I worked in the weight loss industry in a not-so-distant previous life. In the world of weight-watching individuals there were always those who put life plans on hold in anticipation of losing those last 5, 10 or 40 pounds. Ironically, now that I am in the singles’ space I have detected a similar pattern among many of the men and women I encounter – only it’s the mating game that’s keeping so many waiting and stopping them from living.
Just like weight loss, there are thousands of tips and tricks to follow if you want to meet the man or woman of your dreams. Ask any dating author, advice columnist or love coach and they will tell you to join an interest group, go to synagogue or sign up for a trip to Israel. Yet many instead make the conscious decision to wait for a partner to learn how to play golf, take time to travel or become part of the community. What they do not realize is that these are the choices that perpetuate the problem. Like dieting, dating is a science which revolves around numbers; the more people you meet, the better your chances of finding love.
So why do so many singles hibernate instead of motivate? Personally, I believe it boils down to fear. Too many of us are afraid to try new things on our own, break out of our comfort zones, be disappointed, rejected or looked down upon.
I am here to tell you that change is possible as long as you are more mindful of your decisions. Creating and committing to a plan with new and fun things to do in your city may be a good place to start. It forces you to be proactive about your social life, choose activities and events that appeal to you and may also prevent feelings of loneliness and boredom.
Next, practice saying “yes” instead of “no” to social invitations, even if popcorn and American Idol on the couch seems more appealing than a friend’s cross town after business happy hour when a snow storm is brewing. While Prince or Princess Charming may not be there when you arrive, he/she may be six degrees removed from someone you meet. So it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself, try to be flexible and open to connecting with new people, especially if they don’t seem like “your type.”
Most of all, try to do some things solo. As uncomfortable as it may be at first, these are often the best conditions under which to meet new people. There’s a good chance of being approached in a restaurant or movie theater if you dare go there alone, so bolster up the courage and do it. When you do venture out, try not to let large groups of people intimidate you. Individuals are always a lot less scary than the whole, and will seem a lot more approachable if you view them independently instead of en masse.
Finally, as my Bubby always said, remember that love does not make house calls so it can’t come knocking unless it knows where to find you.