If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
- Mother Teresa
A few weeks ago, I opened a beautifully wrapped box of Belgium chocolate truffles. Being a chocolate lover, I popped one in my mouth. It was not wonderful. It was not even mediocre. It was terrible. Chocolate has to be really horrid for me to snub it. No fool I, I picked a different piece. And another, and another, but to no avail -- the chocolate in the box was not fit to eat. I threw the box away.
Not long later, I was having lunch with a friend. He was just glowing telling me about the new love of his life. As it turned out, the first date, while not a disaster, was hardly memorable. But they both ventured forth for a second date, which was fabulous. They have been dating for a few months now. His experience reminded me of the many singles who err by making a final decision after the first date. Yes, it is easy to find fault in others. And yes, we believe that we will fall head over heels in love at first sight of our soul mate. But if you have ever stopped to poll your happily married friends, you will find many first date disaster stories. Looking for true love, after all, is not for the faint of heart.
Make a Job of It ~ Just like a career, finding the right match needs focus and determination. You need to actively seek a significant other. You should be making phone calls, going on dates and telling everyone you know to keep their eyes out for you.
Getting Around Town ~ Few ideal spouses make first date house calls. It is much easier to meet people when you are out and about than when you are planted on your couch in front of the television. A cousin of mine met her spouse while waiting for a really bad date to pull the car around. You never know!
Pick A Passion ~ For when you are not at work, have something that you love to do, and do it socially. Whether it is volleyball, skiing or knitting, there are organizations you can join to meet like-minded individuals. You will be spending your time enjoyably while scoping the singles scene.
Be Farsighted ~ "Wait!" you say. "How can I meet someone in a group that is all female (or male)." Well, most of the people in your group have friends, family and co-workers you might know. Enlist their help. After all, networking is about expanding your circles.
Do Good ~ Volunteering and serving on committees is a great way to get involved in your community and meet others. And even if you do not meet anyone romantic, at least you know you are having a positive impact. All that good karma is bound to come back to you eventually.
Singles Swap ~ Before shouting "no way!" think about sharing your no-go's with your friends. After all, look at your married friends' spouses. Would you have married them? Probably not. Your co-worker's disaster date may be your roommate's dreamboat.
Hire A Professional ~ er, I mean a matchmaker. Busy professionals can not expect to be able to scour the streets looking for the right person. Leave it to a trained professional to do the pre-screening for you.
Dot-Com Cupid ~ There are many amazing websites designed to find desirable (both geographically and personality) significant others. Over the past few years, I have attended a handful of weddings where the couples met through online dating services.
Wouldn't you know, last week another box of the same brand of chocolate arrived at my office. Struggling with the memory of the last box and my mid-afternoon chocolate cravings, I gave in and carefully tried a piece. To my absolute delight, it was delicious. Sometimes a second chance can lead to the start of a beautiful friendship.