When I ask singles who are single and looking why it is they’re still looking, I hear the same handful of complaints. I have a lot of trouble meeting people. It’s not that I wouldn’t mind meeting someone; I just don’t have the time. We meet, or at least have the opportunity to meet, dozens of people each day. They’re all around you: at the bank, the drycleaners, Starbucks and the post office — everywhere you have to be! If you’re like most people, you’ve always got a list going; letters to mail, contracts to fax, groceries to buy and a caffeine addiction to feed. So why not pick up a little love while you’re at it?
Look the part
Look how you want to look, because how you feel about your appearance will affect your demeanor. It’s inescapable that the one time you run out for takeout in your holey sweats and unruly hair you’ll run into someone you know (or someone you’d like to know)! So instead of making your usual sparkling impression, your will shoulders droop, your will eyes wander, and before you know it you’ll be rushing to escape an awkward conversation with a hunky neighbor or handsome stranger. If you want to leave yourself open to meeting new people — and this goes for people other than love interests — take a few moments first to give yourself a look that will leave you confident and ready to dazzle. (This doesn’t mean evening wear for errands, by the way. It just means being comfortable with how you look.)
Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in the next seven tasks on our list, we forget to look around and notice the present. Let the people around you into your world. Make a point of eye contact, and listen to what people are saying. Otherwise, when a question comes your way, you come off slow on the response, or worse, oblivious. You might have passed up your next sizzling romance five times this week because you looked too preoccupied or standoffish to approach. While you’re at it, pay attention to what your posture is saying about you. Crossing your arms or turning away from people broadcasts that you don’t want to be bothered. But if you keep your head up, your shoulders back your lips poised and ready for a smile, you won’t be able to help meeting people everywhere.
You don’t need to walk around flirting to initiate a connection. Innocent questions and benign conversations are what break down the walls we erect when we’re among strangers. If you overhear something funny in line at the gas station, let yourself laugh (and smile and make eye contact)! Compliment a fellow dog-walker on their companion or ask about a neighbor’s hybrid at the car wash. Just think about all the Friday night dinners and online conversations you have to sit and type through before you find a little chemistry. If you speak up a little more when you’re out, you can try out twenty or thirty people in a day and return the videos on time.
Don’t Waste Time in Line
You’re there anyway. Why not use that time? It’s hardly a matter of getting or keeping someone’s attention when you have an already bored, captive audience. Smile, or strike up a conversation about what someone’s wearing, what they’re buying, where you are, anything! Some people are reluctant to make contact because they’re afraid they’ll look desperate or invite an advance they’re not sure they want. There’s no reason to censor yourself; you’re just trying to connect to people around you. That increases your chances of finding some chemistry with someone, but it also helps you find friends and business or social contacts. At the very least, you’ve filled what could have been an agonizing wait in line with a little human contact.
Be open to possibility
Your eye contact, body language and conversational skills will all improve effortlessly if you’re head is in the right place. When you honestly leave yourself open to the possibility of meeting people, you communicate that you’re interesting, friendly and (perhaps) available. It’s amazing how much expectation contributes outcome. In business, art, friendships–virtually every undertaking–you usually find what you truly believe you will find. That’s why people who imagine themselves alone in sea of strangers usually find themselves that way, while those who see potential in every unfamiliar face are never alone.
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