Stop! (In the Name of Love?)

I am one of those girls that has done Internet dating, tried interoffice romance, taken art workshops, and been a willing participant in random fix-ups. I believe that the right guy won't just fall in my lap and I have to make an effort to find and/or attract him. Now, when something doesn't work out the way I was hoping it would, I always get the same advice from my friends: "The right guy will come when you stop looking." The word "stop" in that statement gives me heart palpitations. Why should I stop? If I stop, I won't be looking, thus I will lose opportunities that would have come my way if I wasn't naive to the situation.

I am still having no luck meeting anyone with my strategy, so maybe I should just stop like my friends say. Lately, it seems like I can't get past three or four dates with someone. Now, I'm not blaming them for the downfall; I make the decision some of the time that this guy isn't relationship material, but heck, I don't think I'm all that picky with men, either. I want to be with someone who will make me laugh and show me some new things to do out on the town even though I'm a Seattle native. Sorry, but you need to have chemistry.

Do you have an answer as to why some of us ladies out there try to do all the right things but still can't seem to make any progress in our love lives?

Uncertain in Seattle

I cannot even tell you how many idiots—I mean "friends"—fed me the "stop looking" line, insisting that love would somehow find me once I quit keeping an eye out for it. Bullshit. Love would have to be pretty fucking persistent (not to mention felonious) to find me sitting at home, watching Law and Order and eating takeout. I've found that the type of person who offers this kind of moronic advice is inevitably smugly coupled up and views you as the tragic single gal. Or at least that's what she tells herself as she watches her dumpy husband scratch his ass and fart for the 11th time that morning.

People come up with retarded theories like this one because they don't know what else to say and feel they must fill the air with words, no matter how inane those words happen to be. The fact is, finding someone to love requires thick skin, an open heart, nerves of steel, and an assload of luck. By telling you you're somehow doing something wrong (unless you're coming off as a ring-hungry, leg-humping desperation case, which would not appear to be the scenario), these so-called friends are causing you to doubt yourself. And then you lose confidence, which is another key ingredient in the quest for a loverman (or lady).

Women have a tendency to overanalyze themselves, making themselves neurotic and annoying in the process. You'll note that rare is the man who wastes time with this pursuit. So quit it. My suggestion is that you just enjoy being single, because it won't last forever. As a dating veteran, I suggest that you always date more than one guy at a time, until you find a favorite and the two of you sign some sort of monogamy contract. This doesn't mean you have to sleep with all of them (or even any of them); just make sure that there's always a Plan B (for boy!) waiting in your datebook. For one thing, having a spare will quickly eliminate any residue of desperation that might be lurking under your toenails. For another, making out with several different men in one week is good for your complexion and your digestion and does wonders for your mood. You'll probably lose weight without even trying.

And on a personal note, let me assure you that looking does work. I was boyfriend shopping on the Internet one day soon after my last birthday, when I happened upon a very large Greek man. Perusing his ad, I decided he would make an excellent belated birthday gift. Luckily (see, there's luck!), he agreed.

Unlucky in love? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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