Love Is:

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Meeting Mr. Right – The Five best places – good and bad

Meeting Mr. Right through friends: This can be a very good thing, often. It can also be….not so great. How many times have friends with good intentions insisted on setting you up with a friend? And, to accommodate your friend(s) and to keep everyone happy, you go along with the date(s) and have a smile frozen on your face the entire time. Then, try to explain to the well-intentioned friends, “He’s just not the one.” It seems like no matter what you say, it’s the wrong thing. He’s their friend, right?

What’s the answer?

Maybe, the answer is just a few words beforehand with your friend(s) that you agree to go. However, if things don’t click you will let them know and please, maybe, no hurt feelings? At least, aim for that.

Meeting Mr. Right at Work: This is often a great place to meet the right guy. Why? It’s a neutral backdrop, you are both usually on somewhat the same footing. You can have a sense of security that the individual has been vetted, to an extent. Still, that is not an iron clad guarantee that everyone you work with is a poster child for mental wellness and health.

Dating the boss: Wow! Hot potato, this one.

Can real love occur between the boss and the worker? Yes, it can happen. It can also be a case of infatuation, also hero worship, seeing the man at his best, in his best clothes, shoes, haircut, teeth brushed, with the professional face on. The same can be said for you – the best clothes, hair done, makeup on, best shoes, etc. When you feel the love bubbles coming up, take a moment to image the same man, just getting out of bed, sleep in his eyes, bad breath, rumpled clothes, unruly hair and maybe grumpy. Hold that mental image for a moment for a brief reality check.

Is he married?

Many men don’t wear wedding rings for whatever reason. Most women wear wedding rings in the US, although in some other countries, even women don’t wear wedding rings. Also, many men are really good at hiding the fact that they are married. Examples: no wedding ring, no pictures of her or them on the desk. Also, no conversation or comments about her or them. And, this can be particularly the case when they are speaking to a single woman.

So, now what? Probably if you have real feelings, I would suggest putting on the brakes before doing anything (sleeping together) and work at getting either transferred to some other unit or maybe another job. And if there is really something there, you need to have some meaningful conversations with this individual. You both need to discuss the issues and how to resolve them before things blow up and you (and he) end up as the center of cafeteria gossip.

Lastly, many companies, institutions have written guidelines about these situations. The end point being that one or two people could end up losing their jobs over this stuff. So, walk with care.

Meeting Mr. Right in Social Settings:

Meeting at church:

I go church every week. I frequently go on Saturday evenings because that lets me either sleep in on Sunday or to get out and go hiking before it gets hot.

Almost every week I see a threesome sitting ahead of me. Because I observe people, I quickly figured out that this is a mom and dad with their adult daughter. The daughter is the one I find the most interesting.

This young woman is in her twenties, somewhere, and resembles the mother very much. The mom and the daughter get up at the end of every service and do the collections together. Very commendable. Then the young lady sits down again with her parents and at the end of service, they all leave together.

Now, question. What chance does this young lady have to ever meet anyone when she is so glued to her parents? What is this about? A) try none and B) don’t really know.

If you are in your teens, it is perfectly understandable to sit with your parents. Maybe even on holidays like Christmas, High Holy Days, etc. But the rest of the time? Chart your own path – different church, different times, so on.

Going to church is often not enough. Get involved. Do go to coffee, do go to dinners and mixers. Do go on retreats and conferences. Engage in activities that allow you to do more than just say “Hello” and “Goodbye.” What else are you doing with your time? Watching the next series on Netflix?

Bars and Restaurants that serve alcohol:

Okay, drinking. Well, it is true that not every person who drinks in a bar is an alcoholic. There are people who go to bars to have fun and socialize. And, it is also not true that every marriage that had its start in a bar is doomed to failure. However; many people in bars and particularly, who are in bars on a regular basis, are alcoholic. Bars are their home away from home, maybe even their true home. If you find yourself out with the girls on a Friday night after work, looking to relax and unwind, it’s okay. But….is it every Friday night? Saturday night, Sunday night, Thursday? Now, this is what we start to call a pattern. For you.

If you suspect there may be a problem, get out a calendar and chart, for a month, all the days you seem to gravitate to bars and restaurants where you and your friends drink. If it is a really regular pattern, you are starting to swim in deep waters and the water will only start to get deeper.

Break up the pattern and find other things to do. If your friends only want to go ‘hang out’ at bars, maybe you need to find some new friends. When I was working in South Korea, I went out many Friday nights with a group of teachers. We’d end up in any one of a number of bars available in downtown. Even though I don’t drink, I would wake up on Saturday morning with a headache. The rest of the day I felt like I was swimming underwater. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it was all the cigarette smoke or just getting home at 2 am. Whatever, I just didn’t like how I felt the next day.

When I started to resist going out to bars Friday after Friday, my betsy teacher friend dropped me. What was that all about? Well, clearly, it wasn’t about me. I ended up hanging with another group of friends who were also non-drinkers. This group wanted to go out, eat somewhere and chat. In the end, I wound up having a much better time. And, no hang over and guilty feelings!

Lastly, if you feel like you just cannot resist the lure of the bright night lights and the call of the drink, you may want to think about that and evaluate just how big a chunk of your life this is taking. It might be time to talk to someone about it. And by someone, I don’t mean your mom or your girlfriend. They will just pat you on the arm and tell you not to worry. I mean someone who deals with addiction issues. There are lots of people and institutions like that in the phone book.

Dancing

Social dancing of all kinds is a really great way to meet new people. Generally, dance lessons at many places are group lessons and can be had for as little as $8 a lesson. You will need a pair of dance shoes (smooth soles) and a good attitude. You will be dancing with any number of instructors and students who have been dancing for many years, and will be a lot better than you. Don’t be discouraged, hang tough, keep coming back and you will improve.

It is an excellent way to meet new men and again, it is a ‘neutral’ setting (not yours and not his) and gives people a bit of social distance to decide if they have any real interest or not.

Gyms:

Gyms can be a great place to lift weights, take a swim, a sauna or take an aerobic dance class. They can also be good places to meet men. However, don’t go there just because you need a date. Gyms can get expensive and you don’t want to invest a bunch of money into something you are not really interested in. Find a sport or activity (swimming, tennis, racquetball, Zumba) that you like to do and pursue that. You are more likely to find like-minded people who share a common interest with you.

Online dating:

Well … It’s okay but not my favorite. Why? Have I done online dating? Yes, I have. And, don’t believe the rumors that Prince Harry met Meghan online, they were introduced through friends.

I have done online dating, and what have I learned? For starters, about 40% of men online are married and are looking to ‘fool around.’ Many men online are looking for quick, cheap (no strings attached) sex. There are men online who are not who/what they say they are. I have met any number of men who post photos of themselves taken twenty or thirty years previously. Then, you meet the man and think Is this even the same person? Online sites are notorious for spawning online money scams. I met such an individual: tall, good looking, French, engineer, hum….interesting. It was all interesting until he asked me for $500 to help bail out his daughter who was stranded somewhere.

These schemes are so common that they have made most of the magazines and periodicals. You would almost be better off with your Dungeons and Dragons nerdy Thursday group.

Other:

There are always other ways to meet people-male and female. John Lennon met Yoko Ono at an art gallery showing. You can met people in the grocery stores, at concerts, in the mall, in galleries, walking your dog, etc. One of the best ways to meet people that ensures a bit of light conversation are volunteer opportunities.

Last Thanksgiving, I volunteered to work at the Salvation Army dinner for two days. There were tons of guys working those shifts. Many were married, but not all of them. And, you are there together working for a common cause, the common good and it all feels right. It can also be a lot of fun!

Continued – Getting Closer