THE BLOG

Are You the Odd Woman (Or Man) Out? Here Are Five Steps to Warm Up For Valentine

02/11/2015 02:52 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2015
Jamie Grill via Getty Images

Clara is a beautiful woman of 38 years, well above average in looks, intelligence and success. With her golden brown hair and small round nose she looks a bit angelic. Still, she is without a partner and in her social circles, feels like the odd woman out. Basically all men her age are partnered and the very few, who are not, objectively do not mesh with Clara's personality. It feels like a matching game has been played and she was left out.

If Clara looks around her workplace and friends she notices a surplus of single women in her age range. This of course puts her at a disadvantage: if she has to compete with women for fewer available men, she will have to trade below par, or in plain terms, lower her expectations below what she could get in a more gender balanced environment.

Here are five things to get her into the game:

  1. Meet more people. Widen your circle of friends: you can re-discover a forgotten hobby, learn a sport you always wanted to - or start any new activity you are interested in to meet new people who are likely to become friends. More precisely:
  2. Seek out activities where the opposite gender is numerous. I describe some of those here and on my blog. Biking and running groups should work for both genders. And if you are really serious about settling down in the near future:
  3. Mind your values. In addition to the activities that just widen your circle, make sure to include some that foster values that are dear to you. Causes like the environment, fair trade, mentoring of at risk youth deserve a try. Faith based activities can also help find and bond with kindred spirits.
  4. Focus on the essential. Arm yourself with a checklist of values and characteristics your partner would need to embody. I recommend between three and eight - neither too few nor too many. You need to keep a mental note of these criteria with you at all times. People that don't meet the list are out and have no claim on your (dating-) attention and time.
  5. Your dating objective first. If you are past 35 and unmatched, odds are that you gave generously of your time and attention to others, based on their need; maybe your family of origin, your work, or friends you felt needed you. These are all worthy claimants, but it's time to re-focus on your own objectives. Your time and attention are first of all your own and you can employ them where you feel they best help you. (In other words: the earlier you learn to say No, the earlier you will say Yes to the right person.)