Because we enjoy a much greater level of connectivity than former generations, finding that special someone has become relatively easier. There are hundreds of online dating sites, social media networks and offline dating forums, some of which employ fancy algorithms to match you with people with similar tastes and interests.
The truth is, however, that finding the perfect mate is more complicated than feeding your information into a computer and waiting for it to spew out a 90 percent match. The perfect mates may come from places you don’t expect, so the key is to open your eyes to all the possibilities around you. Read on for top ideas you can apply in your life if you’re looking for love.
1. Be Patient
When you’re looking for a life partner, be prepared to wait as long as it takes to find the perfect fit for you. What you need to do is journey through self-discovery, so that you find out what you really want. Take your time and have fun meeting and talking to different people without the pressure of wanting to settle down immediately, so that you don’t cloud your judgement.
2. Know Yourself
Start by looking at your previous relationships and why they didn’t work out. If you spot a disturbing pattern, it’s important to seek help so that you don’t repeat those mistakes. Identify your core values (what you’re not willing to compromise on) and try to be upfront about these with the potential mates you encounter. Don’t try to mask who you are because you’re tired of being alone; this will only spell doom, as people can only hide themselves for so long. Finally, work on being someone another person would love to date.
3. Know What You’re Looking For
This closely ties to knowing who you are. However, knowing what’s most important in a mate, such as physical attributes, financial stability, intelligence/intellectual capacity, spirituality and worldview, can help you weed out the non-contenders before you waste too much time on them. Also, if you’re looking for a meaningful connection, be upfront about it, as your potential may view you as a casual hookup. Be clear about the level of intimacy you want to get to during the dating process. Setting up boundaries will help you both to treat each other respectfully as you date.
4. Be Positive
Instead of wearing your perceived downsides as baggage – like being a single parent or being older – consider these as parts of yourself you can’t change. Don’t let them make you feel less than perfect. Even if you have children, you can make a perfect mate for someone – for example, there are women who don’t want children themselves, but are okay with men who have children already so that they don’t feel pressured to have them when in the relationship. There’s someone for everyone, and everyone deserves to be loved just as they are. So do you.
5. Get a Strategy
Once you have the above in place, determine how you’ll go about dating. Some people prefer to meet people in the course of their routine, while some are open to scouting online through social media and dating sites. For the latter, Match.com provides a great starting point, as it’s easy to join and navigate. In the beginning, keep options open by engaging with as many interesting people as you can juggle. Don’t box yourself with one person too early; if it doesn’t work out, you’ll always have options to fall back on, rather than starting from scratch.
As with all things in life, recognize that there’s some risk in dating and in love. Be prepared to move away from familiar territory to “put yourself out there”. Work gradually, but allow yourself to take a risk now and then instead of always playing it safe. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised in the process!