By Janet Ong Zimmerman for YourTango.com.
From a young age, we grow up thinking that a boyfriend or girlfriend will make them happy and that when we find one, life will be complete. Any dating coach will tell you that when this thinking carries into adulthood, singles focus too much on finding a partner.
Trying too hard leads to behaving and acting in ways that end up turning off potential partners. If all you think about is finding a boyfriend, instead of coming across as desirable you’ll seem desperate. Desperation is a definite turn off to high quality people.
More from YourTango: Love Bytes: 20 Unexpected Places To Find Your Next Boyfriend
What Happens When You Try Too Hard
If all you think about is finding that special someone, you’ll feel pressured to behave and act in certain ways when interacting with potential dates. This self-imposed pressure doesn’t let you be your authentic self, and when you aren’t being your true self, you won’t be able to connect with a person on a deep and meaningful level.
When things don’t go the way you want, you’ll be critical towards yourself. Beating yourself up gets in the way of loving yourself. And when you don’t love yourself, you can’t expect a man to love you. You’ll settle for less than you deserve. For example, let’s say a special someone makes plans to take you out on Saturday night but you don’t hear from him or her. They call you on Tuesday with an excuse that seems like a red flag. If you’re desperate, you’ll accept the excuse and lower your standards.
When you try too hard, you can’t relax and enjoy the journey because you’re wondering how to find love, and are always on alert for this person to “show up” in your life. This desperate and uptight energy you radiate will push a high quality man further away.
The Dissatisfying Approach To Finding A Partner
The approach a desperate person tends to take when looking for a relationship is being overly flirtatious, dressing provocatively, acting too available, waiting for him/her to contact them, pursuing him/her aggressively, behaving and acting in ways they think appeals to him/her, sleeping together too soon and trying to manipulate or force an outcome. These methods feel forced, unnatural and lead to dissatisfying results.
This approach is so dissatisfying because it’s not empowering. When I was single and wanted to find someone, I wasn’t able to be myself. I felt powerless because I believed that in order for love to happen to me, a guy had to choose me to be their girlfriend.
I want you to know there is a better way to find a partner. The empowering approach will allow you to feel good about yourself and experience the journey to love with more ease.
The Satisfying Approach To Getting A Boyfriend or Girlfriend
I believe the real meaning behind the old adage, “love happens when you’re not looking” is about focusing on yourself first. It’s about being happy by and with yourself, and loving who you are. When you’re truly happy and loving yourself, you’ll attract great people and increase your probability of getting a boyfriend or girlfriend.
What follows are eight healthy ways to focus on yourself first. As you practice these tips, you’ll also learn how they increase your probability of finding a great partner. The more you work on these methods, the more likely it is love will happen when you least expect it.
More from YourTango: Dating Tips & Advice From The Experts
1. Live Your Life
Life is too short to mope about not having a partner. Find and live your passions. If there are things on your bucket list you haven’t done, get out there and do them. Participate in activities you enjoy; for example, hiking, volunteering or dancing. Potential dates are attracted to people who have a zest for life, and when you are living your life out loud, your enthusiasm is contagious. Plus, it takes the pressure off a date to feel responsible for your happiness. No one should ever have to feel responsible for someone else’s happiness, including you.
2. Be Happy With Yourself
Find your happiness by enjoying the simple things in life. Be grateful for what you have, honor your values and help others. When you are truly happy with yourself, you’re not shaken to the core when something bad happens. Studies show that happiness is contagious, and that potential dates find it hard to walk away from happy people. As dating expert Janis Spindel says, one of the biggest turn-offs for most people is negativity.
3. Surround Yourself With Supportive And Positive People
If you find yourself feeling stressed or depressed after being around certain people, limit the time you spend with them or completely stop being around them. Spend time with family and friends who are uplifting, and seek out new friends who leave you feeling positive. Life can be hard, and no one wants to be dragged down by a partner with a negative outlook on life. When you look at the brighter side of life, your interactions with everyone will be positive and more enjoyable.
4. Relax And Let Things Unfold Naturally
Instead of trying to control things to happen a certain way or resisting what “is,” relax. This doesn’t mean to not do anything. It simply means being clear on what you want, setting your intention, doing what you can to achieve it and then letting what is supposed to happen, happen. Finding a partner the “natural” way simply means being clear on the qualities and traits you want in a partner, only dating people who are right for you, responding instead of constantly initiating, and letting the universe bring you the person you’re supposed to be with.
5. Be Your Best Self
Being your best self means letting go of excess baggage from past dates or broken relationship. It also means doing the inner work to transform unhealthy patterns so that you can be the best version of you. The people you attract are based on where you’re at in your life. When you do the inner work to become your best self, you attract higher quality person who add to your life. Plus, you will have more options of people to choose from.
More from YourTango: Boyfriend Hunt: How To Use Technology To Find Real Love
6. Be Open-Minded
Instead of holding tightly to what you think is true, consider other perspectives. If you tend to jump to conclusions, take a step back. Instead of making assumptions, ask questions to avoid miscommunication and to understand the deeper meaning behind what someone is saying. Everyone wants to feel like they’re being heard, and effective communication is necessary to a healthy relationship. If you’re able to look for the truth in what a person says, even if you see things differently, he or she will feel more comfortable in sharing their true thoughts with you. The more comfortable he feels, the more open he will be, which will ultimately lead to a meaningful connection.
7. Reframe Unhealthy Beliefs
Finish these statements: “Love is_______________.” “Guys/girls are_______________.” “I am______________.” Fill in as many answers as come to your mind, then examine all of your unhealthy responses (for example, love is hard; guys/girls are afraid of commitment; I am not good enough) and replace them with positive responses that are as true or truer than your original response. The reason it’s so important to reframe unhealthy beliefs is that they drive the results you get. Let’s say your original belief was that the people you date are afraid of commitment. After reworking your opinion, you now believe that good men are open to commitment. In believing this, you’ll attract more people who are open to being in an exclusive relationship with you.
8. Love Yourself Completely
There are things you probably love about yourself and things you wish you could change about yourself. The good parts and self-perceived bad parts make up who you are. Instead of trying to hide these negative things, accept and embrace them. If you look closely at the parts you consider to be bad, you’ll discover that in some way, they have served you well at times in your life. The more you love all of who you are, the more your future boyfriend will love you. He will treat you with the affection and respect you deserve.
Finally, Embrace Your Single Status
It’s important to accept and embrace this stage of your life. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the wrong people in short-term relationships. When everyone else seems to have a boyfriend and you’re still single, you might think, “What’s wrong with me?” The truth is: there’s nothing wrong with you. It just isn’t the right time yet. Live your single life happily and you will naturally get the boyfriend of your dreams. Believe and know that he is on his way. What will you do to focus on you?
If you’re getting lackluster results in love, take the Love Indicator Assessment. You’ll receive a free 6-page report showing where you’re at with love, the reasons you haven’t found it yet and what you can do to immediately improve your love life.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Get A Boyfriend: Stop Trying!.