If you’re tired of looking for love unsuccessfully, maybe it’s time to change your approach! Here’s a five step plan to help lead you to romance in the New Year!
Step One: Stop being afraid
You should never feel bashful about wanting to find someone you care about. First of all, it’s someone everyone wants. There’s nothing desperate, lonely or undignified about reaching out to people. And being on the offensive is hardly a handicap. If you’re meeting people, and actively seeking a partner, you’re the auditioner. You want to get to know these potential mates to see if they’re intelligent, attractive and engaging enough to be of interest to you. The first step in looking for love should be banishing all thoughts that being on the prowl is somehow disreputable. It just means you’re seizing control of the situation. What’s more, being available (and comfortable being so) makes you all the more attractive to other fearless and enterprising singles.
Step Two: Get involved
It’s time to get out there and get involved in the things you love (or would love to try). You’re more likely to meet people with common interests. You’ll avoid the potential awkwardness of “dating.” (There’s nothing like having a legitimate chance to spend time with someone before all the pressures of an incredibly superficial social norm is superimposed over your interactions.) And you’ll meet lots of people. At one time. No escape calls needed. So pick a hobby or two, and join up. There are groups for just about every interest, some for singles only. From poker to pottery to street hockey, there’s something out there for you. Even if you don’t stumble across the love of your life, you’re bound to acquire some skills, some friends and some laughs.
Step Three: Broaden your horizons
If you’ve been looking in all the usual places and come up empty-handed, it’s time to check out some new territory. Have you managed to eschew the internet in matters of the heart? Jump on the bandwidth! People get connected and make connections every day — and these aren’t unemployed, unmotivated or undesirable throwbacks. They’re young professionals and divorcees, athletes and artists, grandmas and grad students. The stigma of online dating lost its stamina when this tech-savvy, time-stingy culture realized the internet isn’t such a bad match-maker. With a glance at a profile you’ll learn a lot more about a person than you would over drinks, and, if you like, you can have extended philosophical exchanges before setting foot in the same dive bar. That’s not to say you should throw caution to the cyber-wind. Keep your wits about you, and be ready to take the good dates with the bad. But do give it a try. You’ll never know who you’re ruling out if you don’t.
Step Four: Talk it up
We’ll say it again, because it’s still true! People who are honestly open to connection are the ones who find it. When you’re out, make eye contact, smile and start conversations. We’re not talking about soulful ramblings or cheesy pick-up lines; use what’s there. Comment on the menu, the weather or the obnoxious waiter. People are all around you. Lots of them are looking for love. Most of them would welcome a kind word. You have nothing to lose but isolation.
Step Five: Keep at it
You’re not looking to make an instant connection that will last a lifetime. If you are, you might want to reexamine those expectations. They sound a little low. If your standards are high enough, you’ll try out quite a few contenders before you think about the long-term. Dating is a bit of a numbers game. If you meet as many people as possible, you’re constantly broadening your social sphere and increasing the pool of potential partners. You’re also increasing your friends, your contacts and your life experience! Keep all that in perspective, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Half the fun of finding love can be looking for it!
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