Why the question?
- good to know
- I know quite a few people who are unhappy about being single
- A student from my class, over lunch, said they’ll find me a wife, presumably because I’ve been nice to them; I bought them lunch
- IS magazine had an article about finding your frog in the city
- At first I thought I had to figure out a feasible definition for it. I mean the question as to what love is is an interesting one in itself. I’ve seen it defined as the concept of an underlying feeling towards certain entities that explains our emotions, be they happiness, anger, jealousy, envy, or sadness; and our actions, which are the result of these emotions, probably most of the time if not always. Others talk about a more rational sort of love, that explains self-sacrifice and other noble, virtuous behaviour. And it’s all a little muddled up with other ideas like duty and commitment.
But wait. It’s not really about love. Or is it?
- It’s about companionship. When people say they want love or are looking for love, what they really mean is they want the companionship that comes with finding someone who reciprocates their feelings.
- Perhaps the assumption is that a unrequited love won’t last too long. It’s possible that some also manage by quickly dismissing such a feeling as a crush, like ‘It wasn’t really love anyway, so nevermind.’
- And when people use love to refer to a person, that person is usually their ‘significant other’. So there. All we need to do is to clarify the meaning of ‘find love’ for the purpose of the question in the title.
Some preliminary answers:
- friends who are probably currently or formerly
- class or school mates
- people you know from other recurrent social settings, e.g. evening classes, church
- activity buddies
- on the street?
- at the bookshop?
- night spots?
- the Internet
- matchmakers, professional or otherwise
- blind dates
For the above list I marked the first three on the stranger list with a question mark because for the others you clearly flag yourself as ‘looking for love’. For the first three contexts, you might have to wear a t-shirt, a button, a headband or a tattoo, and it wouldn’t work because people will pity you or scoff at you. But you might find a friend in those settings instead, who might then become a ‘significant other’.
So what’s left for me to find out, if I find the time and energy or if you send in your comments, is
- whether there are other avenues I’ve left out
- what’s the frequency for each kind
- which ones result in more lasting relationships
- what other correlations and generalisation can be made, like the Internet is probably a better method for introverts
- what happens after you find a possible candidate for love: description and prescription
Related question: Why are people unhappy when they can’t find love?