You hear it again and again: “I had given up hope of ever finding love, and then he walked into my life!” If you’re someone still looking for love, this may make you want to throw up just a little bit. But it’s true. Love finds you when you least expect it.
There’s actually a reason for this: you’re more attractive when you’re not desperate. It can be hard, I know, not to spend every waking minute looking for love when all you want to do is settle down with a good man and start a family. You scroll through your dating profile, you look longingly at the cute guy ahead of you in line, you go on lukewarm date after lukewarm date, and all the time you’re wondering what am I doing wrong?
These days we’re told that, if we want something, we should go out and get it. Make a goal, have a plan, get things done! And that’s good advice. The only problem is that the way to find love is actually by not looking for it.
You’re more attractive when you’re not desperate.
This isn’t some weird superstition or something. I’m not suggesting there’s some mystical force that only allows you to find love when you least expect it. What I’m saying is that if you’ve let your whole life become about your search for love, you’ve forgotten the most important thing: the man for you isn’t going to fall for you because you’ve been on the most dates in the least amount of time. He’s going to fall for you because you’re interesting, engaging, and fun. So, to find love, you’ve got to work on finding you, not him.
It’s depressing to feel that all you want is a partner and you can’t find one. I get that. But it’s not the guy that’s going to make you feel whole again — even if it really feels like it is. You have to do that work first. The man will follow. Why? Because you’re much more attractive when you’re following your dreams, entertaining your passions, and engaging in intellectual pursuits.
You’re much more attractive when you’re following your dreams, entertaining your passions, and engaging in intellectual pursuits.
This isn’t some “You don’t need a man!” speech. We all need love and connection in our lives. It’s just a different (better) way to go about getting it. Exercise regularly, spend time with friends, pursue your hobbies, and try new things. If you can find things that fulfill you and interest you even though you’re not dating anyone, you’re going to come across as a happy and fulfilled person. And a person like that is attractive.
I know it can feel scary to ditch all the things you’re doing specifically to get a date. It might feel, at first, like you’re suddenly not working toward your goal, or that you’re going to miss out on the perfect guy if you don’t check your dating profile every five seconds. I’m not suggesting you delete all your dating apps and say no to dates that come your way, just that you shift your focus, so that’s not all you’re doing. Investing in becoming the happiest, most engaged version of you will yield far better results in the long run.
As you work toward finding things you love to do, make sure some of them involve being with other people. You don’t have to join a book club or take a class — though those are good things to do — but you should make sure you’re out there in the world interacting with other humans. This serves two purposes. First, it will make you happier (even if you think it won’t), which will help you accomplish your first goal. And second, you might meet someone you’d like to date.
The point here is not to join some club or go to some bar looking to meet a guy. (That would put you right back where you started.) The point is to go and have fun with people you like in a place where you might meet other like-minded people. The guy for you might not look or act or talk at all like the kind of guy you thought you were going to find (sorry dating site search criteria). So, if you’re just hanging out at your local trivia night, for example, and the guy next to you comments knowledgeably on the highly obscure quotation printed on your shirt, don’t write him off just because his hair’s too long (or something).
Go and have fun with people you like in a place where you might meet other like-minded people.
Again, the idea here is to get yourself out there in the world having fun and staying busy. You’re much more likely to meet a potential love interest in a social setting where everyone’s into the same types of things than you are just sitting by yourself hoping the cute barista’s going to ask for your number.
Okay, I’m assuming you’re already dressed (and if you’re not, please keep that to yourself), but if you’re hoping love’s going to show up when you least expect it, you probably don’t want to be wearing your sweatpants with a hole in the butt when it does. Look, I’m not suggesting you get dressed each morning as if you’re going on a date. I’m not even suggesting you put on makeup if you don’t want to. The point is not that you won’t find love unless you’re some sort of bombshell or something. The point is simply that first impressions matter.
The idea is to look as happy and engaged as you now feel (because you’ve taken my advice and done all the stuff above). If you go outside in your ratty sweatpants with your hoodie up over your unwashed hair and shuffle around everywhere with your eyes glued to the sidewalk, you’re never going to see the guy meant just for you. And he’s not going to see you either, because you look like someone who doesn’t want to be seen.
Dressing like someone who feels happy and confident will actually help you feel happy and confident.
I know it can be hard to put on some jeans and a cute top instead of your pajama bottoms when you’re sure the only person you’re going to see today is your roommate and the guy who sells ice cream at the corner store. But dressing like someone who feels happy and confident will actually help you feel happy and confident. And feeling happy and confident — as I keep saying — is what makes you attractive. So brush your hair, put on a little chapstick or something, and wear some clothes that make you feel like you.
Love finds us when we least expect it. That’s not a superstition, it’s the truth. It happens because we’re far more attractive when we’re focused on doing the things that make us happy than we are when we’re obsessively hunched over our computers scrolling through dating profiles. Take a deep breath, take a step back, and reenter the world. He’s out there somewhere. Help him find you.