Many of my single patients have lost sight of their humanity in the search for a beloved. Their list of criteria for a partner has become absurd. As soon as they meet someone who is as good looking as Brad and as sexy as Angelina, as rich as a Oprah and as unconditionally loving as the Dalai Lama, they will be able to let down their guard and love somebody.
I send them to Match.com not to find a partner, but for an education:
- A common complaint is “there’s no one out there” or “all the good ones are taken.” By browsing for free, you will find out how many prospects are actually out there. If you live in a major metropolitan area, there are a seemingly endless number of possible partners which will challenge those beliefs for good.
- Browsing will also confront the idea that online dating is only for nerds. When you see how many smart, attractive, accomplished, kindly people are online, you will change your mind. Statistics say that today one in five married couples met online.
- Match.com is a great place to get comfortable meeting friendly human beings. Spending time getting to know other available people will help you remember that people are people before they are sex objects or arm candy, and will expose you to how decent and lovely most people are.
- The next step is “coffee dates.” This is a meeting of about an hour in a public place such as Starbucks. You go on coffee dates with just about anyone who asks to practice your conversation skills and find out if a friendship might be possible. Go out as often as you can until you are comfortable meeting and conversing with strangers. You could meet three new people a week or even three in an evening.
- The only thing you need to know after meeting someone is whether you’d like to see them again. It’s too soon to know if you want to marry them or have a baby. Most single people make up their minds too quickly, such as in the first few seconds.
- You’ll come to accept that dating is basically a game of rejection — either you reject or you get rejected. Learning not to take it personally will help with dating and with all of life.
Match.com has enough candidates looking for love for you to learn to how to meet and enjoy other human beings instead of waiting around for Mr/Ms Perfect. You can use what you learn at Match.com University to return kindness and humanity to the dating world.
© 2014 Catherine Auman This article is an excerpt from Catherine’s book Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth