Blind dates, speed dates, coffee dates … video
chat dates? Dating options are so abundant now, it's enough to make
you hide under a blanket watching Maid in Manhattan and
say, "No, thank you."
While being coupled up is not the magic ingredient to happiness,
it does come with health benefits. A report last year by the
National Institute of Medicine found evidence that an intimate
relationship may add years to your life. In another study,
participants' blood pressure was lower when they were around their
How Do We Get There?
A healthy approach to dating is no different than a healthy
approach to fitness, says Karin Anderson, associate professor of
psychology at Concordia University Chicago and author of the dating
self-help book It Just Hasn't Happened Yet.
"It's cognitive," she says. "Like doing push-ups. It may take
doing push-ups 20 times for them to become fluid and easy. Dating
is the same. You have to motivate yourself to keep at it."
Want to dip your toe in? Online dating services are an
increasingly common way to meet potentials. In fact, online dating
is so popular that even people in age groups not traditionally
thought to use technology for socializing are doing so in
According to OurTime.com, a site aimed at over-50 singles, its
membership has grown twice as rapidly as that of daters in other
age groups in the past year.
You Can't Hurry Love
Still scared to actually get out there? Anderson says
trepidation is natural because single people are often confronted
with many negative messages.
"Just go to a self-help section of a bookstore and you'll see
things like, Fix These Five Flaws and He'll Show Up on
a White Horse." Anderson cautions daters to approach this kind
of advice carefully, and never be a less-exceptional version of
themselves just because they're on the market.
"It's about loving your life. Being exactly who you are. You
can't anticipate the day when true love
will come," she says. "But until then have a life that's full. And
remember, you are fabulous."
-By Christina Vanoverbeke