You don't have to love yourself to be loved. When I'm wondering, "Will I ever find love?" I usually circle back to the truth that there is much more love happening all the time then can be expressed within the confines of a relationship. You might think that you have not found love yet, but chances are, you have. Love can be shared in the space of a friendship or a few hours of intimacy. If you stop thinking about love as a hierarchy — where whichever relationship lasts the longest is the most meaningful — then it's easier to recognize love as it turns up in your day-to-day life.
If a relationship does involve the true love you are looking for, there are still a lot of legitimate obstacles to finding it in our world right now. Political upheaval, economic uncertainty, and technology have all changed the ways in which we think about relationships. If you have not found love yet, it's probably because the conditions haven't been right for love to flourish. That doesn't mean that it is always going to be that way — just that you need to bide your time a little longer and trust that the universe will give you what you need when it is the right time.
If you're wondering what's holding it up, though, here are some obstacles love could be facing today:
1. The World Is A Scary Place
The entire island of Puerto Rico is still without power or adequate resources. If you are wondering why you haven't found love yet, let that reality sink in. The climate is changing, and people are anxious. Already, the world has changed in our lifetime, and we know it stands to change further. Perhaps to some people, settling down seems counterintuitive when the global climate — both politically and environmentally — are in upheaval.
That doesn't mean that lovelessness will last forever. Strife has a way of bringing people together, and revolution and change go hand in hand with upheaval. Maybe some forces need to change in the world at large before you can experience love the way you know you eventually want to.
2. Approaches To Love Look Different
Settling down just isn't the same today. Most generations don't want to live the way their parents did. A lot of millennials just aren't getting married. (How long until an article entitled “Millennials killing marriage" comes out?) Of course, love doesn't only happen in a marriage, as those of us who have experienced divorced or come from unhappy families know. Love cannot exist if a person doesn't have the tools and bandwidth to cultivate it.
Speaking as a millennial, I know that before I find love, I have a lot of healing to do. I want to resolve the issues within myself so that I can be whole and also with another person. The main marriage I am interested in is the one I am working on with myself right now. I'm not saying that everyone in our generation is demanding it or doing this healing work, or that you have to even do it at all if you want to find love.
For other millennials, love probably just doesn't last as long. You can share a really intimate night with a Tinder date or an old acquaintance with minimal expectation for a future. For some people today, love isn't as much about what's happening in the past or in the future, but what's happening right now. And with everything else that's going on, it's no wonder we are trying to enjoy ourselves in the present.
3. Money Is Always An Issue
Marriage and unions have always been about consolidating and sharing resources: food, property, money. We millennials might not all be living in our parents' basements, but we definitely don't have the most stacked savings account. Short of becoming a realtor, achieving financial stability still feels like a far off goal for many of us.
And while money shouldn't have any determination over whether or not a person can fall in love, many people do hold themselves back from relationships out of a sense that they both need to be the provider and don't have the resources to do that right now. This isn't even about bringing home the bacon or buying a house or anything, but quite simply having enough resources to take care of yourself well enough to know that you can thrive with another. Nobody's going to shack up at the current minimum wage.
4. Nobody's On Your Frequency
If money, environmental catastrophe, and one-night stands aren't standing in the way of you finding love, then honestly, it's probably just that nobody is where you are in space right now. People tend to meet one another when and where they are ready to be met. Usually, love comes as soon as you stop looking for it.
Eventually, you'll feel your way through life and find yourself with a love that is right for you, as you are right then, and wouldn't have been at any other point in time. Until then, just keep an eye out for all the people you may have never paid much attention to before. Are you really sure that there's no one around you who is throwing some amount of love your way?
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!