There’s a lot of dating advice that I get tired of as a single girl, but there’s nothing that bothers me more than the BS about how love will only come to you when you’re not looking for it. Not only is it completely untrue, it’s also totally counterproductive when you’re trying to find love. Here’s why:
Love isn’t simple. It’s elusive for some, yes, but it’s not something you can get using a hunting technique. Trying to water it down to one simple rule isn’t helpful. It takes different shapes for different people, and that’s okay. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
It’s ridiculous advice. Pretending like you don’t want love while knowing deep inside you really do is not an effective strategy for anything. You can’t work through life that way. It’s the equivalent of a toddler putting their hands over their face and pretending you can’t see them since they can’t see you. It’s cute when a baby does it, but not so cute when you’re told you have to do it as an adult.
A watched pot will eventually boil. It might take some time to get there, but that’s how heat plus water works. You’re not going to find love by never looking for it. It might not come into your life until it’s the right time, but there’s nothing wrong with giving it a little help on your end of things.
Dating is a necessary step. You can’t find love without, you know, doing the socially expected steps to get there. You pretty much have to go on dates in order to find someone you’re compatible with. You can’t get to love without dating, so you’ve got to try, basically. That’s kind of the opposite of not looking for love.
Sometimes, you’re really not looking for love. You might not want a serious relationship, or you might be focusing on your career for a while. This saying tries to take away your actual wants and replaces them with assumptions. If you really aren’t interested in love, then this advice assumes you’d automatically drop whatever else you’re doing if it came across your plate. It’s condescending at best.
Love requires effort. “Not looking for it” would seem to imply that you’ll only find love when you stop making an effort. Maybe that’s true for some people, in some cases, but that doesn’t make it a universal aphorism of love. You have to try to make a relationship work. You’ve got to exert some significant amounts of effort in order to make love last. Love is all about effort.
Wanting love is a good thing. There’s a huge difference between the type of girl who doesn’t feel complete without a guy and the type of girl who’s looking for love. Wanting to be in love means you’ve got a lot of love to give, and you want to find someone to share it with. That’s a beautiful thing.
You’re not alone in searching. There are a lot of other people in the world who want love too. They might even be actively out and looking for it, like you are. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of you for trying it. It’s a part of the human need to connect.
Lots of people find love by looking for it. Look at the marriages that come out of OkCupid if you’re skeptical. People find love all the time by actively seeking out chances to connect with someone. They’re not guaranteed a shot at it, of course, but you can’t know if you’ll have chemistry with a potential date unless you deliberately give yourself a chance to find out.
There is nothing wrong with looking for love. It doesn’t make you desperate, it doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you pathetic. It means you’re human, and you’ve come to a place where you’d rather be involved with someone than be alone. That’s a normal, healthy thing! The idea that love can only come when you’re not expecting it is a little shaming of that completely normal desire.
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