Finding love: How and where to meet the right guy
Sick of being single and ready to mingle? Make sure this Valentine’s Day is the last one you spend alone by making 2013 your year to find your man.
In this socially connected age, one thing is certain: We’re communicating and sharing more than ever, but it’s increasingly via social media networks and smartphones, rather than face-to-face interactions.
This is making it a little trickier to meet potential suitors the old-fashioned way — like meeting new people at your local pub trivia night, or catching up with a group of friends for a DVD night.
That doesn’t mean finding the right guy is impossible, however. It just means that you need to make a concerted effort to find out where the smart, successful single boys are — and go there.
Get your head in the game
Before you begin searching for Mr Right in earnest, it’s important to be honest with yourself about why you are single, particularly if you’re harbouring some unresolved issues from previous relationships.
"Finding love is full of opportunity and promise and a time to consider not only what you would like from a relationship, but also what you can offer," says psychologist Sabina Read.
"Be honest and realistic about your strengths and potential raw spots, and know that every potential partner will also have vulnerabilities as well as valuable qualities to share with you."
It’s also to your advantage if you can "try not to be obviously on the hunt," Read adds.
"If you’re recently single, attempt to free yourself from telling and re-telling your ‘ex-story’. Instead, engage in new practices and behaviours to fill yourself up, instead of searching for a man to do this for you."
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Try something new
We all have habits, some good, some bad — but if the aim of your game is to meet someone new, then you need to be prepared to try something new, Read advises.
"Try to avoid falling back on the methods you have used to meet partners in the past, and explore new paths instead of assuming past tracks are the only road to relationship success," she says.
"Try speed dating, group dates, finding new hobbies, or online dating. The dating landscape has shifted since boys made the first call to ask out a girl. Try to incorporate a new change in your daily routine to signify to yourself — and potential mates — that you are ready to explore new opportunities and relationships." At worst, you may push yourself out of your comfort zone, try something new and learn a new hobby or activity that you love. At best, you might just meet the love of your life.
Activities to try
- Speed dating — recruit a friend to reduce the potential for awkwardness!
- Explore a hobby — one-off activities such as photography clubs are fun and sociable.
- Trivia nights — these are usually held weekly at your local pub.
- Professional groups — join professional groups linked to your industry where you can mingle with like-minded people.
- Travel clubs — whether you’re planning a holiday or you recently got back from your annual pilgrimage to Bali, there may be a local travel club full of similarly-minded jetsetters ready to exchange travel snaps with you!
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Don’t be afraid of the online dating world
It may seem intimidating at first if you’ve never done it before, but online dating is becoming so mainstream that more people have tried it than haven’t. According to Dr Christie Hartman, author of How to find Mr Right Online, online dating is second only to "meeting through friends" as the most common way to meet a potential partner.
Her top tip for newbies? Link up with a website that uses match-based criteria. "These sites require you to fill out a long questionnaire, something many men don’t like, and choose your matches for you rather than allowing you to browse freely for who you want. eHarmony in particular is known for people looking to get married rather than hook up or date casually."