How effective is it to tell people to just wait and the right person will come along when giving dating advice?

I've noticed this among GAGers, and my own parents were like this when I was young. They frequently said, "Just wait and be patient. The right person will come along." As I am older, I'm starting to question this advice. Now, as it happened my wife did sort of "just come along," but even then I had to put some effort into it, and I acknowledge my story may be more the exception than the rule. Other women I dated did not "just come along." I was actively seeking them. I have also noticed this is advice frequently given to physically unattractive people. I do not think they should "Just wait and be patient and the right person will come along." Probably better to advise them to do something to up their game.

So what are your thoughts on the whole "Just wait and the right person will come along [often when you least expect it or aren't looking]" line of advice? How effective do you think it is?

Updates:
It's telling that generally older people are answering this question.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I think people take that statement a little more literal than it is meant to be. You have to get out and meet new people. If you don't meet people, how are you ever going to find someone? However, there are some people who are just so desperate to find someone, and that is a turn off. People can tell when your desperate. I feel like as long as your meeting new people and living in the moment, rather than constantly only looking for someone to date, you'll find someone eventually.

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    • Indeed. There seems to be some people who take it to mean that they don't need to do anything to improve themselves and their lives.

    • Everyone should work on bettering themselves. @bluemax

      @torrie

      I agree with you to the extent that sometimes you. do just meet someone. . Sure they are once in a lifetime situations but the right person can come along as simple as an elevator or the train

    • Thanks for mh! :)

What Girls Said 8

  • It's an effective placation to those that seem to have lost hope. But by itself it's counterproductive. Waiting, as you suggested, only generally extends the period of time in which something doesn't happen... unless something is completely outside of your control--which is very rare. For example, the biggest joke about the Army was the "Hurry and wait" principle. There was always something that could've been done to expedite matters or make use of the interim time--other than simple sitting around waiting

    Likewise, a lot of people wait for great things to come to them in live... and they never do... they waste years, decades, or their entire life! ... and it makes them so empty that, in the rare chance their "ship comes in", they squander it and don't feel fulfilled. How many career lottery entrants have you seen change their lives upon actually winning?
    ... It's discouraging to me because this mass "Hopefully..." attitude only transforms our culture into a bunch of victims. Which in turn, gradually empowers influences in our lives that were only meant to be supportive... government, media, industries, etc... and consequently dis-empowers the individual--making the victim perception more and more justified!

    Achievement is a combination of patience AND actively seeking (and seizing) out new opportunities
    ... Sun Tzu knew this, but i guess 2,500 years has quelled people's passion.

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    • In terms of dating, I believe there is a Mr/Mrs right... but it's a 1 in 3,500,000,000 shot. It's ridiculous to suggest that waiting alone is the key. Even if you spent your entire life, every second racing through and meeting a new person, to meet all 3.5 billion... you'd only be able to meet 2,049,840,000 perspective mates (assuming you live 'til 65... that's assuming no one dies or is born in that time)... and that's only 58% !!!
      yes that impossible feat would take patience... but most people have to settle... because dating a few or even a hundred people won't likely land you your soulmate... and the very act of waiting just makes you more and more miserable and jaded... and less attractive in the dating pool as time takes its toll in so many other ways.

    • (standing ovation) Bravo!
      I like your professional lottery entrant analogy. Very pertinent and appropriate and yes it does create a subculture of victims. So too does this "wait and the right person will come along" strategy.
      I never much cared for the soul mate concept. Most people never find, much less marry, their soul mates. Only place where we might have some disagreement is that I tend to think that there are many people suitable for a mate, not just one. Mr. and Mrs. Right frequently come and go in and out of our lives, but they are often unrecognized due to lack of effort.

  • I'm still waiting on meeting the right person in my life, I just got back in school two weeks ago so I'm trying to focus on my studies and just enjoy life. I did meet this boy in middle school, he was really nice although we didn't really get to know each other with time. We exchanged numbers and he said he liked me and so we dated for 5 months. I thought it was meant to be I thought he and I were meant to be. But he started drinking like last summer and he changed a lot since he came into high school I guess everyone changes. But anyways I've decided to hold off on meeting the right person in my life. I still have time but I'm not going to rush into it so quickly, I probably won't start dating again till college. I don't think he was ready to put effort into a relationship. I think you should know what you want in a relationship, and who you want to be with it or who your ideal person is, etc.

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  • I think the phase is just one way of waiting for the time to really come. For now in my life. All I need to worry about is school and just spending my normal time till I find that person or they find me... I did wait out the person for me.. But the guy I fell in love... Well.. I guess we weren't meant to be. Or he wasn't ready...

    In my book... I guess it's effective in some level. Usually depend on the person and how they wish for their life style really.. And know who they are looking for or when the time comes I guess...

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  • Yes it doesn't seem that effective of the moment to the person, but read between the lines. If you wait rather than jumping into bed with just anyone, its not worth it. But to achieve a suitable partner you do need to have patience and of course putting in the effort.

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  • Good advice I'm just going to wait in my house and wait for money to come to my door and I'm going to wait for Prince Charming while I'm in my house

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  • You have to put yourself out in places you can meet people

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  • Wait, no. Be patient, yes.

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  • It's not effective at all considering most people do not want to hear that, even though it is the truth.

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    • I'm sorry, but could you explain what you mean when you say "most people do not want to hear that, even though it is the truth?" What is it exactly you don't think they want to hear?

What Guys Said 6

  • I think the better advice is "If you build it, they will come" in terms of dating.

    In other words, build yourself up to be the kind of lover you want, or to attract the kind of person you want. As you go, you will attract that person, and after you've attracted them, you'll be able to hold their interest.

    This advice works far better. People feel like they have much more direct control over their dating life this way. It also advocates for patience. Finding the right person means putting effort into yourself, and then waiting for the kind of person you want to be attracted to what you've built.

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    • I too believe in making your life and yourself as attractive as possible. Well put.

  • I think misinterpret the expression. It's not saying wait as in sit on your ass and do nothing. It's wait as in don't expect find the love of your life right away. It's advocatin that you don't just jump into bed with just anyone, but rather wait for someone that is worthy of your time/emotions. Obviously you have to go out and look for people, you're not going to find the love of your life just waiting in your room. Just like the time heals all wounds cliché. Sure time does help, but in an of itself isn't going to do shit. If you have a wound you've got to take the proper measures to close it up and then let time do its thing.
    Basically cliches suck.

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    • I see what you're saying and agree with it for the most part, Bandit74. However, I've often heard this advice accompanying statements like "Don't change for anyone," which I think isn't always wise.

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    • That goes without saying.

    • Thats a good answer.

  • I don't believe it's all that effective, actually.

    I do believe in waiting for the right person, sure, but I don't believe in waiting for them to just fall right in your lap.

    Finding someone special and someone to love takes effort, requires risk, and it often necessitates that you go out of your comfort zone in order to bring them into your life.

    Honestly, I enjoy that it's this way. I like the effort, risk, and growing pains that it requires; but maybe I'm just crazy. LOL

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    • Yes, you are crazy. ;-D

      I like the "going out of your comfort zone" aspect. Very well put.

  • It's just as dumb as the ones who say "Well... you must be meeting the wrong people." I just think "No shit... where are the good ones then and why haven't you told me where they are?"

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    • You know, I've never heard anyone I know personally give the "you must be meeting the wrong people" advice.

    • I think it's more.. "you must be looking in the wrong places"

  • all a bunch of bull. your parents just dont want you having sex when you're a teenager or have sex at all at least till you're on your own and have a good job

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    • I disagree. I think parents just want to protect you from getting hurt. I dont think it has anything to do with sex per say.

  • "Just wait and the right person will come along" is horrible advice. We all need to put ourselves out there and constantly work on improving ourselves. That however becomes a really complex conversation, that most people don't have all the answers to. So they instead repeat useless advice to make the other person feel better.

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    • I've often suspected that is the case.

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    • That is why it is easier to just give useless advice, instead of getting drawn into a possible argument.

    • meen I need a senpai

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