Finding Time To Love
Fifty years ago, an article about finding time to love wouldn’t be necessary. Why would something that comes so naturally have to be scheduled? But things were a whole lot simpler back then. If you were lucky, you had a television AND radio in the house which served as entertainment on a given night. Couples stuck together out of love, but mostly because society influenced them to do so. Divorce/breaking up just wasn’t as huge of an option as it is today.
Complicating current times, technology has made putting love on the back-burner very convenient. Sure, the argument that it brings people together is a worthy one. With FaceTime, email and various messenger apps, you can literally reach out to someone that you haven’t seen or heard from in years, no matter where you may be physically. But it’s also desensitizing. People have become lazy. They’d rather communicate with someone via a gadget than actually form an authentic in-person connection.
Take dating sites for example. You have thousands of eligible singles at your disposal. You sign up with an account, meet someone, talk, scratch that TEXT for three weeks and if it doesn’t work out? NEXT. It isn’t very different from dating when you’re not online except for the fact that you don’t have to wait to meet someone else. People are easily replaced with another potential mate, another fresh level of initial excitement and new company.
This is problematic for a number of reasons. No, you’re not supposed to be sitting around moping over that failed relationship, but taking time to heal and not “replacing” someone as if they’re a ripped shirt keeps you alive. It forces you to recognize that you had a HUMAN connection with someone no matter how trivial it might have been. I’m not saying that people who date online are the only ones who do this. It’s just way easier to fall into the routine of shopping for a mate via POF than finding someone in a crowded coffee shop.
This article isn’t meant to attack technology or online dating. By now, we’re all aware of, and dependent on to a certain degree, the benefits of the medium. But it is meant to call attention to how much it has subconsciously affected human connections.
Technology, particularly social media, makes everything seem bigger and more urgent than it is. We may see our peers living life so to speak. They are thriving in their careers and always doing bigger and better things. As great as that is, it probably isn’t true for half of the people on our friends’ list. At least how we perceive their success. Depending on who we are, we might seek to compete with the image that’s being presented. You know, conclude that we “just don’t have time for love.” In actuality, no one really has time. Career or not. Like all things, we must make time for it.
In order to make time for love, we must first make it a priority. This goes beyond putting time and energy into a relationship. You must believe that you are worthy of it. Speak freely about your need for love and literally invite it into your life. Jot down your desires in a mate and relationship, and speak them into the universe. Don’t forget to include the type of mate that you want to be. Not to sound all earthy, but you’d be surprised at how powerful words are.
We also need to become aware of our distractions. There’s a lot of things that are competing for our attention. If we do not focus on what we want, it will be very easy to become distracted with things that we do not need. This doesn’t mean line up a bunch of blind dates or hunt down that special someone as if you’re Tommy Lee Jones in “The Fugitive.” It simply means keeping your eye on the prize, and being open to the possibilities while continuing to live your life.
Like most things, you receive love by giving it. Being kind and supporting friends, family and loved ones all serve as good breeding grounds for inviting, appreciating and keeping love in your life. You are what you focus on. So if you’re busy sobbing in a corner about not having love, go out there and give it if you want to get it!
YOUR TURN: How do you look for love? Share your tips with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment in the section below!
Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.