Separating Self Worth From Relationship Status in 2023

Shani Silver
10 min readJan 2, 2023

“Kissing frogs” and other myths.

Photo by Shani Silver

A word on amphibians. Pond-dwelling, less cute than something with fur, just generally kind of wet, you know the type.

You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”

Words of wisdom, apparently, derived from fairy tales, a genre widely known for telling the truth. I’ve experienced this sentence, which is the English language equivalent of a scrunched up nose, tossed around whenever someone has just emerged from a moment of potential romantic partnership disappointed, confused, exhausted, angry, or some smoothie of it all mixed together. The kissing, in the context of modern dating and the heterosexual single women brave enough to engage in such a jello wrestle refers to the act of pursuing a partner. The frogs, of course, stand for men. Alright fine maybe the adage makes a point.

If someone is speaking to a single woman, purporting to give her advice or predictive information of any kind, I’m extremely likely to believe down to my socks that this person is full of shit. Dating advice itself isn’t far off from telling someone their future over a crystal ball in a tourist-laden area of town, but somehow we still cling to it, rather than question it.

That might be one of the biggest hurdles for me, human beings’ large-scale refusal to question the source of dating advice, or the source of accepted norms and outright commandments for how single women should behave. We just assume it’s true because someone said it, caring far more about ending our singlehood than doing our due diligence. You won’t buy something online without reading 50 reviews but, “Hey, have you tried sending this kind of message on a dating app precisely six hours after you match?” is somehow always worth a shot.

We also rarely question the methods by which these pearls were acquired. We just hear something like, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince” and shrug off our 27th shitty date in a row, then start preparing to go back for more because apparently, according to this “advice,” that’s just what people do. Because meeting “your person” is worth enduring anything, right? It’ll all be worth it once we find them, right? Right?!