Dating and finding love are hard, especially when you’re looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now. Finding someone who is a good match for you today, and who will be a good match tomorrow and potentially forever is challenging. But the good news is that there are tons of single people out there, and somewhere in that population of available adults is a person who will be exactly the partner you need. According to the NY Post, “unmarried American adults outnumber their married counterparts for the first time since the federal government began tracking that data in 1976, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” Sure, it might sometimes feel like everyone you know is getting married or already attached, but the numbers don’t lie; there are a lot of single people out there, and many of them are also looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
So how to find true love? There are countless dating websites, matchmaking services and apps to help you sift through the available pool of singles out there, but how can you be sure you’re working towards a loving and lasting relationship? And once you think you’ve found “the one” how can you be sure that Mr. Right doesn’t become Mr. Wrong down the road?
First of all when it comes to finding love, you need to think about what you’re looking for in a partner, and why those qualities are important to you. In other words, you need a goal. Think about where you see your life: Do you want children? Where do you want to live? Do you crave adventure and love to travel? Or are you a homebody? Do your value a career or a lifestyle of freedom? The vision you create for your own life will play into your ideal guy, so you have to start there.
Once you come up with an ideal goal for your future, and an ideal man to fit the bill, you need to accept the fact that this perfect man you picture may not exist. No one is perfect…not even you. Sure, you need to set goals, but you also need to be flexible and realistic in your expectations of another human being. Give people a chance and keep an open mind, all the while keeping your goals and priorities in sight.
Get out of your comfort zone by trying something new and putting yourself out there, but do so in an environment that is in line with your passions. In his book Love Smart: Find the One You Want — Fix the One You Got, Dr. Phil explains you should “explore your passions and let these things become your social life. Go to places you’d enjoy even if you weren’t looking for the love of your life. This way, you will meet someone who has something in common with you.” If you’re looking for Mr. Right while also doing something you care about, you’re more likely to find a partner who shares your interests and goals. And as you learn more about each other, you’ll have a solid foundation of a shared love to build upon.
When you do start dating someone new, make an effort to take things slow. Even if you catch yourself thinking he might be the one, take a step back, take a deep breathe, and proceed with caution. According to clinical psychologist, Seth Meyers, in an article for Psychology Today, “the real goal becomes slowing down in the midst of the sexual-emotional storm of new love to gather our thoughts and proceed with a healthy caution.” If you want new love to be lasting love, you need to relax expectations, not put too much pressure on a new relationship, and really let yourself get to know someone to make sure he’s a good match for you.
According to eHarmony, part of the trick to finding love is figuring out how to spot and avoid Mr. Wrong. If a man always has to be right, never listens to you, thinks he knows everything and won’t stop talking about himself, he’s not right for you (or maybe anyone). If his attitude towards women is offensive and clichéd, he’s not Mr. Right. If he wants to bring you down rather than lift you up, he’s no good for you. And above all, if he makes you think that you are the crazy one for having relationship goals and passions, then he definitely falls into the Mr. Wrong category. Ditch him, and don’t look back.
Lastly, when it comes to finding Mr. Right, understand that you will fall short a few times before you find someone who is right for you. And that’s OK. One of the best ways to learn in any area of development is from your mistakes, so go ahead, date a jerk. You’ll learn fast that he’s not right for you now or ever. Proceed with confidence, don’t be afraid to mess up, focus on what makes you a wonderful catch and never forget what qualities you are looking for in a partner.