‘Don’t wait for the guy. Order the takeout, draw the boundaries. Stop buying lavish gifts for family and friends and save up for that laptop you wanted.’: Woman urges ‘happiness starts when you stop waiting’

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“Don’t wait for the guy.

Don’t wait for the guy who will sweep you off your feet.

You know, the type of knight-in-shining-armor we’re always told to wait for in the Disney movies. And then as we get older, in Hollywood movies, Netflix movies, Hallmark movies, Lifetime movies…

…er, every single rom-com movie.

Yeah, don’t wait for that guy.

I wish my younger self could have told my current self that waiting is just wasted time.

When we keep waiting for one person to complete our happily-ever-after, we miss out on — well, life.

What if happiness comes in many forms?

Happiness might be walking away from a toxic relationship. Writing that book. Adopting a rescue puppy.

Spending years being single.

Building yourself back up.

Happiness starts when you stop waiting for someone else to save you and make you happy.

Courtesy of Desiree Ortman Photography

So, let’s make a promise to each other, starting now. Let’s stop holding ourselves back from experiencing life and start by learning about ourselves.

Let’s start by ordering takeout from that restaurant you’ve been wanting to visit. FaceTime your childhood friend — you know, the one you haven’t talked to in years.

Let’s read the raunchy memoir by that reality star.

Let’s start by writing a list of goals and work hard at them every day. Start with four push-ups and eventually move to six. Write for 30 minutes and then an hour.

Let’s also remember that we don’t have to be superhuman. Just human.

Courtesy of Desiree Ortman Photography

Cancel your socially distant plans. Drink your favorite wine. Cry when you’re sad.

Make Ina Garten’s onion dip and eat the whole thing.

Put away your phone and start listening to what you want out of life.

Stop buying lavish gifts for your family and friends. Start saving up for that laptop you’ve been wanting and stop feeling guilty about it.

Start building your dreams and invest in your own business.

Start dating to learn who you like, but don’t let dating become your sole purpose.

Stop jumping to conclusions and start drawing boundaries. Start giving the underdog a chance.

Maybe someone will come along and when they do, you’ll be able to start with the best version of yourself.

But for now, don’t wait for the guy.

Because it’s time to start defining your own version of happiness — and that starts with yourself.”

Courtesy of Desiree Ortman Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lisa Cleary, a tough love self-help writer and author of How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Lisa here:

‘Stop trying so hard with others who don’t make you feel right.’: Woman urges ‘find the friend who will walk with you through every season of life’

‘Dear mom, you’re never a bother. I love you, and what we have will always be special.’: Woman urges ‘tell your mom you love her’

‘Here’s to being 30 and married!’ Everyone lifted their glasses in unison. I drove home in tears, 33 and single.’: Woman faces ‘stigma’ for being ‘unmarried and childless’

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