So you've read all of the articles that caution you against actively searching for love. "It will find you when it's meant to be," they've said, but nothing you've read has changed your mind at all. You're more determined than ever to prove these writers wrong by finding your next significant other in record time. If this sounds like you, and your searches so far still haven't led you to your sweetheart, consider extending your investigation for love to include these places:

1. Your family

I can almost guarantee you that no lover of yours could ever top your dad's jokes or even come close to contending with your mother's cooking. Go visit your grandmother and let her gush about how handsome or beautiful you've gotten since you last saw her. The best part about familial love is that there are no ulterior motives behind these kinds of affection.

2. Your closest friends

Whoever says platonic love can't be as strong as romantic love clearly doesn't have quality friends like you do. So leave your roommate a surprise treat on her desk so she can come back from the library to a token of your appreciation. Call your best friend back home just to tell her that you love her and miss her more than anything. These people will have your back for life. Don't take that for granted.

3. Your pets

Because nobody can give you sweeter (and sloppier) kisses than your furry friends. Real, unconditional love is your dog charging across the house to greet you at the door and your cat curling up in your lap to actually let you pet her while you watch TV. "Puppy love" in this case is everlasting, it isn't just another silly crush.

4. Yourself

It's probably been too long since you've last confessed your undying love for yourself, or maybe you're still heading down the very long path towards self-like, let alone self-love. Take your time with this process, as it isn't straightforward, but has many twists and turns along the way. But don't forget to be proud of yourself, to be satisfied with yourself, and to be forgiving of your mistakes. Because at the end of every day, we will always have to sleep in the same bed as ourselves.

The bottom line is this: You need romance like you need your second kidney — it's nice to have, but it isn't necessary for you to survive.

It would be really great to call someone else yours, but you don't need this kind of relationship to live your best, happiest life. You can still look for love in your world, but don't let this search consume you or discourage you if you haven't gotten any results yet. There's plenty of time still for you to meet that person who sets your soul on fire, so don't sweat it.