Looking for Love? – Part 2

In the January issue, I gave suggestions for those who are serious about making a relationship happen. I suggested that you consider all the reasons you’re not in a relationship now.

Then, consider this: If you really want to be in a relationship, whatever your reasons are, no reason is good enough.

That’s right. There is no reason not to be in a relationship, if you really want to.

Here’s the real reason: You’re on the fence. You’re ambivalent, being pulled in two directions. You’re not totally committed to finding someone and you’re not totally committed to being single.

Ambivalence is the most powerful reason why people are single.

You may not even be aware of this. Whether you’re aware of it or not, it’s sabotaging your efforts to be in a relationship.

If finding love isn’t your top priority, you may be talking as if you want love, but holding back on your follow through.

Learning this changed my life. Officially I was “looking” for someone. But I never found him. Not even close. When I realized I made it my priority, I found a man I married.

If you’re ambivalent, what do you do? How do you get off the fence?

The only thing you can do is start acting “as if.”

One side of the fence is being single. You may want to stay on that side of the fence for now; that’s fine. Then start acting as if you really enjoy being single; throw yourself wholeheartedly into being single. Be glad you don’t have to deal with the complications of another person.

On the other side of the fence is being in a relationship. If you really want to be in a relationship, you need to make it your priority. You need to be determined to reach this goal and overcome all the obstacles.

Consider it like looking for a job—it’s hard and scary, but you have to do it. You’re organized in your efforts, you advertise yourself, you put on your good clothes and go to interviews. You may not get the job, but you don’t give up your search. Eventually, you find the right job.

What you do in looking for a relationship is go for volume. You may have to meet 89 potential partners before 90 is the one. It’s simple logic, the more people you met, the greater your chances of finding the right one.

Most people these days meet online. It did work for me, but you need to be very, very cautious. I suggest meeting for coffee, for an hour. That’s enough time to tell if it’s going anywhere.

Another good way to meet someone is through friends. Let all your friends know you’re looking, and then remind them from time to time.

Or, at work. Put yourself in the path of any potentials for you. Let your coworkers know you’re looking.

If you’re not working, volunteer. Choose a setting that has a large pool of potential candidates for you.

Go to activities and events that appeal to you. Things like singles groups, adult education classes, a bookstore, restaurant, dancing, hiking club. Find things online. Put them on your calendar and show up.

It’s best to go alone, because you’re more approachable by yourself.

Walking into a roomful of strangers is scary. So pretend you a greeter for the activity, position yourself near the door, or near the refreshments. Catch the eye of people coming in and smile.

Keep your body posture open, communicate with body language that you’re approachable. Make eye contact, smile, stay calm, fake it. Most everyone is as uncomfortable as you.

Start a conversation with a person who looks interesting. It doesn’t matter what you say; it’s OK to sound stupid. The point is simply to get the conversation started. You’ll be doing the other person a favor.

Flattery is something we all like to hear. Or, ask an open-ended question: “How did you hear about this place?” “Is the food good here?” “Have you been here before?”

If that person who looks so perfect for you doesn’t respond, don’t take it personally. You’re not the right sex, color, body build, etc. for them. Move on.

Go to any activity with the frame of mind that this is just one thing. It’s not a big deal. You probably won’t meet anyone; you may have to go back.

Once you’ve made a connection, suggest doing something together. Or exchange numbers. And follow up.

Early on in the relationship; talk about what you both want from a relationship. Save yourself pain by knowing this early on. Don’t put any energy into a relationship that doesn’t have a chance to go where you want it to go.

If you’d like more advice on this (or another subject), send an email to BarbaraPierce06@yahoo.com and I’ll be happy to respond.

Barbara Pierce is a retired licensed clinical social worker with many years of experience helping people. If you would like to purchase a copy of her book, “When You Come to the Edge: Aging” or if you have questions for her, contact her at barbarapierce06@yahoo.com.
Barbara Pierce is a retired licensed clinical social worker with many years of experience helping people. If you would like to purchase a copy of her book, “When You Come to the Edge: Aging” or if you have questions for her, contact her at barbarapierce06@yahoo.com.