As we approach the holiday that is loved as much as it is hated, newsfeeds of social networking sites become more and more dense with lonely souls who only crave affection and love from another partner. When I log into Facebook I stumble upon a damsel in distress who swears that she will never find love because in all of her long, painfully lonely eighteen years of life, she has never had a lasting relationship. I come across a status from a single girl bluntly stating her loneliness and asking if there are any takers to be her Mr. Right. My Tumblr dashboard is filled with bitter posts about ex boyfriends and how stupid and pointless Valentine’s Day is. Twitter beholds various pleas for a girlfriend who loves concerts, who doesn’t complain, who can be committed, who loves all of the same things as he does… If you’re guilty of making these desperate cries for love, I’m here to tell you why this isn’t helping you and what you can do instead.

First, let’s speak in terms of logic. Think about that last “single and ready to mingle!!!” status you posted. Who replied to you or liked your post? Probably not the man of your dreams. I’m willing to bet that the majority of feedback you got was either from your girlfriends telling you that you don’t need a man, or from the creepy guy you knew in middle school who keeps messaging you when you give him no signs of interest or desire to communicate at all. I have never asked a couple, “How did you guys meet?” and gotten a response like, “Well, he and I were Facebook friends and I kept complaining about not having a Valentine, so he messaged me and the rest is history!” It doesn’t work that way because guys don’t want a desperate woman, just like girls don’t want a desperate man.

OK, so now you know what not to do. What are your new options? How can you successfully find somebody (and hopefully keep them)?

  1. 1.    Lower your standards. Yeah, I know, I’m going against what all of your friends have ever told you. The truth is, there isn’t a guy who’s not going to argue with you, watch The Notebook With You, AND look tall, dark, and handsome. There isn’t a girl who’s going to make you a sandwich every time you’re hungry, be in bed naked waiting for you when you get home from work, AND have big boobs and a flat stomach. You have to prioritize. Realize that you’re not perfect, so why should your partner have to be? Think about what really matters. Loyalty, honesty, a sense of humor. Not that they like the same music that you do.
  2. 2.    Get out more. I’m being a little hypocritical here, because my boyfriend and I met on Tumblr, but how often does that really happen? Close your laptop and go somewhere! You won’t meet your wife-to-be locked away in your bedroom.
  3. 3.    Stay away from alcohol. I have one friend in particular that provides me with perfect examples of where NOT to find a potential. Every time she tells me about a new boo thang, I ask her where they met, and every time it’s either, “At a club,” or, “At this party.” And guess what? After one, maybe two dates (even he even bothers to take her on a date), it goes nowhere. These places are where guys go to find a hot chick to bring home that night, and where girls go to dance with their friends. Plus, both of you are probably not sober, and you can’t learn much about someone when they can’t even talk without slurring their words. Good places to meet potentials: a coffee shop, a bookstore, a café, school, work, the gym… Think of places where someone with potential and a good head on their shoulders would go, because that’s the type of person that would make a good partner.
  4. 4.    Put yourself out there. This goes for both sexes, but especially men. If you like a girl, go ask her out on a date! A real date. Take her to dinner (side note: movies are a terrible first date. How can you carry a conversation glued to the big screen?). Start it off right with some flowers and a gentlemanly aura. And girls, if the guy is sending you mixed signals, don’t be afraid to ask him to grab a coffee. The worst you can get is a ‘no,’ and that’s better than a ‘what if.’
  5. 5.    Stop looking. How does that saying go? “Stop looking for love and it will find you.” You may do all of these things I’ve listed and still not have found the love of your life, but maybe that’s because you’re trying too hard. It’s okay to be single. You aren’t ready to be with someone until you’re comfortable with being alone. Remind yourself that you don’t need a second half to make you happy. Do things you love, take that trip you’ve always wanted to take, experiment and explore. But most importantly, have patience and be open-minded. Things always pan out in the end.

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