This entry is a direct response to our reader’s question:
A newly college graduate who is inexperienced with dating and needs advice.
When I was a freshman in college, my sister warned me against dating – that school is for education and nothing else. When I was a senior in college, my sister asked if I’m seeing anyone yet and warned me that the workforce essentially has a dating pool of zero (as being involved with a colleague is frowned upon). Fortunately for me, the stars aligned and Cupid shot a straight arrow. Had that not been the case, my choices/options would be:
Take a class/Join a Club:
It’s good to find someone with a common interest. Learning something new together is conductive to falling in love. Furthermore, the environment of a classroom should feel fairly familiar to you. Always wanted to learn that second language but never got a chance to in college? Pottery classes? Dance lessons? All these environments are catalytic to dating. And if nothing works out, at least you have a new skill to add to your resume!
Spend your free time giving back to the community. If you find someone who also has a heart of gold, then that’s a huge bonus. Volunteer for the humane society, for an ESL class, or various other community organizations. To find a list of organizations that need a hand with current projects, go to CatchAFire.org.
Don’t shy away. Today’s mobile world makes online dating easier than ever. It essentially opens up our dating pool internationally. But the highest success rate often comes with a partner nearby. Instead of match.com, try a dating site that caters to your local community or a specific area of interest. My friends in Minnesota love okcupid.com and many found their life partner via the site.
Network among existing friends:
Don’t neglect your current friends. They know people who know people who know people. Spread the word. Let them know you’re looking. (Good friends typically don’t start matchmaking you unless you have given specific hints or explicitly told them that you are looking.) Trustworthy friends will introduce you to people who are at least in the ballpark of what you’re looking for.
Be comfortable with yourself first and foremost. Nothing good will come out of desperation. Be okay with the idea that you can live alone. You do not need anyone to complete your life. Someone to complement you is great, but isn’t necessary. Enjoy life. Be confident. Your love will come unexpectedly.