You Don’t Actually Find Love When You Least Expect It, So Why Do People Say It?

If you’re single, you probably hear way more advice than you would like. Maybe the words of so-called wisdom come from your well-meaning yet annoying aunt or your BFF who’s been happily coupled up since the pre-Tinder days. One thing you probably hear is that you find love when you least expect it. Just wait, people say, you’ll find what you’re looking for. The problem is these people are always in love and in long-term relationships, so really, what do they know about the sometimes good, sometimes bad, always frustrating single life? You don’t actually find love when you least expect it, and this is why.

It’s called the search for love for a reason. As in, you have to do some work. You’re on some kind of dating site or app or you’re asking your friends to set you up or mustering up the courage to ask someone out in person. None of this is easy. So if you go on an online date that ends in true love, it won’t be all that unexpected, because you’ll have put in a certain amount of time and effort. That’s why we tend to look for a boyfriend the way we look for a job.

First dates end in a few ways. You know that your first dates don’t always turn into fairy tales and that it takes a while to find someone you actually click with. But there are always a few ways that a date can work out: you never see the person again or you agree to go out again. So if the second date becomes a third and the third becomes a relationship, was it really that shocking? You’ve done this before, you know that you can wind up in a relationship with someone. So yeah, you’re expecting that eventually it’s going to work out.

You’re 100 percent ready. If you really want to commit to someone and are tired of dating around (and who can blame you – it’s rough out there), then it will feel right when you meet someone you want to be with because you’re not afraid. You’re totally on board and excited for what will happen next. It’s not like you’ve decided that you absolutely loathe guys and then someone convinces you to love them. It doesn’t work that way.

Fate and magic are pretty outdated. In the old days, we could actually meet cute or at least have a halfway interesting origin story. Now, it’s not uncommon to say you met your boyfriend on Tinder or OkCupid. Actually, it’s super common. Meeting someone in person is basically the exception to the rule now so that automatically forces you to put in the effort to find dates. Nothing is unexpected or a big surprise.

You put yourself out there time and time again. So you had a nasty break-up but are finally ready to date again. Or you’re being brave and trying again after a string of bad dates or almost relationships. Whatever your situation, it’s all your choice.

The unexpected part is whether you like the person. Unfortunately, just because we have different ways to meet guys these days doesn’t mean we’re going to get along with everyone or even have a decent conversation. So when we go on a first date that gives us butterflies and makes us excited about the potential for love, that’s the unexpected part, not the fact that we’ve met someone. We expect to meet someone. We just don’t always expect to actually like them.

We date differently now. If we really want to, we can have five dates lined up for this week alone. We probably don’t want that, because that’s a lot of outfits to pick out. But it’s not weird if we have a few first dates in the span of a few days – we’re just dating in the 21st century. Back when it was easier to meet people, when were in high school or college, we would only date when someone asked us out or when we happened to hit it off with someone. Now we line dates up all the time. So how is that a surprise.

Being swept off our feet doesn’t mean it’s going to work out. The first time I fell in love was the most unexpected thing ever, because we lived in the same dorm and I was focused on starting university. Long story short, things fell apart less than a year later. You could say I found love when I least expected it, but it brought me heartbreak, so I’d say that idea is pretty useless.

We do so much work pre-first date. Sometimes we walk into that bar knowing everything about the guy and are already pretty much into him (unless things go horribly wrong, of course, and you just never know). So if things end up working out, it’s not a big shock because we pre-screened this person and we like their job/sense of humor/compassion (and, yeah, they’re pretty cute).

Wanting something means you expect it. If we didn’t think that working towards a goal would bring us success, then we’d have zero motivation and get nothing done. That goes for our careers, any personal goals and, of course, finding love. If you want to be a published author, you write and write and expect to eventually be published. If you want love, you date and expect to eventually be done with dating forever – because you’ve found your person. So go ahead and expect to fall in love. It will happen.

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