Why I Stopped Reading Books About Finding Love

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I started reading articles on how to find love at any oddly young age -- about 13. I moved up to books by the age of 17. I can't count the amount of literature I've read that proclaimed how future wives should dress and think. With every read, I felt as though I was ahead of the curb in the dating world, wise beyond my years and bound to find myself in a happy and healthy relationship in no time

The results? I'm 25 and single and have only had 2 boyfriends; neither lasted a full year. 3 years ago is when I decided to put down the books about love and start living life. I can say reading those books taught me a lot about love, but not what I expected.

It’s Not That Simple

Articles and self-help books about finding love give off this false idea that in order to find love all you have to do is follow steps 1, 2, 3. I don't know how many times I've gotten one of those books in my hands hopeful that my love life would turn around for the better.

These tips are going to make me stand out.

By the time I’m done Mr. Right will easily appear. I’d day dream that it would happened just like it did for the women in the movie Think Like A Man… it didn’t happen.

What I've come to learn is that I should have never used these books as some sort of blueprint, because there is no blueprint to love. Even married people are learning a day at a time. I've witnessed people who never even thought of going by the "rules" I had placed on myself and yet had managed to land themselves in a happy relationship. At first I was angry and self righteous.

How could this make sense?

I was more prepared for love than them.

As I've matured, I've come to the conclusion that it's not about any of that. It's as simple as that's that person story. Just as right now for some reason singleness is a part of my story a loving relationship is what the next person might need at that exact time regardless of if they prepared for it or not.

People Don't Know What They Want

I’ve mentioned earlier some of these books will attempt to tell you what type of woman you should be to land the ring. I have tried to mold myself into becoming the type of person someone wanted only to see them either A) Go for someone who is the exact opposite of what they said they wanted or B) Go for someone who is very similar to me but not me.

At the end of the day I think people don't always know what they want until they see it. Even I have had moments in life in general of thinking I wanted something only to realize I don’t. Sometimes things sound great on paper, but when it’s in front of you the connection that you’d hope for isn’t there. Or sometimes when that thing is right in front of you it is like a mirror showing you how unready for it you really are. Honestly there are a lot of reasons why people say they want one thing and go for another.

Working hard to become someones dream girl only to be unappreciated and overlooked feels like a back handed smack to the heart. You'll realize you've wasted your time. You've lost yourself. And the dreaded feeling of not feeling good enough seeps in. You have to be yourself to find the person you deserve.

My Relationship to Men Isn't The Most Interesting Thing About Me

And finally a mantra that I’m living by this year and forward. Along the way I had I had unknowingly made my relationship to men my measurement of my self-worth. I honestly feel great about everything about myself, but when I would measure myself up against how men reacted towards me I’d find myself saddened, confused, frustrated, lacking confidence.

This mantra is a realization that I am way more than whatever opinion good or bad that a man might have about me.

This outlook has been changeling yet liberating. Most girls are measured by what men think at a earlier age. Even growing up I remember being told by adults how I should act because of what boys would think. It’s becomes ingrained within us before we have the opportunity to define who we are on our own terms. Yes, I want to be a wife someday but there is a long list of other things that are equally as important to me besides that and my value should not and will not be diminished if I never become a bride.

I’ve been learning to break bad habits like feeling the need to impress past flings with my new life without them, overly giving the benefit of the doubt or depending on my friends advice before my own intuition.

I feel free and in my power. I don't know when I'll get married, but I do know that I don't want my legacy to be that I pondered for years why men did or didn't treat me a certain way. It reminds me of a poem that I heard from a local poet about how Harriet Tubman didn’t have time to sit around a worry about if she was cute because she had lives to save. It spoke to me as I wondered how much I could accomplish if I actually got focused on the right things.

It’s be a very carefree, powerful and transformative journey. Ironically, the less I’ve cared about what guys think the more I’ve gotten approached.

To my fellow singles if you must read a book about how to find love read it with cation. While those books can help by offering a tip here and there ultimately you love story will be found in the real world. Live it the way you want to live it. Be yourself and create a legacy that will be there no matter your martial status. You deserve it.