Sam Holstein

The Goal of Love Isn’t Marriage. The Goal of Marriage Is Love.

Everyone wants to find love. In western society, that love usually takes the form of monogamous love marriages. In other words, finding one person you are more in love with than anyone else, and deciding to live your lives together as a family. There are a lot of people out there searching for ‘the one’ they can marry.

But the problem is, the very act of searching for ‘the one’ makes it harder for you to find ‘the one.’

We don’t get married for the sake of getting married(1). Getting married isn’t like starting a business(2). You don’t decide to get married, and then decide to find a serviceable business partner. Marriage is itself a celebration of a special relationship two people have. If you don’t have that special relationship, there’s no point in getting married. And that relationship isn’t the kind you can manufacture — either someone is that for you, or they aren’t.

Searching for ‘the one’ is like searching for a legendary Pokemon. All you can do is prepare and run around doing your own thing until you find it.


Many people who want to get married don’t do this. Instead, they have very serious relationships. Instead of letting their relationships be what they are (and letting their partners be who they are), they put a lot of pressure on each relationship. They’re trying to make their relationships marriage-worthy. But this will never work; either they are, or they aren’t.

The ironic fact is that you can’t create the kind of relationship worth marrying over if you’re trying that hard to get married.

This is true even of relationships that aren’t romantic. Every relationship we have as people has its own level. Some people make the best drinking buddies for us; some people make great best friends; others make the best friends with benefits. Only a tiny, tiny fraction are best as lifelong romantic partners.

When you force any relationship to be something it isn’t, it turns sour. People get into fights, and they aren’t happy to see each other anymore. Better to accept that something is what it is, and move on.


So if you want to find love, don’t focus on finding love. Focus on finding yourself (doing the things you love, trying new hobbies, etc.), meeting cool people, and letting your relationship with them be what it is.


(1) If you’re looking for a love marriage. If you’re looking for a marriage of practicality, like Donald Trump and literally every wife he’s ever had, then it’s a different story.

(2) Typically people get married for love and start businesses for money, but it doesn’t always go this way. Two best friends can start a business together for the love of it, and two people can get married for reasons of practicality.