The Truth Behind Why Love Only Finds You When You Stop Looking

by Michelle Farhang

People say you find what you're looking for when you stop looking.

This is true fundamentally because looking allows you to settle, and looking for something in the midst of what you have lowers your standards to fit whatever is there at the moment.

Finding someone you like when you're specifically not looking often ends up working out because there is something about it that makes it worth trying, even though you might not be in the right place or time for a relationship.

When looking at dating profile after profile, your standards begin to drop. In a sea of Tinder creeps and weirdos, this decent, not-terrible guy suddenly becomes much easier to consider.

Being in a great relationship feels good; you have a partner-in-crime, a buddy to do activities with and can try all the restaurants you've always been curious about.

Having that comfort and friendship removed can cause such an empty space that you feel the immediate need to fill that space in again. Relationships with friends are so different than serious relationships, and they usually don't fill the void, just like a boyfriend can never fill the void of your girlfriends.

No girl wants to think of herself as desperate, but wanting a boyfriend can cause you to act in a way that you wouldn't otherwise. When you make your decisions, they become slightly influenced by that desire.

This is usually a problem when using dating sites or apps. While there is nothing wrong with these networks specifically, using them while filling that void can cause your standard bar to drop significantly.

You can see this simply on dating apps that provide a small selection of guys each day, like Hinge. If you are given 10 guys as options, a guy you might not be attracted to (physically or from the small insight you get of his personality) suddenly becomes more appealing, depending on the rest of the batch.

Some dating apps provide matches that are second or third degree connections, as this makes many people feel more comfortable eventually meeting up.

Because of this, though, you often recognize almost a few in the group for that day as they are friends of friends, went to your school or, in rare but frightening cases, are in a relationship with a mutual friend.

If you met this person at a party or a bar and didn't think twice about it then, why think twice about it now? It's not to say that sometimes the people you never thought of turn out to be truly fantastic.

It’s just that this happens most successfully when you're not looking, wanting or wishing. The best relationships that I've seen and experienced have been with people who showed up when the other was least expecting it.

While there is definitely a huge benefit to getting out there and meeting new people just to meet them (on dating networks or in the real world), it becomes problematic if you're meeting someone with the wish to be in a relationship in the back of your mind.

Tinder and Hinge aren't the problem, and the douchebags at the bar are not the problem. If you are unhappy with an aspect of your life, you have to change your mindset.

You're not meeting someone because you aren't accepting the fact that you're single. If you refuse to embrace that independence and learn what you are meant to learn from that experience, you'll never meet someone.

Relationships aren't supposed to be something you consistently lean on. The good ones are you + him (or her!) creating something awesome, and that can't happen without the “you” part.

Feeling like you are not full or whole will almost always result in not finding that amazing relationship again. So why aren’t YOU enough? Focus on finding what you’re missing and how you can fill it yourself, otherwise people who meet you will see that half person, too, rather than all the amazing things you bring to the table.

Embrace the uncertainty of your love life just like you embrace the uncertainty of your 20s as a whole. You might not know where you’re going to live next year, if this first job is going to be a career you want to stick with or whom you’ll spend your life with someday, but that’s what makes life exciting.

Let go of finding the answers and immerse yourself in what’s in front of you today. If your unstable 20s are comparable to a free-fall, you can struggle trying to fly back up to the stability of the plane, or you can let go, enjoy the ride and trust that your parachute will catch you.

You’ll be safe on the ground before you know it, wishing you could do it again.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr