I recently got a very sweet comment from @tbell2 on one of my cards. She wanted to know how an old soul in a young body can go about finding love.
When you're in high school or college, and the pressure to conform to hookup culture is all around you, what can you do when that's just... not you?
Her words inspired me to write this card. I dedicate it to all you old souls out there.
You look around at high school. At college. And you feel a little out of place. People are falling over themselves, trying to find a hot guy or girl so they can have some meaningless, emotionless fling. It all seems so empty.
You, on the other hand, watch movies like Gone With The Wind. Love Actually. Pride and Prejudice. And you want that. That old school romance, with the charged glances, and the falling head over heels, and the desire for something more than just the physical. The tension, the plot arc, the happily ever after.
You are not alone. I've heard from countless friends, in high school, in college, and beyond into adult life, who feel the exact same way. Guys and girls alike – in this culture of "have sex first, ask questions later," there are plenty of people like you who want to find a real love.
If you're an old soul looking for real love, I've got some words of advice for you.
If you seek deeper meaning in your relationships, and romance in an increasingly unromantic world, the first thing you need to do is...
Trust yourself. Listen to the little gut feelings that tell you, "Hooking up isn't for me," and "Casual relationships are unfulfilling." Don't struggle to conform to anyone else's definitely of normal. You're normal exactly as you are, and your desires are worth listening to.
And hey, congratulations.
You already know what you want! I can't tell you how hard that is for some people to figure out. Knowing what you want is the first step to going after it, and eventually, finding it. You've gotten that first step out of the way.
Listen, your time is precious. And so is your heart.
Life is too short to waste your time and emotional energy on the sort of person that you don't really want in your life. If all they want is a hookup, let them go. It's as simple as that. It frees you to focus on the things that really matter in life – like friendship and fun and following your passions – while simultaneously making you available for the right person, when he or she does come along.
Experimentation can be a good thing. If you want to give the casual thing a go, do it. I highly encourage you to try anything your heart desires. Because that's how we find out what we like, and what we want and need in a relationship. But don't worry if that's not your thing. Go with your own flow.
Don't settle for anything less than exactly what you want.
It's out there, and it'll find you when you least expect it. You might have to wait a little while, but don't be afraid of being alone. It isn't scary. It's actually amazing! You have all this time and energy to devote to becoming the kind of person your future partner will go gaga over. You have time to love the people who are already in your life, invest in your relationships and your passions, and discover this big, amazing world.
Do what you love.
Travel the world.
Learn something new.
Become the kind of person you're looking for.
And take every opportunity that comes your way to meet new people. Don't be afraid to join a Meetup group, go to your friend's cousin's roommate's birthday party, attend awkward mixers and laugh through it all. You never know when or where you'll meet someone just like you, who's given up on the crap and ready for something real.
Finally, be patient.
I always wanted to punch the people who said this to me, and then it turned out to be true – love finds us when we least expect it. Romantic love, most of all, sneaks into our lives when we're fulfilled as a single person and doing our thing.
So put the search on the back burner, and live it up. Casually date in the meantime, if that helps you stay the course. Watch as many rom coms as you want, and daydream yourself into them. Do what fulfills you, and let love come to you.
I hope this provided a bit of insight, and helped encourage you on your journey to finding love. It's out there, I promise.
Feel free to share this with your friends who are frustrated in their search. And if you have any questions, be sure to let me know below! :)