Romance Series: Where Are the Good Men Hiding, and How Can We Catch Them? (LOL)
Hello and welcome back to our corner of the Internet where we can talk all things feminine, romantic, and traditional!
Today, to continue forward with our Romance Series, I have updated an older list from the blog archives. We've been having all of this fun talking about relationships and good men, but WHERE can one find a man like this!?
Well, the truth is that you can find them everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
My History with Romantic Stories:
My first internship in college was managing the blog for a wedding video company. I was in charge of blogging about each couple, from the start of their relationship to the actual wedding, and spent my days sifting through the stories of couples meeting, falling in love, and committing their lives to one another. And let me tell you that after a year of that job, I can testify that people meet ALL kinds of ways.
The craziest story I read was about a couple who met when they were DRIVING. The pair exchanged a few flirtatious smiles from the passing lane on the freeway to Chicago until eventually, the (future) groom wrote his number on a piece of paper and stuck it to the driver's side window. The bride wrote it down and the rest is, as they say, history. Crazy right?
Most couples met in similar ways: guy introduces himself to girl, and the rest is history. One couple began when the groom introduced himself to a girl he saw dining at a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. She was celebrating her father's 50th birthday, and he marched right up to the table to say hello (gutsy!) Other stories were much simpler, with couples matching on eHarmony or meeting in bars. One pair even had the fortune of meeting each other while waiting by baggage claim after a brutal flight. Couples frequently reported meeting in college classes, gyms, and even their friends' weddings!
But regardless of how they met or who initiated the first greeting, it is important to note the uniting and driving factors behind each of these stories: initiative, courage, and a little sprinkle of God's hand, or destiny if that's your schtick.
No matter how, who, what, or when, each couple had the same formula: FIRST, the couple enters into each other's vicinity, whether online, in person, or on the freeway (LOL.) NEXT, one person decides to reach out and greet the other person with the intention of establishing a connection. This could be through a Direct Message online, a smile at the grocery store, or an offer to buy a drink at a bar. But that initial greeting is not enough to establish the story because the receiver must ACCEPT the attempt at connection and curiously prod forward into the relationship.
Only after the receiver accepts the initial greeting, can either party decide if there is potential for a love connection. If not, a friendship could be forged, or an acquaintance, but either way, there is potential.
My Romance Pep Talk:
That's what I want to stress today: even if you have ten wonderful men take initiative with you, if you are not open, you will never get past introductions. You have to receive and allow yourself to be wooed, even in the circumstances are a little odd. Do not discount meeting your special someone on the dance floor, in the grocery store, or even through a set up by your Great-Aunt Mildred.
MEN DO NOT FALL FROM THE SKY ONTO YOUR LAP. You need to get out of your home, out of your little girls' night, and into a level of independence, initiative, and interest in opportunities outside of your comfort zone and circle of friends.
And when it IS time to meet these men, don't make the mistake of thinking you're too good for every man who approaches you. Give people the benefit of the doubt and let them surprise you . It's nerve-wracking to talk to a new person for the first time, even if you're NOT trying to establish a love-connection.
Go easy on people and let yourself warm up to them. I had to warm up to my husband, and I'm so glad I did instead of writing him off. Don't assume you know everything about someone just by the shoes they wear or the drink they order.
Get out of the comfort zone and out from under the comfortable wings of weekends at your parent's house or girls' night in with wine. Get involved in society and make a name for yourself. Give people second or even third chances to make a first impression. Don't be afraid of showing that you want a relationship, and never assume you're too good for someone.
Alright, pep talk over, and now it's time for the list! These are just a few ideas, but hey... it's better to have SOME ideas than none right?? ;)
1. Family friends
Never underestimate the power of a connection through family friends. I'm suggesting dating family friends OR allowing your family friends to set you up. There is a good chance that that guy your aunt has been dying to set you up with might be a good match.
Family friends often have a lot of shared history, connections, interests, and values. One of our best "couple" friends met when they were basically babies, and they are ACTUALLY perfect together. The next time your relative has a suggestion, consider taking them up on it!
We DO go to church to meet with God, but there's nothing wrong with being open to meeting a special someone. The great thing about meeting people at church is that you already have a good chance of shared values and beliefs. Throw in a built-in community support system and you've got a great foundation for a relationship!
Keep your heart in the right place, but don't balk at the idea of dating someone from church. Remain balanced, and always look cute at church, just in case someone brought their cute cousin from Idaho or something. LOL!!
This is another great way to meet people with shared beliefs and connections. University is actually how I met my husband! Well, actually we met on a college trip to Israel, but it was still through college connections! College is a fantastic place to make connections because you are surrounded by a high concentration of single people who are also around the same age and stage in life.
Everyone is meeting new people, so it's not weird to strike up a conversation. Make connections in class, in the dining hall, at the gym, or honestly ANYWHERE. Be open to friendships, relationships, and connections in general. Don't take those 4 years for granted!
4. Work Networking
For my post-grad babies out there, I would encourage you to reconsider some of your connections through WORK. An acquaintance of mine met the love of her life when she took up a part-time night-gig at a Consumer's Energy telemarketing office. Romantic eh?
If you're in more of a career situation, it might be best to avoid overcomplicating your office dynamics, but don't be afraid to consider other connections. Think, people you meet THROUGH work; a rival company, the cute guy from the next floor down, or a guy you met at a work function or networking event. Be considerate in this touchy area, but don't be afraid to develop feelings if the right (single) person pops up!
5. Be Open to a Public Approach
Many people meet each other completely randomly, or at an awkward moment. Sharing an elevator, dropping something near someone in the grocery store, or at a bookshop are all ways I've heard of people meeting for the first time.
My high school art teacher was famous for telling the story of how his daughter met her husband at a Meijer grocery store. Apparently the (future) husband approached her saying that she looked AMAZING in her shorts, and "would she like to go to church with him and his mother?"
My art teacher's daughter must have been REALLY adventurous because she actually went and ended up falling in love with the guy! Now they have three kids and are in a constant state of wedded bliss. Go figure.
This story always makes me laugh because it reminds me that we never know when we will meet an incredible person. You should be aware of real creeps, but don't be completely shut off to the nice guy saying hello at the library or the cute barista handing you your coffee: he could be your grocery-store-approaching-church-going future husband. You never know.
6. Flock Together with Good People
I heard this advice on a podcast from a CERTIFIED professional NYC matchmaker.
This might sound really weird, but I am suggesting that you identify people in your life who have attributes of the type of person you want to date, then try to tag along with them to a social engagement. Say your best friend's husband is a TOTAL stand-up guy: chances are that the fantastic husband has FANTASTIC single friends. Birds of a feather flock together!
Next time he heads out to see some buddies, ask if you and your BFF can tag along. The best way to do this is to find people who are distant connections and who have access to social circles you've yet to be acquainted with. The thing about your best friend's husband is that you probably already know his friends. Branch out a little farther to tertiary contacts, think "friends-of-friends" and tag along with them. Be brave, courageous, and you will definitely meet new people.
7. Reconsider the People from Your Childhood
For my Christian Canadians out there who are finding it difficult to find someone who shares your beliefs, this one MIGHT be for you. I recently learned that a girl I went to high school with is now engaged to my second cousin, who is a little younger than us. She never really gave him a second look until he grew up, but now they're perfect for each other! Honestly I think it's an amazing story and points to the fact that once you graduate and grow up, a little bit of an age difference doesn't matter.
Even more, those guys you may have overlooked in high school are now adult men. Give them a chance! Reacquaint yourself with your brother's old high school friends or that younger guy who was in the play with you. Be open at high school reunions, and accept ALL friend requests from decent-looking men from your childhood. It could be a match!
8. Establish Connections Through Mutual Hobbies
I hear this dating advice all the time, and I think it's because it's pretty sound! Try to establish connections through your hobbies or past time activities like the gym, a dance class, theatre, a running club, or a volunteer opportunity.
Be kind, open, and welcoming to the opportunity to meet people during your hobbies. Even better, pick up a hobby that the opposite sex enjoys: for example, men could join a ballroom dance class and women could join a cross fit gym or shooting range. Try to do hobbies that you're actually interested in though... you don't want to be a weird girl who only took up a hobby to meet men. Make sure you actually want to do the hobby too LOL!
Alright, so I don't know much about online dating, and I'm not even really here to advocate for dating apps. I'm here to advocate for love connections through actual social media avenues like Twitter, Instagram, or even YouTube. I know a few Libertarians who met through Twitter, and some other couples who met through liking each other's photos on Instagram.
If you are part of an online community, it can be a nice way to meet someone with similar values, beliefs, and future goals. This is especially true for any of my seriously traditional ladies out there: be open to the traditional men online, although many of them are out working or in nature and not online LOL.
10. Become Nancy Drew
My last piece of advice... if nothing here works for you, is to become Nancy Drew towards the type of man you want. Be realistic and narrow down your desires to figure out what kind of man you want; age, religion, culture, look, etc. Once you do this, begin putting yourself in situations where you will encounter men that fit that description. Become a sleuth and really think through WHERE those types of men spend their time.
For example, if you want to date a divorced middle-aged dad with money, try taking up golf in your spare time. If you want a young country guy, begin accepting every single invitation you get to go to a BMX show or a bonfire, and try to reevaluate your brother's hunting buddies. If you want to date a conservative Christian, begin looking for prospects at church, or your friend's church, or your friend's friend's church. If you want a guy who's into fitness, begin flirting at the gym, and if you want a guy who never has time for you, try flirting with your local doctors or accountants (LOL!) I'm kind of kidding but also kind of serious.
I know this is weird advice, but it truly works. And better yet, sometimes you date that guy you think will be perfect for you, and you realize it's a terrible match. You'll never know until you begin going on dates!
So this isn't an exhaustive list, but it's just a few ideas to get your brains sparking! I wish you all the best in your man-hunting my loves, but remember to be open and courageous. You cannot meet the love of your life from your best friend's couch during a Bachelor marathon!