Editor’s Note: Naughty language ahead. If you’re easily offended, close your eyes now!
The basic ingredients of a boyfriend are—Netflix, peanut butter, a body pillow, and a vibrator.
They could also be the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
The fact is dating is the new wild west. There are a thousand ways to connect and only one way to make a connection—love.
And love takes work. We get out what we put out. That’s how that goes right? Put out. Put in.
The point is we all want love and a really good boyfriend (who may become a husband) to land us in the “together-forever-fifty-percentile-bracket”.
And the gatekeeper to “ever after” seems to be the internet.
I was recently asked why I use the dating app Tinder if I want to meet someone and not just to hookup. Two reasons. The first—it’s just a numbers game and most of the time we don’t get past the iron wall of texting or gender role confusion. The second—although it took a year, one person I did meet on tinder was all, “I love you.” The second thing doesn’t mean all that much really besides knowing that my sexting pictures are not going up on some website.
As I write this, I think, “How did I get roped into virtual relationships?” I feel like that scene in the movie Judge Dread where they couldn’t have actual sex but could only put on virtual reality visors and feign orgasm.
I just went to the movies, on Valentines, and saw How to Be Single, which Drew Barrymore had a hand in creating. I’d like to rename the movie How to Send Your Heart into a Panic Attack and Then Want to Slit Your Wrists (metaphorically speaking).
The take away (caution: spoiler alert) is that maybe we get one moment where we are unencumbered by people but we have to live in hell before we get that moment.
This is the hell—attachment.
Here’s the thing, it is unavoidable even in death. I am a medium as well as a relationship counselor so trust me on this one. Also, if you are wondering how a 36 year-old single woman can give relationship advice when she’s not happily married—duh, those who can’t do teach.
I kid. In reality, love has a learning curve and I’ve spent my life studying it. Attachment is part of that learning curve and the purveyor of some of life’s most valuable lessons. So, if loneliness is creeping in and the desire for “a real man and not a boy” is taking over, then listen up.
The first lesson of many that we need to learn is how to take care of ourselves by taking care of the people we allow into our lives. No one can be a lone-wolf forever—we all need a soul family and a therapist for the family that f*cked us up.
The second thing is that a religious or spiritual practice is necessary. Winging it doesn’t really yield great results during periods of failure. We all have to grow up and in order to do so it takes listening to the still small voice inside that says, “Be still and know I am God.” This means that our choices create our reality and we have to slow the f*ck down.
Third, there is nothing more powerful than a human in action. Dreams are wonderful things and no one will remember us for the dreams we had. Sh*t, most of the time, we can’t even remember our dreams five seconds after waking up. So, take a dream, form it into a plan, and take action on that plan—don’t give up until that dream is realized. What else are we going to do with our lives? Give up? Pause then keep going!
In concrete terms, in order to “make a boyfriend”, take a good hard look at the company you keep. It’s been said we are the sum of the five people we hang around most.
A successful business takes at least these three people: a manager, a numbers person, and the talent. Just like in business, there are all types of characters that make up a soul family. Some more necessary than others: the listener, the empath, the momma bear, the go-getter, the joker, the risk taker, the sports fan, the poet—and so on. It is important to note that we are all of those things and within each unique interaction we will primarily assume one of those roles.
The same is true for relationship. Dominance is tricky—there is no way to get it right out of the gate. Lust will draw us in but it won’t last. So, know now that things are bound to get messy. Have fun with it.
Of course, we know that loving Self is important, but do we know how? The simplest form of self-care is prayer. Asking for what we want is the cornerstone of living our dreams. One of the best questions to ask is “What would it take for me to be the person who is receiving: love, money, vacation, hugs, magic….”
Pray. Ask. Trust.
Lastly, most people just try to play it cool in the beginning of a relationship and as a result sell their soul to get a fix. A lyric in a Coldplay song goes, “Life is a drink and love is a drug.” We are all recovering souls in flesh-suits.
So, in order to prevent relapse into stupidity, it takes a plan. Know your top three deal-breakers and stick to them. If there are more than three then seek counseling because there is a chance that emotional unavailability is breaking all of your deals.
I’d like to give a head nod and honorable mention to sex. Sure, we can take a tiny jack-hammer to our pussy night after night, watch other people doing it on pornhub.com, or drown ourselves in The Bachelor dreamscape bullshit. But, if we want to have soul-shaking, intimate, real, worth-the-wait sex, then—wait. Put away the jack-hammer. Instead, make love to Self with a hot bath, essential oils, good music, and two fingers. Make it sacred.
There are a lot of things we can do to fill the space and take us out of discomfort. Social media is the conversation we would be having with our lover about what to cook for dinner. Shopping online is the filler for taking the kids to school and getting them to practice on time. Coffee replaces the thrill of being touched.
It’s not your fault. Really. Hear that. Being single is neither normal nor abnormal. It is a state of evolution. We are on a journey together. We are here to learn about love.
Sadness is a part of that. And with every sadness there is a joy because it will pass and with every joy there is a sadness because it will fade.
So, feel into this moment—that which you seek is seeking you.
As a woman, a great strength is to become your own beloved and then stand as an invitation for a man to battle his demons to be with you.
Receive to retrieve.
In short, we’ve got what we need right there inside of us. And if you want to make a real boyfriend, inhabit your life.
And stop drinking boxed wine which is a substitute for everything.
You’ve got this!
Bonus material: Want to get over your ex?
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor: Sarah Kolkka