Putting A Deadline On Love: Bad Idea

Oh, Neenah Pickett. I totally get why you started "52 Weeks To Find Him!", a website and project dedicated to searching for your future husband. But: What a terrible, terrible idea.

I understand that part of the battle, when looking for love, is putting yourself out there. So I have no problem with you being aggressive on that front. As you told CNN, "This whole process has been me really realizing I need to find new ways to be proactive." And I know, that at 43 years old — and a woman of color — the odds are against you. If you don't focus on your love live, it might just fall by the wayside.

But a deadline? Love is not an appointment you can make. Life doesn't work that way. And maybe I've been brainwashed by Hollywood romcoms and a mother who lives for the "Vows" section of the New York Times, but isn't part of falling in love the surprise, the serendipity, the fun of the astonishing, unpredictable, caught-off-guard feeling that comes from getting pistol-whipped by Cupid's glock (arrows are so passé) when you least expect it? (I think I've mentioned this before, but I used to say all I wanted was a guy who'd take me out for steak and champagne; now I'm in love with a vegan who doesn't drink.)

Paul Gauguin was a depressed, suicidal stockbroker before he moved to Tahiti at the age of 43 and became a painter. Henri Rousseau was a tax collector until the age of 49; now his paintings hang in the Museum of Modern Art. Gabriel Garcia Marquez didn't write One Hundred Years Of Solitude until he was 40. I do believe it's never too late.

But I don't believe you can force romance to happen. Saying you want to be married by a certain age is like saying you want the sun to shine on your birthday. You can make it happen with a whole lot of work, but that doesn't mean it's right. And isn't it ultimately selfish and narcissistic? We only have so much control of our lives, and trying to force the Universe to bend to your will is usually futile. Plus, the rigidity of a deadline is ultimately a set-up; "failure," if you don't find "him," will be a crushing blow — and you'll only have your own schedule to blame. Thankfully, you seem to have a pretty good attitude about the whole thing:

If she doesn't find him by the end of the year, she's prepared to take a year off to re-evaluate where she is.

"At that point, I'll probably need a year off from dating," she said with a laugh.

Finding Love On A Deadline [CNN]
Related: 52 Weeks To Find Him!