5 Ways Focusing On My Needs Helped Me Find The Love Of My Life

by Stefani Pappas

There really is no magic formula for finding love. Everything else in life has instructions or guidelines to help you get to your end result. But, there is no recipe or assembly guide for dating.

There are, however, countless theories on how to find love. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Your sorority sister: “Jenna met her husband at a Delta Chi mixer!” Yeah, okay...

Your coworker: “My cousin found her husband on Tinder, it works!” Uh huh...

Your mother: “I’m going to talk to his mother for you — you know I set up Kate and Ben in the 90s!” Okay, Patti Stanger...

No theory is perfect. That’s the thing — they're all just theories. They are ideas we have that are fundamentally based on one experience or story we have heard.

Well, here is another theory to throw in the loop. To be honest, this theory isn’t necessarily about finding the love of your life. Yes, this is a love article, but it’s a bit more than that.

This article is more about figuring out who you are so you are ready for when that person comes into your life. It worked for me, and maybe it will work for you or someone you know. It’s worth giving it a try:


Before we dive into this theory, never forget one simple rule: respect. Everything boils down to this main component of a relationship (good communication between partners is also a necessity for any everlasting relationship). No matter what, respect should be your number one non-negotiable.

What’s a non-negotiable? It’s not his hair color or name of his ex-girlfriend (stop being so picky, no one is perfect). A non-negotiable is that one thing that you demand from your future partner and relationship.

Without respect, no relationship will ever fulfill you or allow you to grow as an individual. Without respect, a relationship can detract from who you are instead of feeding your emotional development.

Obviously, it is very important that you are attracted to your partner both physically and emotionally. However, without respect, attraction will fade.

Now, on to the nitty gritty...

Shifting Focus

After being fed up with immature men, I decided to focus on myself. I wanted a happy, ambitious and driven partner; how could I find that person if I couldn’t identify with those traits myself?

Don’t mistake this conscious decision for selfishness; I decided to shift my focus from finding the right person to bettering myself in this world.

What could I do to improve myself in every way and simultaneously open my heart to the world?

Prioritizing Time

I started prioritizing my time to do things that made me happy and contributed to my development as a person.

I committed to working out routinely, studying hard, maintaining strong relationships with my friends and family, focusing on my career goals and being kinder to the world.

Staying focused on my personal dreams and goals helped me build my identity and consequently, determined what type of person I was looking for.


Sometimes, focusing on yourself also means letting go of certain people. I got rid of those toxic influences in my life, most notably, the people who pressured me to spend my time in unproductive ways.

I focused on forging and nurturing those relationships with friends and family who build me up and helped me become the person I want to be.

I mentally and emotionally broke free from any people holding me back. Regardless of whom I would end up with, I wanted to be free from anyone or anything holding me back.

Chill Out

At the end of the day, we can’t control anything. I found the love of my life the moment I stopped freaking out about not being able to find the love of my life. Relax — if it’s meant to happen, it will.

When you go out with your friends, enjoy yourself! Don’t be the person who sours the night for everyone because you didn’t find someone at the bar.

You attract what you give off, and I'm guessing you don’t want a stressed out, anxious partner. So, don’t be that stressed out, anxious person searching for someone to make you feel secure.

You can’t force love, and you can't make things happen until you truly let go. Let go with your mind and heart. Focus on what makes you happy now and learn to embrace who you are, and then the right person will come into your life.