More times than I can count, I’ve heard people say they’ve given up looking for love. This comes up in conversations and even more in surveys where many people feel safer to speak their mind.
The plague of giving up and not believing a relationship is possible
Giving up is a plague. Something deadly we don’t talk much about.
It doesn’t feel good. More often than not these comments are usually laced with disappointment or even bitterness and resignation.
That disappointment plants seeds that grow up into other problems in life.
When you don’t believe a relationship is possible, it won’t be
It’s simple. Yet sometimes hard to wrap your mind around.
When you don’t believe something is possible for you, you’re likely to notice all the things that prove you right.
The goal of your unconscious mind, after all, is to keep things simple, easy and make you look good. So proving your beliefs are right, makes sense and seems a worthy goal to your unconscious mind.
You’re also likely to dismiss or not even notice the things that prove you wrong.
The end result is that your thoughts (like “it’s not possible for me”) are actually creating your reality (a relationship isn’t possible).
I’ll take romance, if it happens
There may be times when this attitude is OK. For example during a period when you are focused on career challenges or care of young children – times when it could be difficult for you to make time available for a new relationship.
One risk of this is that in the short term this can put you at risk for a hormone-fuelled fling that is not likely to turn into a long-term relationship. A fling is not necessarily a bad thing, but if your goal is a long-term relationship it could be a time consuming detour.
The danger of the “if it happens” attitude as an ongoing habit is that you’ll miss many opportunities because you’re not actively seeking them.
Also because you’re not actively seeking a relationship, you risk jumping into a relationship that’s not a good fit for you.
Lack of role models makes it harder to believe a relationship is possible
One of the reasons many people believe that a healthy, long-term relationship isn’t possible is because they’ve had few role models.
Sure, they may know some long-term couples. Quite often, however, these couples are not personal friends where you can see them together regularly in real life, even when there are bad times.
Finding and choosing couples who can be your role models often takes effort and commitment. The insights you gain, though can be worth it.
Maybe you don’t want a relationship like that
Maybe deep down you’re not sure you want a relationship. Or maybe you want something different than the traditional long-term, live-in, monogamous model.
If you want something different, that’s OK. You may feel that you face pressure from family, friends or social norms to conform to the expectations of a “normal” lifelong, live-in, monogamous relationship.
This pressure is another reason many people give up on finding love. It’s not that they don’t want a healthy, meaningful, intimate relationship. Many just aren’t sure they want the mainstream model of marriage that has only a 50% chance of success.
If you want something different from the traditional, live-in monogamous approach it can be easier to give up than to figure out what you want and how to make it work.
However, by giving up you risk unhappiness and regret in the long term.
Rather than giving up, it’s time to figure out what you do want.
Maybe you don’t know what you want
Most people learned over and over as children and young adults that what they want is not OK. This can apply generally to many areas of life, and the message is particularly strong when it comes to intimate relationships.
In addition if you want something nontraditional, there still remain strong social pressure to conform to the heterosexual, monogamous marriage model – or just not have an intimate relationship. Society still sees it as the default, if not the only normal and right way. This is often not intended but it can be very powerful and occurs even in very “accepting” settings
A logical response to this is to not figure out what you want. Even if you want a heterosexual, monogamous marriage, just the pressure that many of us experienced to not ask for what we want can mean it takes courage to know what you want.
Low self-esteem can lead to giving up too fast
Many people who truly want a relationship and have given up, do so because they don’t believe in themselves.
Self-esteem is basically the belief that you are capable and deserving. If someone doesn’t have that belief then it’s no surprise she or he would give up.
Sure, past negative experiences can lead one to give up.
On the surface this is logical.
However, what successful people know is that there are no overnight successes. True success usually comes due to persistence after many failures. Just ask Thomas Edison or Abraham Lincoln.
Giving up is logical if you’re not willing to grow
Relationships are fertile ground for personal growth. The closer and more intimate they are the more this is the case.
No doubt about it, healthy, intimate relationships that last do take hard work.
This doesn’t mean they are or need to be drama-filled, painful or abusive.
However, being healthy in relationship means that your buttons will get pushed. This gives you the opportunity to grow.
If you’re not willing to do the work of personal growth, then giving up is an option you can choose. In the long-term it probably leads to more unhappiness, but it’s your choice.
Are you ready to believe a healthy, intimate relationship is possible for you?
The bottom line is that the most important factor in your success in seeking, finding and keeping love is what you believe about yourself, your capabilities and your opportunities.
You deserve and you can have a loving relationship.
Will you believe in yourself or give up?
The choice is yours.