Looking for love starts with your state of mind.
I was in the car with my husband the other day talking about our endless quest to find a new house. We live in a rather small village in South Holland and have been wanting to move closer to our jobs and social networks. The housing market in the Netherlands is increasingly tight and we’ve been searching without much luck for over a year.
In the Netherlands, most people use an app called ‘Funda’ which lists all available properties by geographical location. We’ve spent literally days and even weeks of our lives scrolling through Funda listings and trying to get appointments to view properties. Typically you and twenty other people are booked at a time and bidding wars eventually ensure until the highest bidder wins. It’s actually quite grim.
So we’re driving along talking about our house struggle and I said, ‘you know, our conversation sounds like the same conversation I have with a lot of my clients who are looking for love. They have Tinder and we have Funda, and we all just keep swiping!’ We laughed about it but it really did make me stop and think.
I talk to a lot of people these days who are searching for love and relationships. Most are using various dating apps and hoping to get a match. They go on dates, many of which are a nightmare, and every now and then they meet someone who they have a longer-term relationship with. I have to say that I personally do not know anyone who met their long-term partner in this way. I kind of feel like it’s an urban legend, but people using the apps all swear to me that they know someone who found their partner on an app.
More often than not though, I am hearing very creepy and very sad stories about these dating experiences and I’m not alone. Psychologist Jenna Birch wrote an article in Psychology Today describing the new normal in dating as ‘Soul Sucking’. She lists problems such as accountability, the temptation of endless choice and the lack of basic social graces that app dating can engender.
So allow me if you will to weigh in on this from a vibrational perspective. If that’s too weird for you, please feel free to substitute vibrational with ‘basic psychology about self-esteem’.
THE BIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF ATTRACTION
My observation has been that most people are searching for relationships in life as a direct mirror to where they are at in themselves. So if a person has some inner fears, low self esteem, lack of belief in themselves etc, they will very typically attract someone who shares some or all of those same traits, and the dance begins. There is nothing wrong with this per se, as many people find that it’s possible to grow and develop through relationships. The problem with the apps is that some of our most basic primal and natural ‘attraction’ methods are cut off at the knees.
For example, things like sense of smell, observation of a person in social and working environments or even the sound of their voice are actually all very big factors in the natural attraction process. Director of research at Manchester University, Daniel M. Davis has written a book called The Compatibility Gene which suggests that we choose lasting partners based on our ability to actually smell gene compatibility. I listened to a few lectures about this as clinical aromatherapy student that were totally fascinating.
The other main factor that I believe can really throw a wrench in your dating life – app or not – is the vibration or level of self-worth you are approaching it from. One of the things that eventually really turned us off from continuing to use Funda at all, was the sense of sad desperation it created in our lives. Checking daily listings, hoping to get appointments, putting in frantic bids and being passed over for someone with a bigger wallet. Sound familiar? This kind of approach energetically set us up in an almost ‘beggar mentality’ which did not help us find a house or feel particularly good about the process.
Same can be said for dating with an app that encourages you to seek, bid and hope for acceptance. If you are approaching that with a mindset that says, ‘I just so hope I find a match or love or someone who accepts me’, chances are you are going to keep yourself stuck in a very unpleasant cycle of painful experiences and disappointments. To be fair, same could be said if you approach dating off the apps, but the immediacy of availability and lack of sensory perception (think gut reaction) that the apps offer can make this a real self-esteem clusterfuck very quickly.
I think the only chance people really have of success with the apps is if they are coming from a place of almost happy-go-lucky energy. A perspective that says, ‘well this could be fun, but I have no expectations and let’s just see what happens.’ I have friends who have taken that approach, and while they didn’t meet a lasting partner, they did see very quickly that the app scene wasn’t for them and were spared more heartbreaking situations.
SO WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
So what’s the solution here? Well I’m going to make myself sound like an old, boring married (kind of am!) and say that if you’re looking for love (or a house, or job or anything really!) first step is to work on YOU. Look at your motivations for wanting these things and do an inventory of how well you are loving yourself right now. If the honest answer is ‘not so much’, then instead of investing in dating, invest in yourself. Start a new hobby, take a class, get a pet and walk them a lot. Put yourself in an energy of high regard for yourself and watch what happens. The likelihood of actually meeting someone who shares your interests, values and lifestyle is also a lot higher of course, when you are actually out doing things you enjoy! If you don't know what you enjoy, time to find out!
I’ve met all of my longer-term partners and my husband through totally random acts that were about me just going about my life. One serious boyfriend came into my life at the dog park. Another was sent to do I.T. training at my company. I met my husband when we were seated next to each other at a work dinner in Germany. I could never have planned or forced these scenarios to happen. I was not looking for a relationship and my main focus in each case was just doing my thing.
LET IT COME TO YOU
Which brings me back to our house… The house we currently live in fell into our laps a few years ago. We had an appointment with someone who happened to be an estate agent. She told us she had a house she thought we would really like, so out of a sense of fun we went and had a look. We put in a casual offer which was rejected. So we laughed and said, ‘oh well!’ and went about our life. A week later, the sellers called back and were delighted to accept our offer. Point is, we didn’t watch the pot. We approached it all with a bit of fun and no expectation. Which is exactly why we’ve abandoned Funda and decided to forget the search. Enjoying the life we have as much as possible, doing some home improvements on where we are and ‘letting go’ is no doubt how the next place will find us, when the time is right.
I have every confidence that if you are truly honest with yourself about your motivations and take a similar approach, you will experience the same success. What you are looking for will find you, when you’re ready for it.
Lauren Keizer-Gilbert, MIFPA is a licensed clinical aromatherapist and body-mind-spirit professional based in The Hague, Netherlands.
Birch, J. (2018, June 27). Are Dating Apps Creating Too Many Problems? Retrieved September 17 2019, from Psychology Today : https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/navigating-the-love-gap/201806/are-dating-apps-creating-too-many-problems
Forbes, P. (2013, August 8). The Compatibility Gene by Daniel M Davis – review. Retrieved September 17, 2019, from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/08/compatibility-gene-daniel-davis-review