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Dr. Wendy Walsh
Sometimes I think there is nothing more painful than feeling lonely and wishing for a mate. As humans, we are meant to connect. Solitary confinement is used as the ultimate punishment.
The urge to bond is especially poignant in a high-supply sexual economy where the media paints a picture of everyone dating and having lots of exciting sex. (Most of which is a myth.)
The important thing to remember is that there are some things you can control about your situation and some things you can’t. When you’re feeling lonely, it’s best to stay positive and focus on making yourself datable — without getting obsessive about it.
Anthropological research shows that partners of both genders look for the same top traits when selecting a mate — health, loyalty and kindness. Of course, men place a little more emphasis on their partner’s looks, and women place a little more emphasis on their partner’s earnings potential.
But otherwise, both genders are looking for kind, healthy people who will protect them. These are all things you can improve about yourself.
But even if you are the most fit, smiling, honest person, you’ll be like a kiosk in the desert if you don’t market yourself. In order to be asked out for a date, you need to extend subtle invitations. Here are a few tips to help you go from wallflower to blooming mate:
Join a gym. Get a dog to walk. Do volunteer work in your neighborhood. Great people are all around you, but they can’t see you if you are behind closed doors.
“If you really want to find love, you
will do well to stop longing and start living!”
Are you open and smiling when you are in public, or are your arms crossed and your gaze averted? Do you stand tall, or are you hunched over?
Be brave. Be bold. Smile and connect with the people you meet. A smile and eye contact is the best invitation.
If you believe you are not deserving of a mate, I guarantee you won’t find one. The first step to finding someone who will love you is to love yourself. Take care of yourself and remove yourself from people and situations that continue to reinjure your precious psyche.
People mostly meet lovers of shared interests while doing communal activities. Join a wine tasting club, a gardening club, a mixed-gender book group, or get involved in local politics. Take a night course that interests you. Clubs are where you’ll find like-minded people to connect with.
When I became a single mother, I found Sundays to be excruciatingly lonely. All my friends seemed to be home with their families and I felt like only half a family.
So I began cooking Sunday dinners. I made the day as festive as my mother once did, lovingly laying out fine china, silver and a linen table cloth. I invited anyone who would come. Families, singles, neighbors who I had barely spoken to.
Well, let’s just say things grew. One table became two. People began calling me to ask when they could be invited back to Sunday dinner. My divorced friends met new mates over my plates of roast beef and pasta, while my children got a sense of family.
Dates don’t just happen. Love isn’t all accidental. You have much more control over your romantic life than you think. If you really want to find love, you will do well to stop longing and start living!