The idea of finding perfect, romantic love is something we learn even the moment we are born.
Parents pair up their babies and laugh about how they might be a couple someday.
In school, friends and family tease us about the boys and girls we like. All throughout high school and college, there is pressure to find a significant other.
By the time we’re adults, people left and right tell us that it’s time to “settle down” and “find the one”.
It’s no surprise that many of us drive ourselves crazy looking for love because it seems to be the only thing anyone ever thinks about.
If you’re one of those people who has spent their whole life waiting for someone to come along but aren’t sure if it will ever happen, then this article is for you.
7 reasons why finding love is so difficult
For many people, finding an ideal loving relationship is a major challenge.
You worry that you’ll never meet someone you can build a meaningful relationship with. But why is looking for true love so hard?
Before you can find love, you first need to understand the problem itself.
There might be a specific reason why you’re still single even though you don’t want to be.
Maybe you’re even doing something that is unknowingly pushing love away.
Let’s examine some of the reasons why finding love is difficult:
- Fear of commitment: Commitment is a tricky thing to pin down in modern dating. Many people are terrified of labels, while others are afraid of uncertainties in a relationship. Instead of cultivating love through attention and dedication, more people choose to embrace hook-up culture instead. However, real love requires us to confront our bad habits and attitudes – which isn’t easy for many people to do.
- Unwillingness to make an effort: It’s far easier to walk out than it is to maintain a relationship. Love requires a lot of time and effort, but some people aren’t willing to do the work and would rather break it off.
- Fear of getting hurt: People prefer not to look for love when they see how the people around them are hurt by it. Failed relationships or broken marriages lead to trust issues and insecurities that prevent people from opening up.
- Other priorities: Societal factors cause trouble when it comes to love. Adulthood is delayed as more people continue with their education and move back in with their parents. Relationships also require time, effort and money which is why many people want to sort through everything before finding a long-term relationship.
- False understanding of love: Everyone has a unique perspective on love. However, many of these ideals tend to be based on what we see in media like TV and movies. These cultural definitions inform false concepts such as “the one”, which make true love seem too impossible to reach.
- Too high standards: While some people are desperate enough to put up with anything, others are too picky or unwilling to “settle” for anything less than their ideal partner. This idea of what your lover “should” be, rather than accepting someone for who they are means many people reject someone before getting to know them.
Is it possible to never find love? (Why it’s also okay to be single)
Q: “Is it possible for me not to find love?”
The honest answer is yes. A proportion of the population will go through life without ever experiencing a loving relationship. And that’s okay.
Being single isn’t a curse and being with someone won’t magically fix all your problems.
Think about your friends who are in a romantic relationship.
At one point or another you would have seen that being in love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies.
The upside to being single is that you won’t encounter the problems many coupled-up people face.
You also shouldn’t worry about ending up alone for the rest of your life.
Finding romantic love is not your peak as a human being. While love can enrich you as a person, it shouldn’t be the only goal you have for yourself.
Singleness allows you to reach new heights and fulfill dreams you might be unable to if you were tied down.
Lastly, a lot of people think they will never find love … until they do.
You will never know when it will happen for you because love isn’t something you can predict. Instead of accepting your life as “loveless”, you have to remain open to the possibility and embrace the opportunities that come your way.
What you can do while waiting for love
As you wait for love to come along, you have to be prepared for it. It’s not really a matter of “putting yourself out there” and trying every dating app available.
You can spend your time as a single person in healthier and more productive ways.
Think of this period as taking a personal inventory of the habits and choices that help you or hurt you.
For now, your goal is to develop your skills and grow as a person. Here are a few things you can do for yourself today:
1. Work on your career:
When you’re not actively pursuing love, you’ll find you have a lot of time to focus on yourself and your career goals.
Take this time to shine at work and become an indispensable asset to your company.
It’s great to have an established career by the time you find love, because financial concerns will be one less worry for your relationship.
2. Rediscover your personal power:
While you wait for love, work on past traumas, anxiety, and negative energy holding you back, so that when it does come along you’ll be ready to begin a healthy, new journey.
If you’re not sure where to start, I’d recommend this amazing free breathwork masterclass created by shaman Rudá Iandê. For me, it’s the ideal way to reconnect and rebalance my mind and body.
It keeps me grounded, helps me work through my issues, and reminds me of how much potential and love for life I have hidden inside – something we all need reminding of from time to time.
Because the truth is, until you repair the relationship you have with yourself, you’ll struggle to form healthy relationships with others.
3. Find new hobbies:
The world is such a fascinating place – why not find a hobby or interest you can be passionate about?
When you’re single, you can freely learn and enjoy yourself without having to please anyone else.
Plus, you might meet someone who shares your interests while you’re exploring your passions.
4. Get fit and healthy:
There is nothing more attractive than a happy, healthy person. Make it a point to eat right, commit to an exercise schedule, and sleep full hours every day.
Not only will you “glow” with good health, but your body will thank you for your care in the long run.
5. Embrace adventure:
Being unencumbered with a relationship, you’re free to go on the adventure you’ve always wanted. If you have the means to travel, take this time to do so.
Or maybe an employment opportunity in another place presents itself – you’re free to take chances and risks for yourself.
6. Learn life skills:
Cooking, cleaning, repairing objects around your house – there are a lot of things you need to learn before you jump into a long-term relationship with someone.
Why not learn these skills now to save yourself the stress when you begin living with another person?
7. Break bad habits:
Don’t waste any time while waiting for love to become the best version of yourself.
Break bad habits and unattractive quirks such as smoking, eating unhealthily, or being consistently late.
Not only will everyone around you appreciate these changes, but you’re more likely to impress someone when you put your best foot forward.
8. Be more social:
Many people love to stay in as much as possible. Unfortunately, you’re not going to find someone from the comforts of your home.
As a single person, you have to be open to going out and meeting people. Meet up with coworkers and old friends, or make new ones.
You can have fun and potentially find a love interest out there.
9. Spend time with friends:
Sometimes, your love life can get in the way of your friend relationships.
Think of singlehood as a great chance to be there for all your friends in every way possible.
Lend them a sympathetic ear, bond over weekly dinners, or go out and party with them.
They will be there for you long after even a romantic relationship has ended.
20 tips on preparing your mindset when looking for love
If you’ve been single since forever, you may start asking yourself if you’re doing something wrong while on your quest for love.
It’s likely that you simply haven’t met the right person yet. However, it might also be a personal problem related to destructive patterns, habits, and beliefs that are holding you back.
The search for love requires the right mindset to guide you and manage your expectations. Here are some tips that can prepare you for a healthy, loving relationship:
1. You are not too old
Regardless of your age, you are not too old to find love.
Sure, it might seem like you are and it might really feel like you are, but “all the good ones” are not gone, even at your age.
You never know who you might meet or run into, or what old flames might spark again with more passion than ever before.
But these encounters can only happen if you don’t declare your seniority to the world and keep your eye on the prize. With age comes wisdom and you’ll be better suited to find a mate who is a better compliment for you.
When you are young, it’s like a shot in the dark because you don’t even know what you want in a partner, but when you are older, you value different things and that could be the key to finding someone to love.
2. Love is not reserved for the very special people in the world
Keep in mind that although it feels like everyone around you is in love, it’s not true.
There is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing special about them. You’ll find love when it’s meant to be.
Ask yourself how happy those couples really are and maybe even make a point of asking them – you might be surprised to find that many people are just going through the motions because they don’t want to be alone.
You might not be in love, but at least you aren’t pretending to be in love or hold on to a relationship just for the sake of holding on to it.
That’s some messed up thinking right there.
3. The love you’re seeking may not exist
If you can’t find love, then perhaps you should reflect on the type of love you are seeking.
After watching a 60 minute free masterclass on love and intimacy by world renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, I realized that for a long time I was trapped by the ideal of having the perfect romance.
Westerners grow up obsessed with the idea of “romantic love”. We watch TV shows and Hollywood movies about perfect couples living happily ever after.
And naturally we want it for ourselves.
While the idea of romantic love is beautiful, it’s also an unrealistic standard.
Experts estimate that the concept has only been around for 250 years. Before this, people got together for more practical reasons — usually for the sake of survival or to have kids.
I used to wonder why I couldn’t find love too. But then I started to see that romantic love shouldn’t be the standard by which we judge the success of relationships.
Understanding that the perfect romance doesn’t necessarily exist made me free to live life on my own terms. It also opened me up to meaningful relationships without needing them to be perfect.
I also learned another incredibly important lesson from the shaman Rudá Iandê.
I’m not the typical person that would seek out the advice of a shaman. But Rudá isn’t your typical shaman.
He has spent a lot of time with indigenous tribes in the Amazon. He even sings shamanic songs and bangs his drums on occasion.
But he’s different in an important way. Rudá has made shamanism relevant for modern-day society. He has interpreted and communicated it for people like me and you.
People living regular lives.
What I learned from Rudá Iandê is that the relationship I have with myself is mirrored in my relationship with others. Therefore, it was very important for me to develop a better relationship with myself.
In Rudá Iandê’s words:
“If you do not respect your whole, you cannot expect to be respected as well. Don’t let your partner love a lie, an expectation. Trust yourself. Bet on yourself. If you do this, you will be opening yourself to be really loved. It’s the only way to find real, solid love in your life.”
Wow. Rudá is right about this. If you don’t love yourself, then you can’t expect someone else to.
These words come directly from Rudá Iandê in Ideapod’s free masterclass on love and intimacy. It will be up on Ideapod for just a short time.
If these words resonate with you, please go and check it out here.
Their free masterclass on love and intimacy is a wonderful resource if you’re wondering whether you’ll ever find love.
4. It might be a numbers game
Here’s the thing: if you don’t buy a lottery ticket, you can’t win the lottery.
The same goes for dating: if you don’t go out and meet people, you can’t fall in love. Okay, sure, you can meet people online, but unless there has been some new invention we aren’t aware of, you still need to go out and have a date or two to see if this thing is going to work.
So head on out and meet some new people. But don’t just go out looking for love. Go out to just meet people and see what happens.
You might not meet the one for you, but you might make some cool friends who know someone who is just right for you.
(Would you love to make a man absolutely addicted to you? Check out my new article here where I reveal how to do it)
5. Relax and do you
As the old saying goes, “a watched pot never boils.” Don’t focus on finding love.
Get a hobby, make some new friends, take up a dance class, go to the movies by yourself, write, read, paint, travel, eat, sleep, have fun, get a dog, go to the park, take a road trip, start a business – there are a million things you could be doing to make your life better.
Instead, you are probably sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself because nobody loves you. But is that really true? Don’t you love you?
Go out and live your life and love will come knocking when you least expect it.
(If you’re looking for a structured, easy-to-follow framework to approach dating and relationships, check out my epic review of The Devotion System).
6. Love doesn’t make everything better
If you think that hooking up with someone on a long-term basis is going to suddenly improve your life, you might be sorely mistaken.
You might find things are better at first, but that is just because you are focusing on that person and not focusing on fixing the other areas of your life that could use a tune-up.
Be sure to balance what you want in life with the amount of responsibility you put on another human being. It can’t be their job to make you happy.
Plus, if you are miserable, they won’t be around long enough to take on that job. Go find things that will create happiness in your life and leave your soon-to-be-lover off the hook for that happiness.
7. You’re responsible for your love life
If you’re wondering whether you’ll ever find love, will you take responsibility for this part of your life?
I think taking responsibility is the most powerful attribute we can possess in life.
Because the reality is that YOU are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in your life, including for your happiness and unhappiness, successes and failures, and for the success of your romantic relationships.
I want to briefly share with you how taking responsibility has transformed my own life, including the relationships I have with the people I care about.
Did you know that 6 years ago I was anxious, miserable and working every day in a warehouse?
I was stuck in a hopeless cycle and had no idea how to get out of it.
My solution was to stamp out my victim mentality and take personal responsibility for everything in my life. I wrote about my journey here.
Fast forward to today and my website Hack Spirit is helping millions of people make radical shifts in their own lives. We’ve become one of the world’s biggest websites on mindfulness and practical psychology.
On a personal level, I’m also in the best and most loving relationship of my life.
This isn’t about bragging, but to show how powerful taking responsibility can be…
… Because you too can transform your own life by taking complete ownership of it.
To help you do this, I’ve collaborated with my brother Justin Brown to create an online personal responsibility workshop. We give you a unique framework for finding your best self and achieving powerful things.
It’s quickly become Ideapod’s most popular workshop. Check it out here.
I know that life isn’t always kind or fair. After all, no one chooses to be alone in life and worried they’ll never find love.
But courage, perseverance, honesty — and above all else taking responsibility — are the only ways to overcome the challenges that life throws at us.
If you want to seize control of your life, like I did 6 years ago, then this is the online resource you need.
8. Don’t be negative
People feed off of other people’s emotions and if you are all uptight about finding love, there’s just no way that it is going to come to you.
You know this is true because you can’t stand to be around your Aunt June who is so negative about everything.
Check yourself to make sure you aren’t putting down the same kind of vibes for others to pick up.
You might literally be repelling people from loving you. But the good news it that you can turn it around in no time.
Think positive thoughts and do positive things and you’ll attract the kind of love you are looking for in your life.
(To learn 5 science-backed ways to be more positive, click here)
9. Don’t pretend you’re okay
If you are feeling broken on the inside but you are pretending to be living a killer life on Instagram, the universe is going to pick up on the bullshit and call your bluff.
In return, you’ll get dates that are also pretending to have their shit together and when you are in the same room, everything will feel like a hot mess…and not in a good way.
You want to get your mind straight and get your thoughts sorted out so you are not subconsciously sending out bad vibes into the universe.
10. Don’t just stay at home all the time
Come on, now. Are you serious? You are staying at home waiting for love to find you? Get off the couch and get outside.
The vitamin D will be good for you anyway. Plus, you might meet some new people, who will meet new people, who will put you in touch with the new people they’ve met and voila!
You might meet someone who is just perfect for you. But don’t take them back to your dank apartment just to sit on the couch. Stay out and live life together!
11. Don’t rely on others
If your Mom has been trying to set you up on dates since the 7th grade, you might not even know how to go out and find a date for yourself.
First, tell Mom to knock it off. Second, go take a speed-dating class and learn about other people on the fly.
You don’t have to commit to anything and you certainly don’t have to say yes to anyone you don’t want to see again, but go with the intention of just seeing what is out there.
Side note: remember that people who show up to speed-dating events are not the only people out there, so don’t take yourself home for a good cry when all you find are perfectly nice people to talk to but that don’t lead to any dates. Shake it off and try again.
12. Ask others to help
While you shouldn’t put all the pressure on your friends and family to find you someone to love, nor should you rely on them to do all the work for you, it is okay to enlist some help in making connections.
You might be avoiding this because you don’t want to seem desperate. Who cares if you seem desperate?
You are desperate, aren’t you? Aren’t we all desperate for someone to love? Stop pretending you don’t want or need someone in your life. Swallow your pride and ask for some hook-ups and phone numbers.
13. Build a good life for yourself
One of the most important things you can do in preparation for finding the love of your life is to first build yourself a good life.
Don’t wait to meet someone to buy that house, car, take that trip. You don’t need someone to validate your ideas, but you also don’t need someone to pay for half of these things.
If you want them and feel like you shouldn’t do it because you are alone, think again.
Not only does building a good life for yourself make you happy, it is more likely to help you find someone to love.
Nobody wants to date a broke-ass woman or man living in their parent’s basement.
(To learn how to get your act together and create a good life for yourself, check out our guide on how to get your life together here)
14. Have faith
Rather than be humdrum about life, have a little faith that things are going to work out for you. After all, nobody wants to date a sad sack who doesn’t think she deserves good things in life, right?
So start believing you are capable of being loved and that you are a good person and be that to yourself. You need to believe that you will have the life you want, including the love you deserve.
15. Know you deserve love
You can’t walk around feeling sorry for yourself and telling yourself that nobody wants you – nobody wants you like that, that is for sure.
Don’t take pity on yourself. Create a life that is amazing and stop worrying so much about what love will bring to the table for you.
Love should be something that you can add to your life, but that doesn’t define your life.
And be willing to allow different kinds of love into your life: it doesn’t all have to be romantic love.
16. Accept the love offered to you
When it comes to finding love, you have to be open minded about where you accept love from: we all have dreams of being rescued from our lives by a knight in shinging armour, but the truth is that love comes from all kind of unexpected places.
We just have to be willing to let it into our lives. We often reject sources of love because we think we aren’t worthy or that the love is not worth of us.
So be open to what love might come your way.
17. Throw out your idea of an ideal partner
If you ever want to find someone to love, you need to rethink your stringent checklist for a mate.
Sure, you have standards, everyone does, but the reality of who you are going to love is going to be different than what you imagine that person to be right now.
In fact, you may be totally caught off guard by the person you end up falling in love with.
18. Be open to the power of suggestion
You have to look for signs from the universe telling you that there is something right in front of you that you can love.
If you shut yourself out from the world and off from the signs that are often right in front of you, then you are missing out on a chance to encounter a special kind of love: the unexpected kind.
The power of suggestion is often a lot more obvious than you realize once you are tuned into it.
The problem for most people is that they are so focused on finding a certain person or source of love that they miss what is right in front of them all along.
19. Be a better communicator
Before you get into any relationship, you should ask yourself if your communication skills are up to par.
If you are lacking the ability to carry on a conversation for more than a few minutes, or you get nervous around people, you might want to work on those things.
Not just for the benefit of the person in your company, but also, for your own benefit.
The better you are at communicating, the more likely it is that you’ll get exactly what you want in life.
(To learn 14 tips to improve your interpersonal skills, click here)
20. Model your relationship after one you admire
Don’t chase fairytale dreams looking for the right relationship. Instead, look a little closer to home.
Consider how your parents might have loved or a friend’s relationship that you admire.
If you haven’t had the best of luck with finding role models for your relationships, imagine what you’d like your next relationship to look like and strive for what is important to you, rather than what someone looks like, what they do for a living, or what kind of car they drive.
Those things don’t mean you’ll have a great relationship or that the love will be pure.
Focus on yourself first and what you want ot get out of a relationship and the rest will fall into place.
Found love. Now what?: Building a love that lasts
A relationship worth having takes a lot of time and effort.
Even the most loving relationships can falter when faced with reality: responsibilities, busy schedules, differing needs, or disappointments in life can cut love short.
It’s wrong to believe that love is a magical thing that just happens when it does or stops when it wills.
Love requires maintenance. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a long-time friendship, you need to give the relationship tender loving care to help it withstand harsh years.
Once you have found a love, how can you build it so that it survives and thrives over time? Here are a few effective ways to build a love that lasts:
- Be the first to say you’re sorry: Whether you’re apologizing or empathizing, saying sorry is a lot better than making excuses.
- Check in regularly: It takes more than living in the same house to stay in touch with your significant other. Be purposeful for the time you spend together amidst your busy schedules.
- Set up boundaries: As a couple, you don’t need to be attached at the hip 24/7 – so don’t take it personally when your partner needs some alone time. If your partner is being withdrawn, ask them if they need time for themselves or if there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Express appreciation on a regular basis: You may say “I love you.” a lot to each other, but “I appreciate you.” is a different thing altogether. Tell your partner how grateful you are for their thoughtfulness, sense of humor, patience, and other little things on a daily basis. It can mean so much for them.
Love yourself first
People who love themselves will never feel desperate for love, attention, or validation from others. Never forget that you’re already a complete person.
Letting go of the idea that “another half will complete you” can be revolutionary.
If there is a gap in your life, then it’s up to you to grow and fill in those gaps. You are meant to enjoy a happy, love-filled life even if you’re single.
Whether you’ve recently broken up with someone or you’ve been single your entire adult life, don’t fret.
With some simple changes and a better attitude about what you want and how you can get it, you’ll be back in the dating game in no time.
And if it’s your first time playing the game, give yourself some space to make mistakes and screw it up and learn from the people you are dating.
Nobody is perfect and it might take some time to figure out what you really want in a relationship.
But you need to get out there and talk to people, get off the couch and ask for help, get over yourself and your bullshit and make things happen.