.
I’m a skeptic that marriage is the end-all, be-all solution, but I hope I’m wrong about this someday. I wonder how you make love last these days. Dating is kind of like searching for a new job only worse. It is never fun and most of the time you don’t know what is possible until it happens or doesn’t happen. Then when you finally do get to an offer letter (ie: marriage proposal), negotiating the terms can be just as tricky. Do you have kids, how long do you wait, how many do you have, how will you raise them? The real problem is how dating has changed. We live in a sea of cell phones with apps that steal our attention spans, encourage narcissism, and drain our personalities.
What I recently realized is how good at being single I am. One example of this is my extensive travel. Traveling solo teaches you a lot about yourself. I am very set in my ways. I have a system, rhythm, and calculated methods for how I do things. Luckily this has taught me to talk to strangers. I find it rather exciting. You never know where the conversation will lead. Some of my best friends that I have today are due to the fact, that I wasn’t afraid to start a conversation. Traveling a lot makes it hard to be in a relationship. However, traveling is also the reason how I end up dating someone long-distance which is even harder than dating itself.
I feel like the best relationship should complement both people involved. Dating any time in this day in age is a struggle. With more options than ever, it seems no one can make a choice. No one knows what they want or who they are looking for. Romantic love — at least how we perceive it these days — is doomed. “Just change your mind about dating,” people would say and tell me. “Go on more dates” or “you should use (fill in the blank) app for getting dates.” It is not the problem of getting dates. The problem is finding a like-minded partner who wanted the same things as I did in life and happens to be in the same zip code, that is the real challenge.
Change your mind about your single self could change the results of your relationships. It is true that the relationship you have with yourself will show up in your relationships with others. Socially intelligent people understand that your relationship with everyone else is an extension of your relationship with yourself. To have social intelligence not only gives your romantic relationships a better chance to survive, but room for the love of yourself to grow.
Individual change has an energetic energy and powerful pulse that we put into the world. Maya Angelou said it best, “When you know better, you do better.” While working on key aspects of understanding myself I had these brief yet substantial moments of subtle and powerful forms of self-sabotage. That literally can derail someone from their objectives before ever getting started.
I decided to focus on not being in a relationship for a while. To my surprise, it was actually improving my personality. I grew in areas of awareness, self-worth, and solidified my desires. I have stopped second-guessing my every move, thought, and decision. I have built an understanding of what I’m good at and what I need to work on. I feel more comfortable in my skin. When you are at that comfort level, the need to have your guard or defense mechanisms up slowly melts away.
Nothing is greater than connecting with another person. Allowing that space for a relationship to grow, blossom, and be strong in the most healthy way. When we find that real connection, spark, and chemistry the idea of possibilities are endless imagine a future together. I have given up my idea of who that person is, what they look like, and stereotypes associated with the person I envision myself being with. I have decided that love can come from anywhere, I just need to have an open mind, let a few guards down, and stay positive.
Instead, I focus on the things I valued and what I didn’t want to give up. Trust, empathy, passion top my list. I’m less worried about a fairytale romance and more concerned with finding someone who will simply make me happy, challenges my thinking, and make me the best version of myself. Dating after egg freezing changes the ball game. After you have frozen your eggs, you have the privilege to look at dating with a whole new fresh pair of eyes. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, see where a relationship can go, explore uncharted territories. You have the freedom, the luxury, the time to make decisions more carefully, calculated, and opinionated.
I am trying to enjoy myself and learn from the situation rather than figuring out how that person can fit into my life. Freezing my eggs has undoubtedly helped to dissipate that cloud of desperation. It’s not gone entirely, but with time and knowing my genetics are safely “on ice” has given me breathing space. Freezing eggs isn’t a magic ticket but feels like the best option I could choose right now.
I cringe when I hear the news media say that women are freezing their eggs because they want to advance their career. My career was advanced long before I decided to freeze my eggs. That is not actually why I choose to freeze. I choose to freeze my eggs because guess what, big surprise, Mr. Wonderful hasn’t decided to show up yet and time just keeps flying by faster and faster. I have to take control and be the one to do my family planning if I want a shot at motherhood. Hopefully, someday that lucky guy will appreciate my foresight and planning.
You’re the only one who gets to live your life. Dig deep in your heart and realize what you want. Have dating standards regardless what app trend is running the dating market. The best dating advice I’ve heard is to continue to focus on self-improvement. Work on yourself. Conquer your anxieties. Resolve your shame. Qualm the panic. Take care of yourself. Love yourself otherwise, no one else will. Chances are half the of happy people you know now that are in a relationship are probably going to be divorced and the other half of those people are just going to be miserable … so do you!
Remember no matter what happens next, if you marry the man of your dreams or that guy you are dating or if you end up breaking up, love does go on and almost every relationship will come to an end some way or another. When you know that you can enjoy the now and realize that we all can find love at any age. Generally speaking now is as good a time as any.