A Jewish Matchmaker Busts the Myth… 

I would like to know who coined the phrase “You’ll find love when you stop looking for it.” This is completely nonsensical, yet it is frequently repeated- most frequently by those already in a partnership when speaking to their single friends.

Stop looking for love?
Would you stop looking for a great job and expect it to find you?
Would you stop taking dance lessons and expect to become a prima ballerina?

No, my friends- the key is not to stop looking for love, the key is to perfect your skill of the search. If you are seeking a loving relationship, there are a number of factors you can influence to improve your odds of success. This isn’t about hitting the bars and clubs every weekend and greedily staking out the prey. This is about aligning yourself and your life into a position that is more receptive to accepting love.

It won’t come as a surprise to my steady readers that the first step I promote is to spend some time getting to know and love yourself. This is crucial for many reasons, one reason being that the better you know yourself, the better you are able to recognize a good match.

What are the qualities that you bring to a relationship?
What do you see as the primary role of your partner?
Do you seek a parent for your children? Financial support? A playmate in bed? An intellectual equal? An activity partner?

Yes, I know- you want it all- but what is MOST important to you in that list? What can you live without? Knowing the role that you want your partner to fill will enable you to readily spot someone who does (or doesn’t) fit that role, and help you avoid wasting time with someone who may be a good diversion, but with whom you will ultimately be disappointed.

Another thing that is over-emphasized in searching for love is “chemistry”. Everybody wants chemistry. Everyone expects to feel a spark, an instant attraction, an overwhelming desire for this stranger they just met, and if they don’t feel that spark, they assume it’s a dud with no romantic future. Now, doesn’t that look ridiculous in writing? Which fairy tale are you trying to live out by expecting an intense chemical response to your date? Yes, it does happen- but more often it happens in response to less-than-healthy personality dynamics at play- not because you just met the love of your life. And if you have found yourself in more than one dysfunctional or unhealthy relationship, you may want to see that intense chemical attraction as a red flag, not a checkered one.

Real love has depth – if all you seek is infatuation, then that chemical attraction might just do it for you, but if you are sincerely searching for real love, then your odds of finding it are increased if you focus on getting to know the other person over time, and letting the natural feelings of friendship and love develop.

Last but not least, I’m going to leave you with what I consider a “biggie” in searching for and successfully finding love- JUST SAY “YES”.

What do I mean by that? I mean say “yes” to every opportunity that comes your way to meet another person. Do you have a friend who wants to set you up? Say YES! Is there a single mingle in your neighborhood? Say YES! Did the dorky neighbor invite you over for coffee? Say YES! Saying “yes” to friendly conversation isn’t saying “yes, I find you attractive” or “yes, I want to date you”. Get off your high horse and just meet people!

As a matchmaker, I send my clients profiles and photos of many potential matches, and I wish they would say “yes” to every single one of them, instead of judging and picking out obscure reasons why it won’t work. Forget the photo; forget the profile- just go out for a cup of coffee and conversation. Even if you go out with someone whom you are CERTAIN you will never fall for- what is the worst that could happen?

If what you have been doing so far has not led you to the love you seek, it’s time to do something else. Get straight about what you have to offer a partner. Get straight about what you need from your partner. Bury the fairytale notion of instant chemistry and embrace the idea of chemistry that builds over time. Be adventurous and say “yes” to every opportunity to meet a new friend, and don’t put any more pressure on it than that.

In other words, think outside the box. Get outside the box. Hell, just get outside.

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