Q: All my friends are getting married and I still haven’t found the “one.” I’m starting to worry that if it doesn’t happen soon, my timeline will be all off-kilter. What do I do?

Finding a man is not unlike finding lost keys—have you tried looking under the sofa cushions? Oh my, if only it were that simple!

According to the “law of attraction” theory, we are getting exactly what we seek always. But it’s a little tricky: for while you are longing for a man, a home, a family; the universe is hearing only longing. And the universe replies, “oh, you wonderful, adorable, longing you! You are so good and brilliant at this longing—here is some more of that, darling! Be delighted in your longing!” And, you wish to tell the universe, “Thank you. But I have other plans.”

The point of living is to live well. We want to find “our heart’s desire.” But guess what? The narrow plan, the one that impatiently taps its foot at the universe, demanding to “have a husband and kids and a fabulous home—like my friends’ (only better) and by next year, month, or week” is one that takes you nowhere but to misery when “the plan” is unfulfilled. So, my answer to your question is, “yes, you are being jealous of your friends; but I so understand how and why you feel as you do, dearest.”

My advice is this: trust in the natural workings of the world—almost every reasonably bright, reasonably attractive (and a ton of not-so-bright, unfortunate-looking people) get married every day. So, in all likelihood, marriage IS in your future. So, let go of trying to power drive the fates—let them work and flow. They will anyway.

In the meantime, find your passions, your true heart (the one that must be prepared to be joyfully, magnificently contented, no matter what). Imagine your last breath on earth and being confronted with the choice to spend that eternal moment either regretting things done or left undone, or being ecstatic at how wonderful, after all, everything was. Live each moment in full power—not longing for what isn’t, not regretting what once was—this is the moment you have. Be audacious with it! And, as you string the moments along, your life will have been a glorious adventure, rather than the disappointment of an unfulfilled “plan.”

My dear, the very rocks themselves will give up their vibrant love to you, if you know how to receive it.

~ Judith Anne McCarthy, author of The Marrying Kind

Agree with our expert’s advice? Or do you have advice of your own to share? Sound off in the comments!

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