The old way
Finding love has never been a priority for me. In fact, I’ve prioritized every other area of my life ahead of finding love.
This could be a result of how I was raised. Growing up with divorced parents made me question whether marriage was a necessity or just a “nice-to-have.” As a result, relationship goals often took a back seat and developing my career seemed more urgent.
What I did learn from my parents’ divorce was the value of having the right relationship. I also learned not to rely on somebody else for your happiness. Self-development was a virtue that was nurtured in my family.
So all through high school and even through university, I can’t honestly say that I earnestly sought out romantic love. Not because I was cynical, scarred or dismissive of marriage an institution, but for the simple reason that I was just busy with everything else.
I believed that my early twenties should be used to set my foundation as a person. If building your life is like building a house, I wanted to take the time to design the blueprints without anybody else interfering with my plans.
I wanted to establish my career, values, core friendships and figure out who I was before adding the complexity of another living, breathing person with their own needs to my life.
Naively, I also thought there would be some moment in my mid-twenties where I’d be “all grown up” and ready to enter the dating scene.
The turning point
I now feel that waiting around is ridiculous. Growth is ongoing and change is constant. You will never, ever be fully formed as a person and ready to date. You are not an item to be perfected before you meet someone. That works for pottery, not so much for people.
Instead, consider this: You’re exactly where you need to be for a relationship, and you will only get the relationship that you are ready for.
Let that sink in for a second. You’re exactly where you need to be for a relationship, and you will only get the relationship that you are ready for. Nothing more, nothing less.
As someone who is so focused on self-development, I’ve realized that you can just as easily grow with a person as you can on your own. Personal development does not equate to development in isolation.
Time, place and purpose
Sticking with my house analogy – wouldn’t life be better if you could get some help building your house, along the way? Wouldn’t you enjoy the process more if you could help someone build theirs?
I’ve learned that every relationship serves a time, place and purpose. Whether you’re 18 or 28, the intent is still to help each other grow in some way – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually etc. After all, aren’t the best relationships the ones where you feel like a better version of yourself?
And so, there is no ideal age to find love. For starters, we need to stop equating “wanting love” with “wanting marriage”. We need to also recognize that wanting love is really about giving love.
The seeker and the search
I want to experience life and grow alongside another person. I don’t want to start planning the next 10 years with someone; I want to share the slice of life we have right now. I want to enrich my life experiences by sharing them with someone, while we both push each other to develop in the way we both need right now.
I know have something to offer, and I know what I need to work on as well. My search for love comes from a place of empowerment, passion and zest for life; a desire to build my house by drawing inspiration and support from a person who I know can uplift me.
Seeking love does not come from a place of scarcity but rather a place of abundance.
As Rumi once said, “What you seek is seeking you”.