Why Real Love Eludes Us ~ Elephant Journal

April 5, 2018

I’m standing at the altar of a church dressed in a long, pink bridesmaid’s gown, watching one of my best friends get married.

I’m 25 years old. This is the third wedding I’ve been a bridesmaid in this year.

As I stand there, I get lost in fantasies of my own wedding—the one I’ll have some day. I’ll be complete then, the day I finally find that guy who wants to exchange “forever till we part” vows. I imagine my life will be perfect. I’ll be validated. A big ol’ fat ring on my finger means somebody feels I’m worthy of spending their life with me…that I’m enough. That I’m lovable.

Fast forward 20 years later, and I’m divorced.

Damn girl…I thought that big ol’ ring meant something!

And when we’re single, whether after a marriage—that we thought would last forever—ends, or in general, we tend to make that mean something about ourselves. We really aren’t lovable after all. We are somehow “less than” because we’re not one half of a couple. We think people feel sorry for us and think we’re lame. So, off we go again looking for love.

We look for it in the bars, or where we work. While we’re working out at the gym. On Tinder, Bumble, and OK Cupid.

We hang out at the sexy singles hot spots because we’re convinced that’s where we’ll find love. We believe the next relationship will make us happier than the one we were just in. We’ll have hotter sex for sure. Our needs will finally be met. The next person will treat us better. Hell…they’ll just fill the empty hole inside—and at this point, that’ll do the trick!

So many people split up with a partner and, in a panic that I personally reserve for seismic shaking underneath my house in Los Angeles, hit up the dating apps ASAP. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have popped up on Bumble no more than a week after they were laying in a sobbing heap on the floor, having broken up with someone they claimed they were madly in love with.

The rituals of 3:00 a.m. drunk text messages to the ex and blocking and unblocking of each other on social media are still feverishly underway as they swipe right on Tinder, all while speed-calling friends to set them up with someone hot.

What’s wrong with this picture here?

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