DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m looking for love desperately and making a lot of mistakes along the way. Both my sister and my best girlfriend are telling me, "You don’t find love until you stop looking for it." My sister has been married to her childhood sweetheart for years, so what does she know? And, my BFF has no man in her life and just wants me to go to movies with her. So I’m asking you: Do you think that saying is true? — Lonely Valentine, Osborne Village
Dear Lonely: No, it’s definitely not true. It’s like saying "If you want to go fishing, stop going to the water and let the fish come to you."
Looking for love is a valiant cause worth pursuing if you do it in the spirit of fun, not desperation.
That means you devote the next two years (you heard me) to becoming extra social. If you’ve never been a joiner, now is the time to sign up and show up — but not for art and cooking classes. Identify your interests in life that include guys. If work is your biggest interest, get into outside work projects or committees that take you out of the building to meet other people. Single men often ask me, "Where are all the women In Winnipeg?"
These men claim they can be found in sporting places in all seasons — in winter they’re in curling rinks, skiing and snowboarding places, indoor racquet clubs, all-year running clubs. (Guys may be at gyms, but they don’t talk much to women who are busy working out, so scratch that.) In warm weather, guys join cycling clubs, golf courses, car clubs, ultimate frisbee, skydiving. Don’t like sports?
Men are at the chambers of commerce, political parties, open mike music and comedy scenes, breakfast tip-sharing clubs, and charities like Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. Join event-organizing committees, get involved and get yourself known as a fun, single woman, and don’t be shy to say you’d like to meet a great guy. Married guys have single pals.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: OK, I’m not shy.
I’m the exact opposite! But, I still have no boyfriend. I don’t have time for much as I work 10-12 hours a day, but I really want to find a guy this year and it bugs me this is the second Valentine’s Day in a row coming up and I have nobody. How do I find love where I am without dipping in the company ink, which was my last mistake and one I won’t make again. — Busy, Attractive Lady, Portage & Main
Dear Busy & Attractive: You’re outgoing enough to "work solo." So go to lunch alone wearing a conversation starter accessory.
Park yourself near a solo business guy in the food court. Say hello. Ask for the sugar, salt, whatever you have just hidden. If you’re carrying a newspaper (you know, like the Free Press) show him a story you’ve just read and say, "I’d like to get a somebody else’s view on this." Strike up a conversation about anything, even the weather, as making contact is the only thing that’s important. To meet someone at a bar or nightclub, get your drinks at the standup bar, strike up conversations in the lineup. Ask the guys that you find interesting to dance with you when a great song comes on, and double your chances of liking him. Online dating’s fine as an additional technique, but get onto the phone, skyping, then out for a coffee fast, so you don’t waste three months on one person who turns out to be far less attractive and interesting in real life.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I asked my girlfriend to go along with me on an evening of surprises Feb. 14 and she said, "If you’re planning on giving me an engagement ring, just don’t! I don’t want to get married." I was taken aback. I said, "Whatever made you think I was going to do that?" — even though that’s exactly what I was going to do. I still love her.
Now what? — Crushed, St. Vital Dear Crushed: She may be outspoken, but she saved you a humiliation and a lot of money on Valentine’s Day. Scale right back and do a casual ethnic dinner in a fun place, a funny movie and one perfect florist shop rose — no diamond anythings. After a mistake like you made, don’t hazard a lot of money or effort.
You may or may not want to be with her after you really hash this out, but save a possible breakup for after Valentine’s Day, a day which amplifies emotion.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg, R2X 3B6 or email email@example.com