Though we can change how we meet people, dating isn’t going anywhere. If you’re wondering how to find love, learn how to become your own matchmaker.
The world is more interconnected today than it’s ever been before. You feel like you have access to millions of people who aren’t the one for you because, well, you do. If you’re at a loss as to how to find love, a good place to start is to think about what you want in a dating experience.
You Want: Social Evidence
You’re the type that requires a healthy number of five-star ratings before you invest. You might even prefer to see someone socially for a while before striking out solo together. That’s available on dating sites as well as through your real-life social network.
Try: strengthening your social connections.
If you’d prefer to meet someone in your network, give more consistent attention to the relationships that are already within it. You’ll receive more social invites by being more socially present, which means you’ll get to meet new people at everything from large gatherings to more intimate matchmaking introductions.
You Want: Variety
Whether you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or you’d like to feel out a little bit of everything to find your fit, you’re interested in meeting people other than those in your current social circles.
Try: setting boundaries around that commitment.
Online dating features an endless sea of faces, so while it’s the best way to meet a variety of available people, it’s easy to get swept up in the options. Instead of aiming to go on as many dates as possible, set yourself up with time and tools to get to know each person and integrate each experience, so you get to know yourself and your needs along the way.
You Want: To Find “The One”
Try: committing to the journey itself.
Honor the time, personal work, and co-creation it takes to build a truly worth-it relationship. Integrate each connection as you take your time exploring the path to discovering and being with your one. That means finding your flow one step at a time — don’t dive in head first, and don’t leave your friendships behind. They provide crucial support that keeps you in balance socially, so you show up better for your partners. Maintaining those close-knit connections keeps you socially healthier than honing in on finding the perfect intimate relationship every minute of every day.
You Want: To Bypass Dating Because it Stinks
Dating brings out our best and worst selves. You’re done with riding an emotional rollercoaster that’s full of dead ends.
Try: letting go of black and white.
Let’s go deep on this one. Dating is deeply personal work, first and foremost. If you think a relationship is the end game, think again. Each relationship is a fresh start at learning what we need to learn to love people, and ourselves, well. That’s not a lesson you learn overnight, and it’s one you never stop learning more about. There’s so much to learn from the relationships that end, namely because you chose those lessons when you chose that person.
As the Pew Research Center points out, the numbers of people who are using online dating is going up across the board, from the 18-24 demographic all the way to seniors who are looking for love in their golden years. Chances are, you’ll learn a lot about what works for you by dating online.
Your friends are also fantastic social proof. While it might feel a little awkward at first, 39 percent of people still find their partners via their own, in-person social networks. So there’s definitely something to be said for asking your friends to introduce you to (or vet) anyone who could be the garlic to your butter over dinner somewhere you’re comfortable.
How to Find Love: So, No Magic Solution?
Though we can change how we meet people, dating isn’t going anywhere. If you don’t enjoy dating a certain way, take a break and try another. You don’t have to be all in on digital dating, nor are you limited by who’s in your current social network. Do what works best for you. It’s so much more about the path of personal discovery involved than finding a perfect person. Your balance begins in you, and the right match will appreciate how you take the time to show up fully.