You’ve tried, perhaps tried a lot, to meet that, as they now say, special someone. With the plethora of dating advice out there, it would be hubristic of me to assert that I could offer you much that’s new. But you may find a distillation useful. So here are 12 questions that could tease out something you want to do differently, in finding a new relationship, improving a current one, or resurrecting a past one.
When in a relationship
Have you ignored your early intuition that a potential partner is likely a bad choice and later found out that your intuition was right. If that has often been true, should you cut things off more quickly?
Have you stayed too long in relationships, hoping to fix the other person, in vain?
In conversation with a romantic partner, do you talk 30 to 50% of the time?
Do you sufficiently ask about the other person, or are you pretty self-absorbed?
Before saying something, do you usually consider how that would make the person feel?
Do you often suggest activities—platonic and sexual— that the person would particularly like?
Have you paid for roughly half of the cost of dates?
In finding The Right One
Should you join a group activity that likely to attract someone you might like to get romantically involved with? Examples: a committee in your professional association’s local chapter, a course at university extension or adult school, a sports, art, or writing course or support group. Note that each of these meet more than once, which gives you the chance to get to know someone slowly.
Should you use an online dating site but take care to honestly describe yourself—age, pluses, minuses, etc.—and the key characteristics you’re looking for, including liabilities that you’re willing to accept? Such careful honesty boosts your chances of the computer-magic identifying high-potential people and screening out the others.
Should you ask your friends and colleagues to set you up, again, honestly describing yourself and what you’re looking for and willing to accept?
Should you throw a party or outing and ask friends to, if possible, bring a potential partner for you?
Should you change anything about your clothes, hair, or makeup to make you more attractive to your Right One?
Should you be more flirtatious, for example, establishing eye contact with people in the supermarket if not starting a conversation?
How about the workplace? Most people who are even modestly successful spend so much time at work and thus represent a good source of romantic partners. But be careful: For example, your workplace may prohibit workplace romantic relationships, and certainly, do not date your supervisee.
None of this is rocket science but many people fail to do the obvious. You could get lucky and succeed just by implementing one of these ideas, or it could take time. Key is to enjoy the journey even if it doesn’t yield the Big Bonanza. Also, given the number of unhappy relationships and marriages, it can help to think that if you remain solo, just possibly, it’s for the best.
This is part of a series, “Why not me?!” The others:
The final installment to be published tomorrow is “How Come I Don’t Have a Close Friend?”