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Steps To Find A Mate

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Edward A. Dreyfus. Ph.D
Five Secrets To Help You Find A Mate

Step One To Find A Mate: What Are You Looking For?

Most of the time when I ask people what they are looking for in a mate they say something like, "Someone attractive, intelligent, and sensitive with a good sense of humor." They try to give the impression that they are not asking for much.

However, on closer investigation I usually find that the list is much more extensive. So, in this step make a complete list of what you are looking for in a mate. Include those characteristics that are important for everyday living on a long-term basis.

We must distinguish between several categories of mate: roommate, playmate, friend, and permanent mate. Each of these has its own set of characteristics with some degree of overlap. Many people have not distinguished between the categories. Therefore they may be stating they want a permanent mate when, in reality, they are seeking a playmate.

A permanent mate is some combination of roommate, friend, and playmate. Therefore, it might be wise for you to make up three lists of characteristics, one for each of these three types of mate.

Once you have developed these lists, merge them. Some characteristics may be eliminated. Intelligence may, for example, be more important in a mate than a playmate; neatness is more important in a roommate than in a friend.

Step Two To Find A Mate: Take A Personal Inventory

Honesty is very important in this step. List all the characteristics that describe yourself. Pretend that you are describing yourself to someone else, what would you say?

Once you have developed this list, ask three of your closest friends to develop a list describing you. Tell them to be brutally honest. Compare their list with your own.

Then ask them to look at your list and tell you whether they agree with your self-assessment. (Now, if you chicken out at this point, how do you think you'll ever be honest enough to find someone truly matched to you?)

If there is a discrepancy between how you see yourself and how your friends see you, then you have some work to do. Somehow you have to reconcile your self-perception with the perception of others.

Step Three To Find A Mate: Separate Fantasy from Reality

Most of us have images of ourselves that often are at odds with reality. We have an idea of who we would like to be and present the image to the world, rather than the reality. Sometimes we tell the story so often we tend to believe it ourselves.

When it comes to relationships, we cannot present the person we would like to be as if it were the person we actually are. This would never fly in business; it is called false advertising.

Truth in advertising is very important in developing a relationship. That's why the above exercise with friends is so important.

If you can't be honest with your friends, or don't think anyone knows you enough to answer your questions, look around more carefully. Pick people who will not intentionally hurt you, and ask them to make up a list.

We often deceive ourselves, as well as others. In this step you must assess what you say you want with the reality of who you are.

Some people say they want an independent thinking, self-directed partner, who is successful at their own career. In reality they want a someone who will take care of them and be the Mom they never had.

It is similar to the guy who goes to the horse riding stable and tells the person who rents horses he wants a frisky thoroughbred because he thinks of himself as a jockey. After he falls off a few times and has to walk back to the stable, he realizes he should have been with a gentle mare.

Step Four To Find A Mate: Increase Your Opportunities

Make a list of the type of activities you enjoy: biking, dancing, cooking, spiritual, self-help, yoga, art, horseback riding, etc. Begin to participate in those activities in an arena where both single men and women can be found. If you are interested in cooking, for example, find a cooking class that is likely to be attended by both men and women.

By attending activities interest you, you are able to insure that you will have a good time, even if you do not meet someone who is of interest to you. Do not participate in activities where the end result determines whether you enjoy yourself.

Do not waste your time going to places where the odds are stacked against you: meat (meet) markets, bars, dance clubs, large gatherings, etc., are not places to meet potential mates. Maximize your use of time.

Step Five To Find A Mate: It Pays to Advertise

Use the Internet Dating Sites. Let all of your friends and relatives know you are seeking a mate. Make use of business associates. Everyone is a potential agent.

Most people love the idea of helping someone find a mate. Tell them about yourself and specifically what you are looking for, so they can better represent you.

Don't be bashful; be honest. Think of these people as you would a real estate agent. Tell them exactly what you are looking for so you can increase your likelihood of success. The more information they have, the better.

Make use of dating services, but check them out first. Make sure they are reputable. Get references. Do the types of people you are looking for participate?

If you have a flair for writing, use the personals column, but again do some homework. Check the credibility of the magazine and quality of the ads. Do the types of people you are looking for advertise in the column?

If you think only losers use dating services or write personal ads--you're wrong. Lots of successful people who don't have time for "luck" use these services.

Just make sure you pick high-quality websites and services, and use your common sense about meeting someone who doesn't "feel" right. Talk to them in a separaet email account, so if you need to disconnect, your main emaila ccoutn won't be compromsied. Google or Hotmail or a number of other email services will allow you to create an account and then get rid of it in a single click. The larger dating sites will allow you to protect your personal email address as well, and allow you to have an in-house email account used only to delvier mail to you privately. When you trust the person a bit more, speak anonymously over Instant Messaging online for a while before agreeing to meet. Again use an account you can easily close if things go wrong.

Ask about their history--education, work/career, friendships, family, previous relationships, health, interests, etc. If any red flags come up, ask more questions. Listen carefully and see how they answer. Listen to the pauses as well as the words.

If you don't get the right answers, or get a bad feeling, tell them you'd like to think about them a bit more and will email or call back later. Then, think about it. Give yourself some time.

If they pressure you during any of this, cross them off the list. If you aren't entitled to this information before meeting, why meet? If you want to disengage, tell them the "chemistry" is wrong, that you are very sorry, and stop interacting. Block them from all your contacts lists.

Edward A. Dreyfus. Ph.D

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