Column Four: Dating, Defying and Daring …to Live a Life of your Dreams: How to Meet Someone

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About a month or two ago I got off online dating. I was telling Deborah, but reassuring her that I was still dating. She asked how I met the guys, and I told her I meet them while I’m out and about. The conversation led to the idea of this article, how to meet someone the old fashioned way.

Step 1: Look and Feel Good

It all starts with you and the energy you give off. We all know those approachable people, even more we recognize those people who aren’t approachable. I make an effort to be kind, confident, and smile. That’s attractive to people. Not only that, but I want to look attractive to people, meaning I care about my physical appearance. Not only do I work out regularly and watch my diet, I also make sure I put on makeup and my outfit matches. Just because I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I have to look like I live in low grade nursing home.

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Find what you love to do..and go it alone. Cigars and Scotch anyone?

Step 2: Face your Fear

For you to meet someone, you need to have the opportunity. That means don’t just sit at home or go to the same places over and over. Just because I’m a female quadriplegic doesn’t mean I don’t love to explore. Personally, I love meeting new people and I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. One place I meet a lot of people is at Fox’s Cigar Bar. It’s a cigar bar near me that is my woman cave. It’s my go to place, and I’ve gotten to know the staff…and their scotch collection. I like to go their alone, have a drink, watch the game, and relax. I also meet people at the gym, when I go to sporting events, and through mutual friends. It blows my mind that people are shocked I go so many places alone, but I’m shocked that people don’t like going places alone. I find that I get approached generally when I’m alone; it’s less intimidating than a group.

Now, you may be thinking those aren’t your types of scenes, but it’s less about where you are and more about how social you are. You’ll often meet new people just getting out and trying something new. For some people they may meet potential dates at church, volunteering, school, work, and so on. It’s always a good idea to get into something new randomly so as to expose yourself to new people. For example, go with friends to a paint party where you drink wine and paint. Go places where you interact with other people, not somewhere you are shoved in the corner just talking with the person you are out with. Take advantage of every situation, even if it’s just your time at the dog park. Getting involved with nonprofits will not only make you feel good, but you might potentially meet the person of your dreams. Clearly they’re a keeper if they’re volunteering with a nonprofit as well. Lots of cities offer meet up groups (check out meetup.com) for people who have similar interests. The great thing about that is your starting with commonalities from the beginning. Look into taking classes at a local community college, recreation center, or botanical gardens. Check out Groupon for fun, inexpensive events. There are lots of options, it’s the actually going the through with it part that matters.

Step 3: Flirt

After you face your fear and are sitting there, don’t bury yourself in your phone. I do that when I don’t want to be bothered. Instead, look up and look at your surroundings. You never know when the hot guy or girl you noticed as you came in is looking back at you. After you’ve caught their attention, it’s all a balance. Don’t just stare at them, but instead do what I call the “confident glance.” That flirty glance where you smirk and then look away. Mine is always accompanied with an eyebrow raise for some reason. It probably has something to do with the fact I’m super flirty and I love my eyebrows more than I could love any man. Sad truth (shallow girl here).

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A flirty glance and a eyebrow raise–and you will rule!

Step 4: Compliments for Everyone!

You’re always in if you complement someone. While I’m rolling by someone I’ve had the mutual confidence glance with I’ll point on something I like. Maybe it’s about their hat, haircut, eyebrows, or that they look better than their friend that is wearing a clown suit, literally. By doing so you’ve opened up the line of communication. If they want to keep talking to you, they’ll find a way. Not to mention, everyone loves a compliment. If nothing comes of it, you were still nice to someone.

Step 5: Congrats if you’ve made it this Far, Now Don’t be Weird

Once you’re chatting with someone, don’t get all weird. Be yourself, unless you’re a weirdo, then fake like you’re as charming and smooth as Dr. Dre. If you aren’t charming and smooth, just be kind and optimistic. You can never go wrong with kindness, add a dash of humor and it may be love. Can’t figure out why you aren’t meeting people? Most people don’t realize is that they are meeting people, but they either don’t recognize it or they screw it up. I’m guilty of thinking, “Nah, he’s not into me.” Later I come to find out I was wrong, but it’s too late. So the lesson of this story, expose yourself (not literally) to different people and take advantage of every situation. You never know when you’ll meet that someone special.

Gina Schuh, Editor, Law and Advocacy

Gina, a C-5/6 quadriplegic, describes herself as a “politically incorrect foodie who is an equal opportunity offender.” Beyond that, Gina is a law school graduate who grew up on a farm in California. Gina’s true passion is food, and you’ll often find her posting food pictures on her Instagram under Culinary.Quad . Raised by a strong mother who had an insatiable appetite for any educational psychology materials, Gina swears she was raised by an unlicensed psychologist which led to her being so introspective. After people observed her success in dating, they asked for tips, which eventually led to her regular contribution here at Push Living on issues of dating, disability parking, and medical supply reimbursement, leading to the role of Editor of Law and Advocacy.

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