Dating Made Easy

Image published by Laurie and Whittle, 1805; courtesy of The Library of Congress.
Image published by Laurie and Whittle, 1805; courtesy of The Library of Congress.

There are a number of wonky measures used to evaluate the suitability of a potential life partner. Some employ a predetermined criteria, while others look to their peers for feedback. Meanwhile, many lie in wait for some magic moment. (Popular film favors this latter scenario.)

The problems associated with these notions are many-fold. The first introduces an overly rigid set of requirements that makes the process much like shopping for a car. The second is dependent upon others’ value-systems—which likely aren’t an exact match with yours. The third is so vague and mystical that it becomes difficult to identify such moments should they actually come to pass. It also tends to be confused with excitement, which isn’t necessarily a good sign.

In lock-step with the “magic moment” hypothesis, is the notion of “The One.” The One is a mythic creature… much like the Yeti. It persists in popular culture in spite of any evidence of its existence. The search for it consumes entire lifetimes, rarely to any avail.

As a culture, we continue to invent ways to complicate this process. It needn’t be this way.

If you’re single, you probably won’t be for long. There are 7 billion people on the planet, and many of them are looking for a companion. Sidestepping this biological imperative to pair-bond is simply against the odds. Equally so, is the likelihood of there being one perfect person pre-ordained to be with you, and you alone. There are many compatible candidates; it’s really more a matter of determining who you fit best with.

While peers can provide words of encouragement or caution surrounding a potential partner, this feedback shouldn’t be taken too seriously. We don’t ask our friends to choose our meals; why would we trust them to determine who we live with? Long, fixed lists of eligibility criteria also shouldn’t be given too much weight. The qualities and characteristics we think we want are often quite different from those we actually do.

One might determine that the most sensible way to find a potential mate is to increase opportunity, limit criteria, and open up more to possibilities—particularly those close at hand.

Opportunity is increased by situating oneself in environments within which there are a higher number of eligible people. (While this may seem obvious, few seem willing to accept such straightforward notions when it comes to these matters.) Avoid bars and nightclubs as they are largely an urban mirage. Instead, join running groups, take evening classes, and go online. It’s helpful to choose places where you can actually talk with people (and hear their responses).

At the same time, one needs to thin their list of requirements to a very small number. This requires putting aside petty biases. For example, physical characteristics may seem relevant, but ultimately amount to very little; therefore, they shouldn’t be given much credence. On the other hand, it’s highly important to be with someone who’s nice and can hold a conversation. After the initial thrill wears off, these are the sorts of things that actually matter.

Additionally, while you’re looking off in the distance for someone remarkable to appear, perhaps also open up to the possibilities right in front of you. While some feel strongly about not dating those they see as “just friends,” they often miss out on the possibility of being with someone great who they already share common interests with.


  1. Furthermore, that someone remarkable could very well be your current spouse/partner if you look again with fresh eyes, perspective, patience and honesty.

  2. For some reason all keep thinking while reading this was 50 cent “In da Club”. I wonder what a female response would be to this post. As a married guy with loads of single friends, I laugh at some the unrealistic ideas they have at finding “The One”!

  3. Good advice. I knew so many guys who would chase after a woman because of physical attributes, but once the thrill of conquest wore off they discovered that they were not compatible emotionally or intellectually. But when they set out to find another, they went right back to looking at the body first. The body doesn’t last, find someone you *like* first and foremost. If they just happen to be great looking too, that’s an added blessing.

    1. It’s a strange thing and I really feel that we make it unnecessarily complicated by thinking there needs to be some kind of “grand cosmic thing” at work.

      I spent years confused, trying to be a better version of myself, in an effort to meet someone.

      By the time I met Amea (my wife) I wasn’t really looking. I was just having a nice time meeting people. She was easy to be with, and after a couple of months, it just seemed natural to keep doing things together.

  4. What about those people who are arranged? They must feel they culturally figured this out a long time ago.

  5. The Female Perspective : Some predetermined criteria is important and should be held onto (eg. he’s not an alcoholic, he has ambition, interests and opinions, he values being kind over how shiny his car is), while other criteria should be challenged when someone interesting comes along (eg. “I refuse to date a gamer.” or “He’s too old.”)/

    I found my partner when one day I realized everything I’d been looking for was right in front of me, something I’d been ignoring for months, because I thought our age difference was too great.

    1. I figure certain points are beyond criteria, and simply common sense. I didn’t want to date any arsonists, but also didn’t feel that needed to be top-of-mind. ;-)

  6. This is making me think hard about my situation, I met a really great guy he’s everything but I kept holding back because he’s 2years younger than me cnt see the differnce because I look 5years younger than my actuaal age… Stupid excuse hey. Lol

Add a Comment