How many times have you heard your friend (or yourself) say "Ugh, I need a boyfriend/girlfriend," "Oh, just third-wheeling over here," or, "I need to find a nice guy/girl?" With how much is on social media regarding relationships, love, and the glorified "relationship goals," it's easy to get pulled into the thought of everyone needing a significant other. It becomes what everyone revolves around, and aims towards having. In reality, our best relationships happen unexpectedly, unforced. Besides, there is a lot of life to miss out on when primarily focusing on finding a relationship.
1. It distracts you from the now:
The best thing you can do for yourself is to let life take its course and focus on the aspects that are happening now, such as your friends, family, education, or career. We can't know when life will lead us towards someone special, but we can work towards bettering ourselves while waiting.
2. It may lead to the wrong significant other:
You know when you go shopping for something in particular, and you have a picture in your mind already of how you want it to look? For example, a pair of ankle boots to match the new jeans you just got. You know what is going to look best with the pants, and what color, style, and height you want them. When stores don't have what we had in mind, we tend to get impatient. Who has ended up settling for a pair of boots that's a little different from what you wanted? We can do this in relationships as well. When you force a relationship, you can overlook characteristics that you originally wanted to avoid. A different pair of boots = a significant other that you know is not right for you. Save your time and stress by waiting for someone that pops into your head when you think of the perfect person.
3. Being young is the best time to be selfish:
Besides distracting us from the now, looking for love will distract time from yourself. These years are the youngest we will ever be, and are the only time we can completely devote time to ourselves. Our later years are for when we have found someone we would enjoy spending every day with. But for now, we can make plans with only our schedule in mind, and never have to check in with anyone on what you're up to. This is a time to do whatever you want, with whomever you want.
4. Love is never forced:
We tend to try to cater to all of someone's likes and dislikes when we're trying to look for a relationship, but no amount of effort can make one fall if they're not inclined to do so. Besides, it's impossible to meet a person's every like and dislike. An unforced relationship complements the other's preferences, rather than agreeing with every one of them.
5. The best relationships start out of a friendship:
Instead of looking to build a romantic relationship, look to build meaningful friendships. Go through life not expecting something romantic out of platonic relationships, but enjoying it if something does come from it.
6. Love finds you when you least expect it:
The harder you look for love, the easier it is to settle for anything. The harder you try, the more evasive it becomes. It will find you when you finally take your focus from it, and let it come to you.
7. Love won't come from a night out:
Your perfect prince charming is most likely not going to be at the club. Not at that college party, not at the bar. However, he may be found at the library, your exercise class, or your favorite cafe. But this doesn't mean that you should sit with a coffee every day waiting for your husband to walk through the door. Never go out waiting for someone to breeze by your favorite places, but understand that Mr. Right is not going to be at the club dancing with drinks.
8. You have to love yourself before you love another:
Instead of concerning yourself with finding a partner, concern yourself with bettering your character and self-esteem. You cannot depend on someone else to bring you happiness; that comes from within. Besides, how can you love someone else and all their flaws if you can't love your own?
9. It sets unrealistic expectations:
Besides settling for something you don't want, searching for a relationship can also build up unrealistic expectations. You become obsessed with the "perfect" guy or girl, and create a person that doesn't exist. When we can settle for people that aren't right for us, we can also push people away that are good for us. Someone who might be your soulmate could be brushed off because they don't meet your "ideal" boyfriend/girlfriend. While you should never seek out love, it doesn't hurt to talk to someone that's not "your type."
10. Just because you're ready for love, doesn't mean others are:
Love is a scary word. It can make someone smile, or make them run. Keep in mind that when you feel like you're ready for a meaningful relationship, others aren't. That boy you just know has feelings for you too may have just gotten out of a serious relationship. That girl that you've been hanging out with may just think you two are good friends. Just because you feel a certain way toward another, doesn't mean you can force them to return that feeling.
11. A relationship is not the most important aspect of your life:
Concerning ourselves with finding a perfect soulmate pulls us away from what we already have going for us. Take time to realize how awesome your friends are, how supportive your family is, or how well you've done in school. There is so much more to our journey besides having a boyfriend to make you feel whole. You, yourself, are in charge of that. No significant other can complete your journey.