Is There Someone For Everyone? In Search For Love In Chaos

is there someone for everyoneSeven billion people in the world are split 50/50 between women and men. Surely there’s someone out there for us all? Maybe we get it wrong the first 10 people we date. Or maybe we think we get it right the first try only to end up divorcing several years later. Whatever the case may be, I believe there are multiple “the ones” out there for us to find. If we end up lasting with that person for the rest of our lives, then clearly there is only one.

The thought of living life alone is somewhat frightening. I wonder if this is part of the reason why we have children? We’d like to increase our chances of always having loved ones around us until we are gone. I do feel optimistic that if I were to find myself coming home to an empty bed that I would have the gumption to find someone eventually. But who really knows?

I’ve witnessed seemingly normal, decently attractive people miss their golden window for finding someone. We can argue how big the golden window is, but the fact remains that most people go through their first serious relationship before their mid 30s. I do hope that age is just a number.

We love to talk about how our 30s is the new 20s, yet our biological clocks don’t agree. 35 is still the age where doctors warn about an exponential increase in child birth risks. If a woman doesn’t want to have children, then who really cares? But the anxiety, however small, is still there. Maybe a woman who doesn’t want to have kids will find some incredible man who changes her mind and vice versa. Relationships have a funny way of softening the most adamant thoughts.

WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY LOVE ME?

The following is a list of issues that prevent connections from being made. Please let me know if you agree or disagree.

* Too picky. Is it better to be alone or settle for someone who doesn’t check all your boxes? Everybody would probably rather have a more attractive mate than a less attractive one. But when you’re a 6 trying to chase a 10, you might feel sorely disappointed as the 10 only goes after 8s and above. The concept is very similar in personal finance where “C” students chase after “A” lifestyles through overspending on things they cannot afford. Both paths eventually lead to misery. The key is to realize you are a 6, shoot for the stars, but find congruency if you’ve failed.

* Too nasty. I don’t mean nasty in the ugly sense given how many of the most interesting looking folks find someone. I mean nasty in personality. There are some folks who are serious black clouds. Everything is negative in their eyes. They love to put people down. They love to pick fights and carp over the silliest of things. They love to complain about this and that. No wonder why they’re constantly at risk of being fired at work and are perpetually single after work.

* Too insecure. If you don’t love yourself, then it’s hard for anybody else to love you. Women talk about meeting men with charisma. Men look for women who are comfortable in their own skin. Confidence and knowing what you want is very attractive. Everybody has certain levels of insecurities, but some let their insecurities control their actions to the point of debilitation.

* Overly confident. Being overly confident can be very dangerous. Maybe we are beautiful, rich, and successful and therefore don’t feel the need to work on our social skills as much. Everybody comes to us already, so why should we ever proactively go for them. One day our looks will fade and we’ll no longer have that fancy corporate title. Then what? Will only money and our lack of personality be enough? Maybe not because you’ll then be competing with someone who has the personality, looks, career, social skills, and money as well.

* Too career driven. The problem with going to a good school is that you’ve got to prove the money and time spent was worthwhile. The pressure to perform is always on. Plenty of successful men and women on Wall St. reach senior levels end up alone because of tremendous job demands. 70-100 hour weeks are the norm, leaving very little energy left for romance. One of my doctor friends is 35 and just got done with his second medical fellowship in cardiology. He’s anxious to pass his Boards and get started in a career of medicine. At the same time he’s not quite sure which cities he should apply for jobs because of a woman that has caught his fancy. Although he hasn’t even started his career, he’s well aware that if he blindly focuses all his efforts in medicine he might end up old and alone.

* Too misleading. Online dating is commonplace today. The absolute biggest complaint I get from all my male friends is how misleading pictures are in profiles. The biggest warning signs are women with glamour shots that have glowing lights and blurred features to smooth out any blemishes. If you make yourself look way better in a picture than in real life, your date is going to be seriously disappointed. Some might just continue to walk on by because they feel absolutely lied to. Do yourself a favor and put up the most natural, recent picture possible. A little underpromising and overdelivering goes a loooong way!

* Blind faith in destiny. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be right? Not necessarily so. When nobody came showering me with fortune while I was sitting on my bum, I decided to get to work. It takes constant effort to find love. We increase our chances by putting ourselves in the right place. If you sit alone every night watching a movie, do you think destiny will even bring you a sexy pizza delivery guy if you don’t even call? Of course not. If destiny isn’t happening, work to make it happen.

LOVE FINDS YOU WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT

One of my mentors is an incredibly successful woman. She was a VP at a prestigious firm who got her MBA at Wharton and made over $500,000 a year. Her only issue was that she was alone. Sure she would meet the random Tasmanian stud on ski trips, but those never panned out.

One day 10 years later at the age of 45 she gives me a ring to invite me to a house party where I meet her new boyfriend Tariq. Tariq is in late 40s and divorced, but it was clear he loved her with all his heart. A year later my mentor let us all know she and Tariq got married in a quiet ceremony in southern France.

We’re never too old to find someone. Maybe we just have one too many filters set up to prevent love from happening. There are seven billion people on Earth after all.

Readers, do you think there’s someone for everyone? How much is serendipity involved? Do you think many people settle without truly being in love?

Here’s comedian Louis CK’s hilarious take

Photo: Happiness in Santorini, FS.

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

You can sign up to receive his articles via email or by RSS. Sam also sends out a private quarterly newsletter with information on where he's investing his money and more sensitive information.

Subscribe To Private Newsletter

Comments

  1. says

    I’m not particularly religious…but I do feel like I was meant to be with my husband! I do think that there’s somebody for everyone, or maybe several people for everyone (not at the same time!) If there is such a thing as a soul mate, my husband is definitely mine!

  2. says

    Sometimes the person who is “too picky” or is always finding something to complain about, is actually just scared. Being in a relationship can be scary! You’re opening yourself up to a person, up to the risk of being hurt, up to the risk of losing someone you care about. Sometimes it’s easier to come up with excuses why no one is good enough than to make yourself vulnerable and give things a chance.

      • JayCeezy says

        FS, this caught my eye from your post…If you make yourself look way better in a picture than in real life, your date is going to be seriously disappointed. Some might just continue to walk on by because they feel absolutely lied to. and reminded me of a great joke!

        A pal set me up on a blind date, so I went to meet her at a streetcorner. A woman walked up, I said “are you Doris?” She said, “are you Rodney?” I said, “yes” and she said “I’m not Doris!” – Rodney Dangerfield

  3. Shaun says

    I’m 28 and pretty much all of my college friends decided that getting married in the last year or two was a good idea. I’m not saying they didn’t all find lasting love at exactly the same time but I will say it might correlate with the “I need to settle down and have kids because thats the life plan and I’m running out of time” mentality. Personally having seen enough single parents / bad divorces out there I think you’re better off waiting or forgoing your life plans rather than risking the bitter divorce, single parent lifestyle.

    • says

      I completely agree. I see too many people that get stressed out about needing to be married/have children by a certain age that they may force things instead of letting things work out as they may and making sure the time/person is right.

    • says

      For some reason, I’ve never felt that type of pressure. My college roommate got married the very next year after graduation and I was thinking he is kind of nuts! But all is well and they have three kids.

      Marriage is a personal decision. Hence I can’t feel any pressure from others.

  4. says

    I definitely believe that my wife and I were meant to be together. I would tend to say that there is someone out there for everyone, but not necessarily only one person (like Holly said not at the same time) for each person.

  5. says

    I’m with you – there are probably multiple people out there for all of us sinners, even if Disney promotes the serendipitous soul mate meeting. Consider why so many people marry someone they meet at school, work or socially near their home – if we assumed a single soul-mate, wouldn’t someone from Boston be equally likely to have a soul mate in Bangladesh?

  6. says

    Of course, I found the “one” a very long time ago! I will be married 45 years next month.

    One of my fraternity brothers had a list of criteria for his dates! In 4 years of college, no one ever met his standards. It is too bad because he missed out on some really great experiences. I think he used his list as a defense mechanism. He probably was too insecure to date and took a while to find that confidence. He eventually found a woman and married in this thirties.

  7. nbsdmp says

    I was recently at a wedding of a co-workers kid (without a date), and was proceed to be berated and asked “how can you be happy without having a wife and kids?”, “you need to find a good woman” etc. etc. I responded back with one of my favorite movie lines “I find a good woman almost every night!” All joking aside, I’m happier now than ever…at the moment I don’t have a particular girlfriend, but I’m not worried in the least bit. Men and women are attracted to confidence, not desperation…if you be yourself and do the stuff you enjoy you will meet somebody. At 42 their are more choices than when I was 32…maybe that is part of my problem! Ha! It is o.k. to be single too…

  8. says

    What about “not picky enough”? I’ve known people who set their standards too low and end up pursuing relationships with someone that just isn’t right for them. In those cases, the person is almost “in love with being in love” and is often oblivious to the fact that their significant other does not possess the qualities/characteristics that they truly covet. It’s the “what does she see in him?” situation. Eventually the relationship grinds to a halt due to the incompatibility, but there ends up being a lot of wasted time. If the person just had a bit higher standards to begin with then it would’ve saved time and heartache.

    • says

      I think when people think “what does she see in him” they are simply projecting. They want her to be with them instead! There’s almost always more that meets the eye we observers are not seeing.

      Being in love with love can be intoxicating.

  9. says

    A relationship isn’t easy. There will be ups and downs and many people can’t deal with it. For us there was a lot of serendipity involve. There were many chances where we could have gone our separate ways, but we came back together to make it work.
    Yeah, I think being too picky is probably the biggest obstacle for women.

  10. says

    I agree that you’ll usually find someone when you’re least expecting it. I met my first boyfriend online. I was skeptical about the website, but a co-worker urged me to try it, so I had no expectations. I met a few guys, and clicked with one I dated for two and a half years.

    After that, I met my current boyfriend through mutual friends. I wasn’t looking for anything serious at all, being that I was just with someone else for so long, but after a night of talking until 2am, I was fooling myself. Thankfully we are happily still together, but he was SO far from what I thought he would be it still amuses me – the opposite of what I would normally look for. It really surprised me after I got to know him. You really can’t judge based on looks, or even how people act around a group of friends, until you know them on a personal level. It does not pay to be overly picky as sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  11. says

    Completely unrelated to your post but I think you’d enjoy the story. We are in Santorini for our honeymoon. We get done with our excursions for the day and end up at the bottom of that huge mountainside where the donkeys are going up and down (presumably where you took that pic), but I only had 6EUR and it was 5 per person to go up. They wouldn’t haggle that much with me. So I put The Wife on a donkey and started running up the stairs! Twice I had to lean over the thin rail as not to get run over by the stampede.

    As soon as I got to the top I found the nearest ATM and took out PLENTY of money lol

    • JayCeezy says

      @Evan, you are a man-and-a-half for running up those stairs amid the uniquely Greek road hazards of burning donkey by-product.:-) May you enjoy a lifetime of happiness together!

    • K says

      Omg I remember going up those stairs in Santorini! Believe it or not the person I was with was scared to ride the donkey so we jogged up the stairs. I guess it was nice to have bragging rights when I took a picture next to the top numbered stair and having done it in flip flops, but it wasn’t because I wanted to initially LOL

    • says

      Holy moly you went up on foot?! Props to you. I thought going down on foot was hard lol. I was in donkey heaven on the way up. I wanted to take one home after my trip. :)

  12. Simon says

    While one one level I do think there is such a thing as a soul-mate, I don’t think that should stop us from opening our hearts and allow ourselves to fall in love, how else would we find that soul mate if we don’t give anyone a chance to come close? I agree with your list :)

  13. Babets says

    There is always someone for you providing you are open to welcome that person in your life and adjust accordingly. If you are not ready for it, then you will end up alone.
    I was lucky but I was also ready
    Good luck everyone

  14. JayCeezy says

    Someone much smarter than me noted that there are probably 3.5 billion soulmates for Kate Upton; maybe 2 or 3 coming from her perspective. And after 31 years of marriage, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman decided to split…and then attempt to reconcile. How many soulmates are ‘out there’ for a 65 year-old Rhea Perlman?

    My thought is that a successful relationship has to be a win-win, and continue to be so, to be successful. The idea of marrying for love is relatively new even in western society; it used to be more of a business relationship, and if there was true affection then it was a bonus. Many non-western cultures still arrange marriages, and when those couples try to make a go of it in the west it can really stress the bond; if the woman is hot, the freedoms of the west give her a lot of options. If the guy is financially and socially successful, he will have social options that make his mother-country bride a burden.

    For myself, I have been married to a great woman for 21 years. She was the only one who didn’t try to change me. The other ones didn’t really want to be with me; they just wanted a guy they could mold into someone they really wanted, somebody who would pay the tab for making their dreams (kids, stay-at-home mom, high-end house, car, kitchen, etc.) come true. My wife is the only one who was actually interested in what my goals were, and how she could help me; I had to lock that $hit up!:-)

    It is pretty tough out there and as women surpass men in education and professional achievement, there are fewer reasons (other than love) to get married for them. One last generalization; a guy wants a woman who is pretty and kind, and doesn’t treat him like a human wallet. Women want a guy who appreciates and actually likes them, and will willingly offer emotional and financial security without keeping score.

  15. K says

    1) Your mentor sounds awesome! I need a mentor like that!!!!!! I want to BE her one day!

    2) 6’s (and below) chasing 10’s. A mid 30’s family member comes to mind. She is adamant about landing a 10, desperately NEEDS a 10 (a rich good looking nice guy–to take care of her), and has been failing miserably. And you can probably check off every item on your list of “why someone doesn’t love” her, except for not being focused on her career ENOUGH. My advice to her was to become a 10 herself first. A tough pill to swallow for someone who thinks that she’s at least an 8 already. But she could hit the gym more, control her diet better, drink a lot less, not hang out in bars or Vegas every weekend, make her OWN money, smile more, have positive things to talk about, have ambitions and dreams of her own…you know, work on yourself first and THEN find your equal? I mean, all for I’m all for finding someone who loves you for “who you are as you are”, but when you yourself are toxic and your not looking for someone else who is toxic, then you need to either fix yourself if your not willing to fix your expectations, no? And what’s wrong with a little self improvement anyhow.

    As to your questions:

    Do you think there’s someone for everyone? How much is serendipity involved?
    Yes! Serendipity could be a huge part of it. It was for me. It was by pure chance that my husband and I had found each other. He was from SF, I was from OC, and would have NEVER crossed paths had we each not decided to join a ski trip in Tahoe last minute with people we both hardly knew, but be the only ones to not ski. We were inseparable ever since and are still madly in love!

    Do you think many people settle without truly being in love?
    Uh, yeah! Here in OC/LA golddiggers dig for gold like they are born and bred for it. Maybe it’s different in other cities. So many of these “arrangements” I see just don’t seem to really involve love at all, just each settling for what they want out of it. I always knew I wasn’t going to marry a guy from OC/LA.

    • says

      That’s cool you guys met in Tahoe on a ski trip as well. As JC mentioned, only up until recently has marriage become more based on love and not business.

      If you’re friend is a real 8, that’s pretty hot!

      • B says

        I’m in a marriage that is based more on business and friendship than love (the old fashion kind, you could say). We’re two 9’s that found each other and compliment each other as financial partners, but without that special something …. I’m just saying that chemistry matters and I think the trick is to become an irresistible person so you have lots of options then be super picky and find someone with whom you have it all, including that non-quantifiable something that makes every day that much better.

        • says

          Very bold and interesting of you to admit that your marriage is for financial reasons. Is this cultural? Also, if you are a 9, you have plenty of people to choose from. So why not choose someone who you love? Unless you are unwilling to go below a 9?

          If love to hear more about your perspective!

          Cheers

        • B says

          It’s not culture, it’s more analytical (which is probably not the greatest approach when choosing a partner but when you think this way, it’s hard to not think this way). Also, these things are not hard to admit anonymously! lol. Honestly, divorce would be expensive (I’d no longer be an accredited investor) and for the reasons you cited above, it’s hard to meet other 9s (as a woman, it’s hard to be a career-driven over-achiever and not turn people off with your energy and confidence, even if you’re very attractive, nice, fun and all those other things people thing they want in a partner), so you have to wonder if the grass is really greener anywhere else? I personally would not marry someone who makes less money, for example (because even though I make plenty, I still want to be in a traditional-feeling relationship where the guy is more of a provider, just psychologically), so that eliminates 98% of the population, then there are other standards, and then you have this really small pool of possibilities, and you end up in a marriage where you meet each other’s high standards, but where’s the excitement and romance in that?

      • K says

        Sam, did you meet your SO in Tahoe on a ski trip too???? Crazy! I think I’ll have to start telling people that’s where to go hunting for husbands/wives LOL!!! That’s awesome!!!

        And, oh GOD no, the girl I was talking about is not an 8. She THINKS she’s an 8, but looks-wise she’s maybe a 5-6 (short, heavier in the wrong places, crooked teeth, not a classically “pretty face” but does have that sexed up look that guys find appealing I guess), personality a 3-4 (VERY negative, boring, emotional, demanding, no real interests or hobbies outside of partying, but very sexual), and financially a -5 (fresh outta BK, makes about $30K-$50K/year and spends it all like there’s no tomorrow). Part of why she THINKS she is an 8 is because she went to a decent college (but graduated with a 2.4 GPA) and had a little career as an import model in her 20’s, but those days are long gone behind her and the ‘tude/looks/intelligence declined with time.

        But like B said, what I was trying to say was that I was telling this girl to improve herself so that she could become a 10 (or 8 or 9 for that matter) and become such an “irresistible person” to other 8-10’s so that she would be able to CHOOSE her EQUAL, not be a below 6 fruitlessly chasing 10’s and then settling for a below 6 (who ironically would really be her ideal match if she did nothing to improve herself). I was also kind of hoping that in the process of improving herself, she would become independent and confident enough to NOT think that she NEEDS a 10 at all, and instead focus on picking who she really wants, be it a traditional choice or not, but at least she will be the one doing the choosing, you know?

        Anyway, B, I totally hear what you are saying. Might I be devils advocate in saying that you might not be missing out on too much when it comes to that “special something”? First, you are obviously not one of the golddiggers I was talking about, you are a 9 with someone who is your equal. And yeah your marriage wasn’t initiated on that “special something” but you know what? For almost all, that “spark” is fleeting. In almost all marriages, the fireworks die down at some point…it’s not all honeymoon and infatuation forever. And once the spark is gone, then the REAL work begins on how to learn how to make/keep each other happy, figuring out how to trust, understand, and grow with each other, how to weather storms with each other… and since all marriages end up at that place anyway, well let me just say I’d rather be left with a 9 and not some 5-6 that at one time swept me off my feet but is no longer “romantic and exciting” anymore! Who is to say you will not find that “special something” at some point with your 9 after years of trust, dedication, loyalty, learning, and understanding? Do you think that is possible?

        Since we are doing the anonymous revealing here…once upon a time, right before I met my now husband, I was *this close* to entering an “old fashioned” (in the sense that we are using it here) marriage. But deep down inside I knew something just wasn’t right. I was very young, like two months out of college. So even though I was an 8-9 physically and personality-wise, I didn’t have a financial rating yet because well, I didn’t have money or a an established career of my own yet. I was just getting started. Then, I got it in my head that given enough time, I can achieve what he (the wealthy fiance) had achieved, for myself, by myself, and if I can do that, I should give myself the chance to choose someone I love. So, I took a break to clear my head about it, and in that time period, I met my now-husband. Not wealthy! But boy were we in love. As a last ditch effort, the ex warned me that we were headed for recession and to be smart about this. And indeed we were headed for recession…it was 2008, and we all know what happened that year. And ever since, my marriage/career hasn’t *always* been fabulous. There were times when I wondered if I made the right choice and if I had watched The Notebook to many times, and that this what happens in real life when you choose love over money!

        But, alas, we made it. We became who we are today, together. Because of what we have been through together. He’s my best friend, my partner, my conscience, my balance, my protector, and I fell in love with again madly in those ways now. In my eyes he is my 10!!!! And I’d say we became each others’ equals together as we grew together, and I’d say 10’s together if my stressful job and 2 kids hadn’t ravaged my looks! LOL! I kid, I kid. In all seriousness, if things didn’t turn out this way, maybe I wouldn’t have been as driven to achieve what I’ve achieved so far and hope to achieve professionally in the future (and of course I wouldn’t have the love of my life and my amazing children). I am, so far, financially stable and making above Sam’s number for annual income that brings maximum happiness, the future brings the promise of so much more (money AND happiness, that is!).

        I guess what I am trying to say is my choice was the flip side of B’s choice, sort of. But both can have happy endings. Married people fall in love with each other many times during a marriage. It can happen for you, B. At least you already found your equal, that’s more than half the battle!

  16. says

    I think there is someone for everyone, but we need to be open to the possibility of the changes that come when we open ourselves to another person. Some people just find it difficult to adapt to these changes that they turn their back from any chances of being with someone and of course, there are those who were just unlucky enough to meet the wrong ones first.

  17. says

    I am a single late 40s woman and I am happy but life would be easier with a partner. I was married before but I did not have a partner to help with the problems of life. If you get sick a partner will make the soup for you not complain because they have to make their own dinner.

    While happy to stay single my finances would improve dramatically if someone was paying half of my utilities, property taxes, house insurance and home maintenance. 2 incomes beats 1 every day.

  18. says

    I’m an optimist so I don’t think it’s ever too late to find someone – as long as you’re open to it. However, at the same time, I’ve been married for almost 13 years so maybe I’m a bit removed from the “dating” scene. But that story about your former mentor supports my optimistic idea – it’s never too late for love. Oh, and my stepdad didn’t meet my mom until he was in his late 40’s (she was in hear early 30’s).

  19. Wilson H. Peters says

    youngerguy, yes yes and yes! one-time things change things. but it doesnt necessarily mean that someone loves that person. i had a guy friend and i NEVER saw him as more than a friend, but then we suddenly ended up alone for a couple hours so our bodies were reacting normally. i fought it, but it is human to be attracted to someone and to want to satisfy our physical desires. i am not saying it is right to fulfil those desires, but it is normal.

  20. says

    I’ve been married almost 13 years now and I love my wife and we have a good relationship – but even then it is not easy and I think we got married too young. I don’t think there is one soul mate for everyone – just people who match are criteria (or some of it) as we get older and change/evolve. I’m not the same person I was 13 years ago and my wife and I have had to work through those changes.

    I think plenty of people settle instead of going for what they truly want. Hey, we only live once right, so why not take what you can get :)

  21. says

    I don’t think we should settle but it is really important to reconsider the items on your must have list. Most marriages will work because people have similar goals, and want to walk together in one same direction. If both people want the same thing and are motivated to get there, it will work. If you are too busy thinking about how the person dresses you will rarely go past a second date.

  22. qwerty says

    Dear Sam,
    Hope you find a girlfriend soon.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    A word on this subject. I was single, swore I would never marry. When I was a child crawling on the carpet, I looked at my parents’ marriage and said to myself “I will never marry.” Stayed single. When I was 50, I met a woman the same age who had also never married. We’re married today 14-1/2 years.

  23. Edwardo Francis says

    Love is making a choice every single day, to either love or not love. That’s it. It’s that simple. Either to continue the process or not. We fall in and out of love. Even in relationships, especially in relationships. This doesn’t mean we don’t love the person. It means we are left with a choice. There is a difference between feeling love for someone (caring about a person), and loving someone (choosing to love that person). You may have love for someone forever. But that doesn’t mean you choose to love that person forever. The choice to love is not a feeling, it is an action. That is why it is so difficult. It requires you to do something and I’m not just talking about buying flowers. It might mean putting your wants aside. Also, like chemistry, the ability to love is not a constant. It is a variable. It fluctuates, depending on where you’re at in your life and what you’re struggling with. Sometimes it is easy to love. Sometimes it is extremely difficult. But at the end of the day, it’s always a choice.

    • says

      That’s an interesting perspective about love being a choice. I’ll have to think a little deeper on that. Perhaps it’s about opening our hearts and letting people in, just hoping they don’t cut us to pieces….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *