It wasn't until I started reading the memoirs of women searching for love that I finally detected an important pattern developing. I finally figured it out.
Kristine Gasbarre's book, How to Love an American Man, is a good example. She shares the lessons her grandmother taught her about marriage and romantic relationships. Her Grandma was happily married to her grandpa for sixty years, and after he died, Kristine moved back home to care for her grandma and keep her company in the mourning process. Being a young Grandparent ROCKS!
As she spent time with her grandma and began to embrace her single status, something interesting happened: Rather than fighting her singleness, she became a student of it. She leaned into her questions, doubts, and concerns about men, and started shifting her focus away from herself and onto loving her grandma.
By the end of Kristine's story and the other memoirs, not all these women found what they originally sought. But what they did find was that the actual pursuit of love is about so much more than the end result. Kristine, in particular, learned that her quest for love had been a selfish one.
Most of us think about finding love in terms of what we as individuals are going to gain—how each relationship will make my life happier, how I am going to be more complete—but we don't often think about the other side of the coin. There are two people in every relationship, remember, and relationships are every bit as much about giving as they are about receiving. 4 Steps To Finding Love [VIDEO]
Somehow, Kristine had missed that. Somehow, I had missed that too.
I am entering a new place in my life. As I move into this next phase—dating, single, whatever it may be—I want to simplify things. I want to recognize that I have a lot to learn and a lot to give. I don't need to be searching and dreaming quite so much, because romantic love really isn't the most important thing in life.
It's not going to solve all my problems. It won't make me complete. It's not the Holy Grail I once perceived it to be. It's simply one experience amidst a lifetime of others. If and when I get to experience it, I will be grateful for the blessing. In the meantime, all I can do is continue to be open and patient, finding peace in the knowledge that at this very moment, I am exactly where God wants me. When It Comes To Love, Would You Let God Decide?
And when I think about that, there's no place else I'd rather be.