More Tips To Meet A Mate

Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant, a psychologist and advice columnist for Essence Magazine, provides that advice Wednesday in The Early Show's continuing series, "Meet Your Mate."
CBS/The Early Show
The dating world can be a frustrating ordeal for some singles.

However, it could be a lot easier with a little guidance. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant, a psychologist and advice columnist for Essence Magazine, provides that advice Wednesday in The Early Show's continuing series, "Meet Your Mate."

But first meet two people who show why a little charity can go a long way.

Dara and Jason Zweig launched their relationship at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York City.

"I met her on the deck of the USS Intrepid at a charity benefit party," says Jason. "She was talking to some of my best friends and she caught my eye."

"As soon as he walked in, I saw him and we ended up talking the rest of the night and the rest is history," recalls Dara.

But they both admit it took some effort to find each other.

"I was looking to meet a guy. I had gone on a lot of blind dates and it really wasn't working out, " says Dara. "Any time a girl or a guy goes to a bar or a benefit or an event, everyone is always thinking maybe there's a chance I'm going to meet my future husband."

Jason agrees: "Before I met Dara and before I went to this charity event, I was probably averaging four to five dates a week. I was power-dating, I guess you could say."

And putting a financial hole in his pocket.

"I think that anyone that goes to these events that says they aren't looking for a girl would be lying," admits Jason. "It's for a charity; it's for a good cause, so there's a number of good things that can come out of it."

Grant believes that Dara and Jason, wo married in April, were able to find each other because they were open to meeting someone new in a social atmosphere. Grant gave the following tips for finding a mate:

Maintain an Active Social Life

You need to collect data and information about the people that you meet in order to make a determination if he or she is the right one for you. The only way that you can become a person capable of making good choices is by interacting and being social. When you meet a lot of people, then you can measure the attraction level better than people who don't socialize. The more people you interact with, the more capable you are of making critical decisions in your life. You must be available and out there and not only have it on your mind. If the right person comes along, you will know he's right and if the wrong person comes along, then you'll know that he's not right.

Keep a Relationship Log

You need to write things down to see which attributes are the best and which ones are detrimental. Then, you can take a look back and see why he was or wasn't good for you. It doesn't even have to be romantic -it can just be about relationships in general. Don't rely on your memory; jot it down. In certain situations, you don't always know why the person wasn't right until you look back in retrospect and then you can figure it out.

Get Rid of the Soap Opera Version of Relationships

A lot of us are programmed by media and literature to expect to meet someone who will sweep us off our feet. We rely too much on physical attributes and we need to get deeper. The chemistry may be there, but at the bottom there may be an empty space. For instance, Dara and Jason were attracted to each other but they interacted and had an attraction at another level as well. You need to find that level because that's what makes a relationship last and what you see now is not what may be there 50 years from now.

Count Every Encounter As An Important Learning Experience

Every encounter teaches you something to further empower you in the quest to find Mr./Ms. Right. You need to get the romantic thing out of your head and realize that everything is a building block for other relationships.

Dating Is A Learning Tool

Grant says it's important to date a lot and date different people. After all, how can you know who Mr./Ms. Right is unless you've dated several Mr./Ms. Wrongs.

You should also stay in contact with family and friends. People should go to cookouts, weddings, ski trips, because all of those outings are important social events as well.

Grant recommends that daters not bring old relationship baggage to a new relationship. And don't be too desperate or you will attract the wrong kind of person.

As for different races, Grant think that women universally have the same hang-ups. Recent statistics have shown that black women have lower self-esteem but overall women have similar insecurities. Womnen should work on overcoming these first.

Before finding or meeting a mate, Grant says, a person must find themselves.