We want love.
We want it bad, and we can’t understand why it continues to elude us.
We’re ready and we’re waiting. We want the right person to come along so that we can fall in love and sail off into the sunset of our relationship dreams. But are we sabotaging potential connections without even realizing it? Are we doing some things to prevent love from entering our lives?
Yes, we sure are!
These are the 10 things we do to prevent love:
We say “no” too quickly. Someone wants a date and we find every excuse in the book to say no because we’re “just not feeling it.” We don’t give it an inch of a chance and we push it away too fast. We must remember that sometimes feelings have to be watered and fed in order to grow. If we’re “not that into” the date to begin with, why not go anyway, and make a new friend? If we agree to something unromantic or not too intimate, (like a ballgame or coffee), there’s either something to hold our attention, or we can cut the date short if we absolutely must. We can tell a lot about people by observing behavior and interactions in these types of settings. Chemistry sometimes changes after first impressions.
“When you say yes, the universe helps you.” ~ Dan Brule
We keep to our own social group. We don’t join clubs or go places without our set group of friends, and this creates some limitations for finding love. Doing something different without familiar people once in a while opens the doors of possibility. Do you enjoy hiking? Find a group and go hiking! Do you want to learn more about beekeeping? Sign up for a class. Meet other people without being introduced. Stepping outside our social circles makes them broader.
“Every new friend is a new adventure, the start of more memories” ~ Patrick Lindsay
We never travel alone. Vacation? We either go with our families or a group of friends, but we usually don’t travel by ourselves because it feels uncomfortable. If we throw caution to the wind, it can be empowering to navigate the unexpected challenges of traveling alone. It may also force us to be social and in charge of our own entertainment. Rest and relaxation are nice, but after a day or two of quietly sipping fruity, frozen cocktails by the pool, we begin to crave social activity. Taking in the sights, or venturing off on an excursion with a group of unfamiliar fellow travelers is a good way to start.
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” ~ Freya Stark
We work too much. 60 to 70 hours a week at a desk in an airless, somewhat lightless office is no joke, and no fun. It leaves little time for anything else, let alone finding love. Not sure about the solution, but one truth remains: most of us will not find love at our desk, staring back at us through our computer screen. We won’t find it inside our cell phones, or part of a pie chart either.
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” ~ Dolly Parton
We constantly “look” for it. The old saying, “you always catch a fish when you’re not fishing” is seemingly true when it comes to love. To combat the habit of looking (and fishing), we must learn to simply allow ourselves to give our daily experiences the undivided attention they deserve. Curiosity can get the best of us of us when we meet new people in any setting. We may immediately think: “Is he single? Is that a wedding ring I see?” Living in the moment means letting it unfold without other variables (like jumping straight to the relationship potential of others) getting in the way. Sometimes love is found when we’re not looking.
“What you are seeking is seeking you.” ~ Rumi
Or, we try to find it in the wrong places. We think we will find love at the gym. We think we’re going to find it at a party, or in a bar. But that’s usually not the case. Love walks his dog in the park and frequents the library. Love sits next to you on the subway and she shops at Trader Joe’s. Love is up on a ladder next door to your mom’s friend, Alice. Love is standing in line at the coffee shop with you every Wednesday. Love hides in plain sight. And love often surfaces where and when you least expect it.
“I roved the night finding someone to love me and you roved the day finding someone to love you. Yet, we were looking for each other’s love in all the wrong places.” ~ Shivam Shandilya
We don’t dance. We just sit there. We sit there and watch and wait to be asked. Which is kind of like hiding, and hiding is preventing. Sometimes the best meetings take place out on the dance floor where facial expressions rule the vibe instead of conversations. Get on the floor, partner or not, where your hips don’t lie, and your booty can do all the talking.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” ~ Martha Graham
We expect instant connection. Which is not a realistic expectation. Some couples say that for them, it was love at first sight. They can look at you and say it without blinking because they’re in love now and they forgot about all the work they put into it. The truth is, love hardly ever happens instantly. The movies want us to believe in instant love connection magic, and while that’s a sweet sentiment, it’s not exactly reality. Connection takes a bit of TLC so it’s important to move slowly and let the flavors of love meld together all on their own.
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” ~ William Shakespeare
We forget about common ground. We don’t look for love connection in places or causes that feed our souls. Love may come to us via shared acts of compassion. What drives your conscience? How are you involved? Are you for animal welfare? Are you driven to change partisan policy? Maybe you spend your Saturday morning helping at the soup kitchen. Sometimes love is found in places where common compassion seeks its expression.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, without them humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama
We only want sex. We want to satisfy our physical needs without the hassle of love, thus preventing it. We want sex first, and maybe we’ll think about love later. As much as we hate to admit that old fashioned ideas are worth a second look, this is one that holds true. Waiting to have sex is quite often the key to a real connection. When we respect the process of our feelings, and when we let our desires build a bit, sex becomes part of the whole love story. Moving several chapters ahead will often ruin the book.
“Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last…” ~ Paul Simon
Love makes the world go ’round, and life is better when we behave in a way that actively lets it in. When we stop preventing love, it just might come knocking on our door.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: Leandro Puca/Unsplash
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Sara Kärpänen