Single? Looking? Are You Trying Too Hard? by Isadora Alman, MFT
There are millions of single people yearning for a romantic partner who are doing nothing about it but wishing. We all know that doing something about achieving what you want makes it far more likely that you'll get it than doing nothing! However, it is possible to err too much in the other direction - doing too much and too frantically. The danger there is burnout, giving up when you don't get immediate desired results and going back to where you started out, worse than you were before because your optimism is gone. Below are some pointers to keep in mind in your search for someone special.
* Yes, it pays to advertise. However, if you tell everyone from your co-workers to your dry cleaners that you're single and looking you could appear desperate, never an attractive quality. Better to confide in a few people whom know and like you that you are available to meet an interesting person if they know someone. Make sure to also tell them a bit about the qualities that attract you to avoid "anyone moving and breathing" syndrome.
* Give it careful thought and get some clarity on what you're looking for. Taking aim is usually a lot better than a scattershot technique, whether in skeet shooting or sweetie searching. If, for instance, it's important to you that a person share your political leanings, spend more time volunteering for the issues that concern you in hopes of meeting fellow idealists.
* Work smarter, not harder. Be selective in the dating sites and meeting places you chose to investigate and give them a chance to work. Visit any such place more than a few times until you're sure it's not for you. Then, and only then, move on to another one. Flitting from one to another only wastes your time and tends to be discouraging. You also need the opportunity to become known at a particular place, so others feel comfortable approaching you.
* Be proactive. As in the rest of life, just showing up is often not enough. Attending lots of events and then just standing around when you get there accomplishes little but wearing yourself out. Choosing a few events and then putting yourself forward while there is usually a better plan. Let yourself be known. Approach others. Engage in conversation with many people, not just the ones you find attractive. Everyone responds to a friendly person and tends to shy away from someone who seems to be only there to hit on a certain select few. Besides, you'll be practicing your conversational skills.
* Do what you like to do and avoid the rest. Don't go to a discussion group if don't like controversy and quick thinking is not your strength. When meeting online if the written word is not your forte, avoid long email exchanges and opt for a phone conversation or a face to face meeting sooner rather than later. Admit your preferences and indulge them. Meeting new people is play, not work.
* If you feel yourself becoming discouraged and repeating yourself take a breather from socializing and focus on doing something for pure pleasure, like taking a pottery class or a bus tour of your city. You might meet someone when you least expect it specifically because you're not trying too hard to impress and are simply having a good time.
*Don't give up and do nothing. There are several someones out there looking for you. Give them a chance to find you.
Courtesy of Match.com's Happen Magazine www.happenmag.com