So many people go through the day waiting for a magical, serendipitous moment to happen to them, bestowed by the universe. A gentle hand-touch while you’re both reaching for the same roll of paper towels. A spark of lightning as you bump into each other while you’re both posting the same sidewalk graffiti on your Instagram story. A fateful Tinder match.
Anytime I post something about “true love” or romance or “the right man/woman”, the responses overwhelmingly lean in one direction: I’m waiting!
And, therein lies the problem.
In any other area of life, we define what we want, and set action steps to go after it. Career goals, fitness goals, weight loss, a benchmark for your business—whatever it is, we see it as a goal with a process to get there.
Except for love.
Why is it that arguably the most important thing in our lives, we leave up to chance? Nobody teaches us how to date. Nobody teaches us how to love ourselves first. And we wonder why we are struggling with both.
I am not saying that dating should be some sort of robotic process where you check off boxes and eliminate the worst fits for you like a tournament bracket—just the opposite, actually. Dating should be about connection, and passion, and chemistry—but those things do not just float down out of the sky and sprinkle onto you like fairy dust.
Do you want to know the real reason you’ll never find true love? It’s because love isn’t something that you find. It’s not something you pick up off of the ground like a lost dollar bill.
It is something you consciously create, choose, and build alongside another human being.
True love is something that you put effort into. True love is prioritizing your relationship, and the other person in it.
This is why when people tell me they’re “waiting”, I always ask them if they’re waiting, or if they’re putting in conscious effort every day to find the right person. More often than not, there is no response.
Dating is work, but it doesn’t have to feel like work. It should be fun and enjoyable—but it still takes two people who are willing to put in the required effort.
That’s the challenge these days, isn’t it? People who aren’t willing to put in the work. We are walking away at the first sign of conflict (I don’t mean red flags or abuse, you should definitely run away from those). I mean small issues that can easily be solved by better communication or compromise. If the small waves rock the boat, what would a storm do?
We aren’t building a foundation with each other anymore through communication and bonding. We’re not sitting down one on one and really having meaningful conversations; we’re simply texting emojis to each other and being pen-pals.
If we really want deeper, more fulfilling connections, then we have to understand that it’s not just something that appears on the first date.
Think about what you do for work now, or what sport you play, or what hobby you have. Were you automatically great when you first started? Or do you look back at where you began and see how far you’ve come? Anything worthwhile is a process. It takes time to build.
Why are we willing to put in this time and dedication to work and hobbies, but not into each other? I think perhaps it’s because we’ve lost sight of how fulfilling being in the right relationship really is. Having a teammate, a partner in crime, a support system. A lover, but also a best friend.
I believe that once we remember what love really feels like, we’ll stop waiting around for it—and start working to build it again.
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This post originally appeared at jamesmsama.com
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