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December 27, 2022

Why We Need to Stop Searching for Love—& 12 Questions to Ask Ourselves Instead.

“Those that go searching for love only make manifest their own lovelessness, and the loveless never find love, only the loving find love, and they never have to seek for it.” ~ D.H. Lawrence

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I’ve always had the belief that love happens when we least expect it—when we are ready or when we have lessons to learn.

I’ve always had the belief that love is not something we should search for, like a needle in a haystack, but rather something that happens organically.

I know this may not be a popular belief, given the enormous industry out there trying to sell love and relationships. Also, the amount of people desperately seeking “their soul mate,” their person, a partner, the love of their life. Dating websites and platforms like Tinder abuzz with a constant array of people looking for connection. Looking for love. Looking for something to fulfil them because after all, we have been conditioned to believe we all need someone, our other half, and if we don’t find them, we’ll be lonely and not whole.

There’s a despairing lacking energy we emit when overcome with such a need to find love. And the reality is when we are emitting such an energy, that is exactly what we draw to us. When we want something so desperately or search so fervently for something, we have a tendency to hang on so tight to that need, and what that is sending out into the universe is lack. We are saying we must find love because we lack love in our lives.

And guess what? We get more lack. We find unsuitable partners. We tolerate more just so we have someone. It becomes a challenging and vicious cycle. It becomes such a focus that we’ll do anything to find someone, and on so many occasions, it just makes us miserable.

I get it. I mean, it’s what we’ve been taught. Couple up because you cannot possibly be happy or whole without a partner. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry taking advantage of vulnerable people, desperate for love and connection. And yes, there are the few stories with happy endings, but mostly, there are horror stories.

You see, far too many people are not actually ready to give and receive love, and rather than do the work on themselves, they search for someone else to fulfil them—because this is what we have learnt through the generations. We’re not taught to love ourselves and work on our inner selves. We’re not encouraged to spend time alone and that it is in fact a healthy thing to do. We’re not taught that we came into the world a whole person and we will leave this world a whole person, alone.

No, the ridiculously sad reality is we are taught to change ourselves to meet a partner. We are being told we are too masculine. Too feminine. We are encouraged to dress “high value,” whatever that shallowly means. As women, we are told to step into our nurturing, caring, girly, energy, and allow the man to lead. Act all gushy and needy so the man feels respected, needed, and like he is a strong man.

Men are told don’t dare show emotions, be all manly masculine, and that their ideal woman will need them, depend on them, and be nurturing to their every whim.

Really?! Is this what we want? To be inauthentic and fake? To care more about what someone is wearing than what’s in their hearts? To have an emotionally unavailable man that we need to mother? To have a woman that needs to depend on their man?

And the insanity of it all is we have people truly believing that a step back to the 1950s is the ideal—when women felt trapped in relationships and had no independence or autonomy to leave in need. Have we not evolved? Have we not learnt from the past? Do we not want equal partners nurturing and caring for each other in an emotionally open and available relationship where respect, trust, honesty, and authenticity are key? Do we not want people who are self-aware and prepared to grow and learn entering relationships?

Instead of desperately trying to find someone and listening to anyone who calls themselves an expert, what if we ask ourselves the following:

1. Do we love who we are?

Do we love our lives? If the answer is no, let’s work on that. If you think a partner will fix that, the blunt truth is they won’t. Only you can fix that. So focus on your own self-love, self-belief, and learn to love exactly who you are. Look at what you need to change in your life and work toward those changes. If you are unhappy with yourself and your life that should be your priority because you are just living and accepting lack, and that’s never going to bring you positive changes.

2. Are we honest with ourselves?

Like brutally bloody honest. Are we the type of person we would want to be with? Are we kind and compassionate? Are we living authentically, true to who we are and what we want?

3. Are we pursuing our passions?

Do we wake up each day and do at least one thing we love? Are we cultivating our passions and moving toward doing more of what we love? I know it can be hard especially if our passions don’t earn us an income, but putting some focus on them is critical to our own inner happiness.

4. Are we building connection in our lives?

This does not need to be romantic connection but simple connection. I found when I started to pursue my passions of writing and studying counselling, I built an incredible community and connections. We need to cultivate our friendships and relationships with family. Connection is a human need and far too often we confuse romantic connection with general connection. Build connections because it brings so much to our lives.

5. Are we grateful?

Are we grateful for what we have? Do we show gratitude and practise gratitude? Being truly grateful for what we have will bring more of that good into our lives.

6. Do we practise kindness and compassion?

Do we give without expecting anything in return? Do we smile at strangers and do friendly gestures? Always remember what you give out will come back to you.

7. Are we learning about ourselves?

Are we improving and growing? Are we embracing our vulnerability and being courageous to try new things? Are we willing to seek support to help us grow and change if we need? Are we willing to be open and accepting?

8. Are we keeping fit and looking after our physical body?

Exercising and eating well makes us feel better about ourselves and gives us more confidence.

9. Are we looking after our emotional health?

Do we know our triggers? Do we sit with our emotions and unpack them in a healthy way? Are we honest about how we are feeling?

10. Do we know how to fill our own cup?

Do we know how to be content and happy alone in our own company? Do we expect others to do this for us?

11. What if we just honour ourselves and let go of this need to “find” love?

What if we stop believing we are not enough alone and start to realise we are whole and have everything within us to be happy? What if we surrender in the knowing that what is meant for us will find us when we are ready?

12. What if we put all that effort into us instead of searching desperately for a mate?

Imagine how much we would learn and how much we would grow.

As I watch the world of “relationship coaches” and dating websites explode, I see huge numbers of people imploding, people falling out of one relationship and hoping to fall straight into a new one without any healing or reflection, people being sold that elusive perfect partner when there really is no such thing.

Relationships require authenticity, truth, and work, which we will rarely find by swiping left or right. Because let’s be honest, most people are wearing a mask and are feeling lack, which is why they are on there in the first place—people looking to be filled by someone else because it’s what those fairy tales tell us.

I sit in no judgement of people searching for love; I do however question what it is they will find. I know people are lonely, and I know people desperately want to find someone to love them, but what if we try loving ourselves first? What if we become the person we wish to be with and emit that energy? What if we let ourselves heal and work on ourselves and do what makes us happy from the inside before trying to find happiness externally? What if we build connection with friends and like-minded people? But most of all, what if we build connection with ourselves?

I have another belief that some don’t agree with and that is that what is meant for us will find us and that we are exactly where we are meant to be. I understand this can be painful when bad things happen. I lost my mum this year and it’s been so damn hard, but these beliefs and my gratitude is what move me forward and what keeps refilling my own cup. I know I’m the only one who can help myself, heal myself, and work on my growth. I choose the abundance within me rather than the lack.

Up until a couple of years ago, I had been with a partner since I was 15. I made the decision to be alone and work on myself, and it has been the hardest, most painful, yet most empowering and rewarding period of my life where I have learnt and grown so much. I have wonderful connections in my life that I water, and I’m happy with who I am and what I have. If future love is meant for me, it will come in an organic way. I don’t need to search for love because I’m not lacking love. The right partner will be lovely should that happen.

Radiating love for ourselves will attract love into our lives.

Love your life. Love your connections, and love yourself. Be grateful because only then will your energy emit abundance rather than lack.

What if we stop searching and chasing love and did these things instead? What if we glow from the inside and eventually attract people who love, respect, and appreciate our energy?

Everything starts with how we feel about ourselves. Let’s start there.

“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” ~ Rupi Kaur

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