Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Ruggaworld recipes: Finding a perfect match
Article by Susan Erasmus
Tired of spending Sundays by yourself? Of going to singles’ bars or suffering through blind dates organised by your friends? Of looking at the personal columns in the newspapers with more than a passing interest? Are you tired of wincing when someone asks the dreaded question, “How’s your love life?” Right. Around you are many people in relationships and marriages. All of them must have been single at some or other time. So how did they do it? How can you do it too?
Get happy by yourself
Putting your life on hold while waiting for the Perfect One to appear is a mistake. Being happy and self-contained is much more attractive than the clinging-vine-routine. Extreme neediness is not a social asset when looking for a balanced and pleasant new partner
Avoid looking desperate
Desperation can be smelt at fifty paces and it does not smell nice. For both men and women, being over-interested and coming on too strongly is a turn-off.
Check your appearance
Ask a good friend for advice and try out what they say. Remember that the difference between a good and a bad haircut is six weeks. Go to the gym, get a few new clothes and make a dramatic change or two. Remember that whether we like it or not, first impressions count.
Get your own interests
Join a book club, learn a new language, join a sports club, do the Life Line personal growth course. These are things you will most likely enjoy and you are also likely to meet people there – of both sexes- who share your interests. This is often a healthy basis for lasting relationships.
Friends are important
No, you don’t have to get involved with friends, but ask around and you will be surprised how many people met their spouses or partners at dinner parties or braais or rugby afternoons or weekend gatherings hosted by friends. Organised blind dates have been known to work for a lucky few, but for the rank and file they can be embarrassing and uncomfortable occasions.
Enlist the help of the internet
Who knows what you might come across in the chatrooms or on dating sites? Here you have the opportunity to make casual contact with a wide variety of people. Just be very wary – some really sick people could also be lurking here amongst the nice ones. Don’t give out your address and telephone number indiscriminately – you might find yourself with a stalker. Take the greatest of care when meeting someone you have encountered first on the internet.
Accept all invitations
Unless someone really makes your skin crawl, accept invitations to social occasions. The braai at the house of the office bore might not make your pulse race, but who knows what his brother, sister or best friend are like?
Initiate social events
Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen. Even if you know only two people in a new city, cook dinner, invite both of them and ask each of them to bring two friends.
Invite others along
Get people to join you in activities you have already planned for yourself. A good sentence to remember is “I am going to the movies on Tuesday night – do you want to join me?" This does not sound like you are inviting someone out on a date. You are going anyway, whether they want to come or not.
Show interest in other people
Everyone likes to be listened to. If you are a good listener, you are unlikely to be lonely for long. Be friendly and helpful, but guard against becoming a doormat.
Don't be too distant
Get a healthy balance between being too available and being stand-offish. People who are playing too hard-to-get also experience what it is like to be easy-to-lose. On the other hand, there is little that is less attractive than someone who throws him-or herself at someone who is clearly not interested.
Get out as much as possible
Sitting around in front of the TV or moping in your flat night after night is not going to get you meeting any new people.
Don’t ignore those right under your nose
The neighbour, your siblings’ friends, people at work, the attractive person you see in the supermarket every now and then.
Become a regular..
If you go to the same coffee shop every morning before work, you will eventually be on greeting terms and later on speaking terms with other people who also follow this routine. It is probably less traumatic than going to singles’ bars.
Get rid of your baggage
See a counsellor and sort out issues you might be carrying with you from your childhood or previous relationships. Everyone has issues, but some are serious enough to not only put people off starting a relationship with you, but also scuttling one once it has started.
Sometimes single is great
Remember that it is healthy to be single between relationships. If you rush straight from one relationship into another, chances are that you have dependency issues and are scared of being alone and experiencing personal growth and change.
Better single than hitched and unhappy
And lastly, it is better to be single and happy, than desperately unhappy in a relationship. You can never be as lonely by yourself as you can be in a relationship that is clearly not working