Putting A Deadline On Love: Bad Idea

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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.)

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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!

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DISCUSSION

ZemarSea-Urchin
ZemarSea-Urchin

1. Love is not going to just jump up and bite you in the ass. You can't just stand there staring at some subway poster and suddenly mister whatever is going to step and ask you out. And if he did you should run becuase no normal person would do that on a subway platform.

2. Most peope have a certain number of friends and time commitments. This can often prevent you from meeting new people or having the time to enlarge your social circle.

3. There is nothing wrong with desiring a committed relationship. It isn't anti-femminist.

4. I repeat it is really insulting and pie eyed to be making statements about chemistry, serendipity, and meeting the one when you least expect it and all that junk. My God if you have ever dated in your life you'll realize three things "I'm nuts" and "he/she is insane" and "it is really hard to meet people (in general)".

This woman isn't doing anything crazy or wrong. Okay maybe a wee above the norm. All you naysayers are just disturbed because she has a time line. She isn't even stuck on it (as much as you guys are). She understands it is a way to motivate her to try to meet new people and actually date. Crap I should have such motivation. As it is I prefer my couch, gossip girl, and choco chip cookies to a date. I am soooo lazy.