Your Relationships: Meeting Your Match

If you’re ready to be in a romantic relationship, you’ll need to put yourself out there and meet people. It can be a scary idea, and there’s no guarantee you’ll end up with quality options. But I’ve come up with a list of suggestions of where to look to get you started. Just remember to be yourself! Pretending to be someone you’re not won’t lead you to “happily ever after.” And confidence will get you far: show you’re comfortable in your own skin, and you’ll appeal to that perfect person.

Online
Online dating sites are definitely growing in popularity. And the possibilities continue to grow. You’ve got paid services, like Match.com and eHarmoney.com, that promise to connect you with your life’s mate. You’ve got free services, like PlentyofFish (POF.com) and Singlesnet.com, that offer budget-conscious people a way to connect (but without much, if any, filtering). And you’ve got a plethora of sites that cater to specific groups, from religious affiliations to ethnic groups to specific ages. (Of course there are also sites that gear toward sexual, as opposed to romantic, relationships, or those looking for less ethical relationships, but I’m guessing that that’s not what you’re looking for.) To find sites, you can do an internet search or just look for ads that are sprawled just about everywhere you look.

Another online option, if dating sites are not your thing, is to connect with people in online forums and chat rooms. You can meet others with similar interests in a casual atmosphere. Just keep in mind that you may end up with more friends than romantic possibilities.

Public Places
They say a great place to meet people is at the grocery store. I can’t attest to this, but enough people have said it that there must be some truth to it! But you can also meet people at other stores that appeal to your tastes, such as bookstores. You may need to have a bit of confidence to chat someone up, but you never know who you might run into.

Of course there’s also the cliched bar scene, where you can find many singles looking to connect. Depending on the atmosphere you may find young singles just looking to “hook up,” or you may find more mature singles looking for a real relationships (and, of course, anywhere in between). Ask friends and coworkers for suggestions or do your homework before popping up at a bar that’s not what you’re looking for.

Beyond the bar, you can check out parks, cafes, the gym, and more. Open yourself up to the opportunity to meet others — just about anywhere!

Other Options
Sometimes love will appear when you’re not even looking for it. Or at least you can be doing something else while looking. Along these lines are options such as taking a class, volunteering, participating in a club or organization, and joining a sports team. The people you meet will likely have some similar interests, providing a great starting point for a relationship.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can also ask friends to set you up on blind dates. Or you can check out speed-dating, in which you meet several members of the opposite (or same!) sex and interact for only a few minutes to see if you’re compatible. If money’s not an option, you can also look into hiring a professional matchmaker.

Think about the kind of person you’re looking to meet, and try to think of where that type of person would hang out. You never know where you’ll meet your perfect match.

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