“I’m 35 and potentially doomed. My baggage is that I love too much too quickly and I love profoundly the wrong men. I see the signals and don’t read them. I don’t know what it is. I have talked my poor mother’s ear off about this. Thank god we can laugh about it! I don’t want to lose hope. But I’m scared that this is my path—that I will constantly love men who don’t love me in the right way. I’m looking for a new perspective, something to keep going so I can keep the faith that I will get married and have the kid that I want.” —Malory

Hi Malory,

Nooooo, you’re not dooooooomed! 🙂

Mostly because your sense of humor will, as you already know, be your savior. That and your self-awareness. Meaning that you know what your main issue has been in the past, and knowing this can help you focus on choosing better in the future. And let me say, your baggage or problem is not that you love too quickly. Love is great! Feelings are meant to be felt! What’s more important is the part where you say you see the signals of the profoundly wrong men and you ignore them.

As for the guy who just wants to be friends, ooh, girl, how many times did I hear that one from guys myself. I feel like it’s a curse for women who are out to accomplish things and kick ass in life—we seem more like business parters and buddies to people than romantic options right off the bat. But I’m not saying to accomplish less or act like someone who does! Instead, I would suggest you keep being exactly who you are, and then work on this one thing: Accepting a different future than you pictured.

I don’t know if you have my book or read it (the Meeting Your Half-Orange one), but it’s what I talk about on page 57: How I told my Mom that I had decided that I was ready to wait for the right relationship as long as it took. That, essentially, I’d rather wait 10 years for that love of my life and have children another way (get pregnant on my own or adopt), than to settle down with someone who I felt “eh” about just to have someone there. There was something so freeing about making that choice, and for me, this was the major turning point of my love future. Acceptance of a life different than I had pictured for myself.

This is also what a friend of mine did this year, who I’ll call Britta. She was 39 and feeling potentially doomed herself, because she wanted a relationship and she wanted kids. And the pressure to get the first fast enough so she could have the second was wearing on her. So, Britta did what women are doing these days: She made an appointment for a fertility specialist, got things checked out and the thumbs up that she was healthy and ready to conceive, and then she set a date for herself: It was October when she said, “If I haven’t met anyone by March, I will go to the specialist and get myself pregnant.” Then Britta planned a big trip on her own to surf in Costa Rica for two weeks in February, right before she was going to conceive. When she got back, a couldn’t-turn-down work project came up that took her into April, and as she was finishing up her project, she was set up on a date with the guy of her dreams. Well, it took her three dates to realize this, but when she did, she was blown away. Not only was he a perfect match for her, but he had a kid of his own and wanted more kids. True story. And they’re happily in love and working on that baby. Her turning point was the same as mine: acceptance of a life different than the one she pictured for herself.

So I suggest this more than anything. Think about the future you’re picturing, then re-adjust it. See what would happen if life rolled out a different carpet for you. How could you still be happy if it did? If you found out you would meet the love of your life at 38, what would you do right now to be happy until then? The minute we let go of the steel rod we like gripping onto for dear life of exactly the future or person we want, the minute we take a step off of the concrete path we think is leading straight to what we know…that’s when life surprises us and sends us the person we’re actually supposed to be with, and the life that’s even more interesting than the one we’d written up in our heads.

Keep doing what you’re doing and being who you are, laughs and all! But let go of THE PLAN. And find a way to make a statement to yourself that you’re okay with a different route or a new story. Find a way to be happy right now with what you have in front of you, and you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll find yourself attracting more of the people who are right for you. And then, of course, if they send you signals otherwise, pay attention and for goodness’ sake, run! 🙂

Big love,

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