As relationships increasingly become fragile and short-lived in today’s world, many singles are left wondering if they will ever find a true partner – one who is not simply a friend-with-benefits or a generous provider but a soul-mate, something who is the answer to all your dreams. So if you are tired of weaving in and out of relationships and want the real thing, here is an exhaustive list of the ways you could find the love of your life.

The love of your life

In order to find the love of your life, first you need to be able to recognize him/her if you come across the person. Think about what makes you happy and what makes you feel sad. Ponder on your past and see how they have shaped the person you are today. Also ask yourself what your dreams and aspirations for the future are. Once you are able to understand the desires and the motivations of your deepest self, you will have a fair idea of the person who can best respond to them and help you fulfill them – in essence the love of your life.

Adopt the active approach

This may not seem the easiest way to begin your search for the love of your life, especially if you are one of those who are diffident by nature but is one of the few strategies best-placed to incur immediate results. By simply introducing yourself to people or reaching out to others, you will be able to take the initiative in meeting potential partners instead of relying on fate or the other person’s level of interest in you. So whenever you happen to meet an attractive individual at work, while socializing or even while simply waiting for your latte to arrive at a coffee-shop, begin with a simple ‘hi’ and let him/her know who you are.

Be willing to take risks

The reason why many people shy away from this active approach is because it involves laying yourself open to the possibility of rejection. However if you continue avoid taking risks or you will be passing up on significant chances of meeting your soul-mate. You may feel awkward about approaching a girl in the coffee shop who is reading Nietzsche but if you believe that the book indicates a mutual interest in philosophy and the understanding of life, why not go ahead and take the chance? It might lead to a meaningful relationship or you may find out that the girl is merely leafing through the book to complete a course assignment.  Also understand that when you ask someone out, you will get turned down occasionally. But don’t let this dampen your search since a few refusals are nothing when compared to the immense satisfaction of finding the love of your life.

Involve others

Sometimes one misses out on a valuable opportunity to meet the right person simply because others don’t know that you are looking. This usually happens in the immediate aftermath of a breakup, divorce or loss of a spouse when people naturally assume that you are out of the dating loop by choice. At such times you need to spread the word around that you are ready for love again. In fact close friends and family members can turn out to highly useful resources in your search for a life partner. Firstly this is because they know you well and so they are aware of the values that are important to you and the aspirations you have for future which are some of the basic ideas you are likely to be sharing with a soul mate. Equally importantly meeting someone through a mutual friend ensures a degree of comfort and ease when interacting with a potential partner as compared to picking up strangers at a bar or the nightclub. So let everyone know you are single and ready to date again. And who knows the person your best friend or cousin sets you up with may actually turn out to be the love of your life.

Network more often

It is extremely unlikely that the love of your life will turn up at your doorstep, delivering mail or selling cookies for a Church benefit. The only way you can raise the numerical odds of finding the love of your life is to meet as many potential partners as you can which in turn means that you should attend parties, get-togethers and family occasions – as many of them as you are invited to. This is because get-togethers are not only places where people come with the ostensible purpose of socializing, but also because unlike your nights-out with your regular gang, these events are bound to introduce variety in your social circle, thus increasing significantly your chances of meeting someone you wouldn’t have met had you continued to stick to your group. Better still, throw your own party and invite a mix of old-timers and fresh blood. This way you can experience both the thrill of meeting new people as well as the satisfaction that comes from knowing that you can always fall back on a few familiar faces to make the event a success. More importantly however as a host your presence is sure to register more strongly in the minds of your new guests than if you had been just one of the many faces at someone else’s party.

Don’t pass up on family events

Family celebrations like weddings, birthdays and anniversaries used to be one of the most popular ways of meeting a potential partner in the days gone by. It still is, despite all the quirkiness and latent tensions that family members can give rise too. Family functions usually ensure that the guests present share – to some extent – spiritual values and community identity which are often important requisites for a true soul mate. At the same time you can always hope that your Manhattan cousin will bring with her guests who have absolutely nothing in common with your family and thus a delight to meet.

Be realistic

While looking for the love of your life, it is necessary to keep your expectations at a realistic level. Ask yourself if it is possible for two people to have completely identical likes and dislikes. Or if two separate individuals can ever have exactly the same hopes and dreams for future. Indeed what assurance is there that this perfect partner exists or even if there is such a human being, that you will come across him/her while you are both single? So don’t cling to the fantasy of the “love of your life” in a way that you end up avoiding the reality of human imperfection and change besides the fact that love has to be worked at and not merely experienced as a serendipitous gift. Decide on what qualities are most essential to you to feel loved, respected and fulfilled and then look for a person who possesses most of them. And finally remember that while the contents may be there, the packaging might not be what you had expected.