New year, new you, same old question: how do find your soulmate? With so many fish in the sea, how do you know which one you're meant to be with? How will you know that this guy (or girl) is The One?
There's three easy steps to finding your happily ever after.
Step 1: Stop trying to find it.
Ever heard the expression, "a watched pot never boils"? The same applies to romance. If you keep watching and waiting for it, it's never going to come to you. If you're always on the prowl for your new beau, chances are you'll stay on the hunt for a mighty long time. Love isn't something that can be trapped, forced, or one-sided; real love is a different kind of magic, one that has to start from a tiny spark and be nurtured into a cozy fire.
When you try to make something happen by forcing it to happen, it doesn't end well. You can't force someone to like you back. You can't wear someone down until they agree to go on a date with you. That leads to an unhealthy and toxic relationship and then you end up right back where you started. Don't try to find love; let it come to you. And while it comes on its own time, live your life the way you want to live it. Go hang out with your friends, have a girls night out, cross some items off your bucket list - live it up! We only have this one life to live. Don't you dare waste it on some guy or girl to start yours.
Step 2: When it comes along, don't force it to stay.
Not every relationship you make is going to last a lifetime, whether it's platonic or romantic. Things happen, life gets in the way, and sometimes these relationships come to an end. And that's okay. If you're in a relationship that started great, but now feels iffy at best, it's okay to take a break from it or call it off. Who knows, maybe you'll start it up again or maybe you won't, but trying to force a relationship to stay never works out. Most likely, it'll end worse than it would've before, and there'll be absolutely no chance of reconciliation.
Relationships run their natural courses, some last forever and some don't - that's just how life is. And, sometimes you can work things out, but there always comes a time where enough is enough. If you're constantly working to patch things up with your S.O., or if those happy feelings have fizzled out too much, or if there are things that you just can't deal with anymore, maybe it's time to step back from the relationship and really think about how important this is to you. Do you really love this person, or are you with them because you feel bad? Can you see yourself with this person forever romantically, or would you rather just stay friends? It's okay to remove yourself from a romantic relationship to make your life easier, and trust me - what will be will be.
Step 3: Get rid of that fairy tale, Hollywood romance fantasy.
Chances are, you're not going to have the kind of whirlwind romance like Noah and Allie from The Notebook, and you're not going to have that Kelly and Joe love-hate-love relationship from You've Got Mail, and you're definitely not going to have Jack and Rose's tragic romance from Titanic. What's more likely is that you'll meet someone, and maybe you hit it off right away romantically, but probably more as friends first. That love will slowly build, and it'll take years; not days, not weeks, not months, but years. And I can't stress this enough, but that's okay. You don't need to rush love, and love actually can't be rushed.
In order to find your perfect partner, just stop trying. Be yourself and the rest will come to you in its own time, I promise.