After being single for what seems like forever, you might start to question if you’re the one to blame. Maybe you think that you’re not trying hard enough or that there’s something wrong with who you are as a person. Whether it’s reassuring or discouraging, though, the reality is that finding love isn’t something that can be achieved through hard work and dedication. In fact, you probably have no control over it at all.
- Everyone finds love in their own time. Some people end up married to their high school sweethearts, while others don’t find their soulmates until they’re well into their forties or fifties. Sure, sometimes the timing has to do with how many dates you’re going on or turning down, but usually, it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the right person.
- People kind of suck. Most of the people you meet aren’t going to be people you should date. The fact that we can find enough people worthy enough to call our friends is lucky enough in itself — the fact that we can fall in love with some of them is a straight-up miracle. It may feel like a grand achievement when you find a prince in the seemingly endless dating pool of frogs, but really, it was probably just happenstance.
- Love is extremely complex. Yes, it takes effort to put yourself out there and date people, but we’re not talking about casual feelings of “like” here. Falling in love is complicated; you’ll question yourself and your partner a lot, and you’ll go through a lot of ups and downs before deciding that what you’re feeling is the real deal. You may have gotten in line for that roller coaster, but once it’s moving, you have no control over whether you’ll make it to the end or fall off.
- How you feel about someone isn’t a question of effort. They say that love is like a fart — if you have to force it, it’s probably crap. Finding love might be considered an accomplishment if it were something you could create out of thin air, but like happiness, anger, or embarrassment, it’s really an emotion you can’t control. If you have a connection with someone so powerful that it makes you feel that sensation, it has nothing to do with how hard you tried and everything to do with good fortune.
- Maintaining a relationship requires work — creating one doesn’t. No one’s arguing that luck is the only glue required to hold two people together. Relationships are a LOT of work even when you love each other more than anything in the world, but meeting someone and saying, “Hey, let’s date” is pretty easy. Keeping your love alive really is an accomplishment, especially these days, but when it comes to falling in love, there’s not much you can do aside from putting yourself out there and hoping for the best.
- Lots of good relationships happen through chance encounters. Plenty of perfect love stories have come from people who said “yes” to blind dates or downloaded a dating app, but lots more have come from sitting next to the right person on the subway. Sometimes, true love really does find you instead of the other way around, so to treat it like an accomplishment would be a smack in the face to everyone who’s tried to find it and failed over and over again.
- Putting in too much effort can backfire. The danger with treating love like a goal is that it can push you to try TOO hard and ruin your chances at finding it at all. You might find yourself changing aspects of your personality to appease certain guys who aren’t really right for you, or maybe you’ll come across as desperate and clingy. Doing the minimum to get out there and meet people is great, but keep in mind that sometimes your chances of finding someone special can increase just by letting fate handle it.
- Doing everything “right” doesn’t guarantee things will work out. You can make all the right moves, have reasonable expectations, and say “yes” to every date and still end up single AF. It’s not a matter of something you did right or wrong; you just weren’t right for that particular person. When you meet the person you’re supposed to be with, it won’t matter if you mess up a few times — you’ll simply have been lucky enough to have found the person who adores you for you.
- Lots of amazing people are very, very single. Life really isn’t fair, and that means that even if you’re an amazing catch, most people out there are still not going to be the kind you’re meant to fall in love with. If you’ve been single for a while, this may lead you to think that it’s because of your flaws (and in some cases, it might be), but chances are it has less to do with who you are as a person and more to do with the fact that we have very little control over how and when love comes our way.