I Stopped Caring About Finding Love, And I’m So Much Happier

After being single for a while, it seemed like the whole world was pressuring me to pair up with someone. But eventually, it dawned on me that I just need to let go and stop caring so much about finding love with a long-term partner. And once I did, my life became so much happier.

  1. I realized that the whole “soulmate” concept is BS. When I started living in the moment instead of worrying about finding love, I figured out that the deeply ingrained cultural expectation of finding one person to complete you for the rest of your life is absurdly unrealistic. So I stopped pining for a creepily co-dependent relationship with a theoretical soulmate, expanded my social circle, and realized that spending time with a lot of different people is much more emotionally healthy.
  2. I’m able to explore my sexuality. Just because I haven’t met the love of my life doesn’t mean I can’t have hot sex. By putting romance on the back burner for a while, I’m taking the opportunity to focus on finding out what really makes me tick in the bedroom. And while I’m learning a lot about what I like sexually from safe, casual hookups, I also make solo sessions with my vibrator part of my regular routine.
  3. I don’t have to share my time with anyone. Love is grand, but it’s also a huge time suck. Even the best relationships require a healthy dose of compromise, which means that in the past, I inevitably ended up spending time at events or activities that I didn’t really care about in order to support my partner. But flying solo means I can go ahead and join that book club instead of worrying that it conflicts with my ex’s Magic the Gathering tournaments.
  4. I stopped worrying so much about what other people think of me. After I freed myself from the hamster wheel of disappointing dates and thirsty players, I realized that I don’t owe anybody an explanation for why I’m still single. My life is mine to live on my own terms, so now I’ll go ahead and tell my nosy aunt to mind her own business when she tries yet again to fix me up with her florist’s nephew’s godson.
  5. I became more open to new opportunities. Ironically, once I stopped exerting so much energy to find love, I found myself more receptive to new experiences that could lead to meeting someone special. I took the plunge and accepted a great job offer even though I was afraid that I would be in over my head. I went ahead and spent the weekend volunteering at an animal sanctuary like I had been wanting to do for a year. And I realized that while there’s no guarantee that trying something new will lead to love, taking risks and living in the moment will lead to personal fulfillment, no matter what my relationship status is.
  6. I reconnected with my friends and family. Partners come and go, and even if I do eventually find love, there’s no promise that it will last forever. So I decided to take a break from overanalyzing texts from guys I don’t even like very much to spend some time with the people who will always be there for me. My inner circle of family and besties knows me better than anyone else, so now I make sure to tell them how much I appreciate their unconditional love.
  7. I gained a sense of humor about my love life. I used to spend the weekend crying in bed and shotgunning a gallon of ice cream when things didn’t work out with yet another guy. But after my most recent breakup, I just laughed to myself about his terrible dancing and how creepy it is that his mom is his best friend. And then I moved on. I’ve come to the conclusion that a healthy sense of humor will get me through the tough times in life and put things in perspective when I find myself trying too hard to make love happen in a lackluster relationship.
  8. I discovered my own personal style. Conventional wisdom dictates that most guys don’t like short hair on girls. Yeah, screw that. Recently I chopped it all off like I’ve been dying to do since middle school, and I’ve never looked back. Sometimes I’ll ditch the short skirt and heels for a first date and enjoy the shocked look on his face when I rock my comfy high waisted mom jeans out to dinner. I’m so much happier now that I’ve stopped wasting energy trying to attract every douchebag within a five-mile radius by adhering to conventional standards of beauty that don’t fit my personality. By developing my own personal sense of beauty and style, I’m more likely to meet the one person who really gets me.
  9. I’ve created more love in my own life. I’ve accepted the fact that there are no guarantees in life, and that includes finding love. But even if I never meet a long-term romantic partner, I can still find ways to cultivate more love in my personal universe. Last year I adopted a puppy from a rescue group, and she adores me more than any guy ever has. Occasionally I’ll take an afternoon to read out loud at a senior citizens’ center, and it feels so good to know I’ve brightened somebody’s day. And recently I’ve been mentoring an intern at work who I know has the potential to be a superstar. By proactively making a positive impact on the world, I’ll avoid falling into a harmful spiral of self-pity if my love connection remains elusive.
Stephanie Seabrooke is a freelance writer based in Baltimore, MD. She enjoys wine, felt tip pens, and staring out of windows in a melancholy stupor. Tweet her at @StephSeabrooke