I'm a hopeful, old-fashioned romantic who believes a genuine relationship filled with substance is rare, but possible.
The famous saying about how there are plenty of fish in the sea is true, but it's also filled with sting rays, barracudas, great white sharks, and box jellyfish. It's my duty to respect myself and avoid the dangerous creatures lurking out there in the dating pool waiting for their next prey and pick someone who won't hurt me.
I will always attract good, mediocre, and bad guys, but I have to use my best judgement and be selective in a realistic manner to find Mr. Right. With all of this being said, finding the right guy for me is the simple part.
While it's nice to doze off and believe in fairy tales, I don't believe in soul mates. No one can complete me and my life shouldn't revolve around a person. A relationship should have an interdependent component to it; where lovers should spend time together finding the right balance of novelty and stability in the activities they pursue while spending time alone to relax, socialize, or be productive.
I believe lovers should start off as friends and build upon that over time, so they can have a solid foundation based on trust, respect, and all of the key ingredients for making a relationship worthwhile, healthy, and happy. Michael Bolton was right when he sang the song "how can we be lovers if we can't be friends?" Without trust and respect, you're just playing games and toying with someone's emotions.
Speed dating and casual relationships are the norm these days because people allow them to happen. If a guy isn't enthusiastic about being with me or afraid of commitment, then he is out! I am not gonna be with someone who wants to use pick-up artist strategies like negging, the 3 day rule, or the dreaded D.E.N.N.I.S. System from the hit t.v. show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" or uses excuses of why he doesn't wanna be with me at the time. When a person wants something, they will shift their priorities and make time.
All of us have a chance at finding love and keeping it forever, but we our own worst enemies because we give up on the romance and play games because of what society tells us. It's also ironic that society tells us to be ourselves and yet society also says you have to do this and the other thing. Be 100% yourself and don't associate yourself with people who don't accept it. Love isn't about agreeing, preferring, or liking everything someone has to offer. It's about accepting them for who they are completely and not wishing they were different and trying to force them into something else. When a person is allowed to open up with you and be completely themself, they will fall madly in love with you because there are too many people out there who are close-minded. Top that off with helping them grow, challenging them, making them giggle till their tummy hurts, learning about their interests, and you'll be a keeper.