Now that I am no longer married, I’ve decided to take a peek into the wide world of dating. Although I know I am capable of living alone, I’d much rather be in a relationship–to have that special someone by my side to share tacos, sunsets and all the other joys of life.
I want to be purposeful about the process—to be mindful and take it seriously–but also stay lighthearted, have fun, and try to see the humor in all of it. I’ve joined a few meet-up groups and have created profiles on a few dating apps. As I have been swiping left and right, I was amused to find the voice of Toni Tennille singing “You Better Shop Around” running through my head:
“Try to get yourself a bargain, girl Don't be sold on the very first one Good-looking guys come a dime a dozen Try to find the one who's gonna give you true loving Before you take someone and say I do, now Make sure he's in love with you, now Make sure that his love is true, now I hate to see you feeling sad and blue, now My momma told me, you better shop around”
I love to cook, so I laughed at how much the advice in the song reminded me of recommended strategies for effective grocery shopping. I realized many of the same strategies can be applied to seeking the right partner. Consider the following seven:
Don’t shop when you are hungry
If you shop when you are hungry, you tend to grab and eat the first thing you see. Don’t be sold on the very first one. The same is true for a relationship. Feed yourself first by creating a full life, then look for someone. If you jump at the first thing that comes along because you are hungry, you may end up with a quick fix instead of having a satisfying meal.
Taking something from someone else’s cart will not end well
This will just make everyone sad and blue. Enough said.
Make a list of what you need
Just as shopping with a list is a good idea, it is even more critical to have one in your search for a partner. Take some time to think about what is important to you. It probably goes without saying that top on the list should be making sure your love is true.
Take your time shopping
If you shop in a rush, you’ll more than likely forget an item, which could potentially be an important one. The checkout lane is not the time to realize, “Damn! I forgot the cheese!” Before you take someone and say “I do”, make sure you get everything on your list, or at least the things that matter most to you.
A convenience store may be convenient, but it will not have everything you need
Like shopping when you are hungry, a convenience store may have tempting, quick fix items, but they will not really satisfy you for the long haul. More than likely, they will only have dime-a-dozen junk food. Plus, the bananas are always speckled. Just sayin’.
Be open to options
You may go in for broccoli but find that the price is too high or it does not look fresh. Wander through the produce aisles and consider other options. Maybe the asparagus is in season and is a better deal for you. Get yourself that bargain! As with a relationship, have standards for high quality, but know it may come in a different form than you originally thought. Be open to options as long as you make sure they still work for you.
Finally, if you want something really satisfying, you need to cook from scratch with quality ingredients
No shortcut frozen dinner is ever as good as a home cooked meal. The same is true for a relationship. This will take time, energy and patience. Shop around to find the best quality ingredients. Cooking from scratch may include lots of prep work and there will be more dishes to clean up. But the end result is something much more meaningful, healthy, and satisfying. Plus, cooking with someone is fun and informative. And when you can work together to decide how spicy to make the chili, then you’ve found the one that’s gonna give you true lovin’.
Do you have your own shopping/relationship strategies to add to the list? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!