Why You Need To Stop Searching For Love and Romance

Zack Minott

How trying to find ‘the one’ is a self-sabotaging mindset and what you should be doing instead.


Photo by Alfonso Scarpa on Unsplash

It feels like my entire life I’ve been searching for love — something similar to what I’ve seen in the movies, someone who would want me as much as I want them, somebody who understands and accepts me despite all my flaws and weirdness, someone who I could truly feel comfortable around, and someone who I could always depend on being there for me.

What I’ve noticed throughout my search is that the harder I searched the less likely was I able to find love nor even be given the chance to foster love in a relationship.

This paradox was made completely clear to me when I noticed that all of the relationships that I have fallen into in my past were completely unexpected — meaning I wasn’t actively pursuing a relationship during these times.

Ultimately, I met the woman I truly fell in love with the same night I told my best friend about how being single wasn’t so bad and how going out to pursue women was just a cause of more stress — that instead, we should capitalize on our youth to just go and have fun and do the things that we want to do with our life.

My logical conclusion: if you want to find love, let your guard down and let it happen organically by simply living your life and being yourself.

That being said, it still isn’t as simple as that. Let me explain.

Chasing Love With Expectations Often Leads To Disappointment

I remember when I was still dating and exploring my options, I would often go into every single date with some sort of expectation of the perfect and ideal woman in my head.

If during that date their qualities were slightly off from the ideal person that I had in mind, I would almost increasingly become more and more disinterested as the date progressed.

It didn’t really matter how well the date itself went, how good of a human being that person was, nor how fascinated I was with them. If I didn’t see that their goals and personality immediately matched with and complimented mine, I gave up and stopped trying. I barely gave anyone a chance.

I ignored what they felt and selfishly focused on myself and on my emotions. I wasn’t trying to understand them, but I was simply trying to find the qualities I would like as if they were being put under strict review and interrogation to be my future girlfriend.

The problem with doing this and going in with specific and high expectations is that it is self-sabotaging.

You’re selling yourself way too short and narrowing your options down to a point where your ideal person is nothing more than a fantasy that you are constantly trying to manifest into reality without any satisfaction.

“The truth is, some people are looking for a fantasy; it’s got to be love at first sight and if they don’t find it, next!” — Dating and Relationship Coach, Deanna Cobden

You leave every date feeling a little depressed and wondering why you just can’t find that one person and why nothing ever seems to work. It’s this cyclical dating loop that kept me from ever finding anyone that I felt was worth my investment.

The reality is that life isn’t a fairytale, and you won’t ever magically stumble upon your princess or prince charming.

What really matters is quality rather than perfection. That you can get along with the other person, have conversations, and grow with each other over time. Tom Kuegler shared a great article stating that initial compatibility doesn't matter as much as you might think. That compatibility is actually the decision to work through your differences and overcome them rather than ‘quitting willy-nilly’.

So Should You Just Stop Trying To Find Love?

No, this doesn’t at all mean you should stop trying.

If you stop trying, then the possibility of you discovering love will drop down to zero leaving you with way worse odds than when you were trying to chase after that fantasy.

There’s a very obvious problem with just closing yourself off, keeping your fingers crossed, and saying that love will just find you ‘someday’.

Life unfortunately just doesn’t work that way.

Be A Little Selfish Instead

Take the focus off of finding someone and instead focus solely on yourself and your own happiness. Be curious and try your best to do things that you believe are the best for your mental health. Being selfish and learning to love yourself is the key to finding fulfillment in any relationship.

A great relationship truly comes about when you appreciate who you are so that you can completely accept the other person for who they are.

If you put too much focus on other people and thinking about how you’ll ever be able to find romance, you put too much pressure and insecurities upon yourself. You constantly search for approval.

It’s for this reason that going up to new, attractive people is vastly more difficult since you have this constant fear of rejection in the back of your mind. You’re too focused on what that other person might think and then you in turn come off as needy, putting them off since you unintentionally put a ton of pressure on them.

Instead, you should engage in interactions for your own sake. Do it so that you can find enjoyment in simply having the opportunity to meet somebody new whether you are attracted physically to that person or not.

I recently read an article published in Psychology Today that found simply talking to strangers led to greater self-enjoyment and happiness versus just walling ourselves off from any interactions.

If you are just having fun, doing what you want to do, and living your life happily and gleefully with an open mind, then you are more likely to run into that one person along your path — in a random conversation, in your friend group, in a night out, or whatever it might be.

For me, I simply was just going out to the bars to have some fun with my friends on a random Friday night. Among me just having a good time and focusing solely on enjoying my time out with my friends, rather than looking to pick up a woman, she noticed and came up to me. She said it was my smile that made her come up to me. Now, the rest is history.

“The part that ‘love comes when you’re not looking’ isn’t really about not looking. It’s about living your best life possible and fulfilling your own needs and desires with an open heart.” — Dating and Relationship Coach, Deanna Cobden

Final Takeaway

Love and romance are very complicated and rare things. If there is anything that you must know, it is that you should never force it.

These types of things take time to organically grow over time no matter who it is you are with.

With that in mind, what you should be doing is just putting yourself out there!

That way you’re neither actively pursuing nor passively waiting for your soulmate to come along. Instead, you’re making moves that’ll make you happy in the longterm and only encourage your odds of eventually finding your ‘soulmate’.

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Santa Ana, CA

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