I'm sure you've all heard the tired cliches before... "nobody else can make you happy"... "you have to be happy with yourself"... "nobody will love you until you love yourself"... "you can't depend on other people to bring you happiness"... (yet ironically, the same people who tell you these things are the ones who will tell you to turn to your "friends and family" for support when you're feeling down, as if we all have friends and family to turn to) In spite of the fact that this "advice" is oftentimes contradictory and goes against everything we know about human behavior - human beings are social animals, we are driven by a need to belong to larger communities and to find a suitable mate, society places great emphasis on family, friendship and social bonding, studies have shown that lonely people suffer from more depression and health problems, etc.; it's pretty obvious to me that this whole line of telling people that they're supposed to be happy being all alone is complete and utter bullshit, but let's assume for a minute that these things are true, that it really is a viscious Catch-22 cycle where the only way to make friends and find love is to already have friends and feel loved... Life is hard, and painful for many people. Myself included. I haven't exactly had a good life. So what makes life worth living? The happy times. The good things. Those moments of joy. What brings people those brief glimpses of happiness? Well it's different for everyone... for some it's hobbies or interests, or being successful, or family, or friends, or doing fun and exciting things, etc. But what about when the only thing you want is love? I realized long ago that I will never be wealthy. And that's okay, because money can't buy me happiness. I realized I will never be famous. And that's okay, because I don't really want everybody to know me anyway. I realized I will never have lots of friends. And that's okay, because I value quality over quantity anyway. I realized I will never have my "dream job". And that's okay, because I don't live to work anyway, I work to live. So what happens when the only thing you want out of life is romantic love? That's the one thing I've decided that I am not willing to live without. For most of my life, since the age of about 11 or 12, I have fantasized about having a girlfriend. That was the only thing that would make me truly happy, was imagining being with a girl who cared about me, who I could kiss and hold hands with. I would get crushes on girls and sit there and daydream about them for literally hours and hours, thinking of how great it would be if they were willing to go out with me. And these same thoughts consumed me throughout elementary school, throughout junior high, throughout high school, throughout college, and throughout my adult life after college. These dreams have never gone away. In that time, I've had a couple girlfriends (that didn't end well)... a couple of flings (that didn't go beyond that)... got rejected A LOT... and finally ended up getting married to someone that I didn't have any feelings for just because I wanted to be with someone so badly. Look, I know there's more to life than relationships, and I know I have to try to be a well rounded person with multiple interests. I have other interests... but none that consume me as strongly as my desires for love and romance. In my heart, I know that is all that I really want. And yet I can never seem to make it work. And people keep telling me that I shouldn't obsess on it... they say not to look for love, that love will find you... that you will never find it if you're looking for it... but I can't help it. It is the ONLY thing that I want. And the people who tell me that it won't make me happy are just plain wrong. Yes it absolutely will make me happy, because it's the only thing I really feel like I'm missing from my life. People assume that because I'm needy and depressed and lack social grace that I somehow don't like myself. I like myself just fine. I've spent many a year by myself, sitting alone, reading books or otherwise keeping myself entertained. It's not a matter of me not being happy with who I am. I've accepted who I am, even if the rest of the world doesn't. Even though I do feel like a bit of an outcast at times, I happen to like myself, and I have no intentions of trying to be somebody else. I know that I don't fit in. That's okay. Like I said, I don't need to be popular or liked by everyone. But they say that there's somebody out there for everyone, and I've always wanted to believe that... I want to believe that in spite of my quirks and flaws and issues, that there is some woman out there who is perfect for me, somebody who will complete me. And I know that once I find her, all will be right in the world. But it seems like so many people want to try to talk me out of this desire... or maybe they think they're just trying to spare me the disappointment of learning that there isn't really somebody for everyone. Maybe the only reason they tell me to be "happy with myself" is because they want me to accept the fact that I'll never find the love that I've been looking for. Or maybe they're right when they say that being in love won't make me happy. But here's the thing... if they're right, if love isn't enough to save me, then nothing ever will be. All those people who think they're "helping" me by telling me to give up on love, are actually only hurting me. Because if love isn't worth living for, if it's not something I can ever hope to have, if it's not enough to make me happy, then I might as well be dead. "Be happy with yourself"... I am so very tired of being happy by myself. I want to be happy with somebody else. Why is that idea so hard for people to accept? Do you not all have goals and ambitions? So maybe my ambition is to fall in love. Is that so wrong? Am I not allowed to want something that most of the rest of the world takes for granted? Is it stupid for me to base my happiness on human companionship? I don't think so. I think it's perfectly understandable. But hey, maybe they're right. Maybe it won't make me happy. Maybe I will always be miserable, no matter what. And if they are right, I should probably start getting my things in order and planning my suicide. Because essentially what they're telling me, unintentionally and not in so many words, is that there is nothing in this world worth living for. I hope that they're wrong. And I believe that they probably are wrong, based on how happy people are when they are in love. You see it all the time... people talking about how happy they are when they meet someone special, how their spouse is the greatest thing that ever happened to them, how their wedding day was the happiest day in their lives...the happiest I have ever been was when I had fallen for a particular woman or when sharing a passionate moment with a woman that I had feelings for. I do believe that finding my soul mate is what would make me happy. But hey, maybe "they" are right, and it's ridiculous for me to assume that love conquers all, to think that "all you need is love". And if "they" are in fact right, and I am wrong, then there is really no sense in dragging this existence out any longer.