Your life should not be greatly defined by what it lacks, but by what it boasts. This is something I struggle with myself when it comes to certain things (*cough* money and a flat stomach *cough*) and I know that I’m not hardly alone. If you are single and wish to be attached, your current situation should not be so much a part of your identity as it is simply a matter of fact.

While you go forward in your search for companionship, be cautious as not to become what we’ll call her the “Career Single Woman.”

You know her. You may have been her at one point. And you probably don’t get to excited to hang out with her, for there are few folks as frustrating as the Career Single Woman. She can’t go anywhere — be it a club, block party or Christening — unless there’s going to be single, eligible men there. Her social life is entirely centered upon meeting potential suitors and dating; she has no problem flaking on friends in the pursuit of love and affection.

The CSW will RSVP for your sorority mixer, since there will be loads of Greek (read: college educated and likely employed!) guys there. But don’t count on seeing her at ‘girls night in’ at your house, for she can’t sacrifice a Friday evening that could be spent on the prowl. She can’t hardly enjoy chatting with you at happy hour, because she has to meet as many men as possible before going home. Looking for men isn’t something she does for fun, it’s actually become like a part-time job.

I had a CSW period, albeit a brief one. Every time I left the house, I considered the possibility of meeting men and I skipped certain destinations in favor of places that were more conducive to connecting with some honeys. I couldn’t have a good time at a party unless there were attractive men around and I didn’t want to “waste time” in the house bonding with my friends unless there was nothing better to do.

But it was when I dropped that thirst and started simply enjoying life that I found myself meeting more quality guys and having a full dance card. I was still very honest with myself about my desire to be in a relationship and I continued looking for one. But it didn’t order my every step. Soon, I was an active dater with a full social life that didn’t revolve around flirting. Next thing I knew, I was someone’s girlfriend.

Wanting a partner (or a couple of solid dudes to date more casually) is perfectly normal. There is absolutely no shame to be felt from craving affection, companionship or even just sex. These are the things that humans want and need. But these cravings shouldn’t impede your ability to have a good time in between beaus and they are no excuse for you to be a less than reliable or present friend.

When looking for love, you must always remember that you already have it! Your momma, daddy, sister, home girl… someone loves you right this very second. And when you shortchange these folks in the service of someone you’ve either just encountered or haven’t met yet (i.e. “I can’t go to Auntie Steph’s retirement party, ‘cuz the club might be popping that night”), you aren’t demonstrating to the universe that you are truly ready for that which you seek.

That said, it’s okay to get extra fly for the Christmas party that your brother’s fine friends are having or to spend a little more time volunteering at the local soup kitchen now that your handsome neighbor has started working there. You’re doing fun, rewarding things that you would enjoy without men present and you have the added value of possibly finding companionship in the process. Being proactive about meeting guys is smart; being obsessive is unhealthy and can cost you greatly in the long run. Don’t wait until you’re in love to love your life. Enjoy what you have now and you’ll make the path to whatever may be next a lot smoother.

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