Spoiler alert: I haven’t found love. But, I am confident in how to find love, and while I’m no expert on the approach, I wanted to share it with every other person who has also pondered this themselves.
Note: I first attempted to write this blog post in July 2020, but my introduction turned into a blog post on its own. Read that first to understand my perspective on dating in your early twenties.
1. Live the life you want your partner to have.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. You can’t expect to find a partner with certain values, if you don’t practise those values yourself. This doesn’t mean you should discard your current personality and pretend to be somebody you’re not. Instead, you need to actually practise the lifestyle and qualities you value.
I believe connection is related to circumstance (being in the right place) and personal experiences that become shared (when you “click” with somebody).
Connections occur in an instant, and they’re often fleeting, unplanned and coincidental. Some of the best connections I’ve had are the result of a series of coincidences. Though it may seem out of our hands, I think we can all take an active role in optimizing for connection.
You can increase the odds of connecting with somebody by focusing on circumstance and personal experience.
I’ll use an overly simplistic example to illustrate this point. Megan and Aliya would both like someone who is healthy and goes to the gym. Both of them value health.
Megan doesn’t go to the gym. She has a certain likelihood, or probability, of meeting somebody who goes to the gym. The fact that she merely values health (without action) doesn’t increase her probability of connection with someone who shares that same value.
Aliya, on the other hand, goes to the gym 3 times a week. She’s now in the right circumstance. Also, because she goes to the gym, she happens to know about fitness apps, muscle groups and post-workout snacks. She has a lot more personal experience in the area of fitness and working out.
By going to the gym and being in the right circumstance, Aliya is far more likely to organically meet somebody who goes to the gym. Secondly, Aliya is more likely to connect with a fellow gym-goer about the trials and rewards of leading an active lifestyle, because of her personal experience.
Aliya has a much higher probability of connection compared to Megan, because of circumstance and personal experience. In the same way, your chances of meeting a person with certain values, increases dramatically if you practice those values yourself.
Notice that Step 1 is primarily self-serving. By choosing to be in those circumstances and have those personal experiences, you’re enriching your own life. So, even if you don’t instantly form that connection, your life is now even more abundant as a result.
2. Say yes to new opportunities.
Now that you’re living your best life (see step 1), your next step is to say yes to new opportunities.
I don’t understand people who say they’re waiting for the right person to come along, as if, one day, the ideal partner will knock on your door and show up. You need to own your narrative, and not let somebody else write it for you.
Saying yes means taking chances, and embracing every opportunity to connect with people, new or old. It doesn’t mean you need to ditch your job and move to Bali for a meditation retreat. However, it does mean that you should:
- Accept an invite to a party where you only know one person
- Attend a meetup or an event, even if you’re going alone
- Catch up with an old friend after losing contact for several years
- Grab lunch with coworkers you don’t normally hang out with
- Strike up conversation with somebody at a coffee shop, bar or public place
- Try hobbies or gain experiences that involve meeting new people
- Keep in touch with old friends that you’ve previously been close to
Connections are fleeting and unplanned. So, say yes to new opportunities that increase your exposure to different types of people. Ask people how they’re doing. You never know where a simple conversation could lead.
3. You still might not find love.
Sorry, I totally tricked you. Even if you’ve followed step 1 and 2 correctly, there are still no guarantees.
You might find love, and you might not. You might date dozens of people, or you might get lucky in your first serious relationship. You might stay single for a long time.
No framework can tell you how to find love. But the point of this exercise isn’t how to fall in love externally, it’s actually how to fall in love with life itself. Your life.
With your passion from Step 1, you’ll be living a life that you are proud of. You’ll have well-developed hobbies, and a strong sense of identity. You’ll set ambitious goals and gain valuable experiences along the way. It won’t be a lonely journey, because Step 2 ensures that you’re constantly bumping into new people.
Notably, you’ll have an energy that people will notice when they engage you in conversation. You won’t feel the need for love, because you won’t have a deficit to fill. Instead, you’ll have a surplus: a surplus of self-worth, fulfilment, friendships and ambitions.
On this journey, you’ll encounter people who are attracted to your energy, experiences and who they can be by being around you. Your life and what you stand for becomes attractive, in itself. You’ll be enlightened and fulfilled in a way that draws people to you. And although I can’t guarantee you’ll find love on that specific path, I think it might just find you instead.