The Costs of Finding Love

My wife and I were extremely lucky. We found each other in high school, dated throughout college, and got married a few years after that (yes, a nearly decade-long courtship). We knew we had something special pretty early on, and we stuck together through thick and thin.

Unfortunately, for most people it’s not that easy. One of my best friends is almost thirty years old. He has only had one significant girlfriend in his entire life – and that was several years ago. It’s not for lack of trying. His biggest problem – one that he recognizes – is that he clams up in social situations with people he doesn’t know well. This attribute makes it very hard to meet people.

He has tried many different methods for overcoming this. He’s been on countless one-off dates. He got very involved with eHarmony a while back. He’s tried counseling and psychotherapy. Nothing’s helped, but he’s wound up with a lighter wallet because of it.

Over the last year, though, he’s come to three big realizations about his time, his money, and love. He’s revealed them to me over several conversations, and they’re quite compelling, enough so that I want to share them with all of you.

First, successful love seems to come to you – it isn’t chased. That doesn’t mean he thinks stuff like eHarmony was a waste of time, but it is if you pursue it aggressively. Instead, you might be better off just engaging in social activities that you enjoy and just seeing if the right match comes along.

Second, if you’re uncomfortable, it’s not going to work. He used to sometimes go to bars to look for women, but the whole situation made him very uncomfortable and thus made it basically impossible to meet anyone. He simply didn’t feel that he had much in common with the people there, drinking themselves into oblivion and searching in desperation. Perhaps his view on things was skewed, but if the situation makes you uncomfortable, it’s going to be almost impossible to find someone there. Instead, practice extending your comfort zone a little bit on your own. Engage in some personally fulfilling activities that might be a bit different than what you’re used to, but don’t dive off the deep end.

Finally, don’t send off an inaccurate vibe. Sure, keep yourself clean and wear decent clothes, but when you start wearing clothes that you don’t like simply because they’ll attract someone, you’re sending off the wrong vibe. Similarly, don’t start working at a volunteer place just to impress someone – it won’t work out over the long run.

Because of this, and the realization that maybe he was spending his time in the wrong way and definitely putting too much money into it, he changed his approach and it seems to be paying off.

He stopped all activities he was involved in solely for meeting someone. He ceased wearing his “going out” clothes. He stopped going out to bars or clubs. He logged off of eHarmony (it hadn’t found him anyone, anyway). Instead, he decided to devote his time and resources to things that left him more fulfilled and complete.

He enjoys bicycling, so he joined a bicycling club. They bike together each weekend when the weather’s nice and also participate in RAGBRAI (a bicycle ride across Iowa). Since he already had all of the equipment, it didn’t cost him anything. Since he already enjoys bicycling, the social threshold was much lower, as they all already had bicycling in common.

He also joined a book club at the library. He reads history quite a bit, and he found a historical book club to join. He’s been to three meetings and seems to quite enjoy it – since the books are at the library, he’s not had any problem getting the books for free, and he’s met several people he describes as “interesting … in a good way.”

In short, he’s just doing what genuinely interests him aside from the dating scene – and he’s finding some interesting people along the way. Even better, this approach is a lot cheaper than his earlier actions.

This sounds like a net win to me!

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  1. Tom says:

    I like how you just say online dating is some horrible thing, and that you MUST meet someone in real life. You’re greatly discounting free dating sites, such as the very well made (and completely FREE, which helps increase the user base) OkCupid.com, from the guys who made TheSpark.com (creators of SparkNotes, if you’ve been to the bookstore!).

    I’m not going to discount real life meetings, oh no, but I will suggest that you shouldn’t discredit online dating simply because eHarmony is a terrible discriminatory site.

  2. Minimum Wage says:

    There should be more PF posts on the subject.

    Personal finance itself is a huge factor in finding (and keeping) love.

    The rich man gets the girl, the middle class man might or might not get the girl, and the poor man doesn’t get the girl.

  3. plonkee says:

    I’m pretty much in the same situation as your friend. One of the things that has helped me is the realisation that even if I never meet anyone, that wouldn’t be the end of the world. This stops me trying too hard, which is good because trying too hard is both expensive and counter-productive.

  4. KellyKelly says:

    Minimum Wage,

    I can hear your frustration (and pain?) in your post, but I have to disagree with you.

    Case in point: My last boyfriend made a LOT less money than I did. In fact, he was probably minimum wage if you broke his income down to hourly wage. I had a white collar job.

    I actually don’t want a man who makes much more than me. It feels like gold-digging — that is just my neurosis, mind you. I do not think that all partners have to be exactly matched in gross earnings to be “valid,” ie not sugar mamas/daddies. To me, it just feels unequal somehow if the guy I’m with makes a lot more than I do.

  5. constantlearning says:

    I have also found it difficult to find “that special someone.” Eventually, I lost confidence and became very discouraged. I joined eHarmony because I needed to rebuild my confidence before I could handle “real live” situations.

    I did not expect the love of my life but I met some interesting people along the way and refocused on learning about others rather than assuming that I was too nervous or was going to fail. It was not cheap, but it was worth it to me.

    You have given some excellent tips, Trent.

  6. In the grand scheme of things (alimony, child support), online match sites probably aren’t a bad investment for someone looking for a spouse. They could open up your pool substantially and allow you to be much more selective. In a country with a divorce rate of 50% and severe financial consequences for failed marriages, I would want to be extremely sure that I was with the best spouse possible. It seems that someone who’s trying too hard just to hook up, unfortunately, may be more likely to get hitched with the first person who comes along.

  7. Minimum Wage says:

    KellyKelly:

    Obviously, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

    Where I work, we have two dozen employees (earning minimum wage) and only two are married.

    I’m not even trying; if I can’t earn a dignified level of income, I’d rather hide from the world behind my keyboard.

  8. Holly says:

    I would mostly agree with you. I’ve gone through phases where I try harder, spend what I consider a reasonable amount of money, and actively pursue a mate. However, like plonkee, I’ve realized that if I don’t find someone, it’s not the end of the world, so those phases are getting fewer and further between the older I get. But life does get a bit more lonely as you get older and everyone else is getting married and starting their own families.

    The way I’m going about it now is that I have profiles up on various sites, which are free. I figure men that are willing to pay to contact me are more likely looking for a relationship than something ahem “casual” (though that isn’t always the case). So if someone does contact me, that’s great, but it’s not costing me anything. I am also *trying* to make more of an effort to get out and meet people in other ways, though I’m finding that more difficult, as most of my hobbies seem to appeal to women, and I’m in a more traditionally female occupation (teaching). There isn’t any reason to cut out online dating completely. It can work-many of my friends have met their future husbands that way. But IMHO, a sort of “two pronged” approach-meeting online and in real life- in a casual, not desperately seeking love sort of way, is going to work best.

  9. KellyKelly says:

    Another free thing to try is to think about the people you know whom you REALLY like and respect — you think they are especially interesting or warm or smart or etc.

    This may be 2 or 3 people out of the dozens or hundreds that you know — those with whom you really resonate.

    Ask THEM to introduce you to someone. I did this once, years ago, and met a very, very cool guy. We went out only twice, but in my opinion it was successful because he was the type of guy I was seeking.

    Warning — every time I’ve had someone spontaneously fix me up with someone (you know, out of nowhere your coworker or friend or neighbor says, “I met someone perfect for you!”), it’s been a DISASTER!

    I am left to wonder if these people know me at ALL! Or if they just think hey, He has a pulse, and She has a pulse …

    :-)

  10. MVP says:

    I totally agree with this post. I cringe every time another one of my friends mentions they’re online dating. This is usually because they say they’re too busy to meet the right kind of people. I hold back my opinion because it’s none of my biz, but if they had asked, I’d have advised them to make it a priority to get involved in activities outside work that they enjoy (church, hiking clubs, dance lessons, etc.). Chances are, in time, they’ll meet others with whom they share common interests and their social circle will grow. IMO, this is far better for snagging a genuine mate than cruising the bars or sitting at home chatting with someone on your computer who lives six states away.

  11. Mia says:

    I love this story! My dh was/is much like your friend. He was a quitet, shy, and sometimes awkward thirty-something bachelor when we met. He had even changed jobs and moved to a new city in hopes of finding love! And there is truth in saying that love comes to you when you’re not pushing for it so hard. We met, of all places, at a Bingo hall. He was ‘forced’ there by a friend, I was drug along by my mother … neither of us were looking to find our partner in life that night.

  12. DJ says:

    Statistically, the average eHarmony customer would have to go out with every match he got for 17 years in order to have a 50% chance of getting married.

    I did meet someone on eHarmony who seemed to be an ideal match, but neither of us were in a position to pack up and move to another state in order to spend the necessary time dating.

    I’ve decided that its better to be happy as a single, then you have the option of being happy with someone else if she ever comes my way.

  13. Mary says:

    I’m getting married at 41 to a guy that I met through a local photography club – again, when I least expected to meet anyone “special”!

    I think your friend’s approach is perfect – he will meet people with similar interests. Yes, it may be that there aren’t single women showing up at certain events – but people with similar interests will be there and the opportunity to make real friends. One of these friendships could lead to an introduction and it will be from a more sincere way and the chances of meeting a good match are more likely.

  14. !wanda says:

    I met my bf through a hobby, but before that I put out some profiles on free sites and on answered some Craigslist ads and ended up meeting some very interesting people, one of whom introduced me to the activity through which I met my bf. For me, online dating was an effective way of meeting people who were very far outside of my social and activity circle, which back then wasn’t fitting me well. It also made me feel very comfortable, because I feel better corresponding with a person for a long time before meeting them.

  15. Mrs. Micah says:

    His brother was dating my best friend. He wrote and recorded a song I really liked. I wrote him a note saying how much I liked it. He e-mailed back. Then I did. Etc. :)

  16. Macinac says:

    No matter your income, or education, or looks, or even age, there is always a girl/guy for you. Problem is that this may not satisfy your ideal. You may have to settle for a person of similar status as you. The 70 year old guy doesn’t get too many opportunities with 20 year old gals, unless there is some big equalizer. Usually the party with an advantage can reach downward and find a match.

  17. JT says:

    Funny, but I was recently politely prodded by some friends to try online dating. Reason is, I live in a suburb of a large city…and its really easy to get into a rut here with hobbies. Maybe its easier if you live in a big city like NY. I have lots of interests and get out a lot with various clubs…the only problem is, this being a quiet little suburb, I’m just not meeting a lot of NEW people. So as my New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided to give eHarmony a try. Hey, one of my friends met her husband through it so I guess its worth a try, just to get out of the normal routine if nothing else…

  18. Bonnie says:

    I have to give my two cents worth–I did join eharmony. I waited until they gave me a deal. I was bored after a month. Towards the last month I decided, well I paid for it and contacted a couple of last matches. Umm… I married the last one about 6 months ago after we went out for 2 years.

    He lived farther away from me than I would have liked and it involved relocating. Fortunately I was in a position to do that. I own my own business and could move it to another city. I miss my home but I am making new friends and new contacts here now.

    I think the mistake people make is plugging lots of money into lots of services and thinking they will solve all the problems. They won’t. What they can do, is offer some introductions to people who MIGHT have things in common with you.

  19. Minimum Wage says:

    No matter your income, or education, or looks, or even age, there is always a girl/guy for you. Problem is that this may not satisfy your ideal. You may have to settle for a person of similar status as you.

    If you have low income and a lot of education, there are very few people similar in status to you, and it is very unlikely you will find happiness.

  20. Minimum Wage says:

    Re: above comment

    I think women can pull it off, but men can’t.

  21. cendare says:

    All I can say is, my DH and I met online, both of us with relatively low income (his was lower) and high education (his was slightly higher). And here we are 3 1/2 years later. So, it’s not guaranteed or anything, but yeah, it can happen.

  22. Minimum Wage says:

    Waaaaait a minute, your incomes were low THEN. Heck, a lot of educated people start out with low incomes. (When you’re 40 or 50, low income and high education is rare and unmatchable.)

    How are your incomes now? I bet you both no longer have low incomes, unless one has chosen to stay at home.

  23. FinanceFan says:

    Minimum Wage – Like in many issues I think there is always some element of truth to everyones insight.

    However I hate to agree with you that with at least with men I do think income more often plays a factor

  24. Jennifer says:

    I’m really pleased to see a PF site addressing this issue — it seems like all of the PF sites except QueerCents assume that you’re married and have kids or intend to have them.

    My experience with online dating is extensive; I’ve met some of my closest friends that way, and had some great casual relationships, but no eternal match, alas. I think it can work very well for people who are excellent writers but a little shy in person.

    This year I’ve resolved to try working more on the in-person approach, since I’m lucky enough to have traditionally masculine or gender-neutral interests. I do get a little impatient with all of the married people who tell me that it will just happen if I relax and let it. Like most introverts, when I relax, it’s at home.

    Love to all,

  25. Mel says:

    Well, I met my fiance on an online site (though it was a free one, OKCupid) so I won’t knock them entirely…but for the most part they were a waste of time for me.

    Unfortunately, we’re still dealing with the narrow-minded backlash from some people about meeting “online”…considering that millions of people get online every day and use the internet for a thousand different things, why is it still considered weird?

  26. femmme says:

    If you never had the struggle of looking for a mate it is hard to make suggestions. Theey are all valid but still…..

  27. Davis says:

    All of those worries about being uncomfortable in social situations, etc. go away instantly when you are in a friendly environment and doing a fun activity. It sounds to me like the biking club is a great first step toward getting around others with a similar mindset, and an activity that he enjoys. Of course, I’m not so sure how many single women are involved in bike clubs. You might want to suggest co-ed adult kickball to him. I play and it’s a blast. You can bring your own team, few friends, or just sign up and get placed on a team. Your team makes for your instant social group on game nights both on and off the field (all of the teams go to the same bar usually). From that core team, it’s easy to meet people from other teams because everyone’s got a common bond of kickball. You should be able to find a league/division near you by googling “kickball.” Good luck!

  28. Julie says:

    I met my husband on eHarmony. I cannot honestly say that I would have met him any other way. Online dating doesn’t work for everyone, but in my case it did…

    BTW, my income is low because I am building a business, but don’t expect it to be as low as it is forever. It’s a process…

  29. Minimum Wage says:

    BTW, my income is low because I am building a business, but don’t expect it to be as low as it is forever. It’s a proces

    Ah, yes, huge difference between permanent low income and temp low income while building a buisiness.

  30. Titika says:

    I completely agree with your points but would like to add one more: BE the person you want to find! If you take an honest look at your shortcomings and actively work to improve them, you are probably doing something a) to improve your chances of finding someone and b) to increase the chances that your relationship will last. Because let’s face it! You can only change yourself. Looking primarily at the other person is a sure way to cause problems.

  31. margo says:

    Heh, I feel compelled to chime in. My fiancee and I met online, and we are wedding in a little less than three months. We didn’t meet at a dating site, but a site that was geared towards interests that we have in common.

    He lived, at the time, several states away but we began our chatting because he sought out some advice: he was considering a move to my city and would I answer some of his curious questions? One thing led to another, and he came to my city for an exploratory visit and invited me to dinner.

    Not to be cheesey, but there were sparks at first sight. And we already knew each other from our correspondence and “hanging out” at the same website. So it was like having the final piece fall into place when he decided to move here.

    I think there is a lot of potential for meeting people online, especially if you focus on looking for someone that be an excellent friend first, not just looking for someone that you consider attractive.

  32. Lauren says:

    In response to Minimum Wage:
    My best friend has her PhD in molecular chemistry and her fiance didn’t graduate from high school. He will probably make close to minimum wage his whole life, and neither his educational background nor his earning potential factored into their decision to marry.

    There are many women who are financially very secure in their own right that don’t care how much money a guy makes. These women already have security, they are looking for love. I know, I was one of them before I was married a few years ago. :o)

  33. Dawn says:

    I live in a smaller city and most of my friends have found their spouses through clubs (like hiking, skiing, the local young professional group or even star gazing), through church or volunteer activities, or by taking classes at the local community college (a bit more money, but usually a lot of fun). I think the reason this works well is exactly what you said, there is already a common basis of interest to build on and a topic of conversation. Also, I think most people are attracted to happy people, and most of us are happiest when we’re doing something we enjoy.

    One other note, I had a friend who was very into hiking and a member of the hiking club, a few people in the group encouraged him to join the ski club, even though he was not really into skiing. He did it, and met the woman he married. So, your friend might want to ocassionally try an activity that is related to bicycling, but not exactly that.

  34. Heidi says:

    I met my fiance on Match. I’ve known a lot of people that have had awful experiences with online dating, but I never would have met my partner without it.

    @ MinimumWage: move to a college town. There are tons of well-eductated, under-employed people in cities that revolve around a university. The barista that made my coffee this morning has a PhD in library science.

  35. clevelis says:

    Trent, awesome topic!

    Lauren, I have to agree with you. I’ve almost completed my masters degree and will start medical school after that. The Man of My Dream is the one who will pursue my heart. His finances and education are not that big of a deal. Besides, there are a lot of educated people w/ no ambition or creativity; they just seek after what everyone else has, which is really unattractive. And the whole trying to hard thing is down right gross!

    Too many people are single because of fear to take the relationship risk. We would rather be discontented in a familiar hell than venture into the unknown. For example, Minimum Wage, my guess is that you’re partly playing the devil’s advocate and partly expressing some true hurt. All risk come with consequences–some good, some not so good. Take the risk!

    I’m drawing closer to 30 and I’m still single. My Prince Charming will be a man of great character who I can grow old with. Our paths will cross in due time.

  36. Johanna says:

    I tried online dating for a while a few years ago. I got to meet some people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met, but nothing came of it, and I’m not at all surprised. When your options are opened up as much as they are on dating sites, people tend to treat each other like they’re disposable. They think, “Why should I bother getting to know a person who doesn’t quite match up to my ideals, when I can try my luck with one of the hundreds of other people waiting in the wings?” This can cause people to treat each other very cruelly, often breaking off contact without a word of explanation.

  37. Gayle says:

    I have noticed a distinct difference between “dating” now and dating practices from years ago. I call it pseudo dating. People participate in various groups and activities but they never actually get around to asking anybody out for an actual date, one on one. Much time is spent complaining that there is no one out there for them. I would advise these gentlemen (sorry, but I am old and old fashioned ) to for pete’s sake ask somebody out and share some time together.

    I have had the experience of a man considering that he had “dated” me simply because he sat next to me at a series of social functions. This has never ceased to amaze me even though it has happened several times. One gentleman of longstanding acquaintance simply started showing up at my door at random intervals for several months. This ceased as mysteriously and suddenly as it started. How do I know these were dating situations? When mutual friends ask me why we broke up! Hilarious, I must say.

  38. Dan says:

    The biking will probably work – I have lots of friends who ended up with spouses via biking, running, skiing, co-ed volleyball leagues, rock climbing, etc. Next to church and being introduced by mutual friends it seems to be the highest probability of success.

    On the other hand – if this new plan doesn’t work he should consider taking up new hobbies as a way of meeting new people. Sure there is a little more expense, but the activity is usually rewarding and you meet a lot of new people. More importantly, the people you meet are often “better” in that they are actively engaged in life and lead more interesting lives.

    I’ve “used” ice skating lessons, frisbee golf, “ultimate” frisbee, archery, sand volleyball, and kite flying for this purpose, as well as numerous college classes I didn’t need and “non-credit” classes (arts, crafts, languages, etc), back when I was single.

    One benefit to meeting new people through participation in new activities is that it decreases the “relationship risk” (as clevelis mentions above) involved. i.e. if it ends badly you don’t have to give up your favorite hobby, change careers, move to a new town, or find all new friends. :-)

    Finally, as a last resort, he could buy a dog or borrow a kid. I had to start wearing a wedding ring to be able to go out in public with my dogs or kids and avoid uncomfortable situations (i.e. “dad was talking to some girl who didn’t have a shirt on” (in my defense, she was jogging in a sports bra, and stopped to pet my dog)). :-)

  39. Todd says:

    I love the connection here between PF and relationships. It seems to me that with a relationship, as with money, the best advice (and most welcome advice) is not about how to find it but how to take care of what you have. What’s important is how to make the most out of what life gives you.

    I heard Lucille Ball make this connection once. She said in an interview during her later years (and I’m paraphrasing, of course) that Desi Arnaz was at heart a loser–not because he couldn’t make a lot of money or attract a lot of women, but because he could never be happy with anything he had. He always ended up losing everything.

    I’ve always remembered that as a good lesson.

    Thanks to all for a great post and an interesting discussion.

  40. Anne says:

    I guess I am consider pretty lucky as well since I married my high school sweetheart after 12 years of dating. I never really had to deal with the dating scene at all.

    My husband has been unemployed for the last 2 years and doing handyman type of work during that time. I earn enough to support the two of us. I know my earning potential is going to be much higher in the near future. Like I told him many times, it is not about how much you make, just show me that you are not lazy. But when things are slow and he is home, I do not do any housework, cooking, or cleaning. But when he has big projects and is busy, then I pitch in to help.

  41. Pisethz says:

    As what i have just read through your blog post, i feel i learn a lot from your advice as what you have written down. I really appreciate what you shared. I hope i would be a lucky person just as your couple.

  42. Max says:

    Wow.. . this is a big topic. Dating especially if you have relocated from your home or college town can be very difficult. . .

    OK, first off I have to say that a few years ago I moved to a new city and wanted to find people to share some hobbies with (mostly outdoor stuff) and I really didn’t like the fact that a large number of the people seemed to be looking for a mate. . .I found it a turnoff because it was really obvious and well also because it was a lot of old men. . .

    That being said, after about 2 years of being in my city and not meeting enough eligible(and interesting) women I tried online dating. . .with mixed success. . .

    This is going to sound bad, but at this stage, I’ve decided that I need to move to a ‘better’ city for quality of life issues including meeting people. . . I was recently in Portland, OR and was blown away with the number of young people walking down the street compared to where I live.

  43. CW says:

    First, I never listen to dating advice from someone who’s basically never dated. Marrying a high school sweetheart is a good story, but it also means Trent has zero experience for his advice. Give me someone who knows what it feels like.

    But people in this thread say some good things. I would only offer that I have been tripped up in relationships with women because my career path is financially limited (though I’m good with money), and that online dating is like the Passive Income Generator of love. You tend it once a week, and if you get nothing, no big deal. I actually prefer it when people break contact, because it’s more efficient and I can move on (though I like at least to say I’m not feeling it). I’ve done Match, OKCupid, and EHarmony. Don’t like EHarmony– feels like too much pressure on serious relationships FAST.

    Also, over 30 & single is no big deal, esp. in bigger cities. The first post makes it sound like this guy’s in the cancer ward.

  44. JW says:

    Relationships are great – but being single can be as well! I was in a long-term relationship, and now being honest with myself, I’m happy, it’s been 6 months, and I can see it being a long time. I can’t have children, so there is no biological clock ticking. I was talking to a friend about this, and saying more of us in our thirties and forties are actually willing to admit we like living alone, have full lives, and are prepared to be concious and thoughtful about entering another relationship, and do not have the ‘urge to merge’ that seems to be ever-present in ones twenties. I think as you get older, there is greater acceptance of the fact you can be happy being single, and valuing your network of friends and family.
    Fiscally, there is an enormous amount of freedom in absolutely making the choices you want to, and having the time and resources to devote to activities as you wish. It also means so much more lifestyle freedom – like getting rid of television!
    I’m not dissing relationships, I’m open to being in one, just not actually looking at all, and have planned for the next ten years on the basis it will be just me (including the ultimate luxury, financing 3 months off work for my fortieth in a few years … a fantanstic goal!)
    Being happy alone isn’t second best ;-), although I have to admit having a good income certainly is useful!

  45. Dana says:

    In my observations, dating can be expensive no matter how you meet the person. Married people have some entertainment advantages singles don’t–subscribing to Netflix is a lot cheaper than going to the theater, but there aren’t many eligible singles wandering through my living room.

    I think frugality can enter the equation much easier when you’re at the “exclusive dating” stage and no longer have to worry about limiting your social contacts.

  46. susan says:

    I married my ( now deceased) hubby two years after we met via ICQ…we just clicked while talking about Art.
    It did not matter that we lived on different contintents-He was ia Australia and I was in the USA.
    We were married for five years bofore he had a fatal heart attack last April. :( He was 42.

    The Internet is not an evil place for dating; it’s the quality of the people using it that makes or breaks it!
    Oh and just because you have someone now doesn’t mean you will have them forever…make sure you do things that help you grwo as an individual. While I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone, sadly it does happen.
    I am almost at a year out-and I have no idea how I will ever date again, but I don’t want to be alone for the next 40 years either!
    I am sure I will use the internet as well as real life when I feel like I want to do this again.

  47. If your friend thinks it’s tough, try being an attractive late-20s tall, smart and educated blonde girl in the Bay Area.

    my friend spent thousands of dollars on cross country visits, long distance phone calls and match.com fees after she found the man of her dreams. unfortunately he lived in another country but she loved the region’s history and culture and was ready to move out there for awhile before sponsoring they got married and he got his citizenship. he couldn’t get the papers for citizenship, it’s kind of complicated so they called off the wedding and all the other celebrations.

    but the founder of friendster, social networking site said awhile ago the best way it can happen is when you’re not looking.

    don’t try to force yourself to meet the opposite at places you’re not comfortable. bars are bad places to meet initially. a lot of my friends have found their SO or husbands via a class or from going to a friend’s party and everyone’s been pretty happy. love can hit you unexpectedly so don’t try so hard.

  48. Samantha says:

    Well, KUDOS to your friend! I also met my husband in high school and married after college. BUT, I met him in a school activity club. I think friend is doing the right thing by finding something to interest him to fulfill himself. When someone is doing something they enjoy, that gives them self-confidence and fulfillment means that someone else is not NEEDED. That is very attractive in a person. I bet love will come to your friend the minute he is not looking for it.

    As to these other comments about money.. yes, a man having money is like a girl being pretty (remember that line from “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend”?), but that is just on the surface. That initial level of attractiveness/interest can be overcome if you don’t have it, or capitalized on if you do have it, doing something you enjoy for yourself and sharing it with a group of people who also enjoy it. Being in a social setting where the only required topic is one you enjoy can make you behave at your best. This can open many social doors, and I’ve seen it happen over and over so I’m not just talking into my hat.

    I wish the friend in the article much happiness, as I do the commentators in this thread. I know it can come to you!

  49. A says:

    I know I’m late to the party, but I had to comment. My ex-husband met his current wife on Match.com, my new husbands best man just became engaged to a girl he met on Eharmony.com and my new husbands ex-wife met several of her other ex-husbands through Match.com (my hubby was husband #1 one, they also met online but this was in the early 90s in a chat group). Seems like it works to me.

  50. Tao Kuei says:

    For once… although you make some good points, I don’t know if this advice is for everyone. Not everyone is looking for love. Also you yourself said in the article on the Secret that postive thinking alone is not enough and now you’re encouraging it??

    “Second, if you’re uncomfortable, it’s not going to work. He used to sometimes go to bars to look for women, but the whole situation made him very uncomfortable and thus made it basically impossible to meet anyone. He simply didn’t feel that he had much in common with the people there, drinking themselves into oblivion and searching in desperation. Perhaps his view on things was skewed, but if the situation makes you uncomfortable, it’s going to be almost impossible to find someone there. Instead, practice extending your comfort zone a little bit on your own. Engage in some personally fulfilling activities that might be a bit different than what you’re used to, but don’t dive off the deep end.

    Finally, don’t send off an inaccurate vibe. Sure, keep yourself clean and wear decent clothes, but when you start wearing clothes that you don’t like simply because they’ll attract someone, you’re sending off the wrong vibe. Similarly, don’t start working at a volunteer place just to impress someone – it won’t work out over the long run.

    Because of this, and the realization that maybe he was spending his time in the wrong way and definitely putting too much money into it, he changed his approach and it seems to be paying off.

    He stopped all activities he was involved in solely for meeting someone. He ceased wearing his “going out” clothes. He stopped going out to bars or clubs. He logged off of eHarmony (it hadn’t found him anyone, anyway). Instead, he decided to devote his time and resources to things that left him more fulfilled and complete.”

    The bits between the quotes, I can sort of respect but if you just do what you love (which can be sitting at home, vegetating, playing World of Warcraft) and don’t say, occassionally greet people you meet on the way to work, which doesn’t cost money, you can end up injust as bad a position. While I’m not great at frugal, I do know what I’m talking about here.

  51. Tao Kuei says:

    frugal pickups I meant to say, my bad.

  52. Leah says:

    I love the idea in this post, and it’s what I’ve done consistently. To date, joining hobbies I like has not netted me a boyfriend, but I’ve made lots of friends and enjoyed life more.

    Now, what did get me a boyfriend was an online dating site . . . but I went with a free one. We met at okcupid.com and have been dating 7 months now. Interestingly, he’d looked at several dating sites but went for OKC because it was free. This is exactly the ethos I appreciate in him and why OKC was a great and easy place for us to meet. We sent exactly one message back and forth (he messaged me, and I was so impressed with the message that I sent my phone number), we went hiking, and our future prospects look great.

    But, bear in mind, I’d spent over a year unsuccessfully dating from this site. I did gain a number of good friends, so I call it good experience, but it was not immediate. I’m so glad the site is free, as it allowed me to pursue meeting people casually while also giving me time to enjoy hobbies and activities that helped widen my circle of friends.

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