Do You Really Find Love When You’re ‘Not Looking For It’? Experts Say It’s A Mixed Bag

Anyone who’s ever voiced their frustrations with dating has likely been told, “You’ll find love when you’re not looking for it.” Although it can be super annoying to think that actually putting effort into your love-life could be taking you further away from finding love, there may be valid reasons why so many people associate finding love with taking a more passive approach. Unfortunately, relying on luck from the universe rather than putting work into something might not be the most effective way to get things done, either. According to dating and relationships expert and licensed marriage and family therapist Anita Chlipala, if you want to find lasting love, “not looking for it” could be problematic.

“I’m not saying [finding love this way] can’t happen,” Chlipala tells us. “But, do people do this with other things? Do you stop looking for a job, hoping it will find you? Of course not. If you’re dating for marriage, I advise people to be very deliberate and focused on dating because it will be one of the most important decisions of your life.” If being in a loving relationship is important to you, but you don’t follow through with the action it takes to find it, you run the risk of potentially not finding it at all. NYC-based relationship expert Susan Winter agrees that taking this saying at face value might not work, but the deeper message is spot on. “The true message is that we’re far more able to attract love when we’re not frantic, desperate, or needy,” Winter tells us.

Even though it might seem contradictory, the reason some people find loving partners after taking a step back from serial dating makes sense. “In those moments when we’re being ourselves, comfortable with who we are, and going about our day-to-day business, we’re 100 percent natural,” explains Winter. “No posturing, no guard, no tension, and no games. That’s the moment the right person appears because they’re responding to our authentic selves and an authentic connection is made.” It’s not that you shouldn’t be dating or looking for a relationship if that’s what you want, but sometimes, being too aggressive can give off vibes that end up repelling the right matches or attracting the wrong ones. That’s why, when someone stops obsessing over finding love, their energy often becomes more receptive to the real thing.

Dmytro Bilous/Stocksy

Trina Leckie, the host of the breakup BOOST podcast, advises people to stop “looking for love” because focusing on personal growth can be more productive than looking for someone to complete you. “Some people need to work on themselves and build a better relationship with themselves before they can attract a quality partner,” Leckie tells us. “It’s a good idea to take time to reflect on what you really desire in someone or in a relationship and focus on how you can improve as well.”

In the end, finding a good match doesn’t always happen exactly when we want it to. For those who feel burned out by dating, there’s also nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself. However, if being in a serious relationship is a top priority, it’s important to continue actively putting yourself out there in order to meet new people. Just remember that being relaxed, open, and authentic is the best way to attract the right partner.


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