How do you "not look" for love?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
How do you "not look" for love?
10
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 1:00am
I have a close friend who seems to ALWAYS have men interested in her, sometimes more than one at a time. She tells me its never wanted and she never seeks men out. We've talked many times and she believes that love will only find you when you are not looking for it. The logic behind the statement is that when you are looking for someone, you end up trying too hard. If you just go out, do your own thing, have fun, it (or he) will come to you.

So, how so you not look for love? It seems everyone wants some sort of romantic relationship, whether it be a long term relationship, casual dating, etc. It's such an important part of most people's lives, including my own, how am I suppose to not look for it. I always seem to be conscious of the men around me. I enjoy going out to meet guys and flirt a little. It makes the evening just a little more exciting.

I by no means have my entire life figured out, I am only 23 after all. I do feel that I have a good grasp on it and know what I want. I have my career all lined up, good friends and family, but I'm not even close to finding a desirable man. I know what I want, I'm just not finding it, maybe because I'm looking for it. Maybe I'm trying too hard instead of just letting it happen.

I don't think I'm too picky either. He has to love children since I'm a teacher. I want him to be attractive to me, but he doesn't have to be a super model. He has to be open minded. There has to be chemistry, so there must be some level of attraction. Athletic/outdoor-sy might be nice since that's where a lot of my interests lie. Fun, attentive, compassionate,....you get the idea. I have a good idea of what I am looking for based on who I have dated.

It seems like my life is pretty much on the track I would like it to be, except for this issue. Am I going about this all wrong? Do I quit consciously looking for someone? And if that's the answer, how do I stop?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 8:29am
At 23 my sister, then a teacher, decided she wanted to get married. At 24, after answering many personal ads, (this was in 1985) she did. I think the point is not trying too hard and therefore making sure you do lots of activities that you like to do that are not all focused on meeting men. My current bf and I were friends first - so I was not really looking for him to be more than a friend - but I sure was looking for love - I must have gone on 15 dates between January and April - or more actually - in pursuit of someone to marry - was i trying too hard - not when I was on the dates - and I let all these men pursue me if they wanted to - so sure some people meet when they are not looking - but your friend, who is not looking, is still not finding "the one" - just a bunch of guys she is not interested in - and yes, when i was out the other night without my bf, it is true I felt like I got a lot more male interest than usual - maybe I seemed unavailable, confident, etc. - but don't take that as the gospel - people meet in all sorts of ways and at all sorts of times in their lives.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 9:44am
Hmmm, well I am 37 & I don't know what to think anymore at times. I have dated a lot & I have been by myself a lot. I do think that you have to create opportunities to get out there. I don't believe "he" will be knowcking on your door.

I don't know. I try & let go & try not to try so hard. I have been in therapy to work on myself, tried the personal ads (online), introduced by friends, asked guys out.

I just don't know anymore. The adage that love finds you when you least expect it...

From the sounds of it, you have a good head on your shoulders :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 11:25am
You mention that you have "interests," so where are they?

I think what everyone is trying to tell you is that, if you've got a life, now it's up to you to LIVE it. If you have friends, where are they? If you have things to do, go do them!

It's when you're so involved in your OWN life that others seem to walk into it--and then you have to decide if you want to share your life w/someone else. It can be a tough decision, especially when you've had a life for a lotta years.

But no, just go out and live your life, since you say you've got one.

Ash

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 6:18pm
When I was in college and met my ex - I wasn't looking. He wasn't even my type so I never noticed him and when I did notice him I was thinking one night stand. But somehow, one thing just led to another and I did fall in love with him. We were together for two years and although it didn't work out, it made me believe love does come to find you. Now that I am back to dating I have met a couple of great guys who seem perfect but it just didn't work out that way. Since I've only been single for 3 months it's hard to not go meet and guy and hope to fall in love but I try to just stay in the mindset that love will find me. You just have to live your life and not look so hard for love - it will find you in its own time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 7:03pm
"When you aren't looking for it, is when you find it (love)" \

This is a dumb cliche.

I feel anyone has to "get out there" and meet people, in order to meet someone! My own friend, who used to follow the "don't look, and he will pop up out of the blue" - she wound up not getting married until age 43. She often went for years without a single date.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 8:18pm
I agree with the others about getting out there. I think its a dumb cliche - I have NEVER gotten anything in my life w/o wanting it and going for it. Even my past r/ships. I do think that love finds me when I am not "expecting" it. For instance, I try to let men come and go from my life w/o expecting him to be "the one" or my next bf. He may be a passing ship, an acquaitance, a fling or a LTR...but I just "let it happen" and keep myself open to letting him come or go as fate would have it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 5:57am
Hi pink - it sounds like perhaps you are trying a little too hard, or are a bit too intense about the whole thing - I mean someone who "knows what they want" at 23 is kinda scary!

For instance, just to pick up on a couple of things in your post, you say:"I don't think I'm too picky either..." immediately followed by: "He has to love children since I'm a teacher".

Well, firstly, what does you being a teacher have to do with him being obliged to love children - its YOU who has to teach them, not HIM! - and secondly, unless you are looking for a guy much older than yourself, be aware that most healthy guys in their twenties LOATHE children, or even any mention of them. But this is not to say that many of them won't become great fathers one day once they mature.

Also you say: "I have a good idea of what I am looking for based on who I have dated." Well, I don't know how many people you have dated but at 23 it doesn't matter - even if you have dated a hundred guys the fact that you are in your early twenties means that you are still at the exploratory stage in dating, so...explore some more! It is difficult to overestimate just how much you will evolve as a person over the coming ten years - this does not mean that there is anything wrong with you or that you are immature, it simply means that unless you are an incredibly rigid person you WILL continue to evolve tremendously throughout your twenties so that rather than "homing in" on what you want at this stage in your life it would be fruitful to continue to expand your horizons and get involved with different sorts of people. Just because you once dated a basketball player for two weeks at the age of fifteen and he two-timed you with your best friend does not mean you can now "know" that "sportsmen are not for you"...

I'm not sure how to explain how to "not look for love" I suppose the way to imagine it is to say:"imagine you had a boyfriend, maybe not the love of your life but nice enough...and then imagine how you would behave around interesting men if you met them, even thought you knew you had this boyfriend back home.... you'd behave sort of relaxed, flirty, interested but not DESPERATE...it doesn't MATTER if they decide to pursue you or not... although it might be nice..."




iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Wed, 07-09-2003 - 10:28am
Sorry, lendamiller, but cliches are often trite b/c they're true.

I too was single for many years, and often went years w/o a date. There's a difference between being alone and CHOOSING to be alone. Although I too believe that sometimes you gotta "make things happen," you also have to know when to "let things happen" and not try too hard, just let your life take you where you NEED to be. Sometimes you MUST be alone to reflect on where you've been, where you are now, so you can find out where you need to be next. Doing so will also give you a spontaneity that'll make you a little more adventurous and able to let your life take you where you need to go next. (Perhaps that's why these boards are extant, b/c too many people don't reflect on their own lives--else they'd KNOW enough not to get into trouble!) That's what, I think, can make the single life all the richer, b/c you DO have choices and they're truly YOURS to make.

And, BTW, I married at age 47 to a man I met through a personal ad, so I "made things happen." I also divorced at age 48 when I learned that not only was his son were moving coke, but DH was the hub of the "business"--which fact was well hidden from me during the 16 mos we dated before the wedding. I might add also that he was 51 when we met and was also the minister of his own church and a HS teacher. Which proves that, even when they look good "on paper," sometimes you have to look even harder to find potential ugliness. I was ready to marry when we met and, being the manipulatng liar that he turned out to be, he took advantage of my goodness and generosity to his own benefit and to my detriment. Does it bother me to know that I'm single again as I'm approaching 50? Not as much as knowing that staying w/him might've meant being broke (he and his 3 kids tried to hit me up w/co-signing for loans for up to $13,000!), ruining my credit--not to mention possibly being busted for drug possession one day.

Now that I'm single again, I'm grateful for all the years I WAS alone b/c I know HOW to be alone. DH bought out my interest in our home, so I purchased my own home and am now fixing it up. That home is a blessing in itself; being alone has shown me the peace and serenity I never had while married. He would say that the house is "scaled back" from what we had together, but I'd rather live peacefully in a tree than live in a castle w/a man I couldn't trust. I love that house like I never loved my previous home, and I give thanks every night for the sanctuary it has become for me.

I'm also recovering from serious injuries incurred (including a mild fracture in 1 vertebra) when I fell through the attic of my previous house and fell 9 ft. I'm so thankful that, despite all that happened (I also impaled myself on a 2-prong garden trowel on the garage floor), it could've been so much worse; I could've been paralyzed or dead. Worse still, it happened while I was waiting for the final decree; we lived together til I closed on the house (we were both too poor to move out), and that 60-day waiting period was the most harrowing of my life. I thank God that, despite months of physical therapy yet to come, the injuries will heal; all the lies and double-dealing are behind me forever.

I've got a job that, during my single years, I've poured a lot of energy and effort into, and the work has paid off w/$$ and prestige. I enjoy a nationwide reputation in my field as a result of all that work, and that would not have happened if I hadn't had the time to devote to it. I'm not rolling in $$, but thank God I'm not that hungry either; still, I'm very comfortable. That wouldn't have come about if I'd had a family to tend to--well, it might have, but it would've been much harder to come about.

Yes, life is more fun and exciting when you're "in love." But life itself is the blessing, w/ or w/o a partner. I had so much when single that I took for granted; it took being in a bad marriage to make me realize it at last. Thank God I was able to escape w/o letting someone else's foolishness ruin my life alongside theirs.

I think what I'm trying to say is, don't let love or your fantasy of it so rule your life that you overlook how good your life is RIGHT NOW. It's easier to focus on someone else; that way, you don't have to take too close a look at yourself and see what needs improvement. Change is solely in your hands, and you can make it happen; you have more control than you think. How you see the show depends on where you sit, so if you don't like what's going on in your life--change seats, and see what happens.

Ash



Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 07-09-2003 - 1:24pm
I agree with you, Lenda. When I hear someone say "stop looking", I think stay home, don't smile, don't make eye contact, etc. I think a better phrase would be "When you are no longer desperate, it'll happen." Too many people see having a SO as the end all and be all of happiness. When you take on that thinking, that's when the problems happen. Living life and being happy lends itself to meeting people, which isn't necessarily "looking", but it's certainly not "not looking."



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 11:38pm
Ok, so I read what you all have to say and everyone seems to make sense, which just makes it more confusing. I by no means am desperate and go hanging all over men trying to rope one into a relationship with me. It's just that the friend I had mentioned seems like a magnet. She goes out with friends just to be with her friends and winds up with some guy asking for her number and ACTUALLY CALLING! I mean the girl went for a walk the other night and met some guy while she was just going for a walk! Now I realize (as one of pointed out) that she's not meeting "the one" just a lot of wrong ones. I go out just as much if not more than her, I go out and hang out with my friends, granted I do have some girlfriends that I know I can go out with and flirt with men, but I meet no one who wants my number AND calls (apparently there's some sort of trick to getting guys to pick up the phone).

I'm going out, pursuing my interests, living my life, and meeting no one. Now I'm 23 and am nowhere near ready to meet "the one," however, I'm not meeting Mr. Maybe that might put me a little closer to figuring out what I want that one special guy to be like. I'm not going out looking for a commitment from anyone, but I really wouldn't mind it if I met someone one night out and we went out on a date or two. I feel like if love just "finds" you that it must be in another zip code on the other side of the world from where I live. I really do not believe that I try too hard since I enjoy my life. It's the old saying that people focus on what they don't have. Well, I don't have anyone knocking on my door and I'm afraid that if I keep waiting for love to find me, it may never get here. If I go look for it, I won't find it either. I think being single may just be the way to go, it's sure a lot less confusing.