Thursday, March 20, 2008

10 Places To Meet Quality Men and Women

Once again, I'm writing about dating stuff. A guy asked where to find good women. Just as a general principle, I think we find what we're looking for. That is, if you expect that all women are conniving witches with a "b", you'll find evidence to support that expectation. Women, if you believe that all men are jerks, you'll tend to find jerks. Or rather, they'll tend to find you.

Also, I do think it's more challenging once you're out of a date-rich environment like college or graduate school to find compatible people. Challenging, but not impossible. So where to go?

1. Go to church. I know. I know. You're more spiritual than religious. Then go to the Unitarian church and meet the hippie woman of your dreams. Many big churches have excellent singles programs. I know a couple people who found their mates through a singles bible study group or a divorce bible study group or a widow's bible study group.

2. Join a club. What interests you? Find other people who like what you like and hang out. Are you a Trekkie? Go to their convention and get in online chat groups. Are you a bibliophile? Go to the local Barnes and Noble's book clubs or start one of your own. Be a joiner. If you love running or biking or motorcycles or books or photography or foreign language or you're a fan of a team, there is a group for you and people who love what you love.

3. Join a support group. Hear me out. My husband's uncle found the perfect woman for him after his wife died by joining a Jewish widows of cancer death support group. His new wife lost her husband. They have much in common--religion, similar life stories, and of course, their loss. People can be bound by their losses and frailties. Recovering together can be powerfully bonding.

4. Look around you. There are nice people at the store. You meet them every day. Are you thinking in terms of dating? If you want a relationship, you should be thinking in those terms. They are in line at the bank. They are behind you in line for gas. They wait at the post office with you. Pay attention!

5. Join a gym. You're working out at home. Or you don't work out. Well, you should work out, anyway. So get out of the house. You'll meet people. They'll get to know you. You'll get to know them. There will be regulars. There will be new people. You want someone who is working on improving him or herself? A gym might have that person.

6. Try online dating. I personally know two people who have meet their soul mates this way. It's a new medium, but the principles are the same. People desiring to meet people are gathering in one place. These people WANT to meet you. It's an added bonus.

7. Tell friends that you're looking. In college, I operated as a matchmaker on a couple of occasions. In both cases, the men were shy or oblivious. In both cases, I encouraged the woman to approach him. I knew the guys and knew they wouldn't be put off--they were shy and would appreciate the interest. Both couples have been married over 15 years. Now, I've had some clunkers, too, but friends can help friends find love.

8. Go to the bar. Oh come on! I know a couple friends who met this way and have had nice long, happy marriages. The key is getting out and meeting new people. There are nice people at a bar or at a club. They are not all immature, superficial poseurs. Find the nice ones.

9. Work. A friend met his wife when she came into his video store. Another friend met his wife when she came into the convenience store he worked at. Another friend met a guy from another division in her company and they got married. Sure, dating a co-worker is dicey, but it happens and should be done with care. The nice thing about meeting someone through work is that you know their education, job, reputation, so you start with a whole lot more information.

10. Just get out of the house. I can guarantee you, you won't find someone by staying at home and complaining that there's no one to date. My friend met someone while acting in a play. He was in the audience and dug her. You have to get out of your normal routine. We can tend to wear ruts into our life and wonder why we have no new experiences. Vacations are another place you can meet someone. But it can be problematic because you live in other parts of the country. Oh well, if he or she is worth it, you'll make it work.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Love is all around. You have to be willing and open and want to be found. Some of you say you want a relationship but carry the weight of your past around like an invisible chastity belt. People get your vibe. People get your insecurity. People get your neediness. People get your fear. People get your suspicion. People get your distrust. It's off-putting.

A friend is doing some online dating and I looked through some profiles for him. It was amazing how people conveyed their cynicism and negativity. We have all been hurt and wounded in love if we've made it past our teen years. Pain is inevitable when we extend ourselves. Still, misery is assured if we wither and involute.

Ultimately, this is a spiritual issue. Our beliefs drive our actions. And our actions, often the same actions we've taken over and over, confirm our beliefs. We always want to be right, even when being right feels really terrible so we find evidence to support our beliefs. Well, when it comes to men and women and dating and love and marriage, it's worthwhile to challenge your beliefs. Maybe they no longer serve you. Maybe they are limiting your life.

And that makes me think of something else, too. If you're looking for the perfect person who will make you happy and make everything all better for you, than a relationship with another person is not what you want. No one person can do that for anyone. That doesn't mean that a love can't help heal some of your past wounds, because it can. But your own mind-body needs to do the healing, another person can only be the catalyst. Too many potential relationships break under the burden of the romantic notion that the "perfect" person will solve everything. Doubtful. Impossible. You are setting yourself up for disappointment. Don't do it.

He or she is waiting for you to find them. Believe it. Now find them.

10 comments:

tsfiles said...

With exception to suggestion #6 and 9, that list would be great for extroverts.

As for the introvert and loner types, I guess we'll just have to give up on meeting anyone.

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