The Anxious Search For Love

Despite their self-defeating nature, fantasy and fear are what most of us fall back on when we search for love. Prompted by them, men and women approach romance with behaviors that can never bring about what they hope to achieve.

These tactics all grow out of listening to an inner voice that obsesses about love and directs our search even though the voice itself is quite loveless. Most of these futile behaviors will sound extremely familiar:

We constantly compare ourselves with an ideal that we can never live up to. The loveless inner voice drives us by saying, “You aren’t good enough – thin enough, pretty enough, happy enough, secure enough.”

We look for approval in others. This behavior basically projects our inner dissatisfaction with ourselves in the hope that some outside authority will lift it from our souls. Here the loveless inner voice is saying, “Don’t make a move until the right person comes along.” (The right person in this case is some fairy-tale character who will tap the ugly duckling and turn it into a swan.) Being an impossible fiction, that right person never arrives.

We assume that falling in love is totally magical, a stroke from the blue that will come at random, usually when least expected. Many people wait passively for this magic to appear. Although masked as hope, this passivity is really a form of hopelessness. The hope that someone will reach out to us and bestow love is a surrender of our ability to create our own lives.

Finally, we rely on love to remove the obstacles that keep it away. All sorts of unloving behaviors are allowed to persist with the attitude that we will become affectionate, open, trusting, and intimate only by a touch of love’s magic wand. The underlying belief is that we can pick and choose whom to love, leaving the rejected in a limbo of indifference.

Can we find another way to approach romance, without fantasy and fear, without listening to the fearful voice inside ourselves that finds a way to keep love at a distance?

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).


Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago


Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen5 years ago

i'm to much of a geek thing who keeps unessesary crap around because i think i like it or i want to hold on to it. a plastic dolphin is for a 6 year old.

I need to rehome those plastic dolphins. cherished memories with them mean little because i played with them up untill i was 14 or 15. and that makes me want to cry because i should of been "playing" with boys then.

and holding on to them will just keep me back, hold me back. and make me look stupid.
oh god, the idea of bringing a guy into my room and he'd see any of those stupid things.

it would only impress if i date the mentaly disabled. would be cool to someone with high functioning retardation.
but not a normal guy.

Magdika Cecilia Perez

nice article thank you

heather g.
heather g5 years ago

Look through the eyes of love .....

Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

- i think the symbolism in the toad kissing exercise, that many of the female gender have smooched, is that it is the love offered to the 'toad' that allows the love inside to transform the toad into his true self, who is also a pretty-nice guy in reality~ :) - of course, the alternate example is of a bad-0-girl who is a turn-off finally getting the 'touch of magic' from her prince, who actually just opened up her true feelings of tenderness that threatened her own sense of protection from harsh world -
so while this article is true
and while i appreciate the advice
i do see how the stories we've created
are an example of how love transforms
our fears
and our fantasies
people finding the goodness in one another - by loving them
love is always there
learning to set it free is
kind of like a magic trick!!!

Dagmar Breg
Past Member 5 years ago

Love is such a vague word in the western language. I love my cat. I love my boyfriend. I love cookies. I love to do this. I love my family. I love you as a friend. It can get difficult to understand what people mean sometimes when people use the word.

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen5 years ago

i've seen some self loathing people find loves. or maybe it happens more with stupid teens.

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim5 years ago

Very interesting article and very true topics. Before to love anyone, learn to love yourself.

Siti R.
Siti R5 years ago

i believe if we haven't learn to love ourselves fully; the good and the dark, it is pretty hard to fully extend the love and intimacy to another soul.

Miranda Parkinson

oh how very true!