Is finding love a silly life goal or something ambitious? Can you group love in the same boxes you place career and hobby objectives? Are you setting yourself up to fail; does romance happen when you least expect it?
What makes love embarrassing? I joined a dating app last month and although the app tells me it’s about finding a relationship, I haven’t mustered the words aloud. I don’t tell men I’m seeking a meaningful, deep partnership that’s going to last at least a few years or possibly forever. It’s supposedly desperate to say – too forceful, obsessive and needy. But it’s true. In my all years of crafting plans and setting dates, I haven’t listed love as a priority. It’s merely something I hope one day happens. And maybe that’s why it doesn’t…
How differently would I approach men if finding my ideal partner was positioned at the top of my to-do list? Perhaps I’d go on dates with guys outside my usual type, and maybe I’d gain the confidence to make a move first rather than eyeing back-and-forth, hoping men notice my subtle clues.
Society now accepts online dating and most of us feel no shame in admitting signing up to it. Nearly everyone at some point has uploaded a photo and hoped for the best. I have always had little regard for online matchmaking, it seems so unnatural and unromantic. Yet I’m also aware my fantasy of bumping into Mr. Right at a coffee shop hasn’t even occurred in a Disney film – what chance do I have?
If we want something, surly we have to work towards it? Is finding love a silly life goal? Arguably no, if that’s what you’re after. When I was too naïve to know better, I casually said I’d fall in love at 22, get married at 23 and have a child at 25. It was years away and felt reachable. Then I got older and realised I didn’t want to settle, and life doesn’t just follow the timeline I expect. We’re persistent on goals in the workforce and flimsy on goals surrounding our hearts.
Does love happen when you least expect it?
Psychology Today says this idea is a myth. An article describes how wanting a relationship without looking makes you “disingenuous”. It stops you aligning with the goal and closes you off to potential suitors. It’s like wanting to eat at a Michelin restaurant, but instead of researching, choosing to just wait to see if you stumble across one.
A Bustle piece shares a similar sentiment: Actively making love a priority can empower you to put yourself out there and motivate you to take new risks and focus on expectations. Comparable to learning a new language and travelling to a different continent, planning for a relationship helps you structure. You can better articulate what you want and what you need from someone in order to keep developing the life you envision.
While there’s always going to be people out there who profess to finding their match at the most random time and unexpected location, it feels senseless to presume this occurs for everyone. Hollywood has helped make us believe that romance blossoms in romantic settings. You catch yourself falling at a friend’s Christmas party, you ignite eyes against a sunny morning in the countryside, or at an iconic city backdrop. In reality, how you meet doesn’t take anything away from the charm of fuelling passion; it’s not unromantic to view love with a hint of realism.
Is finding love a silly life goal…
As any good goal-setter would suggest, finding love ought to feature supportable steps. Joining a new dating site, putting your name down for speed dating, experimenting with new activities and different bars… Making it a mission to break from typical routines that haven’t brought you much luck. A goal often works best when an individual self-analyses.
I use to keep myself closed-off. I’d say I want a partner and hope to meet someone more available than my ex, only to find reasons to turn down every offer and run back to the same man who perpetually struggles to commit.
It’s easy to blame the world and paint yourself a victim, unable to get what you’re after. Though many occasions, it’s us ourselves who keep us from progressing. Whether fear, insecurity or an anxiety towards change. By putting love as a life goal, you’re forcing yourself to stay optimistic and not waste evenings on dates that feel short-term. You’re more-likely to ensure each person you meet harbours the same sentiment.
Carrie Bradshaw addict? Why not read: How to Find Love in the City
Love without desperation
With this goal there’s a catch. One I watched an old friend repeatedly slip into. Desperation: The relentless drive to quickly find someone. Ignoring the warning signs; avoiding the obvious conflict. The caution to finding love is to remain ambitious. Not enough that you avoid taking chances, just enough to retain standards.
Nothing is ever guaranteed simply because we strive for it. Yet in making love a thing to gain, not something that may occur, we can open our eyes a little more, and make whimsical hope a practical concept. My answer therefore to is finding love a silly life goal: No.