Now that I am no longer married, I’ve taken a step into the wide world of dating and want to find that someone special. I know I am capable of living alone, but I’d much rather be in a relationship. I’d like to have 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 serious, but also lighthearted, have fun, and see the humor in all of it. I’ve joined a few meet-up groups, and I am trying out a few dating apps. In the process of swiping left and right recently, the voice of Toni Tennille and the lessons in the lyrics of “Your Better Shop Around” popped into 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 they’re in love with you now

Make sure that your love is true now

I hate to see you feeling sad and blue now

My momma told me

You better shop around”

I had to laugh at how swiping on a dating app felt a lot like guy shopping and how many of the tips I’ve learned for effective grocery shopping can be applied to seeking the right partner. Consider these following seven strategies when trying to find that special someone:

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. Keeping your paws off married men is one of the no-brainers of how to find true love in life.

Make a list of what you need

woman writing her man list

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’. How do you know if you found someone special?

Be open to options (until you’ve had the talk)

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. It is okay to be picky when you are finding that special someone.

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’. And that’s a great reason to be thankful