We see it in movies, we hear it in songs, we watch our friends and family members go through it, and we live it. Love is everywhere, and it’s one of the things almost all people have in common: we want to love and be loved in return.
Finding “the one” seems to be a quest that so many people find themselves on at one time or another, desperate to find their true loves. However, one thing I’ve noticed is that the more someone obsesses over it, the less likely he or she is to find it.
If you’re dating to find the one, consider these few things first.
1. Think About What You Want
When you’re single and looking for love, it’s easy to see past people’s shortcomings. But, if you’re looking for the one, you really should take the time to consider what it is you want and need in a relationship and in life. This is the best way to make sure that the person you are dating is worth your time and energy. It may sound harsh, but why put yourself through heartache when it can be avoided?
There are a few questions you should ask yourself when dating to find the one. Things you should consider include your values, life goals, responsibilities, and pastimes. For example, if you want to get married, have kids, and settle down in the suburbs, you wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t want a family and plans to live in downtown Manhattan. If you swore to yourself that swore you’d never date a smoker, and stick to it.
Of course, people can always change, but if they’re adamant about not changing their minds, you probably can’t make them. Besides, why try to do the near impossible (change someone) when there are people out there who already share your values and goals?
2. Put Yourself out There
The only way to meet the one is to put yourself out there, because let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely he or she is just going to show up on your doorstep.
There are a lot of different ways in which you can put yourself out there, but my favorite has always been simply to do the activities you’ve always enjoyed. For example, if you enjoy dancing, go out dancing. If you enjoy reading, join a book club. Like sports? Join a local league. You never know where you are going to meet the one, so you might as well go out and have some fun.
Other ways to put yourself out there include using dating apps and websites, being open to blind dates, and letting your friends and family know you’re not only available but also actively looking. That’s not to say that you will immediately find the one through any of these avenues, but it doesn’t hurt to meet new people.
3. Don’t Dwell
Let’s say you know what you want and you’ve been going out on a few dates but for some reason nobody seems good enough. Perhaps you just haven’t found the one yet, but maybe nobody seems good enough because of something that’s happened to you in the past.
A lot of people carry baggage from old relationships and bad experiences that skew their perceptions of any new love interests. Could you be doing the same thing? It’s important to not dwell on things that have happened in old relationships, like assuming every person who drinks is an abusive alcoholic just because your last boyfriend was. Be smart and stick to your values, but try not to dwell on the past. That really wouldn’t be fair to you or your date.
4. Be Honest
Dating should be fun, not stressful. If you’ve been seeing someone and it’s not what you expected, or you aren’t enjoying your time with him or her, there’s no harm in parting ways. It might seem like you’ve wasted your time or that it’s easier to just keep moving forward, but if it isn’t working, you owe it to yourself and the other person to end it sooner than later. I mean, why torture yourself in a dramatic relationship if it isn’t what you want long-term?
5. Be Yourself
If finding the one is your primary goal when dating, you must be yourself at all times. What would be the point in tricking someone into thinking you’re something that you’re not when you have hopes of spending the rest of your life together? The truth is going to come out eventually, and when it does, it could very well ruin the relationship.
Besides, if you have to pretend to be something you’re not, that person isn’t worth your time anyway. There will be someone out there for you who will love you just the way you are.
6. Live Your Life
Trying to find the one can easily become an obsession. Maybe you thought you’d be married by now or you have plans to have two kids before you reach 40, and yet, you still haven’t found the one. I get it: time is precious and so many of us are impatient. But obsessing over trying to find the one is not going to help. If anything, it’s going to make it take even longer.
The best way to find the one is to just live your life, while staying open to possibilities and meeting new people. I have found that most people seem to find their special ones when they least expect it.