Dear Ibby, I'm lonely. What can I do to get a partner?
Let me count the ways. Lower your standards, get more confidence, shave your uni-brow, floss, magically procure a sense of humor, be understanding and empathetic, put on something other than sweatpants and a faded CU hoodie, become genuinely interested in other people, start enjoying life, be passionate and knowledgeable about something, get an adorable puppy and parade it around town in the hopes that a hot person wants to pet it. Bad news is, all these things make you more attractive to people, but they’re so much easier said than done (get more confidence? Really, Ibby? Like at the store?). But I think the most important thing to start with is self-confidence. You need to believe that you’re good enough to be with the person you want to be with. That, in no way, means be arrogant or self-absorbed. But you need to start liking yourself before anyone else can like you. If there’s stuff about yourself that you don’t like, then get up right now and change it. Do you feel fat? Go on a run. Are you shy? Put yourself out there and act like who you really are, not what you think people want you to be. Start setting goals for yourself that you can meet, so you feel like you are capable of accomplishing things, like being with someone. And, when you start to gain confidence, everything else like a sense of humor or bulging calf muscles, stuff that the opposite sex loves, will come easier. The other thing you can do is really, truly be yourself. Fuck what other people want you to be. There are 7 billion people in the world, so I promise you that at least 1,000 of those people will find your particular personality and interests irresistible. Last and most important- don’t try too hard. People can practically smell desperation, and desperation makes you seem unconfident. The best thing to do is put yourself out there, but at the same time just relax about it. There’s no time limit for you to find a partner, and the right one will come around at some point. Forcing it and speeding up the process won’t get you what you’re looking for. Or, go on OK Cupid, I know like four couples that found people that way. Or just put on some deodorant. Please.