Ayla Ford

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Does everything that we do in life revolve around finding a mate?

Being a senior in high school, I have observed my actions and the actions of those around me and something interesting has caught my attention. From the very moment we wake till we go to sleep at night we are planning our lives around what appeals to the opposite sex. I was wondering can we move past our animalistic nature and be forward thinking on our own or are we always to be caught in the rut of companionship? I caught myself forming life goals around a man that I have yet to meet, my plans to travel have already been stifled by the notion that in my pursuit of world travel I might miss out on my "one true love."

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    Apr 27 2013: Ayla, I'm a old guy (70) and have a opinion ... an that is all it is .. an opinion. Many people are falling into the marketing trap. Ads, movies, books, and pressure from peers and family all leads us down a road we are "expected" to follow. Traditionally it was the "job" of the woman to marry and reproduce. How many times does a grandparent ask about when your going to make them a great grandmother. Ads are everywhere ... wear this and the next scene is in a bar with a guy hitting on you ... buy this and you will be walking on the beach with a hunk ....

    IMO that is some of the reason that many marragies break up. The partners are following the charcter in a book, movie, or thinking the ads were right .... we met in a bar so why are you mad I still go there ... his body was great but you found out his head was empty ...

    So here is the old guys advice. Be yourself. Lies will catch up and destroy your chances. Don't spend time looking .. let things happen naturally. Marry someone you can be friends with .. because that will always be your best friend. Build on friendshi[p and respect ... those are the rock foundations of any relationship. If you can't talk to each other then the road will be very difficult.

    In high school and college men reach for the apples that are low on the tree. Whe selecting a wife we reach for the best apple ... the one high on the tree.

    I didn't look for a mate ... I looked for a life partner and found my wife and best friend all in one.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Apr 30 2013: Bob, that was beautiful! Brought a tear to this old man's eye, you really are a "Winner!" :-)

      God Bless

      - Todd C.
  • Apr 29 2013: Well - interesting and honest question..even brave!

    I think this is about hope and uncertainty - this is about future...which mean no harm in thinking or being vigilant about yourself, your feelings and hoping for love and care now or in future - this is good thing. However, your life should revolve around only one person that is YOU...with time you will learn people, friends, close friends, and even lovers will come and go but this shouldn't change the fact that you remain the most important person of your life...I mean to say you shouldn't be delaying anything thinking I'll do this once I'll have a partner...too much dependancy made us needy and no one likes a needy person! Thus, I think our world shouldn't revolve around anyone as this way someone else will control us and this never brings happiness in any way.....
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    Apr 27 2013: Ayla, that is such a beautiful question!

    And my answer to your question is absolute not! You can not seek your mate. If you do, you may well push him away. You must live your life for yourself, and in the process of doing that you may find yourself falling in love with someone you probably had no idea you would meet.

    For a visual metaphor, imagine trying to catch a butterfly. If you chase it too hard, he will fly away. You need to be yourself, and then the butterfly may well land on your nose.
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    Apr 27 2013: its more important in being the right person then finding the right person...
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    Apr 26 2013: 'Does everything that we do in life revolve around finding a mate?' No. I believe there is much more about life than finding 'the girl'

    Although our culture and society continuously pushes us to do so...
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    Apr 25 2013: I have not seen this phenomenon in my girls. They both focused very much on pursuing their interests. My younger daughter graduated from college last year, and her little group of girlfriends similarly were not focused on young men. They are all in graduate school now in the fields that caught their imaginations.

    This observation leads me to the hypothesis that what girls focus on depends on their social milieu- what their families and peer groups cultivate.

    This is not at all to say that these girls are only career minded and not family minded. It is only to say that they are not doing everything in life, or even a majority of what they do, to find a mate.

    I also don't really think there is one true love out there for everyone. I think there are likely many people with whom you could fall in love and make a life.
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      Apr 25 2013: I agree Fritzie.....I don't observe many young people adapting their life around finding a mate. My kids (in their 40s now) pursued their own interests through high school and college and had lots of friends.

      I also agree that there are probably many people with whom we can love and create a life together:>)
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          Apr 25 2013: I understand the point you are making ZX. Now that my "kids" are in their 40s, I'm hearing quite a bit of information that I did not know about when they were teens! LOL:>)
          Nothing earth shattering, and I think your point is that they do not tell us everything as teenagers? I agree!

          I did know them pretty well though because we shared a lot of time, talk and activities together, which was GREAT! They had lots of activities and groups of friends in high school and neither one of them had a special person. They both had very large groups of kids that all hung around together, mostly doing sport, music, and theater activities. I don't know as much about the college days because they were not living at home. I DO know that they continued with the large group of friends routine because they brought a LOT of them home:>) Neither one got married until their 30's, so apparently they were not in a big hurry!

          I agree....some people can be more special than others:>)
  • Apr 24 2013: No. You do what you need to do to survive. Learn a skill, educate your self, and do what is necessary to maximize your chances at living a long and happy life. Stay healthy, learn all you can, and take advantage of the FREEDOM you now have to focus just on what you want to do. The time will come when others need you to survive and you freedom becomes limited by responsibility.

    That being said, perhaps the biggest decision you have to make is who you choose to spend your life with. Do not make it in a rush or without a lot of thought. However, stressing out over some kind of time table or master plan will reduce your quality of life at a time when you have other big decisions to make. Have fun and just be the best YOU you can be. Intelligence, honesty, and doing what seems natural to you are pretty seductive qualities and will probably do you well in the long run.

    Nature is a pretty powerful force to overcome relative to the desire to find a mate and start a family. Hundreds of years ago, these desires were pretty much the driving factor in relationships. However, in today's society, you need to know more to survive and raise a family, so the ones that seem to do the best are the ones that are able to defer gratification or somehow prevent a family from becoming a reality until you are ready to support them with your mate.

    It is great to have a plan for your life. It permits you to take on the big issues pro-actively and with thought rather than re-actively in a crisis. However, realize that much of life is unpredictable, with opportunities, situations, and circumstances that you must somehow navigate around, through or over to go forward. This demands you to be flexible and responsive to these situations as they occur to pick the best path. Do not let a good long term plan drive you to bad short term decisions, or prevent you from enjoying life.

    Smile, be happy, think positive and look for ways to do nice things for people.

    Your life will be amazing!
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      Apr 25 2013: Robert and Kate,
      I wholeheartedly agree! I also enjoyed living my life to the fullest, pursuing the things I was interested in, and I agree Kate....it attracts lots of possible partners:>)

      I love your last paragraph Robert...so true:>)
      "It is great to have a plan for your life. It permits you to take on the big issues pro-actively and with thought rather than re-actively in a crisis. However, realize that much of life is unpredictable, with opportunities, situations, and circumstances that you must somehow navigate around, through or over to go forward. This demands you to be flexible and responsive to these situations as they occur to pick the best path. Do not let a good long term plan drive you to bad short term decisions, or prevent you from enjoying life."

      WELL SAID!
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          Apr 25 2013: Hi yourself gorgeous....thank you:>)

          Regarding your other comment....TOTALLY AGREE...
          I don't need a partner just to fit in with societal expectations either! I also SO enjoy dancing to my own tune....well said gorgeous Kate!

          Actually, I think statistics show that there are a LOT more people these days who PREFER to be single:>)
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    Apr 29 2013: Hi Ayla, I've travelled to 17 countries, many cities etc. mostly to have fun with myself. I've met so many lovely people I otherwise wouldn't have. These included some lovers, but so many more life-long friends. I think I've improved my odds considerably of finding happiness because I probably have such a broader definition of it.

    I think I've cared to have a stronger sense of myself, rather than "find a mate", but at every improvement I make--the quality of potential mates (incidentally?) gets better! :) Sitting around waiting for a miracle dude who lives within 20 city blocks is not nearly as fun. Low hanging fruit is everywhere, it's not The One, IMHO.
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    Apr 28 2013: Seeking companionship--following reproductive urges--may be "natural," but in our overpopulated and unsustainable world, it is illogical and irresponsible. Like many before me have said, be true to yourself and your goals, but I urge you. Subordinate your own happiness, and simply aim to brighten the lives of others-- advance scientific, reasoned, moralistic, cooperative, compassionate humanity. Take care of this earth and those who are already struggling among their 7 billion brethren... happiness will find you. Unfortunately, if you are willing to sacrifice a traditional notion of belonging and purposed proliferation for the good of mankind, then I would recommend that you become a parent to pass on such values! Joseph Heller would understand this predicament.
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      Apr 30 2013: [My english speech is bad... Patience]
      [My intention is a Healthy discussion, so, Peace :) ]
      [Please, read it with a relaxed "tone", since reading with angry emotions may project them as mine in your mind]
      Don't think "Seeking Companionship" is just to follow reproductive urges, there is more to it, even if we discard the social thing (what is nearly impossible, since people are molded by it.) there is the somewhat natural human tendency for the companionship need. (Or "empathy" and "rapport" need, if you prefer.)

      Reproduction is illogical? Is it not just your beliefs and feelings speaking? And about "irresponsible", didn't you forgot some premises to be able to state it? Is not it just emotional thinking?
      [Emotional Thinking, a.k.a.: Assume that some thoughts are the absolute truth just because they support your feelings or you think they match them.]

      I do agree with you in the rest (with some reservations (: )
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        May 1 2013: No worries Filipe. I agree, seeking companionship is a beautiful, complex thing. Also, reproduction is definitely logical-- I wish I had been clearer haha! The main point I was trying to make is that we, as a species, are dangerously abundant. I am happy to share the planet with almost every soul that is here now, but I worry that our natural reproductive instincts and personal desires will soon begin to cause more harm than good. That is where the tidbit of illogic, selfishness, and irresponsibility comes into play. By blindly following urges, it seems that we do not pay enough respect to the sustainability of our ecosystem. Also, I am concerned that many people make "finding a mate" their primary goal in life, and I simply prefer that they attempt to advance humanity instead of inflating it!

        Emotion, beliefs, feelings... all undoubtedly involved. But, I hope that you can uncover at least a trace of logic this time around!
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          May 1 2013: Now I can feel the logic! :P

          This things you speak of are consequences of the inefficient way of education and thinking that we are forced into, as well as the "inefficient life" that put people more in "inflating" than in "evolving".

          If we really started to talk deeply about it, at some point it would fall in my favorite discussion, the human mind.
          If you are willing to discuss, I'm here.
          Good Night.
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        May 1 2013: Absolutely, education is vital. Could you clarify what we are forced into? I agree that we inflate and stagnate instead of evolving at times. Human evolution has become much more complex than passing along successful traits. I would be glad to discuss anything-- definitely the human mind.
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          May 1 2013: The inefficient way of education is one.
          The inefficient way of thinking makes two.
          And both are almost the same.

          Our parents, believing that it is the best for us, put us in schools that "kills" the creativity in the students. (Ironically enough, the "failures" are acclaimed as geniuses years later when they use their creativity in a "smart" way.)
          Schools that prioritize our memory, but do not teach us how to efficiently use it.

          There are the "cultural" feelings and thoughts that generates an quite intriguing recurring thought that I often encounter in people I talk to that I baptized "What should I feel now?", and even others.
          The way we live made our emotions uncalibrated, or, in a more specific way, created patterns of thinking that make our emotions rise when they should not. (Like be angry at something that does not affect [in a dangerous way] you, but you think it does, maybe it does in a way, but that way bothers you? why? Most would not accept their own answers, because they know it is not really right.)

          With the Snowball effect, these misfitted and inefficient thoughts just stack up, since people run away from "incongruities" within their own minds. (Thanks to the same thoughts.)

          There are too experiences that generate feelings that act like a filter to the thoughts and the perception, a really good example is "vengeful people", EVERYTHING in their lives is to get their revenge, they "miss" a lot of other things because everything pass through this filter.
  • Apr 28 2013: Hi Ayla, bingo you are dot on the point. It couldn't have been more correct. The question you asked is actually a statement, a fact (change the symantics). It is actually the law of nature and going against is going against the law of nature. I have seen myself and everyone around doing things pointed at this very pursuit, irrespective of age, status and gender, but could never actually formally acknowledge it. At the same time seeking companionship is not something that we should not be doing or feel guilty of doing. But the problem is when it becomes an obsession and our life plans only revolves around it. And it is proven historically more than once. Having said that, how do you see your life without that inner urge or that 'animalistic nature' of finding that 'mate'? Not very interesting, I am sure.
  • Apr 28 2013: You have gotta love women. Be it anyplace in the world, the only question that really matters to them in those beautiful years is will i find him. Will i finally be able to meet him? I find this rather amazing that this female creature we men love to spoil is since childhood, a nurturing spirit which really blossoms when it becomes a mother.

    Ayla, you know you are in that state emotionally, physically and mentally, where the whole wide world is open to you. I was thinking about that animalistic and nature stuff you said. You really can't fight nature Ayla even if you fight it the hardest. Nature always takes its course. But not everything in life is about finding a mate. Life is also about self discovery and enlightenment. So keep living in the moment. Don't look too hard for your soul mate because believe me, he would be looking for you too. Maybe your one true love is to be found in your travels. So, do not obsess but do not miss the opportunity when it knocks. Have a good blessed life.
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    Apr 27 2013: I think humans are more complex than biology would really like to say. We can be trained to think and feel all sorts of ways, and I think our current culture is definitely training young people to shy away from finding long-term, monogamous relationships. Instead they are encouraged to pursue careers and look into self-development, and because the need for intimacy and sex is still present, we see this huge hook-up culture forming, as well.
    On top of that, many people my age came out of broken homes. Being a child of divorce can definitely shape your view of the institution, and with nearly half of all marriages failing, I can't really blame my generation from just wanting to avoid the hassle all together.
    Personally, I have never made my plans around finding love. I was just going my thing and happened to stumble upon it. I am currently in a very happy, long-term relationship, but both he and I continue to make choices and plans that don't revolve around each other. He recently took a very good job 5 hours away, and in the fall I'll be attending grad school nine hours away. We very much love each other, but, to us, that means letting the other one pursue their dreams.
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    Apr 27 2013: If we didn't consciously look for a mate then one would automatically appoint itself unto us.
    Its the instinct versus conscious phonomena that is man.

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    Apr 25 2013: Hello Ayla,
    Scientists find that the human mind has two constitutional components, the incancience, and the side of consciousness, the percentage of unconsciousness is enormous compared to the other. like the percentage of dark matter in the universe.

    Unconsciousness is a spiritual building where is the database for the functioning of the human.
    I think the need of the other sex, and the search for the love from it, is very deep, and a high priority in this spiritual building.
    For that we find this sentiment very influential on our lives.

    Very deep and priority, yes, but I think that is not the deepest. This is not the first in our spiritual base construction.
    Thank you. :)
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    Apr 25 2013: no (yes)
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    Apr 25 2013: I don't know if one can truly get passed the notion of finding another to love and to share life's journey with. It is an honest and natural desire. I'll share a thought using the analogy of you driving a car, the car being your life. What I would suggest is that you place this desire in the "passenger seat" ,close by for I would imagine this does speak to your heart. You remain in the "driver's seat", the pilot pursuing your goals and dreams. As you journey you will learn much about yourself, you'll grow in many ways gaining a clearer understanding of your morals and values, you will find happiness and strength of character, a clearer understanding of who Ayla "is". As you journey, opportunities will present themselves meeting all sorts of gentleman along the way. One day you'll know when you cross paths with "him" for you'll have a clearer understand of yourself and will no longer be clouded with fear. If you remain open, it will happen and for the right reasons!
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        Apr 25 2013: well said Don. For it truly is "an investment worth making;growing wealth"
        thank you for your comments and sharing your wisdom !
        Mary Ellen
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          Apr 25 2013: Me too!! (like the look of the hillside....)
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    Apr 30 2013: [My english writing is kind of bad, so... Patience.]
    Well, Ayla, I don't know you, and even with my ability to know the patterns behind the people mind, I cannot be 100% precise, so forgive me if I speak something "off the mark". (and correct me, please :D )

    First of all, I suppose that your "basis" revolves in the Social influence in your mind and the mind of the people around you.
    I think that when you talk "we are planning our lives around what appeals to the opposite sex" it's not whole in the sexual [relations] way, although I get the impression that is mostly in that way. ("Happiness through 'sexual sucess'", maybe? haha)

    The "goals around a person you have yet to meet" is a recurrent way of thinking because the social pressure insert in our minds the thought "Be Married to be Happy" (Kinda hypocritical if you analyze it more deeply, but still, recurring.) or even "One True Love".
    It's human nature to meet one partner, or even more. Plan your life revolving them (if you did not met.) is just a social thing. (Based on emotions built with time, though.)

    You can get rid of it. How easy it will be, depends on you.

    Sorry if I did not help the way you wanted, I am a bad teacher with "Mold Your Mind", so I would not be able to explain all the process in a topic.

    Good Bye.
  • Apr 29 2013: Hi Ayla,

    I don't know if accommodating a future partner is such a 'wrong' thing... if anything, it will then become clear to you if there is even room for a partner in your life or not. I know quite a few women who knew a long time ago that they were going to remain partner-less, and have wonderful, fulfilling lives.
    Personally, I was not looking for my partner when I found him, and was not planning to be with him forever when we started dating, and neither was he.
    What I did do, was follow my own passion, music. He was following his passion, which also happened to be music. Our paths crossed while we were both active in music, and here were are, more than 15 years and 2 kids later.

    Our mutual passion is what brought us, and keeps us, together. If we had let go of our passions to find each other, we probably never would have.
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      Apr 29 2013: Hello Lizanne,
      "Finding happiness alone" is a philosophical debate. But, I think that Christopher McCandless found the answer after an exceptional experience.
      • Apr 30 2013: Hi Abdelhakim,
        I agree that 'finding happiness alone' is a philosophical debate, and never meant to imply it as fact in my comment. I was merely saying pretty much the same as a lot of folks here, that I found my partner when I wasn't looking for him.
        Who is Christopher McCandless, and what was his exceptional experience?
  • Apr 29 2013: You won't find your one true love sat in a box and waiting.

    Does everything revolve around a mate? That depends, in hindsight and in a loving relationship - it could easily seem that way.

    I would argue that there are individuals for whom 'finding a mate' isn't a concern, and would list Nikolai Tesla as a first example in this category.
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    Apr 27 2013: i like this question. simply answered truth is wrapped into one. finding your soul mate eventually leads on a journey which helps you to know who you are. final Destination is a place that you want to share that with. getting really close to somebody and remaining close to them through all the experiences of this life, sacrificing, forgiving learning sharing, becoming, moving forward. i feel relationships are the greatest thing out there. the first is with god then others then yourself. but should you center your life on finding a relationship, no they just happen as a product of living principles in life. focus on priciples and the rest shall fallow.
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    Apr 25 2013: Not everything.....
    Some of our actions are geared towards improving our place in society and a lot of our actions like travelling, listening to music etc. are for personal satisfaction...
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          Apr 25 2013: ZX, I enjoyed learning where you got your name from.
          I'm glad you did not loose your senses over this conversation....
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    Apr 25 2013: Hey Ayla.

    I've had to rewrite this now a few times, but am going to keep it short!

    1. You've contradicted yourself. Your life partner loves you for who you really are. Clearly you want to see the world. Isn't that you? Don't alter yourself to be someone you're not or you may mislead others (or even yourself) and forget who you are.

    2. A mate doesn't have to be a sexual partner, it could be a friend. A best friend, a 'worthy companion'. If you have a boy or man in mind, perhaps explore the idea of going travelling with them.

    3. You are you. You believe in soul-mates. Don't lose that. He/she will show up one day and you will just know. You both will just know. But follow your passions. They lead to greater things and don't be scared.

    I do wonder, is there other pressures/expectations TELLING you to find a soul mate?

    Be you. You're the best at it.
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      Apr 25 2013: This is SO true Henry!

      A partner will be attracted to us for who we really are. It does not make sense to "alter" ourselves or our plans to try to please someone, because eventually, that will be detrimental to a relationship.
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    May 1 2013: Thinking of companionship is part of our humanity , no body likes to be alone , that's why we keep thinking of finding the one who would be part of the team .
    Forming life goals around somebody is a huge mistake ; life is a journey through which we meet many people , some of them stay , others go away , so if we gonna have our life goals formed around somebody then we should realize that there's a possibility that this person might be of those who aren't meant to be in our life .
    Your life should revolve about you , not in a selfish way , but in a way that makes you the only person who controls your happiness .
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    May 1 2013: After 62 years, I can say that life is full of ups and downs. Being down and alone is not very pleasing. Neither is being weak and being alone. If there is no one to help you when you are in the ruts of life, you continually want a helpmate. This feeling may dissipate when you are on top of things.

    I like the idea of relationships being thought of as a team effort.

    Never lose touch with the "you" part of "us". Never be afraid or uncomfortable with being alone, otherwise you can become dependent on others for your comfort.

    I good hobby helps to deal with being alone and can make it quite pleasurable. Before I would join with someone else and form a life long team, I'd find a hobby I enjoy. I have several.

    I enjoy being married. My wife and I are a team. I think that describes our relationship very well.
  • Apr 30 2013: js best of luck for finding your trye man....
  • Apr 30 2013: No, I'm 68 and married LOL

    I do, however, remember a time ages ago that this may very well have been the case. And why not? Most people seem quite happy to find and go through life as a team. It also helps if you want kids.

    What we also believe is that, after death, this spiritual team of husband and wife become one angel.
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    Apr 29 2013: Ayla,besdides socially would this also apply biologically?
  • Apr 29 2013: No not everything, I am pretty sure my interest in science fiction and roleplaying games doesn't help much in finding a mate, in my country it may even decrease my chances depending on who you talk to ,but if it does, did I really miss out on my "true love"? or another random love that just enjoy mutual attraction?
    And what is it about "One true love" , we often fall in love or have a crush based on initial attraction+ some imagination that may prove untrue , so One True Love is a somewhat deceptive concept that can only be realized after years of togetherness..

    I think the most interesting part about your post is that you believe that travelling the world will make you miss out on love when for many people it tends to be the other way around, they meet someone during their travel.
    My Father and my Mother are from different countries
    My Uncle who was dutch and Aunt who is swedish met while they were both visiting in my country and now they both live in Sweden.
    My other Uncle who married my Father's sister is Canadian in origin.
    My Sister Married a dutch guy she initially met online.
    and so on... so its more like the other way around, in your pursuit of world travel you might find your "one true love".
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    Apr 28 2013: I think pretty much everyone becomes obsessed with finding their "one true love." It pretty much crosses everyone minds at some point in their lives. People form their lives around the thought of a person that they might not even have met yet. I'm not saying it's wrong to, it's just what comes naturally. Why do you think there's so many dating shows nowadays? People want to be loved and cherish and they don't want to wait for it. I don't think you have to search for it though. Things come naturally and you don't have to go out of your way to get it. Just be happy!
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    Apr 27 2013: I hope not - I'm single by choice and am living a very busy and productive life. If you live your life by what you think someone else wants you'll end up being very miserable.

    1) you never know for sure what anyone wants or likes
    2) you'll come across as fake and so you'll not attract anyone worth having
    3) if is does work, and you date that person, you'll have to remain fake for the duration of the relationship - what a strain and a waste of time!

    Be true to yourself - even if that means being really uncool whilst at high school. You'll be free and you'll attract other genuine people who really are worth knowing and loving.
    • Apr 30 2013: You have to be fake to have a relationship with someone? That's news to me.
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        Apr 30 2013: No that's not what I wrote - if you live your life only to find a mate you'll end up being shallow and fake.
  • Apr 26 2013: You know, I don't believe in the concept of "one true love." There are many people you could love and be loved by. At the same time, I also believe that a healthy, strong marriage will bring you more happiness in this life than anything else. There's a lot of people saying that they don't need marriage. Sure, maybe you don't need it to live. But why not? Assuming you do it right, (which is a big if I freely admit) you have someone you can trust completely. They trust you. They will always help you and you will always help them with anything. You'll grow together and practically become a part of each other. Nothing requires more work. Nothing requires more unselfishness. And that's why it brings the most joy. I know that in practice many if not most people don't achieve this ideal, but I think the reason for that is that most people don't seem to have this ideal in mind as a goal. If you want it, it's definitely within your reach. I'm getting married in a month and I'm ecstatic about it. It's going to be awesome.
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    Apr 26 2013: Everything?
    A lot, probably.

    Suicide doesn't help find a mate does it?
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    Apr 25 2013: No. I also participate in TED conversations !
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        Apr 27 2013: :) Hi Kate,
        No, I mean I don't think everything that I do in life revolve around finding a mate. I was being cheeky suggesting that participating in TED is one such activity for example.
        I'd like to tell Ayla that the meaning and significance of the word 'mate' keeps on expanding with life. At a particular point it may appear that finding a mate is the most important purpose all activities but at some other point of life it may appear that the activities are more interesting such that a mate will find one who is in action.
        My partner and I do things vastly different and share the substance of our experiences over dinner.
  • Apr 25 2013: Hi Ayla Ford,I am wondering about the question too.Why do we in life revolve around finding a mate?Yes we do,but why?sometimes I think it doesn't mean find a mate,but love,communation,and what'love,communication' are they?The most wonder journey in our life is to learn what they really are:love,hatred,kindness,anger,happiness...we won't stop till we die?
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    Apr 25 2013: .My answer:
    It is, in your present stage.

    After that, around:
    ... getting married,
    ... having kids,
    ... parenting,

    In one word, keeping our DNA alive or happy validly.