After they crawled out of their cars, the woman said, “Wow, just look at our cars! There’s nothing left! Fortunately neither of us were hurt! This must be a sign from God that we should meet, go on a date and become really close friends.”
The man replied, “I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God.”
The woman continued, “And look at this! Here’s another miracle. My car is totally wrecked, but my bottle of wine didn’t even break! Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune!”
She hands the bottle to the man. The man nods his head in agreement, opens it, drinks half the bottle and hands it back to the woman. The woman takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap back on, and hands it back to the man.
The man asks, “Aren’t you having any?”
She replies, “Nah. Think I’ll just wait for the police.”
And that, unfortunately, is how some people might describe their search for love. Looking for a suitable mate in all the wrong places can leave a person feeling used, deceived and desperately believing that God is giving them signs to a relationship that was wrecked from the start.
Many frustrated singles insist, “There are no good men or women out there. Women outnumber men so it’s hard to find a good man. Everyone is playing games instead of getting real.”
According to the Pew Research on love and marriage, “Americans are waiting longer and longer to get married. Last year, according to Census data, the median age at first marriage was 29.0 for men and 26.6 for women, both the highest since at least 1890.” Experts say if you are an unmarried adult today, you face a lower chance of ever getting married, a longer wait and higher divorce rates if you do get married.
The question is: How does anyone wanting to get married increase the odds of finding a suitable mate? While most people would not expect to find love after a traffic accident, is it possible people are looking for love in all the wrong places? For example, would you agree that the odds of finding a good man or woman in a raunchy nightclub is highly unlikely? That’s not the place people usually go for serious relationships.
If you want a God-fearing man or woman you have to go to where they are. If you want someone who is health conscious or athletic, you might consider enrolling in a gym or fitness center. Take a few tennis lessons. Looking for someone cultured, with class? Visit museums, the theater or art exhibits. Parks are a great place to run into the outdoors type. Taking an evening college class or visiting bookstores might get you closer to the person you’re hoping to be intellectually compatible with.
If you want someone especially unselfish, you might try working with volunteers at an animal rescue shelter, a local library, a community kitchen or get involved in missionary work. The point is to put yourself in closer proximity to the type of person you hope is a good match for you. Love may be just around the corner, but if you’re walking on the wrong street, you’ll miss it.
Proverbs 18:22 says, “Find a wife and you find a good thing; it shows that the LORD is good to you.” — Good News Translation. The fact that God’s Word says “find” suggest a certain amount of searching is involved in locating a mate. You may have to search out of town, out of state or even out of the country. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged easily. View it as an adventure.
Some experts will tell you to find love within yourself first before you try to find a mate. So let us assume that you have put in all the hard work to improve your character so that you will be compatible to a quality person who is also interested in finding a marriage mate. Perhaps you have prayed continuously about finding the right person. What’s next?
You still have to decide which qualities are most important to you personally. Is it being spiritually compatible, intellectually compatible, emotionally compatible or physically compatible? You may be blessed to find someone with most or all of these qualities, but realistically, this person, like you, will be a work in progress. So ask yourself, “Am I willing to make reasonable adjustments in my expectations when looking for a mate?”
Granted, in all relationships there are negotiables and non-negotiables. But within every happily married couple is a reasonable degree of compromise. Those compromises are connected to your joy. Why? Because you’ll be married to a person willing to work at becoming “one” with you.
So let us say you have located a prospect. Your expectations of their qualities, looks, age and intelligence are also met. What’s next?
You have to be willing to take the initiative. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It can be something as simple as complimenting a piece of clothing, asking for directions, asking for a little assistance, then follow that up with a simple question, like, “Is this your first time coming here?” or “Are you familiar with this area? I’m looking for a nice place to get a bite to eat.”
If the person is right for you, they will respond kindly. That’s a perfect time to introduce yourself, which is enough to lay the foundation for a relationship.
Making eye contact with a nice smile can send the right signal to a person looking for a special mate. It also helps to have a sense of humor and a positive outlook. Keep in mind there are no guarantees. There is no such thing as only one right person for you. So try to be open to new possibilities.
Finding the right mate can be rewarding if you act wisely, scout out your locations, adjust your expectations and take some initiative. It doesn’t have to be an accident. It doesn’t have to be damaging or make you feel like a wreck.
Instead, you may find yourself smiling all the way down the aisle on your wedding day. After all, who knows, maybe they read the same column you did?