My dog Roger and I gave free love advice to lonely and single people yesterday
The sun was out in Montreal and the temperature was bearable. It felt like spring. I like spring. Everything starts to thaw, including people's desire to connect. Exciting.
I packed up my recording gear and my free love advice sign and headed up the mountain. The goal was to give free love advice to people at the top of Mont Royal. I had no idea I'd run into so many lonely and single people.
I set up my tripod, my free love advice sign, and turned my camera on
Then I asked people walking by if they needed free love advice.
Most people smiled and kept walking. This is a common reaction. They see the tripod and the camera and they prefer to not get involved. I completely understand, I'm used to it.
People in San Francisco were the same way when I used to record them in my taxicab.
I'm still not used to being in front of the camera, it scares the shit out of me. But I do it anyway. I do things that scare me to find out if they're going to kill me.
They haven't yet so I'll probably continue.
Some people don't need free love advice
They have all the love they need. At least that's what they tell me as they walk by.
Oh I'm good, thanks! Happily married!
I beg them to tell me their secrets but they walk on smiling smugly to themselves.
They look like they know something the rest of us don't, but I suspect otherwise.
Talking about love makes some people uncomfortable. Easier to say you're all full up than to admit you might be needing a little extra.
We could all use a little extra love
Especially the folks that are lonely and single. And I talked to a few yesterday.
Three separate people came up to me and told me they didn't need free love advice because they didn't have any love in their life.
It was sad, and raw, but it was real.
They told me they had some love in their life, just not romantic love.
I asked one woman how long she's been single and she asked me what year it was. Oh, that long.
That's cool, I could relate.
What do I know about being single and lonely?
I've been single and lonely a few years now. It wasn't my plan, but that's how it worked out. I've had 3 girlfriends in the past 8 years but none have lasted more than 9 months.
So I've been single for 6 out of the last 8 years.
Hmmmm. Looks like I'm the one who could use free love advice.
Even though I'm single and have been for awhile, today, I'm happy.
But have I always been happy?
No, definitely not.I've been single and lonely more than I care to admit.
I've spent long stretches of time lonely and single. I've wasted a lot of time looking for love and coming up empty handed.
Online dating seemed like the way out of being lonely and single so I threw myself into. Then I quit Tinder in Chattanooga because it was a waste of time and energy.
I turned to pornography because how else was I going to satisfy my urges? Then I quit that too because I was using it to change the way I feel and I didn't like it.
Then I let go I turned the focus on myself
Finding someone to be with wasn't going to solve my sadness and my loneliness. This was an inside job.
I didn't want to be lonely anymore. When I was lonely I was mostly sad. Being single I could handle, but I needed to be happy as well.
Until I could be happy with myself and happy in my daily life as a single person, I didn't stand a chance to meet someone to share my life with.
I love steps and I love lists, here's another for you.
The six step plan to being single and happy:
1. Stop looking for love
Stop looking for that hundred dollar bill, it's getting in the way of living your life. Stay open to meeting new people, but stop looking for love everywhere you go.
When you meet new people try to find out three interesting things about them. That's it. Connection is the new goal, not finding love.
2. Do interesting things
Life is more fun when it's interesting so do interesting things. Write a list of 10 things you've always wanted to do and do the top three most interesting.
Here's what I did: started doing standup comedy, joined a badminton league, and started making videos on YouTube. The more interesting things you do the richer your life will be.
3. Get healthy
Exercise everyday, eat well, and get more sleep.
Get moderate exercise on a daily basis. You don't need rest days if you vary your exercises. I either run, lift, and play badminton every day.
Cut out sugar form your diet. It's not a nutrient, your body doesn't need it. My moods have stabilized because I no longer eat sugar.
Get more sleep. I needed to go to bed earlier to get more sleep so I stopped watching TV. I don't miss it.
4. Cultivate what love you already have
Spend more time with loved ones. If your family brings you joy, then spend more time with them or call them more often.
Prioritize spending time with people who make you feel good. They won't replace romantic or sexual love but they'll contribute to your long term happiness.
5. Get a massage every now and then
It'll satisfy your need for touch, at least for a little while. Too horny to get a massage? Take a freezing cold shower first, trust me, you won't be horny anymore.
6. Live in action
Live in action and stay busy. Work hard, explore new projects, develop a new skill, and find a new hobby.
Staying active will help you become more engaged with the world. It'll also help you feel more fulfilled.
Also, it's hard to feel lonely when you're busy and interacting with the world on a daily basis. The world is a wonderful place to be, engage with it.
This one isn't a step. This is what you should do every waking moment of your life.
Without self love, we're completely incapable of loving anyone else.
Love yourself as hard as you can and do everything in your power to cultivate self love. Other people's love will come and go, but you can have all the self love you want. You're worth it.