Stop Looking for Love

Our twenties bring all sorts of variety to the romance and dating scene. Some of us are in stable, serious, and happy relationships. Others may be engaged or already married. Some of us are in dating limbo: seeing someone (or several someones), but not committed to anyone exclusively. And some of us are living the single life.

For many, rocking the single life isn’t a problem, but a grand adventure. They have fun and do what they want, and feel no differently about it than they would anything else. Part of the excitement of dating is meeting new people and forming new friendships and possibly relationships. Online dating and mobile apps, like Tinder, OKCupid, Happn, and various regionally-specific apps like Coffee & Bagel in New York City, often expedite the process and, in theory, make meeting people easier.

It’s easy to become wrapped up in the dating world, online and offline. Mobile and online opens us up to a whole new world of possible matches we may have never known or met. The excitement of meeting new people, perhaps combined with some degree of pressure, or feeling obligated to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, leads to spending minutes, hours, searching for Mr(s). Right, or in some cases, Mr(s). Right Now. Whether the pressure comes from ourselves, our families, our friends, or others, we actively look for love with our eyes to the ground.

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Stop Looking For Love

This has to stop, and there’s a secret to making it stop. Want to know that secret to finding a love that makes you (and your partner) happy?

Stop actively seeking it. Let the love come to you.

We’ve all been there at least once in our lives: wanting that companion so very badly, and feeling like you’re doing something wrong when you don’t have one. So we look to all possible avenues of finding love, and seek it like a scientist on a dig, in hopes that maybe it’ll alleviate some pressure or lead to something.

We feel this pressure because we’re in our twenties; it comes with the territory. Aren’t we supposed to have life and love and all this figured out by now? After all, we’re legally adults after age 18, and adults are supposed to know these things. Our parents had it figured out. So if we’re adults, shouldn’t we have boyfriends or girlfriends, or fiances, or husbands and wives?

Maybe society adds some of the pressure. When did society start dictating when we find love, and how we go about finding it, and why we need it, and by what time we should have it? We ask ourselves these questions too often, and yet we can’t find answers, no matter how long we ponder them.

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Maybe our family and friends do it, unknowingly or not. Every time that aunt or grandparent asks about your love life, or “you’re going to bring someone to Thanksgiving dinner next year, right?” we feel like we have to go on the defense, like we have to explain why we don’t have this part of our lives together. “Oh, I’m focusing on my career, not on dating right now.” “I’ve met some people, but just, no one I want to be with.” Those responses may be true for some, but not for everyone. Maybe the rest of us are afraid to admit to our lackluster efforts for fear of looking like failures.

We shouldn’t have to defend ourselves or our relationship statuses, to anyone, for any reason. Our romantic lives are none of their business. And contrary to popular belief, there is no failure in love.

Sometimes I think we put the pressure on ourselves, subconsciously or not. It may be disguised as, “I’m just meeting new people,” but it turns into, “I want a romantic partner and want one badly.

Here’s an honest moment: You find the best love when you aren’t searching. It’s the romance version of not seeing the forest for the trees. I speak from experience. I spent so much time seeking love in the wrong places that I was blind to the obvious.

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When we stop focusing so much on other things and people, and making other people happy, the people standing right in front of us–sometimes our closest friends–become so much clearer. It’s easy to wonder how we never saw them earlier, but we answer the question for ourselves. All at once, we realize that our own happiness matters the most, and that those closest to us can bring us that happiness.

Stop looking, and let love find you. It’s the best kind of love.