The older I get the more I look for love over lust. Maybe I am starting to realize the value of it. Or maybe I desire something more fulfilling.
As a younger man, as with most younger men, I had trouble differentiating between the two. You have sex with a girl, your feelings flow (as with other things) and you think you're in love. Because you've never had some of these emotions before you attribute it to you being in love. Young men (and some older ones) are in love with the idea of being in love. And out of that they'll make rash decisions like marriage with the wrong girl. I know this because I was almost that guy. Engaged and almost married at 19. I didn't even love the girl. I was in love with the thought of marriage and being in love. Looking back I realize how fortunate I was not to have married her. Cycles of wrong girl after wrong girl continued until I figured out recently how to look for the right one. It's not a fail proof method. But of course nothing involving love and relationships is.
Step 1: Recognizing when you're ready
What are you looking for? If you're in fun mode and you're not ready to settle down then this advice will not really be pertaining to you. And that's fine. Not every guy is ready to settle. Nor should they be. There's so much to do in life while you're young. Settling down can really put a delay on that. Or even a permanent stop. The main thing to consider is the girl. It's not fair to her to get involved if you aren't ready to. And if you aren't and you know it let the girl know your intentions. Trust me when I say they are actually pretty receptive to the honesty. I went out with this girl Britanny for a few months and I told her the first date that I wasn't getting into anything serious. She said that it wasn't something she was looking for. The next day she called me up and said that she was shocked and taken back by my honesty with the situation and would like to see me again. While we aren't going out now she still remains a good friend because I didn't lie or deceive her. But I knew then I just wasn't ready to commit to a girl. I wasn't able to put my heart into a relationship. When I turned the page and found myself desiring to be involved with somebody I started looking for a better woman. I know a few guys who talk about getting married to a girl right after they meet her. They 'fell in love' with her too quickly. What's really going on is that they have romanticized the thought being in love and being married. But they're not ready for marriage. So are you ready for marriage? Or the idea of it? You may not really know until you've met the right girl. Before you even get to that level ask yourself am I ready to be involved in a long term and meaningful relationship?
Step 2: Where to meet her
Let's face it when we go to a club or bar you're really not going to meet a relationship quality girl. In fact when you go to a bar how often are you looking for a girlfriend. Okay so we're just as guilty sometimes. Okay ... most of the time. So where do you go to meet a decent girl?
Coffee Shop - One of my personal favorites, the coffee shop has a very ideal setting. I like to take a book, grab a cup and read. Books are a great conversational piece. You can walk up to a girl in a coffee shop and start chatting just over the book she is currently reading or what she likes to read. The women in coffee shops are usually intelligent and have their lives together. The set up is ideal. Most coffee shops I've been to they play jazz or some sort of old 40's, which, even if that's not your type of music, it kind of sets the mood. On a good day they'll be playing Sinatra and come on ... what type of guy can't appreciate Sinatra? Another plus is girls secretly think it's attractive seeing a guy read a book (as long as it's not something raunchy or a comic book). Worst case scenario you leave without meeting a girl and you've educated yourself by reading. It's a win - win.
Gym - A lot of beautiful women go to the gym. A lot of in shape and athletic women are there. A lot of chances to workout next to and start conversations with them exist. Worst case scenario: You go home without meeting a girl but you get into shape. I know. Harsh right?
Sporting Events - What's better than meeting a girl who shares your passion for a sport or local team (especially if they wear black and gold). Most of these girls have a wild side (in a good way) and won't yell at you if you wanted to stay in and watch the game. Nothing wrong with that! Worse case scenario you leave without a number and you just enjoyed yourself by catching the game in person.
Your favorite activity - Let's face it the best way to meet a woman is to be doing what you love to do and have a random meeting with a girl who shares a similar passion, whether it be mountain biking or snowboarding or taking in a concert. Some of the best girls I've hung out with I met while doing something I love doing and started conversations from it. The point is if you do what you love and you meet a girl who loves the same then you already have an activity to share together.
Step 3: Figuring out if you match
So you've met a girl and you've started dating? How do you know if you're right with her? The truth of it is only time will tell. You have to give everything a chance. Remember some great relationships come out of two people not having anything in common and sharing the activities they love to do with the other. But most of all you need to find a girl that makes you smile when you are with her. One that takes over your thoughts in the morning. A woman that makes you a better person when you are with her and more importantly when you aren't with her, just because she is yours.