Guilds are like relationships.
Searching for a guild feels a lot like dating. You've been playing the game for awhile now. When you started, you just went with whoever your friends thought you should be with. It was fun, but they where a hardcore progression guild. They where kind of jerks, but you stayed because all your friends assured you everything was fine. Eventually, you realize you're better than that and leave for an RP server.
Once there, you have a few flings. It's nothing serious. They last about a week or so, but then you're looking in trade chat for a blacksmith and an ad catches your eye. You know what people say about guilds that advertise there, but their ad really catches your eye and you decide to give it a chance. Suddenly, you're head over heels in love and you just know you'll be together for ever. You spend two beautiful years together, but something changes. Your guild leaders slowly drift away. You're not sure what happened. Things where going so well and now it was just over.
Your other friends see how upset you are so they offer to set you up with their guild. Other people don't really like this guild and tell you joining is a mistake, but that guild was there for you while your last guild was becoming distant. It's not perfect, but you have a good time together. You spend about half a year there, but then the leaders suddenly announce they're leaving you for a younger game.
Now everyone's guildless and no one's having any luck. So you look at each other and think "Maybe if we get together we can make this work." So you start a guild together and it's fantastic. It's amazing...at first. But a couple months in, the leader left for real life awhile ago leaving you and one other in charge until she's back. You know she won't be back, but You try to make it work for the guildies' sake. The problem is you're busy. You've got school, work, a sick parent, and have developed a mysterious chronic pain. You're not around much and when you are there's drama and fighting in the guild. Eventually the other gm leaves and it's just you. You can't juggle it all, but the guild doesn't want to help and no one wants to be a gm. When you where in the hospital, they just whined that they had to miss their event. Eventually things explode and you leave.
You spend a long time alone. You're a little jaded from that last experience and want nothing to do with guilds. Eventually your friends come up to you and want to set you up with their guild. They know you've been hurt, but assure you this guild will let you take things slow. You join and slowly but surely, you're in love again. You think you've found your place. But then you learn that there's two sides to this guild and they're at war with each other. You don't know how you didn't notice this before. The guild turns into two guilds. You keep characters and both and amazingly everyone's cool with that. For a month or two, you're happy again. But neither side is really strong enough to live without the other and they both disband.
You casually see a few guilds for awhile. They've all got games on the side and you know they're not going to last, but you're not looking for anything long-term. You just want a little fun and to meet some new people. Eventually, you move on and start life on a new server.
You're doing your own thing when you see a group of people talking. You're curious about the conversation so you go listen in. Someone starts RPing with you so you just go with it. You then learn that you stumbled onto a guild recruitment event. You know what? Why not? You take a risk and dive into your new life. Things go great, but you have to take a break for awhile as your parent's condition gets a little worse. Eventually you come back to find the guild leaders had a huge fight and tore the guild apart. You have one friend who is trying to fix it. You stay around for him, but leaves after he gives up.
Some of your friends come back to the game and convince you to return to your old server, but it's not the same. They don't really play with you. They've all found their own guilds and have their own lives. They just call on you when they need something. You spend some time with one guild, but it's nothing special. It's nice, but it's boring. You leave for a more exciting guild, but they're jerks. When you leave them, they won't leave you alone. So you get fed up and go back to the other server wondering why you left.
So you do your own thing for a long time. You've no desire to join a guild. You're in a good place. Your real life gets better. Your pain is (mostly) managed, your parent has recovered, you've graduated, and you have a lot of free time since moving away. Then the latest expansion hits and you love it. But you're getting a bit lonely so you think it might be time to get back out there. Only now, you don't know where to start. Your friends are back on your old server and you remember what happened last time.
You start reading the forums. Guilds look good, but one you join them, you realized they're nothing like their ads. A lot of them just sound really snobby. Some of them sound good, but they rp mostly on forums and through stories. You don't want anything long distance. You want to be face to face in game. You think about looking in trade, but it's all cat clans and guilds with a theme you've no interest in. You have a few false starts. You start hanging out with some guilds. You think something might be there, but they're not recruiting.
Now you're just getting tired of looking. You think maybe it's you. Maybe you just can't have a good relationship with a guild. Maybe you're too picky. You don't think you're too picky. You just want a guild full of nice people that regularly Rps together in game. It shouldn't be this hard to find one. You're looking at happy people with guild tags wondering just how they found their guild. People say it'll happen when it happens. You won't even be thinking about joining a guild when a new guild starts advertising. But you're sick of waiting and just want to settle down, but instead it feels like you're always left waiting for something you're never going to find.