Source: Web exclusive, September 2009
With so many Internet companies offering new ways to connect us with potential mates, why does it still feel so difficult to find Mr. or Ms. Right? Some say technology has disconnected us’it’s harder to say hello in person when you’re busy scrolling dating profiles on your iPhone. Others blame unrealistic expectations of happiness and the fact that we want nothing short of our perfectly imagined mate. But it’s tough to find the prince inside the frog when you refuse to make any unnecessary eye contact. Alas, the first steps to meeting someone might be to unplug yourself from all distracting devices, put the Walt Disney fairytale dreams on the backburner and start making connections. If that sounds doable, then check out our list of ideas for how to find love in the 21st century.
Find love in another country
Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway to a trendy tourist hotspot or a slow exploration of a remote destination, many couples meet while on vacation. ‘We fell in love while travelling in Costa Rica,’ says Kate, a mother of two, of how she met her husband.
More and more travel companies are tapping into the matchmaking market by offering a slew of singles-only trips that let you climb Africa’s Kilimanjaro, cruise around the Caribbean, or hike through Tuscany’not a bad way to meet potential love-interests. Or, stay close to home and choose a weekend camping trip in our very own outdoors. The trick here is to try and find a company that is based in your hometown’that way after your trip is over, there’s a greater chance of you maintaining a romance. (As with any travel company, do your research to ensure they’re reputable!)
Use your network
Yes, it’s true there’s no shortage of horror stories when it comes to Internet dating. But there’s a reason it’s turned into a $900-million industry: sometimes it works. The power-matchmaker eHarmony claims to be responsible for 118 marriages a day. Still, many people struggle with the idea of joining a site solely to find a date. Well, our ever-evolving relationship with the virtual world has adapted to this shy set. In addition to connecting for business and posting updates for friends, people are now starting to use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, to scroll for potential matches, flirt and organize blind dates. And in order to remain competitive, some Internet dating sites, such as Lavalife, are introducing social networking functions (the ability to post events, join groups and organize outings), into parts of their sites so you can do more than just read profiles.
Mix it up
Like Internet dating, mixers for singles might still be a hard sell for some of us out there. But if you give these events a chance, you may find love in some very cool places. Meet Market Adventures offers an amazing array of singles events’from hot air ballooning, sailing and flying lessons, to more traditional events like pub crawls, jazz music nights and happy hour get-togethers. They also offer the chance to meet up at charity events, like its Toronto Lend-a-Hand event held conjunction with the Salvation Army, where participants helped deliver sandwiches to the homeless.
Some non-profit organizations are also throwing singles-only events such as Habitat for Humanity’s The Singles Build, where participants helped build a house then went for drinks to mingle at a trendy bar.
For people who prefer more intimate situations, small-group dinner parties (found on networks like dinnerworks.ca, which hosts events in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa) at local restaurants can be more appealing.
Also, don’t discount the printed word’events in your own neighborhood can be found in flyers posted at your local café, community newspapers and on local radio stations.
Find love in everyday places
While the marketplace is undoubtedly rife with new and exciting ways to meet your mate, nothing will ever beat the tried-and-true method of falling in love: chance. A night class, the office, your apartment building, the café around the corner’these are all places where people continue to meet each other every day. What’s important with traditional methods of meeting people is that you climb out of your shell and connect’if you think there’s a hint of a spark, don’t hesitate to ask for a number, an email address or a Facebook ID.
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