Time For A Change
Ten years ago, I started a blog. That blog morphed into an internationally read dating advice column. For seven years, I answered letters from singles all across the globe. Without much effort or thought, I'd built an internationally recognized brand.
And I loved it. Until I didn't.
The last few years of my life have been tumultuous to say the least. A number of familial losses and the aftermath involved with each put an overwhelming strain on my emotional well-being. Maintaining my column had become a chore, as did dating itself. Despite my best efforts, I wasn't finding what I was looking for online. I was encountering everything but. Even with a well-written and thoughtful profile detailing my successful small business, my wine club, my love of yoga and cycling, and my support of the ASPCA, it seemed the only thing men wanted to talk about was my body. The return on investment was too minimal for me to continue with the process. I feel we, as a society, have become lonelier and more detached than ever, and swiping left or right isn't helping. We have all these ways to connect, but we've forgotten how to maintain those connections. We walk away, block, delete and un-match too quickly, fueled by a false sense of never-ending options. We care less about substance than we do a photo, and our identities and self-esteem have taken a beating. Why aren't I good enough? What's wrong with me? Every time I dipped my toe into the Tinder or OKCupid pool, I plummeted down the shame spiral.
Tired of the exhausting back and forths and disappointment, I chose to meet people offline, a decision I do not regret. In fact, I've begun to live more of my life offline and hope to continue to do so. My passion for fitness has introduced me to new friends, romantic interests, and even new professional possibilities and has encouraged me to develop a line of events for active professionals. My goal is to transition into the fitness industry full-time while maintaining this site/business. Working out, going to the gym, staying fit; these things bring me a happiness dating never gave me. It keeps me connected and introduces me to new people and consistently challenges my limitations. In short, it makes me a better person. I've never met a man that can do that. That said, I'm by no means suggesting people quit using dating sites and apps. On the contrary. Go where the people are, just take care of yourself as you do it. Not getting any responses and only hearing from people that aren't your type is the norm. It is not a statement of your value or desirability.
If I can leave people with any bit of advice it would be this: don't give up. Make changes, take breaks, get a different perspective, but never, ever give up.
I want to thank the people that have cheered me on and supported me all these years. Knowing that so many strangers were rooting for me got me through some pretty tough times. My story isn't over yet. I won't allow that to happen. I'll maintain a blog here and keep y'all up to date on my scintillating life. :)
Be well and be happy. Stay in touch and contact me here. Tell me when you fall in love; email me when your heart has been broken. I'll listen. Remember me when you lie awake at night and wonder when it's going to be your turn. They're out there. They just haven't found you yet. I promise you this: if you keep an open mind and an open heart, they will. You have to believe that.
Until then, don't ever forget...
You. Are. Enough.