When I was single, the last thing I expected was to one day be offering advice on the subject of How to Marry a Mensch, the title of my latest book. But, after years of pounding the dating pavement, I learned a lot from my socializing efforts, and ultimately met and married my Mr. Right Mensch.
While there is no surefire way to meet a mensch, based on my own experience, and those of couples I interviewed, mensches without a doubt make the best marriage material. They are well worth the pursuit, and you owe it to yourself to choose one as a life partner, if you aspire to settle down.
I am not one to stand on a soapbox and proclaim that everyone should get married. In my book, marriage is another phase of life and a personal choice. It's not the only way to go. But, you want to choose someone who will truly stand the test of time if you do walk down the aisle, and that is a mensch.
Just to clarify: A mensch is defined as a decent responsible person -- and I like to add -- who even your mother would love. Because to some people, mom's approval is a must have.
I want to share with you 10 tips on how you might proceed to meet and marry your mensch.
Be a Mensch to Yourself
Before you can find a mensch, you want to put your best foot forward. This means practicing self care and living fully. It's when you're doing that very thing that your MRM (Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch) is more likely to appear.
Life can be wonderful. Don't put yours on hold during your mensch quest. Live in the moment and enjoy where you are today. Surround yourself with good friends or work on making new ones. Take a class. Get a massage. Go on a trip. Read a new book. Sign up for sailing lessons. Whatever calls to you, pursue it. You'll be happier at the end of the day, and that will enhance your appeal.
Doing Good Does You Good
Good attracts good. If you give back, you will reap the rewards in more ways than one. I'm a big fan of volunteer work. And, if you are wondering how to identify a mensch, it is someone who puts others before themselves. What better way than through philanthropy?
Pick a cause that means something to you and consider joining a committee to help plan a fundraiser. When you attend the fundraiser, it is easier to talk to people because you'll know others who are involved.
If fundraisers aren't for you, there are countless other options. Volunteer in a soup kitchen. Collect coats for the homeless. Visit an animal shelter. Help raise money for a cause. Whatever you choose, you are more likely to meet a big-hearted, quality person who shares your commitment to doing good in the world.
Act Like You Want to get Married, Just Don't Think It
There is a big difference between acting like you want to get married and thinking it. The average single person, when asked if they want to get married, would say yes. But, what vibe do they, or you, give off when you're socializing?
Acting like you want to get married means having the mindset to make it happen. You need to give people a chance and make a concerted effort to try new things and break old socializing patterns that are zapping your energy.
Do you look approachable when you go out? Do you make eye contact? Do you initiate a conversation? Do you have a business or personal card handy if someone wants to exchange phone numbers?
Part of looking for love is being prepared to find it, even when you least expect it.
Have a Prop
Having a prop can give you a leg up. It helps attract attention in a positive way and serves as a potential ice breaker. For example, if you go to a gym, play sports, run, etc., consider wearing a t-shirt that makes a statement about yourself. Could be a clever saying, your favorite sports team, your alma mater, a rock band you love, etc. If it reflects an interest, then someone might find a commonality and strike up a conversation about it.
It's easy to get caught up in the daily treadmill of life. Between work, home responsibilities, family, friends, health matters, etc., there isn't much time left over to devote to inner well-being.
Spirituality isn't necessarily something that comes naturally to everyone, but it can put you in a better place in terms of self-discovery and learning to trust your gut. Whether it's through meditation, yoga, studying Kaballah, etc., the practice of being still can be very telling. It will serve you well when you endeavor to recognize a true mensch because your instincts will let you know if this person is deserving of your love.
Don't Be a Repeat Offender
I'm referring to someone who consistently enters into relationships that don't work. Do you tend to choose the wrong type of men or women over and over again?
It is important to take note of your dating patterns and not repeat history. Think about whom you've dated and what was appealing, or not appealing about them. It's easy to be a creature of habit, but if it's not serving you, don't venture forward. Just because it feels familiar, doesn't mean you should allow yourself to get involved.
Look on the Positve Side
No one wants to be with someone who sees the glass as half-empty.
Challenges present themselves, and we all have our share of frustration and disappointment. Some people, it may seem, have more than others. But, ultimately, it's about how you deal with setbacks and your outlook at the end of the day.
Don't make yourself a victim. Be a positive thinker. Surround yourself with upbeat people. Laughter is contagious. Sure, you're entitled to your down moments. And, looking for love isn't always the easiest, I realize. But, no goal worth achieving happens over night. And, when you do succeed, it's all the sweeter. So, keep your chin up. Someone might be attracted to your smile.
Avoid a Tunnel Vision Approach
By tunnel vision, I'm referring to someone so specific in what they are seeking in a mate that they limit their opportunities for romance.
For example, I once coached a single Jewish male who wanted to meet a Jewish woman. The only social activities he pursued were those labeled Jewish, and he was getting bored.
I suggested he consider being less restrictive. There are many Jewish singles, and those of other faiths, who don't attend religious functions or events specific to their religion. They may engage in more interest-oriented activities, for example biking, hiking, etc. You do yourself a disservice if you limit your pursuits, so be open-minded and you might even discover a new passion or two.
Chuck the Checklist
There is no such thing as a perfect person. Even the epitome of a mensch has flaws.
If you have a huge list of qualities you are seeking in a mate, I urge you to write them all down, and then discard half the list.
It's not possible to get everything in one person, and this doesn't mean you're settling. It's about being realistic if you truly want to settle down. Know what you can live with and what is a deal breaker for you. Look at successful marriages you know, see what makes them work, and take it to heart. That will help create a reasonable checklist worth keeping.
Make the Date
Lots of singles these days pursue Internet dating or readily give out their email address when they meet someone. I caution you to resist the temptation of overdoing email. It's so easy to drop someone a note and correspond endlessly before you make the date. And, all too often, I've seen people later get hugely disappointed when they finally get together and the date falls flat.
Through email, people tend to reveal too much, almost as if they are writing in a journal. There is something to be said for creating a little mystique. If you tell all before you meet, then where do you go from there? And, you already have expectations in your mind, whether you know it or not. I had one love coaching client who actually fell in love (or deep infatuation) from an extensive email exchange. She was convinced he was the one.
So, schedule a date, and save your conversation for then not the computer. First impressions mean much more in person.
Wishing you a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Follow Robin Gorman Newman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rgnewman