Love: It will "just happen"

Yes, I know, I’ve been carpet bombing the boards lately with my tales of woe, and you’re all getting tired of it. And I apogize. I’ve pretty much stopped. I have no desire to bore you any more. If you’ll notice, I haven’t posted anything concerning my unlove life in the past week.

But there’s been something sticking in my craw for a while now, and I feel the need to post. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and I gotta post.

And while this board is not about my tales of woe, it is about fighting ignorance. And there’s plenty of it out there. And it’s taking waaaaaaay longer than we thought.

I, and others, have often gotten the sage advice “Don’t worry about your love life. It’ll just happen.” Not just on these boards, but out there in the world as well. All my life I’ve heard this.

Related advice: “Stop looking, and love will find you.” “She’s right under your nose.” “Love finds you when you least expect it.” And the ever useful “You just need to get laid.” :dubious:

By what sort of goddam useless, destuctive, magical, crystal-ball-gazing-unicorn-inhabiting-horoscope-reading bullshit do you people think is “fact”? By what sort of mythical mechanism do you think this is going to happen? Do you honestly think that there is some sort of cosmic accounting system by which we are all apportioned our One True Love, and that person, for some magical reason, lives within a reasonable distance? Or could it be that you are just fucking deluded?

I suppose that if you are a) A woman, b) Cute enough to get hit on every day, and c) Popular enough to get invited to all the best parties, then yeah. Maybe – MAYBE – it just might happen for you. But for those of us who live in the real world, that shit just don’t occur.

Let’s suppose that I am looking for a job. Do you honestly think that if I sit around my apartment, a dream job will magically come a-knocking at my door? Suppose I want to be a millionaire. Are you stupid enough to believe that a big bag of cash will magically come a-knockin’? No? Why, how smart of you. So why in the holy name of Paris Hilton do you assume that the Love of my Life will come a-knockin’?

Honestly, this is the same sort of magical thinking that sells horoscopes, talking with the dead, and Moon-hoax conspiracy theories. Gee, maybe Uri Gellar can psychically convince the Swedish Bikini Team to come visit me. Perhaps Sylvia Brown is in contact with my dead grandmother who sees a gaggle of babes approaching my door. Or, just maybe, you’re full of shit. Ya think?

Look, I know that such advice is usually well-intentioned. I know that you’re just trying to make me feel better. Thanks, but no thanks. Your advice encourages complacency. It imparts a false sense of security. It’s worse than useless – it’s actively destructive. So shut the fuck up already. Some of us have come to grips with the ugly, bloody, violent fact that if we want to meet people, we actually have to put some effort into it.

Magic simply doesn’t work.

(This rant is not directed at any specific individual. But if you’ve ever given this “advice”, feel free to take it personally. ;))

Preach it, brother. True Love is a crock of shit. Even with a really great partner love is damn hard work, day in and day out. Even if you are cute to get invited to parties, sometimes I think you even have less of a chance because people take you only at face value often enough.

I don’t even believe in love at first sight - humans are way too different from each other. Even in those cases where it’s claimed so, I think if you probed deep you’d find out how much work they put into their relationship after the first thrill was over.

And if it’s such hard work, you sure as hell aren’t going to trip over it!

It is bullshit. Of course, if we were all smoking hot and total bitches, we wouldn’t be able to get out our front doors in the morning for all the prospective suitors/suitoresses lying on the front steps. Life isn’t fair, but you’re not allowed to admit this. It’s expected that you keep an outlook of starry-eyed unreality at all times. I’m kind of tired of that, sorry.

Yes, of course finding love requires conscious effort. Use the damn dating sites, even if they are depressing as hell sometimes. Go out. Let them know you’re available. Flirt. Present yourself as attractive as you can. Dig through frustrating dates. It’s work.

And yes, finding love ALSO requires an attitude of “No, I’m not desperate, I’m doing fine like I am”. Even if you* feel* desperate, you can’t let it show too much, too soon, to everybody. Classical Catch 22.

The well meant and bloody frustrating advice you mention is from people who confuse the two.

I don’t necessarily believe that. I think there is such a thing as True Love. But it certainly doesn’t “just happen.” You have to dig up a fuck of a lot of graves, and what you mostly end up with is festering maggots.

I think you’re missing the point of the “love just happens” meme. It’s sort of a nice way of saying - “if you spend all your time worrying about it, it will not happen.”

Look, I was terrible at relationships for a long time. I wanted a date, a girlfriend, sex, love, marriage, and no one was ever interested in me. I could never figure out why. I’m not fugly. I always had pretty good jobs - even in high school - and a fair amount of money. I make people laugh. What the hell was wrong?

Then, about halfway through college, I got into theatre. I started spending long hours working on shows. The hours were so long, and the amount of effort required so great - and, frankly, the satisfaction I was deriving from the activity so significant - that I stopping even thinking about the dating thing. There were unspeakably hot women doing theatre with me - there are always unspeakably hot women doing theatre - but I was so busy with the activity (and so genuinely interested in the activity) that I wasn’t all wrapped up in worrying about getting one of them to date me.

And that’s when, naturally, comfortably, I started getting dates. Why? What had changed? I was the same person, with the same face and clothes and money and personality. But the women around me were now able to see that I was *about * something, other than ohmygodIneedadatesobadpleasedatemepleasewhydoes noonelovemeI’llbealoneforever. I had interests, about which I was knowledgable and could converse - interests that I shared with those aforementioned hot women. Because I wasn’t approaching every social interaction with the express purpose of “finding someone,” I was a more interesting person than I had been before.

Eventually I internalized this lesson. You obviously don’t sit around your apartment waiting for love. But you don’t leave your apartment every day with “Find a date” as the number one priority on your to-do list, either. You live your life - do things that interest you, and sooner or later other people who are doing the same thing will find you interesting, and your interactions will be natural and unforced.

CODA: Two years after the semi-epiphany described above, I played in a regular game of pickup basketball with a bunch of friends from high school and college - every once in a while, someone would bring a few new players. I was carpooling to the court with a friend, who had three new people who wanted to play. I drove to his house. I was certainly not looking for a date, or true love, or what-the-hell-ever; I was wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt and probably hadn’t showered that day (I theorized that smelling bad would be an advantage in the game, since no one would want to guard me too closely). The girl who opened the door at my friend’s house was someone I had never met before, one of those new players who thought basketball might be fun. It was kind of a fun way to meet your future wife, all things considered.

And 99% of the time, it comes from a really attractive woman. Who is engaged. And who is wearing a fucking boulder on her ring finger.

It’s funny how many people say they aren’t into head games. Hey, none of us are. We all hate it. But it’s written into life’s rules that we have to play them anyway. Lower life forms often have elaborate mating rituals. How fucking ignorant to assume that we don’t as well.

How do you define True Love? I’m talking about what people talk about,t hat your eyes will meet across a crowded room, that there is one person out there for everybody, that everyone has a soulmate, etc.

I think what my SO and I have is deep, abiding love, and love strong enough to last. But I don’t deceive myself into thinking he is the only one for me or I am the only one for him. If something should happen, we would not languish out of grief and die. We’d find someone else.

Of course we are talking about two slightly different things. You are talking about meeting someone special and beginning a relationship, and I am talking about making that relationship endure.

Pretty much that right there.

In other words, that’s Movie Love. It works out because it’s in the script. Real life has no script.

Yes, but it’s hard to look back on that and see any kind of magic. I know, because I was there! It’s more hard work than any job because it’s 24-7, but true, the rewards are 100x better, too.

And I still don’t call it True Love, just love. Two people who decide to share their lives together and made it work, that’s all it is.

“Ah! Sweet mystery of life
At last I’ve found thee
Ah! I know at last the secret of it all!”

Sadly tdn, I have to agree. Love will not ‘just happen,’ particularly to the ‘outsiders.’

storyteller0910, that’s a nice story, but certainly one that doesn’t ring true for me. I’ve done theatre. In the past 14 years, I’ve done 7 shows. It’s true that during all of them, I was involved with someone, so I wasn’t looking, but neither was I telegraphing desperation. Never once did I get hit on. Not even close.

Well, I mean, if you were involved with someone and not interested, what, exactly, were you hoping would happen?

No one hits on me anymore, either; I’m married.

I don’t believe in True Love. I do believe that if you want to be loved there has to be something to you besides just need.

Love doesn’t just happen without any effort, but I think it generally happens without direct “love meeee!” effort. It happens as we try to be good, interesting, involved people with something to offer.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was trying to say, but it took me a lot more words to do it. :slight_smile:

Preach it, brother.
Of course, my slump is long enough that I think even my friends have given up on this advice.

Thank you, Madaline Kahn! (Is Megan Mullahy singing that now?)

Bullllllllllshit. True Love does “just happen,” but you have to be open to it and not hiding in your room. If you are hunting deer, you don’t stay inside all day. get out and do stuff, and be aware that there are a lot of people out there who are also looking. Be open to chances and opportunities. I was a “confirmed bachelor” until I was 49. Then I got blindsided by the Most Beautiful Woman In The World™, AKA SWMBO. I wasn’t looking, and neither was she, but we found each other in the most unlikely of places. So suck it up and get out there. If you wait to be hit on, you are telegraphing “desperate.” Fortune Favors The Bold.