Single people are no strangers to receiving a lot of dating advice – some of it wanted, and much of it unwanted – from their taken friends. And while it's normally well-meaning, hearing the same advice over and over again is bound to get exhausting.
And one piece of advice singles often get from their married or dating friends? "You'll find a boyfriend the moment you stop looking." Sounds great, but for the single girl who's been waiting and actively looking for that right guy, this can be really frustrating. After all, if she just "stops looking," how is she supposed to magically come across the guy she's been waiting for? And this suggestion also makes it sound simple when many of us know meeting the right person is anything but that.
However, this age-old piece of advice has some truth to it – just not in the way that you might think. It certainly won't make it easier to meet a good guy by simply sitting back and doing nothing, but that's not even what this often ill-received advice is trying to get at.
Here’s why, sometimes, it’s actually true that you’ll find a boyfriend the moment you stop looking for one.
You Don't Run the Risk of Seeming Desperate
So you've done everything you can think of to make it known that you're available – maybe you've downloaded all the dating apps, you go out with friends on the weekend and try talking to the guy you locked eyes with, or you drop all kinds of hints to the guy you've been seeing that what you really want is a relationship. You're set on finding a boyfriend, and you're trying to make the most of every opportunity.
And while knowing what we want and taking it upon ourselves to make it happen is sometimes a good thing, the issue with focusing so closely on ticking the "acquired a boyfriend" box is that we can easily come off as desperate to the guys we're trying to attract. When we're single and want nothing more than to be someone's girlfriend, that desire is obvious to everyone around us and even overwhelming to the guys we set our sights on.
When we’re desperate for a boyfriend, it’s obvious to everyone around us – especially guys.
By choosing to take a step back and forget about how much we want a boyfriend, we're actually helping our chances of not coming off too strongly when we finally do come across that special someone.
You Have More Energy To Focus on Yourself
The hunt for a boyfriend can feel all-consuming. You've made sure to always put your best foot forward by learning how to do makeup that enhances your beauty; you've read all of the articles about how to be an amazing girlfriend; you figured out how to dress for your body type; you always try to look approachable; you feel like you've put in the effort of being girlfriend material, but the pieces just aren't coming together.
It's a wonderful thing to put in the effort to present ourselves well and be ready to meet the right person at any moment. The issue is with spending most of our energy on becoming what we think our future boyfriend will want us to be.
By taking that pressure off ourselves and easing up on our goal to look like girlfriend material, we're allowing ourselves the time to focus on ourselves – to assess who we want to be and chase after our own goals. This might look like applying ourselves to our studies more thoroughly, getting counseling, or creating healthy everyday rhythms.
You'll Create a Life You're Already Happy With
The desire for a boyfriend, a person who loves us and is committed to us and understands us, can easily become our most burning desire. It can feel like we can't truly be happy until we find that special someone and all of the missing puzzle pieces finally come together.
Find friendships that add to your life, pursue goals that are meaningful to you, and work toward a future.
But the more pressure and focus we put on attaining that person, the less satisfied we'll be with our current stage in life. Instead, we can choose to create a life we're already happy to live, with or without a guy at the moment. We can find friendships that add to our life, pursue goals that are meaningful to us, and work toward a future. We can stop looking for someone to give us a life we’re happy to live, and instead give that to ourselves – and there’s nothing more attractive than that.
You’re Letting Him Be the Pursuer
The search for the right guy can look a few different ways – and often enough, if you feel like you've been waiting around too long, you'll take it upon yourself to make it happen. Maybe you worked up the courage to ask a guy at your cafe for his number, or maybe you asked your brother's single friend out on a date, or maybe you've been the one initiating every text conversation with the guy you've gone out with a couple of times.
And while it's certainly not wrong to take the lead sometimes, we can easily fall into the trap of being the sole initiator. The reality is that guys still like to pursue and ladies still like to be pursued – it's just in our biology.
So while it might be tempting to just make it happen and take the lead the next time you meet a guy you click with, challenge yourself to let him be the initiator, sit back, and let things play out. You might be surprised at how much easier you find it to get someone's attention when you let them ask you for it first.
"You'll find a boyfriend the moment you stop looking," is a frustrating phrase to hear for most singles, but there's actually quite a bit of truth and wisdom to be found in this seemingly simplistic phrase.
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