Forty-four percent of the U.S. adult population is single, according to Census figures. Why, then, is it so hard for singles to meet?
In previous generations, there were plenty of organized mixers and dances designed to help singles find a match. There were also more community members doing informal matchmaking to help young people connect with one another.
Despite the rise of technology over the past couple of decades, which allegedly makes connection and communication easier, it has somehow become more difficult for singles to meet and pursue a dating relationship.
As a sex and relationship therapist, people often share with me how difficult it is for singles to meet dating prospects. I hear about the lack of community events and social events where singles can meet, and that much of the “singles scene” involves bars, alcohol, and “hooking up.”
What if the bar scene just doesn’t interest you? I’m here to help.
- Decide what you are looking for. Start with some direction. Are you looking for someone who shares your hobbies? Religion? Interest in helping others and volunteering? Are you looking for a serious relationship/marriage or a casual relationship? Once you have a clear idea of what type of person you are looking for, it will be easier to find him or her.
- Get out there. Go where your desired match might go. If you would like someone who shares your interest in hiking, join a mountaineering club. Join groups and do activities that may help you meet someone who shares your interest. This might mean, for instance, going to a weekly Bible study or joining a community softball league.
- Build your confidence. The No. 1 issue I see that derails singles and prevents them from dating the person they want is a lack of confidence. Don’t settle or think to yourself, “This might be the best I can do.” Work on building your self-esteem and confidence so that you can say to yourself, “I deserve to have everything I want in a partner.”
Here are some ways to boost your self-esteem:
- Practice positive self-talk. Tell yourself good messages about yourself.
- Treat your body well (inside and out). Practice eating healthy, getting enough sleep, working out, and taking care to look your best.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
- Do things that you are good at and that you enjoy.
- Set realistic goals. When you reach them, you will feel great!
- Increase your social circle. In a recent MSNBC survey, 63% of married couples reported that they met each other through a mutual friend. Start to increase your circle of friends—become friends with your friends’ friends and your roommates’ friends. This will increase the number of people you know and increase your chances of meeting someone you’d like to date.
- Ask for help. Let coworkers, friends, and family know that you are looking to date. Put the word out there, plant the seed in their minds, and they might introduce you to someone great.
- Try dating sites and social media. Forty million Americans use online dating sites! It might take some work to weed through profiles and to determine who you would want to go out with, but there is a huge pool of possibilities out there. If you haven’t tried, it might be time to dive in.
When you feel good about yourself and meet someone who piques your interest, go for it. The worst-case scenario is that he or she turns you down. The best-case scenario is you meet the love of your life. It’s worth the gamble.
Remember: You have to be the one to find to the one, so work on yourself first; your positive and confident nature will likely pay dividends.
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