Johnny Lee wrote the iconic song “Lookin’ for Love” about how he’s been unsuccessful at settling down. He’s been looking for love in all the wrong places, searching bars late at night, hoping every person he meets might be the one. Does that sound familiar? If it does, lucky for you. The song has a happy ending. He finds his person, and she’s all he’s ever dreamed of by its end. Hopefully, you will ride off into the sunset with the love of your life, just like Johnny.
If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, it ends in heartbreak. Maybe you’re with the right person, but it’s the wrong time. Perhaps you don’t even know that you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, so you’re consistently confused about why you’re alone. Never fear. We’ll discuss five signs of looking for love in all the wrong places and what to do to break your pattern and find true love for good.
How Do I Know If I’m Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places?
The song is catchy, but what exactly does it mean that you’re looking for love in all the wrong places? It means that you are searching for love, but the places you’re looking in may not be right for you. This could be because you’re at a different time in your life, so what served you well in the past may not meet your needs now. For example, in college, you may have relied on bars and tailgating to meet new people, but now that you’re in your 30s, you may just find alcoholics trolling in the bars.
It could also mean that you aren’t sure what you want, so you’re casting your net far and wide, and you need to be more discerning with your taste. Some studies suggest that overindulged children may have difficulty sustaining long-lasting adult romantic relationships. You may have some childhood trauma preventing you from getting the love you deserve. Maybe you have low self-esteem, and instead of celebrating your self-worth, you pick partners who meet your skewed sense of self.
Simply put – looking for love in all the wrong places means that you need to start your search anew to find better results. You’re single because you’re looking in the wrong places or at the wrong people. Now’s the time to shift your mindset and approach love with a new perspective.
Five Signs You May Be Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places
You may be right if you think you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, especially if your relationships end with a broken heart. You’re not alone in starting your search in a bad place, and here are five signs that indicate you may be looking for love in all the wrong places.
You Care About Superficial Things.
Appearance is everything to you, so you want to have the best car, the biggest house, and the most expensive clothes. Why wouldn’t you also want to have the most attractive partner? If this sounds like you, you are most certainly looking for love in all the wrong places. Love is more than skin deep, and attraction can only go so far.
If you pick partners based solely on their looks, what happens when they fade? What’s left when the superficial characteristics that drew you to your partner are gone? Date people you are attracted to, but make sure there is compatibility beneath the surface level. If you don’t, you’ll continue to go from pretty face to pretty face, searching for a connection that you cannot sustain.
Consider what makes you go for these types of partners. Is it because you were unpopular in high school, and now that you can pull the most beautiful person, you’ll settle for nothing less? You can’t fix the past. You can only move on and learn from it. Let it go and move on to find happiness.
You Lack Plans.
If you leave everything up to chance, you’re missing out on opportunities to find people who share common interests with you. Perhaps you always go out with the same people and visit the same bars. It’s filled with regulars, so the only new people you meet are the occasional friends of friends who stumble in for a night.
You’re in a rut, but you don’t have to be. Online dating has changed the game, so there are plenty of ways to meet new people. It just takes a little effort. If dating apps aren’t you’re thing, that’s okay! Find a group with people who share your common interests. Go to a singles cooking class or join an adult sports league. You can meet people organically at these events; you simply need to plan.
If you have no plans, you’re leaving things up to chance. Meet cutes happen. Strangers can become lovers instantly, but sometimes true love needs a little nudge in the right direction. Planning can help you get the ball rolling so that you know you have at least one common interest that you can use to build a lasting, healthy relationship.
You Have Low Self-Esteem.
Low self-esteem is a huge driver for looking for love in all the wrong places. When you lack confidence, you only seek partners who are not worthy of your time and attention. Whatever you’re insecure about will be what you focus on when trying to find a partner, consciously or subconsciously.
This reflects on your self-view and not how the world sees you. Chances are that your loved ones look at your choice of partners and wonder what you are thinking. They don’t see the negativity that you do in yourself. They only see that you are making bad choices, picking partners who are unworthy of you.
If your partners try to keep you down or otherwise mistreat you, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. Instead, look for someone who encourages you to be a better person. They shouldn’t drag you down with them or hold you back – and neither should you. Don’t let fear of getting hurt hold you back from going after what you deserve. Intimacy with the right person shouldn’t scare you.
One-night stands are great, but they’re not always the best foundation for a lasting relationship. Perhaps you jump straight to planning your wedding after the first date, only to scare your partner off by being serious too soon. Your impatience for love is working against you. If you constantly rush into things because you don’t want to be alone, you may be looking for love in all the wrong places. Fear of being single isn’t a good enough excuse to settle down with the first person who gives you attention.
That impatience has not led to lasting relationships in the past, and it’s not likely to serve you well in the future either. Instead, consider what you want and go for it. It can be scary because you must be vulnerable and put yourself out there. There’s a risk that you’ll fail, and you play it safe because of it. But you limit yourself when you only let others approach you. In your impatience to settle down, you miss out on better opportunities because you couldn’t wait.
If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, take a step back and breathe. Pause to re-evaluate your relationship patterns and understand if you’re in a rush to settle down. You don’t need to marry the first man who looks at you. Instead, be discerning with your taste. The early bird may get the worm, but slow and steady wins the race. You’re in it for the long haul. There’s no need to rush.
You Have Many Failed Relationships.
Do you always have a broken heart? It may seem like everyone else has it all figured out while you’re surrounded by drama. If that’s the case, you’re looking for love in all the wrong places. Love is not toxic. It shouldn’t hurt, driven forward by constant breakups. You shouldn’t have to force someone to want to be with you. Unhealthy, co-dependent relationships can make you feel like you can’t survive without the other person, but you can.
Many of the reasons you’re looking for love in all the wrong places lead to a failed relationship. After all, if you’re in a happy relationship, you wouldn’t be trying to figure out where you’re going wrong! You can blame some things on your partners, but it’s time to look inward to see if you are doing something to sabotage your relationships. If you’re unsure where to start, talk with a therapist.
You have to take ownership that you’re looking for love in all the wrong places and take steps toward changing your negative behavior patterns. Only then can you start to move towards fulfilling relationships. You can do it – you just need to work hard and take risks to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll find love in new places in no time.
How to Stop Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.
Now that you know that you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, what can you do to stop it? It’s not enough to identify toxic behaviors. Knowing what’s wrong is a great start. Next up, you’ll learn how to act.
Identify Your Goals.
Start by asking yourself what you would like to have in your life and be as specific as possible. That doesn’t mean you have to plan out your ideal man but consider your future. Do you want to live in the city or the suburbs? Do you want children? Pets? What is your ideal career path? By planning out your life goals, you can set a clear picture of what you want your future to be. Then, when you start dating, you can make sure that your goals align and confirm you’re not looking for love in all the wrong places.
Just as important as what you do want in life is what you don’t want, don’t forget to include any dealbreakers you may have. If you know you don’t want to have children, then note it. If buying a house is never in the cards, write it down. You can set clear boundaries on what you do and don’t want in your future. Don’t let someone try to change your mind. You’ll find yourself looking for love in all the wrong places again if you do.
That doesn’t mean you need to lay all your cards out on the table from day one. After all, you don’t want to rush into a relationship and scare the partner off. Instead, ease into the questions as you become more serious. Find out information about your partner organically and assess if it aligns. With clarity in mind, you can approach love with a positive mindset.
Acknowledge Your Mistakes.
The first step is making a list of what you want. The second is all about taking time to reflect on your past relationships. Even if you are looking for love in all the wrong places, you still need to take responsibility for your role in the relationship – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Facing your mistakes can help you grow. You can acknowledge where you went wrong and do better the next time around. Perhaps you had low self-esteem, but you started to work with a mental health professional to confront some of your demons. Next time, you know not to let that harsh inner critic win, no matter how hard it is to resist. You’ve learned coping skills that will carry you to your next relationship and make sure you’re not looking for love in all the wrong places.
Acknowledging your mistakes isn’t about beating yourself up. You don’t have to be the perfect wife, husband, girlfriend, or boyfriend. Instead, it’s about realizing the role you played in the demise of your relationship and understanding how you can avoid the same missteps in the future. Only then can you stop looking for love in all the wrong places.
Change Your Patterns.
You’ve developed a nice, happy place. It’s your comfort zone. You know what to expect because you’ve carefully curated it after years of trial and error. But consider if your comfort zone makes you happy or is it just predictable and comfortable. If it’s just all you know, make a mental model of your comfort zone and smash it to bits.
If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, your comfort zone isn’t helping you. It’s hindering you, so switch up your patterns. If you’ve been relying exclusively on setups, it may be time to start online dating. Maybe you can check your local area for meet-ups with people who have similar hobbies. If you have only used specific dating apps, try new ones. Whatever your patterns are, you need to shake them up to breathe new life into your routine.
If you haven’t found love yet, you may be looking for love in all the wrong places. Trying something new can help you break down barriers and face fears you didn’t know you had. Putting yourself out there can do wonders, so be open-minded. Check your judgments now and then to ensure you’re not cutting yourself off from important life experiences. While you know your mind, you miss out on many experiences if you stay in a rut and refuse to change your patterns.
Know Your Value.
You bring a lot to the table, and you are deserving of true love, happiness, and the romantic relationship of your dreams. You do not need a partner to give you validation. You are enough on your own, but it’s nice to have a partner who you can share your life with and go home to at the end of the day. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, so know your value and don’t settle for less.
If you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, it can be tempting to compromise your values. Perhaps you start thinking you have too high standards and convince yourself you need to settle for less than you deserve. The only person you are hurting with your choice is yourself. You are denying yourself of a bright, beautiful future if you do.
So Am I Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places?
No one can tell you if you’re looking for love in all the wrong places but you. If people try, you likely won’t believe them anyway! If you’re single, you may be looking for love in all the wrong places despite your best efforts. It happens to the best of us, but now that you know, you can work towards breaking your patterns and moving towards a healthy relationship.
You deserve the same love that Johnny Lee wrote about in his hit song. You must believe it and stop looking for love in all the wrong places to find it.