It seems that from the moment we are born people are talking about who we might marry.
Young mothers pair up their babies and laugh about how they will be a couple some day.
Toddlers are photographed holding hands and sweet “oohs” and “ahhs” are whispered when parents get the picture just right.
Throughout elementary school and middle school our parents tease us about boys and girls we like, and then in high school it’s all about “who are you dating?”
When we get to college, the pressure is on to have a full calendar, social life, and significant other.
Almost 25? Well, you better find someone and think about settling down for the long haul.
No wonder we drive ourselves crazy looking for love – it seems to be the only thing people ever think about.
If you are one of those people who has spent a lifetime waiting for the right person to come along and feels like it is never going to happen for you, consider these 17 tips to help remind you that there is more to life than just sitting around waiting for the half that will make you whole.
1) You are Not Too Old
Regardless of your age, you are not too old to find love.
Sure, it might seem like you are and it might really feel like you are, but “all the good ones” are not gone, even at your age.
You never know who you might meet or run into, or what old flames might spark again with more passion than ever before.
But these encounters can only happen if you don’t declare your seniority to the world and keep your eye on the prize. With age comes wisdom and you’ll be better suited to find a mate who is a better compliment for you.
When you are young, it’s like a shot in the dark because you don’t even know what you want in a partner, but when you are older, you value different things and that could be the key to finding someone to love.
2) Love is Not Reserved for the Very Special People in the World
Keep in mind that although it feels like everyone around you is in love, it’s not true.
There is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing special about them. You’ll find love when it’s meant to be.
Ask yourself how happy those couples really are and maybe even make a point of asking them – you might be surprised to find that many people are just going through the motions because they don’t want to be alone.
You might not be in love, but at least you aren’t pretending to be in love or hold on to a relationship just for the sake of holding on to it.
That’s some messed up thinking right there.
3) It Might Be a Numbers Game
Here’s the thing: if you don’t buy a lottery ticket, you can’t win the lottery.
The same goes for dating: if you don’t go out and meet people, you can’t fall in love. Okay, sure, you can meet people online, but unless there has been some new invention we aren’t aware of, you still need to go out and have a date or two to see if this thing is going to work.
So head on out and meet some new people. But don’t just go out looking for love. Go out to just meet people and see what happens.
You might not meet the one for you, but you might make some cool friends who know someone who is just right for you.
4) Relax and Do You
As the old saying goes, “a watched pot never boils.” Don’t focus on finding love.
Get a hobby, make some new friends, take up a dance class, go to the movies by yourself, write, read, paint, travel, eat, sleep, have fun, get a dog, go to the park, take a road trip, start a business – there are a million things you could be doing to make your life better.
Instead, you are probably sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself because nobody loves you. But is that really true? Don’t you love you?
Go out and live your life and love will come knocking when you least expect it.
5) Love Doesn’t Make Everything Better
If you think that hooking up with someone on a long-term basis is going to suddenly improve your life, you might be sorely mistaken.
You might find things are better at first, but that is just because you are focusing on that person and not focusing on fixing the other areas of your life that could use a tune-up.
Be sure to balance what you want in life with the amount of responsibility you put on another human being. It can’t be their job to make you happy.
Plus, if you are miserable, they won’t be around long enough to take on that job. Go find things that will create happiness in your life and leave your soon-to-be-lover off the hook for that happiness.
6) Don’t Be Negative
People feed off of other people’s emotions and if you are all uptight about finding love, there’s just no way that it is going to come to you.
You know this is true because you can’t stand to be around your Aunt June who is so negative about everything.
Check yourself to make sure you aren’t putting down the same kind of vibes for others to pick up.
You might literally be repelling people from loving you. But the good news it that you can turn it around in no time.
Think positive thoughts and do positive things and you’ll attract the kind of love you are looking for in your life.
7) Don’t Pretend You’re Okay
If you are feeling broken on the inside but you are pretending to be living a killer life on Instagram, the universe is going to pick up on the bullshit and call your bluff.
In return, you’ll get dates that are also pretending to have their shit together and when you are in the same room, everything will feel like a hot mess…and not in a good way.
You want to get your mind straight and get your thoughts sorted out so you are not subconsciously sending out bad vibes into the universe.
8) Don’t Just You Stay at Home All The Time
Come on, now. Are you serious? You are staying at home waiting for love to find you? Get off the couch and get outside.
The vitamin D will be good for you anyway. Plus, you might meet some new people, who will meet new people, who will put you in touch with the new people they’ve met and voila!
You might meet someone who is just perfect for you. But don’t take them back to your dank apartment just to sit on the couch. Stay out and live life together!
9) Don’t Rely on Others
If your Mom has been trying to set you up on dates since the 7th grade, you might not even know how to go out and find a date for yourself.
First, tell Mom to knock it off. Second, go take a speed-dating class and learn about other people on the fly.
You don’t have to commit to anything and you certainly don’t have to say yes to anyone you don’t want to see again, but go with the intention of just seeing what is out there.
Side note: remember that people who show up to speed-dating events are not the only people out there, so don’t take yourself home for a good cry when all you find are perfectly nice people to talk to but that don’t lead to any dates. Shake it off and try again.
10) Ask Others to Help
While you shouldn’t put all the pressure on your friends and family to find you someone to love, nor should you rely on them to do all the work for you, it is okay to enlist some help in making connections.
You might be avoiding this because you don’t want to seem desperate. Who cares if you seem desperate?
You are desperate, aren’t you? Aren’t we all desperate for someone to love? Stop pretending you don’t want or need someone in your life. Swallow your pride and ask for some hook-ups and phone numbers.
11) Build a Good Life for Yourself
One of the most important things you can do in preparation for finding the love of your life is to first build yourself a good life.
Don’t wait to meet someone to buy that house, car, take that trip. You don’t need someone to validate your ideas, but you also don’t need someone to pay for half of these things.
If you want them and feel like you shouldn’t do it because you are alone, think again.
Not only does building a good life for yourself make you happy, it is more likely to help you find someone to love.
Nobody wants to date a broke-ass woman or man living in their parent’s basement.
12) Have Faith
Rather than be humdrum about life, have a little faith that things are going to work out for you. After all, nobody wants to date a sad sack who doesn’t think she deserves good things in life, right?
So start believing you are capable of being loved and that you are a good person and be that to yourself. You need to believe that you will have the life you want, including the love you deserve.
13) Know You Deserve Love
You can’t walk around feeling sorry for yourself and telling yourself that nobody wants you – nobody wants you like that, that is for sure.
Don’t take pity on yourself. Create a life that is amazing and stop worrying so much about what love will bring to the table for you.
Love should be something that you can add to your life, but that doesn’t define your life.
And be willing to allow different kinds of love into your life: it doesn’t all have to be romantic love.
14) Accept the Love Offered to You
When it comes to finding love, you have to be open minded about where you accept love from: we all have dreams of being rescued from our lives by a knight in shinging armour, but the truth is that love comes from all kind of unexpected places.
We just have to be willing to let it into our lives. We often reject sources of love because we think we aren’t worthy or that the love is not worth of us.
So be open to what love might come your way.
15) Throw Out Your Idea of an Ideal Partner
If you ever want to find someone to love, you need to rethink your stringent checklist for a mate.
Sure, you have standards, everyone does, but the reality of who you are going to love is going to be different than what you imagine that person to be right now.
In fact, you may be totally caught off guard by the person you end up falling in love with.
16) Be Open to the Power of Suggestion
You have to look for signs from the universe telling you that there is something right in front of you that you can love.
If you shut yourself out from the world and off from the signs that are often right in front of you, then you are missing out on a chance to encounter a special kind of love: the unexpected kind.
The power of suggestion is often a lot more obvious than you realize once you are tuned into it.
The problem for most people is that they are so focused on finding a certain person or source of love that they miss what is right in front of them all along.
17) Be a Better Communicator
Before you get into any relationship, you should ask yourself if your communication skills are up to par.
If you are lacking the ability to carry on a conversation for more than a few minutes, or you get nervous around people, you might want to work on those things.
Not just for the benefit of the person in your company, but also, for your own benefit.
The better you are at communicating, the more likely it is that you’ll get exactly what you want in life.
18) Model Your Relationship After One You Admire
Don’t chase fairytale dreams looking for the right relationship. Instead, look a little closer to home.
Consider how your parents might have loved or a friend’s relationship that you admire.
If you haven’t had the best of luck with finding role models for your relationships, imagine what you’d like your next relationship to look like and strive for what is important to you, rather than what someone looks like, what they do for a living, or what kind of car they drive.
Those things don’t mean you’ll have a great relationship or that the love will be pure.
Focus on yourself first and what you want ot get out of a relationship and the rest will fall into place.
Whether you’ve recently broken up with someone or you’ve been single your entire adult life, don’t fret.
With some simple changes and a better attitude about what you want and how you can get it, you’ll be back in the dating game in no time.
And if it’s your first time playing the game, give yourself some space to make mistakes and screw it up and learn from the people you are dating.
Nobody is perfect and it might take some time to figure out what you really want in a relationship.
But you need to get out there and talk to people, get off the couch and ask for help, get over yourself and your bullshit and make things happen.