An Easy 3,275-Step Guide to Finding Love


Swans mate for life. Maybe you should consider becoming a swan?

I used to write a relationship column with Allison Picard called The Scarlet Letters. Someone wrote us a very simple question and this was my response.

Dear Scarlets,

Will I ever find love?



Dear Hopeful,

Yes. No. Maybe?

We have a friend who claims, “There’s a lid for every pot.”

We disagree.

People die alone every day, often in a barcalounger in the basement of their mother’s house, watching Wheel of Fortune.

If you don’t want to be one of them, don’t be.

First, make sure you’re not an asshole. This is the biggest hurdle for many in finding love.

Once you’re sure you’re not an asshole, make your life into what you want it to be. Do the things that bring you joy.

Think about what others need for some portion of your day. Then figure out a way to help them get it without sacrificing too much of yourself.

Spend as much time as possible with your friends. This will make you a happy person that people want to be around.

Maybe that will be enough love for you.

If it isn’t, tell your friends that you don’t want to be single anymore, and that they should set you up with someone who isn’t completely insane.

And we mean ALL your friends.

Tell them you’re serious and you need their help.

Does that feel a little humiliating? Suck it up. Your life won’t change unless you allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Did you meet anyone?

If you didn’t, join a dating site.

Stop whining about it.

Yes, it’s horrible. But algorithms can be surprisingly effective when it comes to love.

When describing yourself, don’t say you “love to have fun,” or “feel as comfortable in the board room as you do in the mud.” The ability to exist in multiple locations is something almost all humans can do, unless you’re John Travolta in that plastic bubble movie.

Say something meaningful. Say something true. Say, “This is what I need to be happy.” Say, “This is who I am.”

Lying will only connect you to people who might love your fake self, which would work, we suppose, if you plan to lie for the rest of your life.

And that doesn’t sound like fun.

Did you meet anyone?

If not, try speed dating, or bingo, or volunteering with a nonprofit you believe in, or a meetup group, or walking up to an attractive stranger and saying, “You seem nice. I’m [insert your real name here] and I’m single as HELL. Wanna chat?”

What we’re saying is, DO SOMETHING.

Do something that makes you uncomfortable.

If you’ve reached the point that you’re sending a desperate-sounding question to a couple of strangers, you’ve been waiting for something to happen for a long time.

Stop waiting.

The world doesn’t owe you love. The world doesn’t owe anyone anything. The world is just minding its own business, spinning at 1,000 miles an hour and trying to hold it together, just like you are.

So if you really want love, the romantic variety, try everything before giving up.

And you might not find it.

If you don’t, then do whatever you can to be happy with the love you have all around you: your friends, your family, your ridiculous cat with one weird ear.

That love is worth just as much as romantic love. Maybe more, because it’s not as fickle, and less likely to give you shit because you didn’t wait to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode with it.

We wish you luck and all kinds of love.


The Scarlets


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