Do not let a sense of loneliness coerce you into settling for less than you deserve. As a strong woman, your own company is more valuable.
You watch your friends get engaged and married and have kids and though you are happy for them, there is a little part of you that is eating away at your sanity. That small, annoying voice that questions, "Am I destined to end up alone?" The fear of loneliness can be devastating, especially if you are surrounded by people who seem so secure and sure in their relationships. Meanwhile, you find yourself making eyes with a stranger at a bar, wondering if they are the one. Or swiping right on a gorgeous man and imagining what your kids would look like. Or perhaps you are on your first date with a guy who showed up fifteen minutes late but can make you laugh so you think you can make it work. But you do not need to settle - you do not need to make excuses for men who will not make you a priority.
Women are led to believe that they will never find the perfect match. And yes, while it is difficult to find someone who ticks all the right boxes and exceeds all your expectations, making you believe in love again, this is not a reason to let go of your own standards in order to find someone faster or with less effort. "You want to find someone who has a successful career, a great sense of humor, and blue eyes?" My friends would ask. (Okay, blue eyes would have just been an added bonus, but that is not the point).
The point is that it is not impractical, naive, or too high-maintenance of you to expect a potential partner to not just meet your wavelength, but thrive while he is there. As strong women, so many of us get caught up in the idea that we are too demanding if we see ourselves with a particular kind of person, but this does not have to be the case. Instead of feeling like you are taking up too much space, let yourself grow into every person you find interest in and let him know exactly what they are in for.
Because you do not have to be ashamed or frightened of the standards you have set for yourself and anyone else who has the privilege of enjoying your presence. Your time and emotional labor are just as valuable as a potential partner's. Therefore, shrinking your desires in order to match theirs or rid yourself of the gnawing sense of loneliness would only be committing a disservice to yourself. Use these moments of self-doubt, when you are uncertain about whether you will find someone at all, to reassure yourself that it is okay even if you do not.
When you see yourself reaching for the most convenient or accessible man just because he meets the bare minimum criteria in order to bat away momentary lapses of loneliness, remind yourself that you are better than that and deserve someone who can do more than just fill the emptiness on the other side of the dinner table. If you do feel a sense of desolation, fill it with things that help you grow and empower yourself like art, travel, music, poetry, literature, or the stars. There is something to help you feel whole that is not another person.
But you know this already. Phenomenal women know that protecting their hearts is far more important than a silly, unrequited crush that will be replaced with another fleeting love in about two weeks. While the rush and excitement of a new lover can be so gloriously breathtaking, that energy is not the same kind that can - or will - fuel a relationship. And it would be naive to believe that a relationship could ever be sustained when you do not find yourself wholly enthusiastic about your partner throughout the course of it.
That form of enthusiasm arises only when you choose to not settle. If someone does not leave you feeling over the moon, with butterflies in your stomach, craving more and more of them (in a non-psychotic way), why try to force a square peg into a round hole? Your own company, enriched by your passions and hobbies, is far more comforting, fulfilling, and satisfying than any mediocre partner could ever be, especially if they are led to believe they can take advantage of your ability to compromise.
The sense of loneliness that you are attempting to abate can only come from within, not external sources. When you become comfortable with the idea of spending time with your own company, you will recognize just how freeing it can be to be alone. While intimacy and companionship are compelling reasons to search for a partner, they are definitely not as meaningful as self-fulfillment, independence, and a sense of security in yourself.