Almost everyone experiences times of dissatisfaction. Times when we feel incomplete and perceive an essential part of ourselves to be missing. That’s when we wonder “When will I find love?“.
And well, I have learned that it doesn’t matter whether we have simply not yet found a partner to share our experiences with, or if we have already had a history of failed relationships.
The question “When will I find love?“, remains ever-present.
Even within individuals who have achieved the commitment of a sincere partner and are living the shared experience of a healthy relationship.
Which might be quite surprising for some of us to hear.
Especially if it is still our belief that all that is missing in our lives is another person to fill the void in which this question and uncertainty reside.
The problem seems to be that we have somehow been made to believe, that at some point in life we have to achieve certain things. And if we do not have them on our platter then we are unaccomplished.
We know the drill: Education -> Career -> Family -> Material Possessions -> Retirement -> Death
Never to forget that the clock is ticking.
Honestly, just writing this down makes me feel anxious!
I feel like before approaching the When and How of it though, we should dissolve the myth of these everlasting love-driven relationships, which appear as the root for why we perceive ourselves as unwhole.
Till Death Do Us Part…
As a little girl, I loved weddings and used to dream about this promised being whom I would share my life and afterlife with.
Because along with all those beautiful wedding scenes in motion pictures, the scriptwriters would add the devastating loss of a loved one as a dramatic twist, which the surviving part would often overcome in anticipation of reunion in death.
Don’t even try to tell me The Notebook isn’t a real tear wrecker, please.
Stories like this one, acted out for us by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, have always left me wondering when it would be my turn.
Directing me towards asking: “When will I find love?“
But growing up, how many of those everlasting love stories did we witness unfold in reality?
In my experience, the last generation which actually accomplished the single lifelong relationship, was the generation of my grandparents – before divorce even became an acceptable thing.
As I’m an 80’s kid, I still remember the controversy and judgment occurring with the growing number of divorcees. Especially once my own parents decided their split.
Where now, almost 40 years after being introduced to this freedom, divorce seems to have become even more common than the maintenance of marriage.
So what is that fuzz about us still believing in The One? Where did we get things all wrong?
Relationships Then And Now
Here’s where we can do nothing wrong looking at how relationships worked then and how things are done now, while wondering “When will I find love?“.
Especially as the question indicates an aim for something we might perceive others to already have.
Which really is not true when it comes to real life, although it can seem like it depending on the images and ideas we propagate and feed ourselves via medial entertainment.
Nowadays there is no taboo in dating and the open display of intimacy. We have revolutionized our freedom in this aspect. Everyone has a right to love and everything that comes along with it.
Our kids are no longer prevented from spending unmonitored time with their opposite gender. We are not prevented from going on dates nor of inviting our crushes over to hang out with them in the privacy of our own teenage bedrooms.
Mom and Dad have no say in the choice of our partners and their opinion is the last thing popping up in our minds while we are first making our acquaintances.
Education is accessible to everyone, as is no limitation to the choices of our careers. Both men and women earn their income and have a claim on their money and property.
Times are changing
All things the generations born before us did not have or at least not in the same dimensions.
So we know very well that in the past, although relationships and marriages may have been established and driven by love, they did not last because of it.
Rather, they lasted because there was no comfortable exit. And because there was no exit, people were forced, if you will, to make it last.
Still, in focusing on overall satisfaction and mental health we will find that people Then had somehow accomplished not appearing as emotionally miserable as we do now.
Meaning that although a great number of marriages may have been unfulfilling and lacking in romance or love, people still managed to be happy.
Something we as a society, with all of our advancements and freedom, cannot really claim, considering the ever-increasing number of depression and suicide.
Which is why we may ask, “How did we get to this point?”
Awareness Of Individuality
The secret is, that former generations have remained aware of themselves as individuals.
Something many of us in today’s time appear unaware of, or doesn’t know what to do with, as I am observing greatly within my field of work as a Therapist and Transformational Life Coach.
If you dare to look closely at the differences of the Then and Now — you will find that many people used to establish and maintain lasting relationships which were actually lacking a great deal of what we might nowadays expect from each other in a partnership.
And that the reason for this is because in the past we have accepted our partners as individuals and thus respected lacking synchronicity as a common circumstance which had nothing to do with our individual selves.
People had been able to exist side by side without emotionally depending on each other. No one had to serve someone else`s reason to be.
While today we imagine potential partners as a complement of ourselves and rely heavily upon our satisfaction in becoming whole through one another.
We think of partners as windows to a beautiful world we can’t see without them, when in fact they are holding nothing but mirrors – reflecting back the image of us looking out of ourselves.
So, should someone fail to participate in our present without sharing the exact same vision, we think they have rolled down the blinds to shut us out, but in reality, it’s our curtains that are tainting the reflection.
Or in other words: we expect the other to serve us emotionally as if they are the factory which produces our emotions and then if they fail to deliver, we perceive ourselves in need of a different supplier.
While the truth is our emotions are a product which we assemble within ourselves and the other just someone we abuse as a storage facility. Which should not dare to store a different product – not to mention daring to go into production for themselves.
I really wish for us all to see the fallible logic here, because I myself have failed to spot it several times while on route towards the awareness shared here.
Someone Tell Me What Love Is
I am married for the third time in my life now.
This is the sixth year with my husband, with our baby girl born two years ago. But even though everything has been seemingly perfect from the very beginning, I’ve just recently found love.
And it wasn’t found where I had been looking all that time.
Allow me to elaborate before getting to the answer which I received when asking “When will I find love?“
Happily ever after?
First off: My husband now, really is perfect.
We maintained a long-distance relationship for three years, got married and had a baby girl we were equally wishing for – all the while making the new relationship work with my son.
There are no fights. No big bumps on the road.
We both had experienced huge rises in our careers, found a beautiful home and quickly achieved an abundance I had never before experienced.
There was nothing missing on the famous Life Success Barometer.
Remember: Education -> Career -> Family -> Material Possessions -> Retirement -> Death
I was on track.
Still, the very moment I found myself surrounded by everything I had ever dared dreaming of, I also found myself incredibly frustrated and dissatisfied.
Suffering from postnatal depression which triggered severe anxiety, I again found myself asking: “When will I find love?“
If I really had it all, how could I feel so incredibly insignificant?
The Responsibility Trap
There I was being a wife and mother, but forgetting myself. Stuck in the responsibility trap.
Somehow now that I had it all, I perceived it as my solemn responsibility to keep it all up, so that everyone was happy.
I was exhausting myself with 24-hour baby watch, cleaning, cooking, organizing activities, and always observing the response to my efforts.
Which really wasn’t a very good thing to do because I began to measure my success – scanning all the emotions within my husband and children.
Whenever I would perceive them as anything but happy, I saw myself as failing. Up until I would even perceive any sign of dissatisfaction within them as an offense taken against me.
How did my son dare come home in a bad mood?
Where did I fail, that my husband rather took a nap on the couch than demonstrate his overflowing life energy?
How could they watch me do everything without taking anything off of me?
Honestly, I became really angry with my family and with life itself.
One night I was crying to my husband, telling him that I felt like I was not meant to be with anyone because being a wife and mother was draining me.
My new dream was a cave to hide in for all eternity.
The next morning I woke up to a spotlessly clean apartment after my husband had spent the night in a sleepless activity.
He had cleaned everything, leaving not one single thing for me to do, but to sit down, drink the coffee in front of me, and listen to what he had to say:
“You are the heart of this family. It’s not your job to care about everything. What we need is you to be happy, so we can be happy with you.
If you give us everything, what do you have left?
You are the heart, nurture that. You are not alone to carry everything on your shoulders or to add our weight to it. Allow us to take some of that weight off.
You are not a wife and a mother. You are Sandra. What does Sandra love? What does Sandra like to do?“
My husband is really smart.
It was thanks to this conversation that I started exploring different interests.
There have been so many things I tried and learned, like painting, knitting, crocheting, yoga and anything else there is to self-express.
And just like that, I found the love I had been looking for outside of myself, within.
So the answer to “When will I find love?“ is this: Whenever you decide to grant it to yourself, my friend.
For love is not what we think it is.
It is not a counterpart, it is not a missing piece.
We ourselves are the vessel of love and all we have to do is to reach within and pour it out as we perceive the need of it.
Have you already found love within? Or are you still looking for it? Share with us in the comments below!