Dating Myth: You’ll Find Love When You Stop Looking

“Stop looking and you’ll find the right person. The right person will come to you.”
“Don’t worry about finding the right partner, it’ll just happen.”

How many of us have heard of this ‘advice’ at some point? I have and found just the opposite to be true.

In my own love life, I was single for most of my college career (where there are singles everywhere), and was hoping to meet someone but was not actively looking, and guess what? Love didn’t come knocking on my door.

On the other hand, when I started actively looking and making an effort to talk to more women post-college, I got more dates. As I continued to date more, I improved my own life and got smarter about choosing the right person, and the quality of girls got better. Through it all, I had to consistently take a chance, step out of my comfort zone, fail a bunch of times, learn from my mistakes, and try it all again – a little wiser and stronger each time.

When I was 27, many of my close friends were in relationships, and I decided it was time to focus seriously on finding a long term relationship. After four years of dating where I dated 89 different girls and had 10 relationships, I found that I was finally getting closer to meeting the right person when:

  • I made it a priority to go out and socialize several times a week and organize get togethers.
  • I was efficiently and wisely looking, meaning that I would quickly filter out girls who weren’t looking for the same type of relationship, and didn’t have common values and interests, and move onto girls who were a match.
  • I put myself in situations where I was doing something that made me happy (like running, teaching dance, or attending events where I was learning something or experiencing a new adventure), and where there were potential singles as well, so it was a win in that it was a worthwhile event even if I didn’t meet anyone.
  • I asked out and dated a lot of different girls, had many failures and break ups, and learned more about what I really needed in a partner, what I definitely didn’t want, and what I could compromise – because it made me recognize, appreciate, and hold on to the right person when she did come along.
  • I had my life together (my health was good, my career was going well, I had a friend or two around as wingmen, my family was taken care of), which made me more confident about my future and grateful for what I had, as well as less concerned about rejections.

When You Should Stop Looking (Temporarily)

There are times when you should take a break from dating, and those times are if:

• You’re looking desperately
• After a bad breakup
• if you have no idea what type of relationship you want, or
• if you need to take care of other life priorities (your health, your family, your job prospects, etc.).

Love doesn’t fall on your lap. The odds are rare to find someone single with the same interests, values, doesn’t have any dealbreakers, who is attractive and thinks the same of you, and is interested in dating now. It is likely that one major thing will not be compatible, so if you’re single and want to be in a healthy, happy long-term relationship, know that it takes time and a lot of trial and error to find someone who is right for you.

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  1. I do believe in the saying that “Love comes unexpectedly”. You should not find love, as love will lead you at the right time, to the right place and with the right person. However, you should always remember that making moves in meeting new people is a way to have the love you are expecting. One of my friends just told me a story about a girl he met in an online dating in Hong Kong (, though I think that joining such app is not a good idea, I have seen their relationship growing and that it make me think that it’s not a bad idea. Your story is so inspiring and such a great read, I will recommend it to my buddies who are also searching for love.

    1. Thanks for reading, Jacqueline! Check out my blog, Bao Meets Bagel, where I write about dating from the first conversation to the proposal.

  2. After reading so many romance novels about love that will come knocking at your door or love will come unexpectedly well it became a little cringed cheezzy for me. I have been single in all of my college life also. And now I am a working girl but still non-came. Even some of my friends are throwing some guys at me, still no kilig moment happened. Well I will start looking for love when I have my priorities straight. 😀

  3. Dude, THANK YOU for this article!
    So many people use the phrase, “Just stop looking and it will find you,” because they honestly don’t know what to say to the person who has literally done EVERYTHING right but still has nothing.
    I’m glad I wasn’t going crazy!
    BTW, it’s now been 3 years of me “not looking”, but I’m still single. I wish something could be done about that.
    Funny, most relationships are made of two people who were looking for a relationship…

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