It sounds like a great idea, but how do you actually go about finding love? Is it even possible?
My short answer is no. It’s not possible to “find” love. It is possible to find a potentially great partner and create a loving relationship. Here’s what I would recommend.
- Start on the inside and love yourself more. All of your romantic partners are a mirror to show you how you feel about yourself. Think about it: what kinds of things did former lovers say to you? Those are the themes in which you are unloving of yourself. Try for a kinder, gentler you this year, starting with yourself.
- Make a list of what you want in a partner. Not just physical attributes (who doesn’t want to date Robert Pattinson or Bradley Cooper?) but also personality traits and attitude toward life. Keep it positive and don’t dwell on the things you don’t want or you risk attracting more of that into your life.
- Ask a few trusted friends to honestly tell you how you act when you’re in a relationship. Are you a stage 4 clinger? Are you a relentless nag? Be ready to hear the truth, and thank them for speaking it. Then try to figure out why you would act like that. What unmet needs are getting poked when you’re in a relationship?
- Get out and circulate. You won’t get a date if you’re sitting home watching TV. Go out with other single friends, or go to public events that interest you. One caveat: don’t go to events that you’re not interested in. I know this sounds obvious, but don’t get caught up in going to places where you think eligible strangers might be, unless you’re genuinely interested in the event.
- Ask for help. Ask your friends, married and single, to introduce you to interesting people. Here’s the trick: don’t ask them to set you up on a date with said interesting person. Instead, go in with no expectations. Meet somewhere non-threatening, like the local coffee shop. You might find a boyfriend, but you are just as likely to find a friend who has a friend who knows this guy… I think you know what I mean.
- Don’t be afraid to go on-line. I know, everyone has heard horror stories of jerks who lied in their profile and were total dogs. But some of my friends have met wonderful men through on-line dating services. Be honest in your own profile (but don’t feel the need to air your dirty laundry) and take it slow.
- Be open to love. That sounds obvious, but I’ve worked with tons of people who said they wanted to be in a relationship when they really didn’t. They were really just terrified of being alone, and that is a terrible reason to be in a relationship. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, happy with where you are in life, and at least reasonably in love with yourself, do the inner work before you subject some innocent by-stander to your baggage. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but I’m honestly just trying to save you some heartache (see #1).