We hold key to meeting the right person for us


Published: Thursday, July 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 at 11:23 p.m.

About 50 percent of the readers who e-mail me are looking for Mr. or Ms. Right. The other 50 percent are mostly married.

I can offer a whole list of tips for meeting people and, occasionally, I even indulge in the age-old art of matchmaking. But finding the right person is mostly about being the right person.

Matchmaking, nonetheless, is big business, with online companies boasting the biggest share of it. They offer millions of members (who pay a monthly fee) for you to choose from. It's attractive, the way joining a health club is attractive, as though all you have to do is sign up and pay for it.

Merely deciding which one to join can be work, though. Do you want to analyze data - age, education, income - from thousands of entries? Do you want the matchmaker to select somebody - based on personality - for you? Do you want to click on the photo that strikes your fancy?

Once you've joined, you create a profile to market yourself. Then, the search begins and, eventually, you can meet somebody live.

But instead you could ask friends who already know and love you to introduce you to other friends they know and love. Or, you could run down to the local pub, go to church on Sunday, or use your membership to the health club.

You get to meet somebody immediately that way . . . then, start asking questions.

So, what's the best strategy? Well, what works for me might not work for you. And what seems to work for you today might not work for you tomorrow.

Regardless of where you start, you can't finish there. You'll want to get a good look at the prospect, learn what motivates the prospect to go to work in the morning (or not) and evaluate how compatible you are.

You can analyze a personality with a questionnaire, but you can't interact with a questionnaire. You can't smell or taste a picture. You can't count on your friends to know what attracts you. You can't feel your chemistry together without responding to each other's physical properties.

And if you jump to chemistry, you'll be less objective in your analysis of compatibility. There is no formula for the magic we seek.

Still, we struggle to find a simple answer, an easy fix. Sometimes, by God, we think we have one - in a matchmaking service, the latest trend, even a new realization.

When you think you've found the answer, though, beware. What you've probably found is one more piece of the puzzle. Good job! But it's a big puzzle. And you just might have a few more pieces to fit together.

The answer is found in putting the puzzle together, so jumping to conclusions with each piece is confusing. You can enjoy the process, though, rather than get frustrated with its complexity. You can live the life that makes you happy. You can align with the essence of who you are - one piece at a time.

Meeting the right person is somehow making yourself available; it's using common sense to find people with common interests; it's understanding the dynamics of relationships; it's magic.

It's not being too picky; it's being picky enough. It's not trying too hard; it's trying hard enough. It's finding what wows you; it's finding what feels comfortable. It's all of the above, not one of the above.

But mostly, it's being ready. That means being the person you would choose if you were the person you were looking for.

Jan Denise Soroka is a columnist, author and speaker based in Florida. She invites comments and questions through e-mail at JDSoroka@aol.com; or visit her Web site at www.nakedrelationships.com.

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