Will I ever find love?
I wrote about this after reading a question on Quora from someone who asked, “Why can’t I find love?” It can often feel pretty hopeless as we wonder, “Will I ever find love?” After all, we are unique individuals. When we start dating, we meet all types of people, and most of them are not suitable to be our longterm partners. We are left wondering, “Will I ever find my soul mate?” Here is a personal story:
Find your love
I readby Jeffrey Young. I highly recommend it, and that is my affiliate link. Anyhow, in the book, Young points out that most of us tend to want to date people who give us that “spark” of electricity. The feeling that we have “chemistry”.
I recognize this pattern: When familiar is exciting, but not good for us.
Young explains that this feeling is actually a feeling of familiarity. We unconsciously are recognizing patterns of behaviour from our childhood. And because these “schemas” are so deeply entrenched within us, they are “comfortable” and comforting, even when they are bad for us. This is why, unfortunately, women who come from abusive homes often choose abusive men time and time again.
Why did I keep repeating these patterns? I finally understood.
Why can’t I find love? I realized that one reason was because I always ended up with men who were bad for me. And they were usually bad for me in the same way. I felt foolish, like why can I never learn? Then, when I read this book, it suddenly made sense.
Finding your soulmate gets easier when you start looking the right way.
What Young suggests might sound a bit strange. He suggests dating people who do NOT give you that feeling of “sparks” and chemistry, but who are otherwise interesting.
How many times had I decided a guy was a “no” simply because I was not feeling that rush of infatuation?
I was desperate not to repeat my errors and I had literally tried spending 12 years single. I needed a strategy change and was willing to try something extreme.
How to find true love
After going on a few more dates, I met a man who was kind to me. He was interesting, mentally and financially stable, and he seemed to like me and be attracted to me. And I was attracted to him. However, no sparks. Normally, I would have let him down gently. However, I decided to be patient.
I will be totally honest. I felt a bit bored at times. Why? No spark. No infatuation. No wondering and worrying if he would call, if he liked me. He was reliable – he called. He liked me – he said so.
But is it boring?
Are you thinking, “Yeah, but that sounds boring?” Well, the idea for me was to figure out how to find true love, not to find some spark or temporary infatuation. Personally, I was about at the end of my rope in terms of dating people who were, as a British friend of mine politely put it, “not suitable.” Oh, that was putting it mildly. (continued…)
Will I ever find love? I was very surprised to find that the answer was yes! But it was not what I expected it to be. As I enjoyed more activities with someone I could actually rely on, I started to fall for him. It happened slowly. First I liked him, then he was like a best friend, and then I fell in love. And it happened a lot like that for him as well.
Beyond the fairy tale.
I told him about the book because the idea of fairy tale romance is so pervasive in our culture that I wanted to give us something else to head towards: a love that formed more slowly, that was healthy, and that could endure. Part of “how to find true love” involves redefining what “true love” really is. Is it some electrical spark that you feel in the pit of your gut? Is it sweaty palms?
Warm up the world for me?
Or is it waking up and saying, jokingly, “Can you please warm up the world for me?” when it is -4 degrees Fahrenheit (which is cold -20 degrees Celcius) only to have your partner hug you and say, “No, but if you hand me your keys, I can warm up your car.” Warm up my car? It never occurred to me that someone could do that for me because no one did things like that for me. I took care of others. I was not used to having someone take care of me.
What is love?
I think it is important to realize what love really is. It’s not moonlight and roses, champagne and the opera, running in the rain on the streets of Paris… those are romantic, and romance is nice, but romance is not love. Chemistry is not love. Kindness, friendship, and truly appreciating and enjoying what one another have to offer — these begin to approach what love is.
I have been with him for almost five years. I love him deeply and he seems to feel that way for me also. Five years might not seem long, but previously, my longest relationship was a tumultuous two years. I used to feel like I could lose my relationships with one wrong word. The man I am with now is a man. He is solid. He knows me. It would take far more than one mistake, one wrong word, or one bad day to pull us apart.
So, if you are wondering, “Will I ever find love?” the answer is that you might or you might not, but I think it is important to figure out what this “love” is that you are looking for. Many people said to me over the years that I just needed to find “the right man” or to “stop looking”. “Someday love will find you,” they said.
They were only partly right. What I needed was to stop believing that the wrong men were the right ones. The men who caused me to get butterflies and sweaty palms — they were the wrong men.
I think for someone who had an amazing, well-adjusted childhood, this might not be the case. However, most of us didn’t. And so, strangely, being with someone pleasant but “seemingly” boring is my prescription for lasting happiness. Because when you get to know someone, I think it is rare that they truly are “boring”. And I am so grateful that I read that book and took its advice seriously because this relationship is one of the best parts of my life now.
So, if you are wondering, “will I ever find love,” I wish you luck because love is hard to find. It can be such a frustrating quest, but I feel there is hope. I am 45 as I write this, so I met this man when I was just past 40. I do not consider that to be old, but so many people worry about age and get so caught up in age and aging.
(When I feel old, I try to imagine for a moment that I am 20 years older. Then I feel suddenly very young.)
Other articles to read:
Other books about love you might be interested in:
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – “In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.”
All About Love by bel hooks – “As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question “What is love?” her answers strike at both the mind and heart. In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society’s failure to provide a model for learning to love. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for the individuals and for a nation.”