When you are looking for the right person, you are looking for one person. That’s it. It seems so simple. There are so many people out there, but how could it be so hard to find the right person that’s right for you?
Well, the issue is we’re going about it all wrong.
When we’re dating, we expect every person we meet to maybe be the right person. We expect someone we like to like us. We expect someone who said they liked us to want to take the next step. But, when dating, there is a lot of rejection, ghosting, and unfairness. Even though we are looking for one right person, we let all these wrong people get to us.
These wrong people slow us down and prevent us from focusing on what is most important when learning how to find the right person.
[Read: Unlucky in love? How to turn things around and get lucky instead]
Are you looking for the right person?
When you’re dating, it is easy to get enveloped in a crush or a few dates going well. We want to get excited and we deserve to be.
But, when we get so involved and it doesn’t work out, we struggle to bounce back. We had feelings for someone and they either weren’t matched or it didn’t work out for another reason, and we feel like we’ll never meet the right person.
Once you’ve been dumped or been let down so many times, it starts to become a pattern and that pattern turns into an expectation. We go from wanting to meet the right person to wanting to meet someone, anyone at all. We start to lower our standards and look for someone we like that likes us instead of the right person. [Read: Why dropping your standards in dating is the worst thing you can ever do]
But, instead of realizing this, we tend to put pressure on ourselves. We aren’t patient so we put the right person ideal on someone we barely know. We hear a few things about someone and figure they are our dream guy or dream girl.
Look at The Bachelor, for instance. Over 25 women abruptly pause their lives to meet a handsome guy with the hopes that he will be their right guy. Now, only one out of the 25 will possibly end up with him, so it’s already a risk.
But, before even meeting him, they put him on this pedestal. He shows some interest and they believe they have an unbreakable connection and they focus on that. This is why women who are sent home on the show, both on night one and the final week are so distraught.
The connection may not have been as good as they imagined, and he probably wasn’t the right person. But they are so broken-hearted because of the expectation they created.
I’m not saying there is something wrong with being hopeful, but these expectations are what makes us think we’re headed for the right person, when in fact we’re headed for a person. [Read: 14 unrealistic expectations that can ruin your love life]
The expectations we build in our head and the fall we take over the wrong people
This is why it is so hard on us when we are broken up with, or ghosted. Whether we dated briefly or not, we expected this person to be the right person, and now dealing with the fact that it won’t work out hurts even more.
We now have to face losing who we thought was the right person instead of someone on our journey to the right person.
Putting that pressure on the people we’re dating and ourselves is a reckless way to go about dating. It lets us down so easily. [Read: How to date when you have low self-esteem and find true happiness]
It is a fact that not everyone will like you, just as you don’t like everyone. Yet, when we are rejected we let our egos and these preconceived ideals so negatively impact us that we get down on ourselves and find it so hard to move on. Not everyone we meet or date will be the right person. It just isn’t possible. No matter how hard you try, no matter what red flags you overlook, or how much effort you put in, we can’t make the wrong person the right person.
Back to The Bachelor, I always found it so odd that all 25+ contestants really had such strong feelings for the lead. How likely is that? If they were all at a bar or a party, would that be the case? Not likely.
The reason all these contestants are so smitten is their expectation that they stepped away from their lives for something worthwhile, their love story, and their right person. Their lack of outside communication also inherently makes them more focused on this one person.
Of course, most of you are not on a reality dating show. But try to see the parallels to your dating life. When you start talking to someone, you get excited which is great.
Where do most of us go wrong while trying to find the right person
After so much time or going through the nerves of a first date, you tend to put more eggs in that basket. Even if the date wasn’t amazing and there isn’t this magical connection, because things are going well you start imagining the future. [Read: Strong feelings after a first date? How to read all the right signs]
You take this minor progress and run with it. We go from excited to expecting, fairly quickly. We go from looking forward to a second date, to planning trips and meeting their family.
We start looking so far in advance that we forget to really get to know this person and see if we like them and if they are the right person. And, please don’t take this as me lecturing you or telling you this is so bad. I spent 6 years of my adult dating life doing this without realizing it.
I would meet a guy and because we seemed to get along, I would get invested. I would drive myself crazy if he didn’t text me back and then forget about that when he finally did. I would overlook some red flags and even dealbreakers because he liked me and seemed to want the same things. I thought I can make it work because I want that relationship. [Read: 14 first date red flags that speak a lot more than your date says]
I put all my hope into this person and this relationship, without a real basis. Then, when it didn’t work out for any number of reasons, I wasn’t just bummed I wasted a couple weeks on someone, but I would be mourning the loss of everything I thought I was getting.
It wouldn’t be until months later I realized I didn’t even like the guy that much. I was invested in this fairytale I wanted more than the actual guy. [Read: Are you in love with someone, or just the idea of being in love?]
Much later, I realized I wasn’t looking for my right person, just any person who could give me what I thought I wanted.
If this story sounds familiar to you, you are certainly not alone. This is something so many of us put on ourselves because we want that right person so badly we are willing to do anything for it.
But, we shouldn’t be. Learning how to find the right person isn’t about settling or dreaming. It is about getting to know the other person. [Read: 30 questions to ask someone you just met and read them like a book]
How to find the right person
Learning how to find the right person isn’t about where you’re looking. It isn’t about being friends first or having a checklist. Knowing how to find the right person takes patience and time. I know that isn’t what you want to hear, but it is so vital. If you rush it, you won’t know if you’ve found the right person or just a person that seems right.
And I truly hope I can help you learn how to find the right person for you, because I didn’t learn how to do it until I had already done it. When I met my boyfriend, I had taken a break from dating for a while. I realized I was in a rut and was over meeting the wrong guys.
I didn’t know how to determine who was right or wrong for me before getting invested and then getting hurt. It wasn’t about being nonchalant or acting like I didn’t really want a boyfriend, but it was about being realistic and living in the moment. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons to perfect your love life]
I am someone who would get insanely anxious for first dates. No matter how great the person seemed, I would just be loaded with nervous energy. This is why I put so much pressure on dating. I didn’t want to meet someone and deal with that anxiety if I wasn’t getting something good out of it.
Until I met my boyfriend, I carried that desire with me. But, once I took a break from dating I had the time to realize that dating shouldn’t be about the possible end result. Maybe my anxiety wasn’t just naturally so high when it came to dating, but all that pressure was making it worse.
Maybe I was expecting so much from one date, that if it didn’t work out I’d be so broken up about it instead of simply realizing it wasn’t right. Questioning those things made me realize I could date without the expectations. I could still hope things would work out, but I didn’t need to put on so much pressure.
Instead, I focused on being myself and getting to know the guy I was meeting. I met my boyfriend online. We spoke for about a week before meeting for coffee. I liked talking to him but I wouldn’t say it was a love match right away. I decided to meet him because we got along and I felt like we’d have a good time. [Read: 18 must-know tips to fall in love slowly like a fairytale]
But, I went into that coffee date more relaxed than I’d ever been. I went there realizing that I might not like him and he might not like me and that would be okay.
We spent our first dating talking and asking each other questions. I didn’t focus on if he liked me, or if I liked him. I didn’t worry about if I could see a future with him, I just enjoyed our conversation.
I wasn’t smitten right away but we had a good time, so we had a second date. This time we went for lunch and again, had a really nice time. I realized our conversations flowed and it wasn’t hard to talk to him. I was in the moment instead of looking ahead. [Read: 18 undeniable signs you’ve found the One for you]
By our third date, I knew I was into him. I could see myself really liking him and wasn’t holding back. Normally, this is where I would start putting pressure on him and myself for some sort of commitment.
Instead, I was honest with him that I liked him but just wanted to enjoy our time instead of worrying what it would or wouldn’t become. It wasn’t until about three weeks that I asked him what he was looking for. I realized I was having feelings for him and wanted to see if he wanted something casual or a relationship. He told me he was open to what happens, but we also were both off the app we met on. [Read: What are we? How to get your crush to label your relationship]
In the past, I would have lied and said ‘me too’ in a nonchalant way, so I could be seen as the cool girl while I freaked myself out with the idea that I’d never have a boyfriend. Instead, I told him the truth. I said I do want a relationship eventually, but I don’t want to rush it. If we both feel it, then we’ll talk about it then.
As another month went by and I let myself get to know him without secretly hoping for a relationship label, I felt myself relax. I was actually comfortable around him. I wasn’t on edge or nervous. I let myself get to know him without ulterior motives or expectations. I knew I could see myself in a relationship with him but I didn’t feel the need to rush it because I was happy. I wasn’t ignoring red flags or trying too hard.
I focused on the time we were together. And about three months after meeting, he asked me to be his girlfriend and I was so caught off guard. I had become so happy and relaxed just taking my time that I wasn’t expecting that at all. It’s now a year and a half later, and I couldn’t be happier or more sure that I’m with the right person.
Why I am sharing this with you, and how can it help you
Now, I didn’t tell you this to make you feel bad. I also didn’t tell you this to mimic the cliche that when you stop looking, you’ll find your person because that is inherently untrue. I told you this, so you could take the steps I did. I told you this, so that you could learn how to find the right person for you.
It isn’t about not looking. If I wasn’t looking, I wouldn’t have been online dating. The whole time I knew I wanted a partner, but also realized I wanted the right person not just any person. And in order to find that, you have to be able to put getting to know them and yourself over the label and end result. [Read: How to find true love – 20 foolproof lessons you must learn first]
I’m not saying you have to put your dreams of marriage or commitment aside, or wait patiently for the person you’re seeing to feel how you do. You should know what you want, but that shouldn’t cloud the enjoyment of dating.
It is important to have deal breakers and to know what you want ultimately, but there is no need to rush into the end result. Your relationship with the right person doesn’t start when you make it official. It starts when you meet. You have to be able to enjoy getting to know the right person to know it’s the right person.
[Read: When will I find love? The secrets you need to understand to draw the one towards you]
So, knowing how to find the right person in a sea of wrong isn’t about being picky or ignoring what you want. It’s about getting to know the right person and enjoying every moment of it.
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