The Key To Finding Love: Keep Showing Up

January 8th, 2018

Happy & Healthy, Loneliness, NEW!, Sex



About a year ago,  a writer over at Jezebel wrote an essay entitled “When Can I Say I’ll Be Alone Forever?” The gist of her post was about confronting the possibility she may never find a significant other. It was a brave piece (and you know how much I hate that word) because it spoke something aloud that many of us only whisper: what if it never happens for me? It’s a sobering thought, that you’ll live the rest of your life alone. And I mean alone, not unmarried, not in and out of relationships. Alone. As in just you. A friend an I chatted about this yesterday. He’s newly separated and missing the physical intimacy of a relationship. Not the sex, the physicality and affection. I told him I understood completely.

Loneliness can be and crushesdehabilitating. I think sometimes we develop dead-end crushes and believe in destiny/fate as a coping mechanism. Speaking of coping…

I can’t put into words the pain I am after losing Moon. As sad as it sounds, he was my main source of affection and support. My stress levels are at an all-time high and I have no one that I can turn to that is able to drop whatever they are doing to give me a hug. Just a hug. At night, I crawl under the covers and cry.

I can’t do this anymore. Please don’t let this be it.

It’s grief and depression talking. I know that, but my self-awareness doesn’t lessen the pain. Before Moon died, I was far more comfortable with the possibility that it might be just me. Now? I’m not so sure. I did what many of us do when we’re feeling lonely and returned to the empty well of Tinder and OKCupid. It’s either that or marinate in my loneliness. (Sidenote: they’ve destroyed OKCupid. It’s literally useless at this point.)  I got a match on Tinder, but as soon as I saw the notification alerting me to the match, my stomach tightened and a flash of heat shot up my neck and spread across my cheeks. Anxiety. He messages me a few hours later and said, “Incredible figure!” This has now become the standard. I either have to unmatch him and wait to make another match (who will likely say the same exact thing) or pretend I’m not totally grossed out. But at least I’m trying, right?

That question brings me to a follow-up essay written by the previously mentioned author called “I Did Everything You Said And I’m Still Alone.” This time she details all the ways she attempted to “clear the path” to love. This line was a gut-punch:

The only thing that alleviates the ache of solitude is showing up for yourself every day and taking a hand in all the little choices that make up your life. Choosing something good for your mental health, choosing to spend time with people who like you, choosing to smile at yourself in the mirror, choosing to meet up with someone new. Choosing to try made me a better person. It hurt. It was worth it.

Some days it’s hard to show up, isn’t it? We wonder, “What’s the point?” I know that’s what I often tell myself when I notice the stirrings of a crush. I feel fatigued before I’ve lifted a finger. But I fall anyway. Why? Because somewhere deep, deep, DEEP in the recesses of my mind, there’s a tiny shimmering speckle of hope. That’s what keeps me from quitting. As dark as it feels sometimes, that little voice always manages to break through the noise.

Keep going. He’s out there. Just a little while longer.

In those moments,  I take a deep breath and shake off the doubt. A smile here, a swipe there. I keep showing up, even when I know the possibility of rejection and ensuing disappointment. I keep showing up. Retreating simply isn’t an option. I’ve come too far to turn back now.

And so have you.


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6 Responses to “The Key To Finding Love: Keep Showing Up”

  1. Nia Says:

    I am very touched by the sweet core at the center of this article. I’ve been a fan for years, since I stumbled on this blog in 2013 from a link in XOJane I think! I caught up on all the old articles and spent hours reading (I’m a huge reader of books, magazines, online articles, etc). I was single, living abroad and counting down my last 30 days in Asia before returning to the US. I spent a lot of time drinking wine and wandering the huge luxury apartment I was house sitting for, and looking down at the cityscape at night and crying.
    Your funny and sharp blog/advice column was a bright spot in those days.

    I have seen it go from a sassy Carrie Bradshaw style swinging single type blog to a little bit dark and bitter to now a new hope.

    I’ve also seen regular commenters stay with you for years and loyally comment on almost every article, and in a way, as cheesy as that sounds, that’s a kind of affection. You’re not alone! Right now you’re single. But you’re NOT alone!!

    Your readers and regulars and “internet community” (barf, I know) are real and we are ALL rooting for you to find love, in all its many forms, in 2018.

    I believe it will come and as with all the people I care about in one way or another, my deepest wish is for you to find happiness and contentment that lasts in your life.

  2. Beta Male Says:

    Loneliness is hard. It sometimes make you do things and cling to things to alleviate it. There are people who do all the “right” things who find themselves perpetually single, while there are people who often find themselves in a relationship as soon as the previous one ends. I often don’t wait for other people to do something I just do it, yet it is frustrating seeing couples around me while it seems like I’m the only singleton. It’s not easy to just go up to another adult and start a conversation. Often I am on guard regarding motives, whether a person is sincere, polite, or just don’t want to be bothered.

    One piece of advice that dating I often read from dating columnists is that single people need to learn to be alone before getting into a relationship. One thing I don’t think I have ever read is that maybe the “perpetually single” have to learn to be with other people in order to find and/or to be in relationship.

  3. Parenting Says:

    I agree with Nia. I love the hopeful tone recent blog posts have taken on. I hesitate to say, but I would be cautious about online dating while in an emotionally fragile state. Speaking from personal experience, online dating turned into a fun house mirror downward spiral of hell a few years ago when I was going through a rough patch. I clung to guys who were obviously stringing me along and every high and low felt overwhelming. In retrospect I wish I’d put my energies into meeting people in RL instead of the rollercoaster Online is designed to be.

    Best of luck in 2018! Sometimes losing our safety net is the key to finally being open to getting what we really want.

  4. CT Says:

    Loneliness is universal. We can hide or we can show up. I applaud all of those that show up even when you want to hide. When the layers fall away, you find your peace.

    May you find that peace and joy this year. We are with you.

  5. Ficus Says:

    Please Moxie, take your own advice, and stay away from those apps. In our vulnerable moments, we have to stick by the principles we chose when we were emotionally stable. Sometimes, when we feel lonely and down, we do things that keep us in that same state of mind. Done that lots of times.
    Just get out more. Smile when you see neighbors, go to local functions, make friends at the animal rescue place where you volunteer. Most people in real life are going to be nicer than the folks you describe on these apps. Romantic love isn’t entirely in your hands, and I hope you won’t let your happiness be so affected by an unknown someone else.
    May be you could focus on your book. As Nia said, this piece is beautiful and touching.

  6. Pina Says:

    I found this book (reviewed below) incredibly helpful when I felt sad/lonely about single-hood.
    I think others will too.

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