So you’ve taken the first step to finding love and learnt to love yourself (Step 1. Love Yourself), and you’ve got a good understanding of who you are and what you want from a relationship/partner (Step 2. Know Yourself & What You Really Want From A Partner). Now you want to find love and a special person, but where do you start looking? In this post, we’ll go through a few of the common places to start looking for love, and look at some of the pros and cons of each.
You’ve probably all heard of internet/online dating, and many of you may have tried it at least once or twice in some form or another. With so many different websites out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are worthwhile, which are reputable, and which ones have predominately real profiles (a good handful of sites use fake profiles to seem more popular and full of “like-minded people like YOU”!). A discussion on online dating could fill several blog posts, so I’ll keep this brief for now, but there will be other posts on the ins and outs of this form of dating throughout the year. There is still some stigma attached to internet dating sites – often that if you are on an online dating site that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re ‘spoiled goods’. But almost everyone is connected to the internet now and it is fairly easy to use modern technology to your advantage to help you find love – there are a multitude of smartphone apps now, too. For the best online dating websites, including specialised/alternate ones and smartphone/mobile dating apps, check out Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love. Also, with reportedly over one billion active users, Could A Facebook App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site?
For those in their late teens and 20s, it is quite easy to meet potential partners at a bar or nightclub, and for this kind of age group, it isn’t socially awkward to be at such a place. Personally, although I met many prospective partners at bars and clubs, I never seemed to meet exactly the right girl for me. Alcohol can be a great social lubricant for meeting new people and is in plentiful abundance in such establishments. The good news for everyone is that it is a fallacy that you need to be young or a heavy drinker or a lover of house music – particularly in bigger cities like London and Tokyo, there are themed bars and clubs for all different tastes and ages… it isn’t just for the young’uns. There are jazz bars, cocktail lounges, salsa bars, cabaret – the list goes on and on.
How many times have your friends or family offered, with their best intentions, to set you up with someone they know who is “just perfect for you”, yet it turns out to be far from the truth. This experience can range from awkward to just plain horrible. Sure, there are some success stories out there, but more often than not, the family- or friend-arranged date doesn’t work amazingly well. A lot of things need to line up in your favour for it to work. Does your family member or friend really know you and your wants/needs, as well as those of your prospective partner? Too many times they judge you on what they think you want, not what you actually want. It’s hard enough sometimes for us to know what we really want ourselves, let alone someone else making this judgement for us! Arranged relationships – or even arranged marriages – can be convenient, but I don’t think it’s a sure-fire way of finding love.
For those who are uncomfortable with online dating or going to bars or nightclubs for whatever reason, and don’t trust their family or friends to find a suitable partner, find an activity that you love – one that also involves others – and join a hobby/social club. This could be a gym class, a dance class, a training course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, or a group/organisation that has similar values/beliefs/ideas to you. Here you may meet someone as passionate about you about a particular hobby or interest. On the other hand, this may also be an opportunity to try something completely different and do a new activity you may never have considered before. There are, of course, pros and cons to dating someone similar or different to you (see Dating Someone Similar Or Different – Opposites Attract?). Again the internet has made it simpler to meet new and likeminded people – try searching Facebook groups or pages or try the website Meetup. Meet new people, make new friends, and see what happens. You can find love in the strangest of places, at the most random times!
These are just some of the many examples of places you might find love or at least start looking for it. But keep one eye open at all times, love might turn up in the strangest of places – in a supermarket aisle, on the bus or train, at work or university. You might come across the love of your life taking out your garbage even. Love is all around us, and potential partners everywhere!
If you have a partner, where did you meet them? Was it a conventional way or unconventional? If you’re single, where have you been looking and how successful have you been?