“I just recently moved back to my hometown to start the next chapter of my life. I strongly believe in approaching dating the traditional way, as I have tried online dating before, and I find it to be uncomfortable. What I am wanting to know, is how do I approach guys and dating in a new place?” —Samantha

Hi Samantha,

I’ve heard people talk about this a lot lately: wanting to go back to traditional dating. I think it’s something we all long for in life overall, because so much of what we do is getting lost. We don’t call each other, we text. We don’t send beautiful hand-written thank you notes, we send emails. We don’t create adorned invitations, we eVite. And instead of being wooed by gentlemen callers, we sign up to meet for coffee through computer match-ups, or just hook up after a few too many cocktails.

If you’re really not feeling online dating right now, no problem. Don’t do it. Because when you’re looking for love, you only want to engage in things that make you feel happy and fulfilled—so if online dating makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s not going to help your love life! As I talk about in Meeting Your Half-Orange, you want to meet the love of your life when you’re feeling like your very best and most authentic self, so do the things that make you feel that way.

I recently suggested some specific advice about this on Lemondrop.com: “Where the Nice Guys Are Hiding.” What I basically explain is that you’re most likely going to find guys you want to date in the places that make you comfortable and bring out your best. So if going to a singles bar alone makes you quiver with awkwardness, don’t do it! Instead, go to a free night of local music. Or, even better, as I say on Lemondrop, head to the everyday places guys tend to linger: the coffee shop, the bookstore, the Mac store waiting for their turn at the Genius bar. These places don’t have to cost you a dime, and they may be spots you swing through all the time. The key is not in the places you go, but in the energy you’re giving out where you are.

The good news is that you’re in your hometown again, which is a wonderful place to re-connect with the feelings of new love, and to remember who you really are deep down, at heart.

What I do want to stress, though, is that it’s not important how you actually “meet” someone—because however oddly-modern a meeting might be, I assure you that if you find someone you like, the bursts of romance and love will feel as gorgeously traditional as ever. You know, you’ll want to make popcorn and curl up on the couch together. You’ll want to talk on the phone until dawn, when your ear gets too hot and you’re daring each other to hang up. You’ll want to write love poems and carve your initials in the sand. Modern technology has nuthin‘ on the old-fashioned butterflies of new love.

So keep being you, and living and loving your life. The happier you are, the more you’re going to naturally attract the right person straight to you. Other optimists, do you have any other advice for Samantha?


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