The problem with serendipitous love

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a couple kissing In a few months time I will be celebrating my 30th birthday with a party. I’m on the hunt for the best caterers, best bulk wine deal and – most importantly – the ultimate party dress.

I’ve looked online and in several stores, and I’ve tried on over 30 dresses, some long, some short, some backless and some strapless and finally, last weekend, I found it – hot pink, tied at the waist and hugs in the right places. Sold.

Why am I telling you this? Because it occurred to me that we should look for love the way we do the perfect outfit – with effort, perseverance and hustle. Yet most of us don’t.

According to eharmony’s recent relationship study, 51% of those surveyed claimed that love or finding ‘the one’ is their biggest priority in life (above children, money and career) but they are spending as little as one hour per week actively networking and looking for dates.

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To put that in perspective, that’s less than the time spent exercising (three hours), reading (two and a half hours) and way less than watching TV/movies (just under seven hours a week).

It doesn’t make sense, does it? Why do we spend less time looking for something that we admit we want and that will give us lifelong pleasure than we do keeping up with Game of Thrones?

As someone who was definitely part of that 51%, I think it comes down to a few things. Firstly, rom-coms and Hollywood would have us believe love just ‘happens’, and usually with someone so good looking they deserve a billboard ad.

But unfortunately, neither love nor the perfect partner comes with an inbuilt GPS with its destination set to you. You actually have to put in some effort and go looking.

However, it’s the ‘looking’ part that most of us cringe at. The word ‘desperate’ pops into mind. I’ll admit that as far as a first meeting goes, it’s romantic to say you met when you dropped a pile of groceries in a car park and he helped you pick them up but rarely, if ever, does life work that way.

You have to put yourself out there, which is difficult. But I’d rather give fate a helping hand and up my chances of finding love by taking a chance.

It sounds counterintuitive but taking control of your love life, talking to an eH match you might think isn’t your ‘type’, saying yes to more dates and initiating conversations aren’t the actions of a desperate person, rather someone who is confident.

People confident in themselves and in relationships are comfortable with getting hurt and rejection. They don’t fear it because they understand that, just like dress shopping, love is a numbers game. You’ll try on many and most won’t work. But those who are willing to put in the effort (and yes, that’s more than an hour a week!) know the happiness that comes from finding the right one is worth it.

Do you believe love is something you should invest time in or that it happens by chance? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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