Finding Mr. (or Mrs.) Right
The hashtag #foreveralone is trending on Twitter as Valentine’s Day nears.
While those in relationships may cheer February 14 because they’ll get chocolate (hint, hint), for many it’s just another reminder that they are frustratingly single.
Maybe it’s because I have a good marriage that it bothers me when people are single and don’t want to be. I wish everyone could have what I have! After all, most people do yearn for a love that lasts forever. We may not think it’s possible, but we still dream of it.
But so often we act in ways that make it far less likely to occur. I think too often we believe that “love will just happen”, like in Nora Roberts books, but love often shows up when you’re getting busy meeting people, not when you’re sitting at home dreaming of it.
So ask yourself, “If I want to marry someone who will be faithful, who will love me, whom I can love and respect in turn, and who will be a good financial and parenting partner, is what I’m doing right now helping me to meet that sort of person?”
And let me tell you, you’re unlikely to meet that person in a bar.
Most of us will marry someone through our social circle–a friend of a friend–or through our workplaces. Thus, it makes sense to fill your social circle with the kinds of people that you would consider marriageable material. If the people you hang out with think getting drunk every weekend is the pinnacle of fun, then you’re unlikely to cross paths with Mr. Right.
Instead, reconnect with friends from school that you really enjoyed who were going someplace in life. Suggest coffee to women you work with. It isn’t only about getting to know more men; I met my husband because he was the friend of the boyfriend of one of my best girlfriends! The more people you know, and the more friendships you invest in, the more likely you are to meet a potential spouse.
Want to marry someone interesting? Make sure you’re doing interesting things, too!
Learn some new skills. Take up a new hobby. Join a club. Even rediscover faith! A recent Facebook Data Science study found that religious colleges make up the vast majority of the top 25 universities with married students. People of faith tend to also be people who value marriage.
And here’s where I say something that will get me in real hot water: take care of yourself. First impressions do matter. Put some effort into your appearance. Get in shape. Go to a drug store and ask for some makeup tips. People may say, “I want him to love me for who I am,” and I completely agree. But that kind of love grows from first showing an interest, and for most of us, initial interest is largely determined by attraction.
Attraction isn’t only about being beautiful, though; it’s often just as much about confidence and the pride you take in yourself. Treat yourself well, and learn to exude genuine confidence, and that is attractive in and of itself.
Finally, as someone who makes a decent living blogging, I do believe that the online world has a lot to offer. Signing up for online dating, as long as you’re smart and take the proper precautions, isn’t a bad idea. In fact, for many of my friends who met their spouses that way, it ended up being a very good idea indeed!
Will these tips automatically work? Nope. Unfortunately there isn’t a guarantee. But if you do nurture a healthy social circle, volunteer and fill your life with good things, and take care of yourself, you’ll have a richer life regardless. And then you really won’t be forever alone.
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The best book I have ever read about finding the right person to marry, and deciding if this person IS the right person, is Sacred Search by Gary Thomas. He spends the first half of the book by explaining how our “fairy tale” culture about “the one that completes us” can actually steer us in the wrong direction. Then he spends the second half getting very practical–how do you meet someone? Where should you look? And what should be your deal breakers? I really appreciated this book, and I’m making my girls read it!
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