Despite what your favorite rom-com would have you believe, finding love isn't as easy as looking at your "platonic" best friend with a fresh set of romantic eyes (Made of Honor, Someone Like You, When Harry Met Sally, you get the idea). However, finding love doesn't have to be that difficult either! Between the "old fashioned" routes of meeting new people (blind dates and group outings) and all of the new digital options (online dating and mobile apps), there are more ways than one to find "The One."
Just like how every love story has a protagonist with a sidekick who readily doles out dating advice, newly single daters need someone to guide them down the path to love as well! To help (and inspire) you to find love, I've gathered advice from 10 real-life couples who've been through the dating process just like you and successfully found love. These couples met on ChristianMingle.com, the largest and fastest growing online community for Christians and JDate.com, the premier online community for Jewish singles. Hopefully you can use their real-life advice to create a Hollywood love story even better than your favorite romantic comedy!
1. Be Open... No Matter What
"Be truly open and realistic in the process. You will likely have more bad dates than good, and it is easy to get discouraged. It only takes one though, so don't let the bad experiences turn you off to the process."
-Andrea & Brian
New York, New York
2. Let it Flow
"Don't focus on finding a relationship in the beginning, just keep a positive mindset about meeting new people and let the relationship blossom naturally."
-Calanit & Alan
3. Know What You Want
"Because we had both been married before, we knew exactly what characteristics we wanted in a spouse, most importantly someone with a strong Christian faith. We knew pretty quickly that we were God's match for each other as we felt we had found what we had been praying for."
-Amy & Marc
Los Angeles, CA
4. Be Honest
"Since we had both been married before and had kids from our previous marriage, we spoke openly and honestly. No topic was off limits. We spoke for weeks before meeting face to face. We even used ChristianMingle.com's Compass Matching Test to cover a number of topics we would have not thought about otherwise!"
-Alyssa & Matt
5. Use Every Tool Available
"What made ChristianMingle.com successful for us was the way it helped bring us together: through the search tools, the personality test, and the knowledge that the people we would find on there were not just people looking for a long-term relationship, but a relationship that would be built on God's love."
-Vicky & Kent
Royal Oak, Michigan
6. Think Outside the Box
"I was so picky about people that I didn't think fit into my "box." What I learned is that God busts boxes wide open and always gives us better gifts than we imagine for ourselves."
-Danielle & Thomas
7. Rethink Your Idea of "Perfect"
"Focus on the essence. There is no perfect man or woman, but there is a man or woman who is perfect for you."
-Racheli & Zvi
8. Don't Overthink It
"I think that as women, sometimes we think too much. We create a picture of someone who we think would be a good match for us, when in reality, no one knows what a good match is until people meet in person."
-Randi & Alan
9. Learn to Trust
"Never stop praying for the one that God has out there for you. I never thought that I would end up finding my future husband on an online dating site, and sure enough, I did. Joseph felt that he was just throwing away money, and look what happened! Even just a one-month subscription is all it takes sometimes. And, for us, it was trusting in God and much prayer."
-Hillary & Joseph
Kinston, North Carolina
10. Never Give Up
"I went out with over 100 people from JDate while I was on the site from 2004-2007... I was just about to give up, but then I Instant Messaged my future husband. He was up early on a Saturday as he had just recently signed up for JDate. He Instant Messaged me back and we talked on the phone for the next week. Having gone on over a hundred dates, I truly appreciate having found my perfect other half. He completes my sentences and shares my dreams."
-Lynn and David
New York, New York