There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “You will find love when you stop looking for it.”
But if you’ve ever stopped looking for a relationship, you know it isn’t always easy.
It’s not enough to simply avoid finding love. You’ve got to focus on loving yourself as well. So here is my best advice for how to stop looking for love so that you can love yourself first.
Let’s dive right into it.
9 Tips For How To Stop Looking for Love Outside Yourself
#1 Be Yourself
The first step of stoping the search for love is to just be yourself more often. Live your life.
You know that way you feel when you finally get home, let down your guard, wash off the makeup, and relax? Get into that mindset more often.
When we are actively seeking a romantic relationship, we have a tendency to project a different version of ourselves to the world. It’s not necessarily disingenuous, but it is not always our truest self.
But really, we need to spend more time as our truest self.
We spend so much time editing our Instagram photos and carefully wording our Facebook posts to send just the right message to the world. It can get exhausting. And, if we make it a constant habit, then we may forget who we really are or become unable to stand our true, unfiltered self.
When you do find love one day—long-term, marriage worthy love—your partner deserves to know your true self. So there is no better moment than now to start being yourself!
#2 Open Up
Part of being yourself is opening up. Letting yourself be vulnerable.
You don’t have to open up to everyone or completely throw away your social filter. Instead, just try to find more opportunities for the closest people in your life to get to know you a little better.
Open up about your dreams, your fears, your loves, and your hates.
You will be surprised to find that not focusing on finding someone or getting married will actually make your other relationships grow stronger. The less energy you spend trying to woo a life mate, the more you can spend opening up to the people who really matter.
#3 Practice Honesty
Honesty is the best policy, as the old saying goes.
But I can’t believe how many tiny little white lies people will pile up just to impress or attract someone else.
Dishonesty festers, and if you make a habit of it in your search for love, then you risk building an entire relationship on a weak foundation. A relationship that will be doomed to fall apart.
So during this period of self-imposed singleness, strive to practice honesty. Be honest about everything, or at least commit to not lying. Don’t tell your friend that you find her dress unflattering, but don’t tell her that it looks gorgeous either—for example.
#4 Delete Those Dating Apps
No more swiping left or right for you. If you are serious about not finding love for a bit, then you’ve got to commit to it.
You can’t be hunting around on Tinder, even if it’s just for fun. The temptation is just going to be too great and before you know it you’ll find yourself actively looking for love again.
Delete them now, while you are highly motivated to do so. The longer you wait and muse on the idea, the more excuses you’ll make to hold on to the dating apps.
#5 Stop Fretting Over Your Appearance
How long do you spend making yourself up in the morning or before you go out at night? How much effort do you put into shaping the perfect body for your soulmate? How many different outfits do you try on to find the one that’s just right?
It is exhausting.
And honestly, it’s not worth it anyway. The true love who awaits you one day shouldn’t demand perfection. The perfect body, the perfect look, the perfect outfit—they don’t exist.
While physical appearance is a key component to attraction, and while you should take your bodily health seriously, you shouldn’t stress over making yourself look perfect for anyone.
So stop fretting over your appearance every day. Commit, at least for a few weeks, to accept “presentable” over “perfect”.
#6 Spend More Time With Yourself
Self-imposed single time is the perfect opportunity to get to know yourself better. Everybody needs a little me time. Even if you are an outgoing extrovert, you stand to gain a lot from quiet time with yourself.
If you do want to be in a serious, long term relationship one day, you have to get used to the idea of being alone.
It might sound counterintuitive. But a good relationship shouldn’t rely on either member being too dependent on the other. You should complete each other, not define each other.
So if you can get used to spending time with yourself without feeling bored, empty, and purposeless, then you will one day be better prepared to enter a loving relationship without being the “needy” partner.
#7 Don’t Go Out Unless You Actually Want To
When we are on the hunt for love, we can easily get pressured into going out every night or whenever our friends invite us. After all, if you aren’t out there looking, you’ll never discover your soul mate.
But now that you have actively stopped your search for love, you don’t need to feel so pressured. You have the power now to choose when to go out and when to stay in. Remember, you are being more honest and open.
So rather than force yourself to hit the town, why not stay in with yourself or just invite a close friend or two over.
#8 Work on a Passion Project, Hobby, or Skill
What are you going to do with all of your free nights and weekends? Of course you can use some of that freetime for a good Netflix binge or other guilty pleasure.
But part of focusing on yourself instead of finding romance is also self-growth. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Start a blog? Up your tennis game?
Whatever it is that you love to do or are passionate about in life—pursue it now. Grow yourself by growing your passions. And when love does find you, you will be a more well-rounded partner!
#9 Wait For Love, Don’t Chase It
It’s okay to still want to find love, to long for a serious relationship.
But first and foremost, practice patience. Good things come to those who wait, after all.
So rather than spending so much energy chasing after someone to spend your life with, focus all of that effort on loving yourself instead. Grow in virtue, personality, and awareness. Because you can’t truly love someone else until you can love yourself.
When love does finally find you, you will be all the more ready and willing to make it work.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Stop Looking for Love
You’re equipped with 9 strategies for how to stop looking for love, but you may still have some questions. Here are answers to the most common questions I hear about practicing self-induced singleness.
Why Am I So Desperate For Someone To Love Me?
First, don’t fight these feelings. Accept them for what they are.
We all have a longing, deep down inside of us, to belong. To be wanted and cherished and needed. It starts when we are infants and must be loved in order to survive.
As we mature, we no longer need love for survival. Instead, we are searching for purpose. And we can find that purpose by loving others. It is only natural, then, to want that love to be reciprocated.
How Do I Stop Being Desperate For Love?
Since your desire to be love stems from a need for purpose, the first step is to find purpose outside of romantic love. Another person should not be the sole source of your fulfillment.
Some of the tips I’ve outlined above will help. By spending more time with yourself and pursuing your passions, you will learn to define your life outside of other people. But you can also search for ways to express love outside of romance.
Some people find it in volunteering time for charity. Others in religion. Still others choose to spend more time with family members that have grown distant.
What Happens When You Stop Looking For Love?
It varies for everyone, but here are some of the stages you can expect to go through when you stop looking for love:
- Withdrawal. Depending on how romance-crazy you were, it is completely natural to experience a period of emotional discomfort. If you’ve spent years defining your life based on your relationships, it can be quite a shock to cut that off. But don’t fear. When the initial turmoil passes, you will find peace that you probably haven’t enjoyed in a long time.
- Boredom. You may find yourself bored or restless. When you aren’t spending hours swiping left on Tinder, hitting the club, or choosing outfits, you just have a lot more time to fill. This is one reason that I recommend taking up new hobbies or learning new skills. Soon, your restlessness will be replaced with passion for the new way you are living your life.
- Self-knowledge. When you stop looking for love and focus on yourself instead, you will start to get to know yourself better. You will become more aware of your emotions, your dreams, and what makes you happy in life.
- Peace. Finally, you will find inner peace when you stop looking for love. The constant noise and busyness associated with the romantic scene is draining. You always have to be “on”. In contrast, a period of solitude allows you to experience a quietness that you may not have felt in years.
How Can I Attract The Love I Want?
Simply put: become the person that you want to be in life.
If you get into a relationship with someone who doesn’t love you for who you are, then your romance will be doomed from the beginning.
So just focus on yourself. That way, when you do find someone who loves you, you will know that it is meant to last.