Have you ever pondered why an amazing girl like yourself still can't seem to fall in love, despite knowing you want to be with someone? If that's a "yes," then you might want to keep reading.
For the past few months, I've been getting a little stressed out as I approach my quarter-life crisis. I'm 23, I have a solid career and I'd like to think I'm pretty decent-looking.
But guess what? I still don't have a boyfriend.
It's not because I'm a man-hater or anything. Seriously, I love romance. I'm pleasant and friendly. I love the idea of falling in love.
I've been on at least eight dates in the past couple of months, and I've enjoyed each guy's company. I've even been on a few second and third dates.
Everything sounds great, right? There's just one small problem.
I'm just not falling for any of them. Some of my friends think I'm just too picky and need to get over myself. They might be right. These guys have so much going for them: They're attractive, they've got good jobs and they've treated me well.
Why the hell can't I just fall for someone? Ugh. It made me start looking deeper into my situation. Here are a few reasons why it's not clicking for me (and others like myself):
1. Our expectations are too high.
Have you ever looked at the ex-boyfriend you were once crazy about and wondered, "Damn. What the hell did I see in him?"
Have you subsequently swiped left on a guy who probably seemed like a better man than your ex? I know I have.
It's stupid, but the truth is, when we're making a conscious effort to find a great guy, we develop unrealistic expectations that those poor dudes have to battle up against. We're not actually in the right mindset to fall in love.
Love, which is supposed to be a naturally occurring emotion, turns into a competition. Who's the best candidate for me?
We get too caught up in the planning process and in considering whether he'd be a good match for us. Therefore, we forget to just enjoy the moment with that person.
2. It's a little too much pressure.
Whether you met a nice guy on Tinder or at a gathering, there's always one mutual understanding when the two of you decide to go on a date: You probably are interested in each other, and you want to get to know one another a bit more. Your goal is to keep going out until you ultimately decide whether you want to be in a relationship or not.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. For all of you who have fallen in love this way, more power to you.
But if you're anything like me, the entire process can be a little overwhelming. Not only does it turn the entire getting-to-know-each-other experience into a standardized process, but it also adds on the additional pressure of having to eventually make a decision. All of these things stress you out before you can even enjoy getting to know someone.
3. We prefer “just hanging out.”
As embarrassing as it may sound, some of us still freak out a bit when we're asked out on a “date.” It's like we picture a well-dressed guy standing up from his seat at Starbucks, with his arms extended out for a hug.
Now, the ball's in our court. But “just hanging out” in a more relaxed setting -- whether it's with mutual friends or at the library to study for an exam -- puts us at ease.
It's a date in disguise. We have more freedom to make it whatever we want.
If we know we're really into the guy, we can always make a move. If we need to buy time to figure out our feelings, we can do that too. No standards have been set.
We don't need to feel like there's an ultimatum when we're hanging out with someone. There are no expectations. If anything comes of it, it will feel natural.
4. Love comes when you least expect it.
At the end of it all, regardless of all the weird expectations we have for the future men of our dreams and all the proactive measures we take to find love, there's just one thing we need to remember: We don't find love. Love finds us.
This is something I need to remind myself every so often when I start getting impatient with myself. Love is a complex emotion.
It's not algorithmic. You don't just fall in love with someone based on compatibility, or on how sexy, smart and sweet the person is.
Hell, if that were the case, most of us would be in serious relationships by now.
Love sneaks up on us when we least expect it, and often, with the person we least expect it with. That's what makes it so inexplicable and wonderful. So maybe we should all just stop overthinking and over-planning it, and let love slowly creep up on us.