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There's a lot of advice for singles out there. These 5 great quotes cut through the clutter.

Here's some real, compassionate advice for those who are single and ready to mingle.

There's a lot of advice for singles out there. These 5 great quotes cut through the clutter.

Have you ever thought "What's wrong with me?" while scrolling through endless photos of your happily wedded Facebook friends?

Or maybe you just had one of those but-WHEN-will-it-happen gab-sessions with your best friends.


GIF from "Sex and the City."

Sara Eckel has heard every piece of advice for single people you can imagine. Luckily, she's managed to weed out only the useful stuff.

There are tons of self-help books out there that pretty much give the same advice about finding The One. Eckel's book, It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single, really breaks the mold and uses realistic, research-based insights into singlehood and how to deal with it.

Here are five wisdom nuggets that provide some much-needed insight into singlehood:

1. It's totally natural to not feel 100% if you don't have a special romantic someone.

When will I find the cat pillow to my ruffled-butt-pants baby??

"If you're single and feel a void — if you find that career, friends, books, and travel are actually not enough — it's not because you're dizzy-brained or immature; it's because you're feeling a very legitimate need." — Sara Eckel

For some reason, we like to say "You're too desperate" when people are willing to admit that they don't feel completely fulfilled without a romantic partner. But as human beings, it's natural to want and crave that sort of connection.

2. Dating takes a lot of energy and time. It's OK if you want to take a break from dating to recoup.

Sometimes you have to just say no.

"By all means, continue to make your life as rich and interesting as possible. Learn to speak Mandarin, become a Big Sister, take that solo trip to Peru. But do them for their own sake, not as a means of polishing your life resume or reassuring yourself or the world of your worthiness. You're already worthy. There's nothing to prove." — Sara Eckel

Sometimes the search can seem endless and you feel like you need to take a break. But then friends (or insistent parents) say: "You need to keep trying!" Dating can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Know how you sometimes need to take a day off after doing a really hard workout? Similar principle. It's OK if you need some time to recover.

3. Can't stay positive the entire time you're searching for a partner? That makes you ... normal.

I don't blame you. It's tough out there.

"Dating is an act of outrageous vulnerability. You're leaving the comfort of your home and your friends to subject yourself to the scrutiny of strangers. ... It doesn't get more optimistic than that." — Sara Eckel

You might have heard this after complaining to your friend about dating or being single: "You're too negative." But think about it: If you're still searching for that connection, you're putting yourself out there on a regular basis. Just that effort reveals that you're anything but "too negative."

4. Wanting a partner doesn't mean you don't love yourself — or your life — enough.

You know you're still fabulous. Just like this cat.

"For many of us, living alone in a society that is so rigorously constructed around couples and nuclear families is hard on the soul. What's important to know is that those pangs you feel as you walk through the park, past the multifamily picnics and couples marching by two-by-two, are not a sign that you're deficient." — Sara Eckel

Raise your hand if you've heard this before: "No one will love you until you love yourself." While it's great to love oneself, studies have found that there is actually no correlation between self-esteem and one's relationship status. In her book, Self-Compassion, psychology researcher Kristin Neff found that people with high self-esteem aren't more well-liked than people with low self-esteem. They just think they're more well-liked.

So, if you want to work on loving yourself more? Go for it. But do it so you can feel better — not to make yourself into a perfect being for your potential partner.

5. Actively seeking a relationship doesn't mean you're not ready to be in one.

Cute kitteh says, "I'm ready!" And she is.

"Marriage and family are eternally celebrated as one of the most important and cherished parts of life — for those who have it. But the single woman who says, 'Yes, I'd like that too,' is immediately dismissed as silly and sad. The fact that you want love is taken as evidence that you're not ready for it." — Sara Eckel

"You want it too badly." "It's because you're focusing too much on it." How is it that wanting love is evidence that you're not ready for it? Don't we need to set goals before we can achieve them? In what other situation do we hear that wanting to do something automatically means we're not ready to do it? Eckel advises to not buy into the idea that we need to suppress our real needs and emotions. It's actually good that you know what you want.

At the end of the day, says Eckel, being single has a lot to do with luck.

If you haven't found love yet, it doesn't mean you're an irreparable person. It's likely that there's nothing wrong with you. Being single isn't some karmic sign from the universe that you are an inherently lesser human being. No one is perfect. As Eckel wisely notes: If being a perfect, whole person was a prerequisite for settling down, the human race would have died out long ago.

The only difference between you and the partnered people of the world might simply be that, well, they're in a romantic relationship and you're not. And you're not any less incredible because of it.

GIFs from "Sex and the City."

There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

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A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

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