Falling in love is magical, euphoric, and a thousand other good things. When it happens, it seems like destiny — easy, uncomplicated, always meant to be. And yet, finding true love is difficult for so many singles.
How is that possible when everyone around you, it seems, is married, engaged, or seriously dating someone?
Could it be that there is no one out there for you? That you have been singled out to remain…well…forever single?
Could it be that you’re “doing it all wrong”? That you just don’t get this dating thing and everyone in the dating pool is picking up your vibe?
Why is finding true love so difficult for some and so easy for others?
While there is no multiple-choice answer to that, there are sound reasons to explain at least a good portion of it.
If you’re like me, you do a quick eye roll when you’re told to “go back to your childhood” to explain something.
And yet, we’re told to do that for a reason. (Check out this article that explains internal working models if you’re interested in learning more about the details behind the reason.)
In essence, and at the risk of being cliche, children learn what they live. And they grow up to live what they’ve learned.
So, if you grew up in a home where love was easily expressed, you will be wired to feel comfortable giving and receiving love.
If your parents had healthy communication, you unknowingly learned how to communicate and resolve conflict in a healthy way.
On the other hand, if you grew up in a home where “certain things” were never discussed, you may have inherent fears of “those things.”
What if your parents fought all the time? Or rarely talked? Or never showed affection?
The point is, we all walk away from our childhoods encrypted with life rules, guidelines, and values.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to follow in your parents’ footsteps.
It does mean, however, that you carry their influence into your adult life, and therefore into your relationships.
And that can be an underlying reason that finding true love is difficult.
And that leads me to your responsibility when it comes to finding love.
Now is the time — especially if you’re marriage minded — to take charge of your future.
There are things you can do to make your search for love easier, more enjoyable, and more successful.
And if you’re not doing these things, you’ll discover that finding true love is difficult.
Here’s a list of # of my favorite must-do’s for finding true love.
Get honest about your internal thoughts that you live by.
Who you are is determined in part by where you’ve come from. But it’s also determined by where you want to go and how committed you are to getting there.
Be willing to look closely at your attitudes and thoughts regarding relationships. What really serves you and your vision for love? What is really just carry-over from your parents?
Granted, this isn’t easy work. And it’s often more easily and effectively done with the help of a therapist or a coach. By doing this work, you’ll be building a great foundation for your future significant relationship!
Instead of looking for the right person, focus on being your own best person.
It’s easy to get lost in the fantasy of Mr./Ms. Right. S/he will look like this…have this kind of personality…do these things…make me feel this way….But your efforts need to start with you. How’s your confidence? Your self-esteem?
Your communication skill set?
Do you exude confidence without being arrogant? Do you have a strong sense-of-self that others can easily read?
Believe it or not, when you prioritize being your best self, you will attract potential matches committed to being their best selves.
Look for a match on values.
When you’re looking for true, lasting love, it’s not going to be sexual attraction that holds you together. It’s going to be your values and common vision that will make the relationship last for the long term.
The great thing about remembering this is that it can guide your search.
When you have a firm grasp on your core relationship values, you can seek out opportunities and venues that echo them.
Get real about your expectations.
Sometimes finding true love is difficult because people have unrealistic and/or too many expectations for a partner. At what point is good-enough good enough?If you turned your own bucket list around onto yourself, would you meet all your own criteria?
What if the partner you think you’re seeking has a list just as long, but with different criteria? Could you ever live up to it all?
Standards and expectations aren’t the same. I would never tell clients to lower their standards. But I would tell them to be realistic about their expectations.
This is why having a strong sense of yourself and your non-negotiable values is so important.
Do things with people who have similar interests and values.
While it’s essential that you be comfortable being alone, I want you to seek ways not to be alone.
What do I mean by that?
If there’s an activity you can do with a group of people as easily as you can do it alone, choose the group. Volunteer, attend charity functions, go to festivals, take a class, join Toastmasters and work on public speaking.
The point is to put yourself in the company of people who reflect your own values, strengths, and curiosities.
After all, online dating is only one part of your search regimen. Meeting people through activities and groups, as well as through introductions, are the other ways my clients meet their partners.
Bring in an expert.
Dating in a fast-paced world isn’t accomplished by sitting on the sidelines and hoping for the best.
And it rarely happens as a result of bumping into someone on the street and knowing the two of you are destined for marriage.
Finding true love is a process that requires effort and a strategic plan. And that process makes much more sense when you have a dating coach mentoring your steps.
Be happy. Genuinely happy.
Happiness is contagious. Love should make you happy, even in the difficult times. So it’s only natural that people gravitate toward others who exude happiness.
How do you achieve that?
By being your authentic self. Knowing yourself…loving yourself…valuing yourself…and knowing what you have to offer a relationship and deserve to receive from it.
You’ll notice that I didn’t say how much of your effort should be online vs. in-person vs. speed dating, etc.
That’s because, no matter where you spend your dating time and energy, the efforts we’ve discussed here will always be essential.
Finding true love can be difficult or it can be easier than you’ve ever expected.
The question is, Are you willing to do the right things to find it?