by Annette Bridges. ©2009. All rights reserved.

Looking for your Mr. Right may sometimes seem like a futile journey. Some “experts” suggest that too many of us are clueless about what we really want or need and explain this as the reason we don’t find a permanent partner.

Perhaps your love life has not been a bed of roses. And if you’re like me, you’ve been dumped more times than you want to say. I wish someone had told me, “He’s just not that into you!” These words of wisdom might have kept me from wasting so many days (or weeks) pining over what I thought was lost love.

I had seven years of dating prior to meeting my husband. And during those years I traveled many miles on the road from rejection to romance.

Rejection can leave you feeling devastated. It can seem impossible to get past the hurt. At such times I usually wanted to withdraw into my little burrow and hide away from the world. But time truly healed all wounds, and I found myself back in the saddle — at least until I was thrown off the horse again!

After a fall, most folks advise: “Dust yourself off and get back on the horse.”

This reminds me of the time Jesus told his disciples to “shake off the dust of their feet” (Matthew 10:14) when they were faced with folks who didn’t welcome them into their communities or want to hear what they had to say. He seemed to be telling them to just move on in those instances, to not make a scene, to not hang around and try to force the situation. There were plenty of people who would be interested in them elsewhere, just as there is someone who will be interested in each of us.

Some people promise you’re most likely to find Mr. Right when you’re not looking for him. And I suppose this is what happened to me. But just because I wasn’t specifically looking for my husband at Six Flags over Texas that hot summer day, doesn’t mean I wasn’t a hopeful romantic and very expectant that Mr. Right would cross my path —eventually.

I had spent my dating years implementing the “Are you my husband?” method. Remember the Dr. Seuss book, Are you my mother? A baby bird is hatched while his mother is away. After falling from his nest, the confused little bird sets out to find his mother and asks everyone he meets the big question — including a dog, a cow and even an airplane.

Every man I dated was evaluated with my big question in mind. And, frankly, after years of unsuccessful hunting by this method, I came to the realization that too much analysis caused me to miss out on a lot of fun and friendships, and in the end, I still had no husband.

A few months before I met my husband (of 28 years now), I decided I needed a new approach to my pursuit of lasting romance.

Friends advised me to focus on living a full and happy life rather than searching desperately for a husband. “Do things you like to do and you’ll meet others who love to do the same as you.” Good advice!

Psychologists say the key to getting off the dating merry-go-round requires nothing more than taking the time to get to know yourself before you try to get to know someone else. Also good advice!

So take heart my single friends. I believe God peoples the world so none of us have to be alone. We’re walking this life journey together — side by side. And we’re never really alone because our Father is with us.

Don’t waste time in dismay when your Mr. Today turns out not to be your Mr. Forever. I met my husband when I least expected to. The same thing could happen to you, too.