Ask a Guy: How Do You Find Love? post image

Ask a Guy: How Do You Find Love?


I’m at a place in my life where I want to find true love – not another fling, not another dead end relationship, not another man who just wants something casual.

How do you find love?  I want real love, the kind of love that lasts with a man who loves me for who I really am and wants to be with me forever.  Where can I find love and how do I know when I really have it?

OK, I’ll tell you exactly how to find the love you’re looking for, but first I need you to understand a few key things.

The first thing you need to understand is what it means to be ready for love in your life.

What does it mean to be ready for love?

I’ve had situations where women come to me and practically say, “Find me someone to love!  I’ll pay you anything you want, I just want to finally have true love in my life.”

These women want love with incredible intensity, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready for love.  (Actually, this kind of high intensity is a major sign that they’re not ready for love yet.)

The truth is:  It doesn’t matter how much you want something in life.  The only thing that matters is if you’re effective at getting what you want, whether it’s love, money, respect, friendship, understanding, recognition, etc.

It’s an odd cultural trait, but somewhere along the line we became convinced that if we want something intensely, the universe will just hand it to you at some point (and not only that, you’re entitled to it.)

That line of thinking actually holds many women back at getting the kind of love they want.

If you want love to come into your life, you can’t have the attitude that you need love like you need oxygen or you need food.  You’d like it.  You’d enjoy it.  However, you don’t need it.

You may have heard people talk about the concept of neediness.  In general, I think the term gets thrown around and confused by many, so let me clearly define what neediness is:

Neediness is a state of mind that believes you need to have someone respond to you in a specific way (through actions, through what they say, through promises they make to you, etc.)… and if they don’t respond to you in that way, you’ll be emotionally distraught.

In other words, neediness isn’t a set of behaviors or actions.  Neediness is a state of mind.

So what does that have to do with finding love?  Well, neediness repels love.  The needy mindset actually makes love impossible.  Let me explain…

MORE: A Guy’s Take on Neediness

When a person believes they need the other person to respond to them in a certain way or be a certain way, they have a constant agenda to create those behaviors in the other person.

In other words, instead of being present and focusing on your partner directly, you’re focused on your intent to make them respond to you in a certain way.  Worse, you’re constantly preoccupied with worries, fears and frustrations about if they don’t act the way you’d like them to act.

When you realize your focus is totally focused on your own wants and fears in that mindset, then you can see how this would be a constant drain on the relationship.  Instead of putting energy and juice into the relationship, you’re constantly focused on squeezing the energy and juice out of the relationship.

It doesn’t take long before the well runs dry in those cases.

So what’s the solution then?

Believe me, I understand how relationships can be an emotional roller coaster.  It’s healthy and natural to want things within your relationship.  Why else would you be with the person if you truly wanted nothing?

Wanting is fine, but needing to have them act a certain way, say certain things or do things a certain way for you isn’t fine.  The key problem is the belief that you need it versus the truth, which is that you want it.

The key that solves this whole issue is:  Fulfillment with your own life.  That is, if you look at your life and you feel unfulfilled or you feel like there’s a huge emotional hole, it’s only natural to want to fill that emotional void.

This becomes a problem when you try to find love or a relationship to fill that emotional void.  Ironically, the key skill to being excellent at finding and having love is being able to be completely happy and emotionally fulfilled on your own.

In a way, being good at being selfish is a key to having love in your life.  By that I mean knowing what makes you truly feel happy and fulfilled without depending on anyone else to make you feel that way.

There’s a great side benefit too:  Women who are happy and fulfilled appear far more attractive to men than women who do not.

MORE: On Loving Yourself and Being More Confident

There have been great studies done on attractiveness and happiness.  When you are happy and fulfilled, your relaxed positive demeanor comes across as dramatically more attractive than when you do not feel happy or fulfilled with life.

So if you want to find love, make it your mission to smile often, love your life and love yourself.

Let’s quickly talk about that last point:  Love yourself.

As part of being ready for love, you must love yourself.

This is essential because people subconsciously take cues on how they should feel about you based on how you come across to them.

If you’re constantly putting yourself down, hating things about yourself and feeling miserable about yourself in general, then other people will subconsciously experience those feelings about you as well.

However, the good news is that if you learn to feel good about yourself, love everything about yourself and own who you are with pride, then others will subconsciously feel that energy about you.  They’ll feel love for you and they’ll feel proud to know you.

The fact is that you can feel anything you want to feel about yourself – it all just comes down to what you really want others to feel about you.  If you want them to feel love for you, feel love for yourself.  If you want them to think you’re sexy, feel sexy about yourself.  If you want them to respect you, feel respect for yourself.

It sounds crazy, but you can have people feel anyway you want about you, but you must go first.  You are the one who determines how others feel about you.

It takes practice and it requires that you cut off any negative thought habits you used to have and replace them with new thoughts that lead in the direction you want to go.

It’s worth it though.  How much effort would you put into changing your mind if it meant that other people would feel exactly the way you’ve always wanted to feel about you (not to mention, you’ll feel better than you’ve ever felt before)?

Next… let’s talk about love itself.

Love is a continuously flow.  When you’re in a great, healthy relationship, you freely love your partner and they freely love you.

Sounds simple enough, but you’d be amazed at how often people mistakenly reverse this flow of love… and as a result, the relationship quickly goes stale and collapses.

MORE: The Most Important Relationship Advice You Will Ever Receive

As I was saying earlier, a needy mindset causes you to focus on your own wants and fears.  This results in you constantly trying to extract juice from the relationship and cuts you off from putting any juice back in.

Fair enough, but what does it actually mean to put juice into the relationship?

As I said before, you need to be happy and fulfilled before you’re ready for love since if you’re not, you’ll constantly be falling into a needy mindset and a desire to use your relationship to fill an emotional void.  Put differently, you need to show up “whole” and happy before love can happen.

When you’re whole and happy, you’ll be able to focus on your partner since you won’t have a burning need to fill some emotional void within yourself.

When you’re in a needy mind state, you constantly focus on and fantasy about what you’ll get from love.  You picture romantic moments with him, you imagine hearing him say loving and heartfelt words to you and you fantasy about feeling his deep and burning love for you.

The other side of this is that you’ll be constantly fearing the loss of those romantic moments, the thought of him no longer saying those words or the thought of losing that feeling of love.  When you are in a needy mind state, fear rules you constantly – the only question is how intensely you are feeling that fear at any given moment.

The problem is that this is the opposite of what you want to be thinking about when it comes to love.  The central problem is that it is completely focused on what it is flowing to you, not what is flowing from you (or what you’re giving).

Believe me, when I talk about energy flowing to and from you in a love relationship, I’m not trying to be “new age” or anything.  I’m talking about your mindset here and how it directly affects the love in your life.

When you’re in a happy and whole state of mind, you will enjoy the other person, but you don’t need them.  You can appreciate them without feeling that you need to possess them (not that it’s possible to possess anyone anyway, but I digress…)

When you can appreciate the other person and enjoy them without needing them, that’s when love becomes easy and effortless.  That’s when love really begins to take shape and blossom without you having to do anything.

When we’re in a mind state where we feel happy, whole and fulfilled with our life, we naturally give and love others without needing anything from them in return.  It is our human nature to want to love and give to those that we appreciate, so long as we feel happy and fulfilled ourselves.  You know that you are on the right track when you can love freely without an expectation or need for anything in return.

This mindset also allows you to automatically give him space to love you.  When a woman is in a needy mind state, she can often be ... (continued - Click to keep reading Ask a Guy: How Do You Find Love?)

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Adriana

I’m happy with that thank you.

Reply November 11, 2014, 6:32 pm

Adriana

Thank you.

Reply November 11, 2014, 6:30 pm

Charlie

Informative article but I find it confusing. You’re saying give love without expecting anything in return . Where do you draw the line between loving freely and letting another person take advantage of your love. I’ve loved freely without expecting the other person to act a certain way or say certain words. I didn’t need to see or hear his love in a certain way because I was feeling fulfilled with or without his love. But he took advantage of the situation and used me as an option instead. So how do you find balance between just feeling love and drawing boundaries and having expectations?

Reply November 7, 2014, 1:42 pm

Dana

Thank you! ????

Reply October 31, 2014, 12:47 am

Ruth

Eric, Thank you so much for making everything so clear.

Reply April 2, 2013, 7:55 pm

A

Eric, not sure if you’re still checking this page but would love a guy’s opinion on this…

One of my new suitors seems really sweet – puts a lot of effort into dates, does a lot of research into restaurants that he thinks I’d like, books me in advance etc. We’ve only been on 3 dates so still very early days, but occasionally he would text me to tell me weird and bizarre things about his day etc.

The ONLY thing that bothers me about this guy is that he doesn’t always return texts when I reply – or sometimes does so say 9 hours later or even a day or two later.

Considering that this is the phase where he should be proving himself, should I say something/point it out? I’ve experimented by mirroring and doing the same to him myself, or even not replied to the odd text, but it doesn’t have a huge impact – still slow, although he is always very sweet and thoughtful when he replies. Either he just doesn’t check his phone very often or something.

What do you think?

-Alana

Reply March 25, 2013, 7:25 pm

Trying to better myself

This is definitely a website I would recommend to any woman that is looking to improve herself and her dating life. Whenever I feel needy in a relationship I see it as a sign from the universe that I need to focus on myself and redirect my energy elsewhere. It’s a good indicator that I’m investing too much in someone else instead of my life and what I need to be doing to feel happy inside. Sometimes if I can’t shake the feeling I find that taking a step back and putting some distance between myself and the other person really helps me to regain control. I also like cleaning my place, reading, watching a good movie, calling a friend or family member, giving myself a mani/pedi, making plans with friends and scheduling a fun activity help to keep me grounded and content in my life. I realize if you’re self-assured, confident and happy with who you are you won’t let anyone bring you down. People can sense that in others and it goes the same for men in a relationship. Plus, life is so stressful as it is we all want to surround ourselves with people that are fun and lift our spirits. When you think of it that way why would any man or woman want to get involved with someone that is constantly complaining about what they aren’t doing right.

Reply March 21, 2013, 12:20 am

Kendra

I really enjoyed this article. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on me the last two years and now I’d like to share my life with someone. I live in an area where I don’t run into a lot of potential so I’ve recently tried online dating. I would love to get your feedback on men and online dating. Would you say most men are looking for something serious online? I keep meeting men that seem to looking for one thing.

Reply March 20, 2013, 8:40 pm

Eric Charles

Online dating is great in many ways, but as with regular dating, you need to do some sifting.

Online dating is great because you can meet men who are a great match for you who you never would have met otherwise. Plus, you can start your conversation in a way that normal social conventions wouldn’t allow – you and he can show your intellectual, creative and deeper sides immediately instead of the normal masks we need to wear in today’s society and culture.

I read 1 out of 5 marriages are from couples that met online – granted, check sources yourself, but if that’s an accurate stat, then those are great odds.

Reply March 20, 2013, 10:36 pm

Sarah

Eric, I love your articles – I love that they help us understand male psychology and build our own lives and confidence without necessarily playing games!

I’d also love your take on this. I have a couple of guys who I had previously gone on a date or two with before my ex, after which they may have done a slow fade or just stayed distant “friends” – eg a text every few months to stay in touch.

I recently became single again and these guys caught wind of that – and suggested meeting up. But considering the history and that I’m not convinced that they are really all that serious about pursuing, how should I deal with it?

Should I still meet up with them, be a bit unavailable to make them prove themselves, or just decline them altogether?

Reply March 20, 2013, 1:10 pm

Eric Charles

It’s really up to you and what you want.

If you can enjoy them exactly are they are and enjoy your time together exactly for what it is without any need for it to be something else, then go for it.

If you can’t, then don’t. The “big trap” is thinking a guy is way more interested than he is and relating to him at that level… the best strategy is to keep looking and assume you’re single until a man locks you down completely and unambiguously.

Reply March 20, 2013, 8:22 pm

Sarah

I see, thanks very much, Eric!

Reply March 21, 2013, 5:30 am

Shirley

Wow, that makes so much sense. I love what you said about neediness vs. fulfillment. I think the times that I have wanted a relationship the most have been the times in my life where I felt the most emotional emptiness, which I can clearly see is a recipe for disaster. Thanks Eric. :)

Reply March 20, 2013, 8:21 am

Eric Charles

You’re welcome. Thanks for the comment.

Reply March 20, 2013, 8:23 pm

Beth

Eric, thank you so much for this article. Spot on, as always.

Reply March 19, 2013, 7:57 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks!

Reply March 20, 2013, 8:23 pm

Darling

Such a great article. I think we often forget how necessary it is to own ourselves, our emotions and our happiness. Thanks!

Reply March 19, 2013, 4:00 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome. And thank you. :)

Reply March 19, 2013, 4:01 pm

Melissa

wow. WOW! You certainly hit the nail on the head with this one. I actually catch myself feeling needy at times…the good news is I can recognize it and stop myself from doing anything like text bombing or calling or whatever else. I just had to say that you were EXACTLY right once again!

Reply March 19, 2013, 3:34 pm

Eric Charles

I really appreciate that. Thanks.

Glad you liked the article.

Reply March 19, 2013, 4:02 pm

Denise

I love this article! Thanks so much!!

Reply March 19, 2013, 3:15 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome. :)

Reply March 19, 2013, 4:02 pm

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