Although Valentine’s Day has come and gone, many NJ singles still have love on the brain. If the thought of starting a new relationship has been nagging you, it might be time to take action. The quest for a romantic relationship begins with getting out into the world. We spoke with New Jersey matchmakers, who offer helpful advice on where to look for love.
“Just because you are single this year doesn’t mean you have to be single next year,” says Julianne Cantarella, a licensed therapist and owner of New Jersey’s Matchmaker in Englewood Cliffs.
Read on below for their suggestions on where to go when searching for love:
Visit Friends and Family
This may seem like a waste of time. After all, you don’t want to date your cousin, right? But hear out the experts. No one can read minds, says Cantarella, so it’s up to you to tell everyone you know that you’re interested in meeting someone. Think of the love search like a job search. You have to network to connect with people. True, you might not always find the right match, but meeting lots of people increases the odds of success. Whether you invite Aunt Celia out for coffee to fill her in on your goals or just RSVP yes to your friend’s Super Bowl party, putting yourself out there is a great start.
Cities with Singles
You’re not likely to find many single people deep into suburban New Jersey, where the soccer fields are filled with kids. Big cities aren’t the best place either, according to a recent Bloomberg study. Researchers found that smaller U.S. cities located outside metropolitan areas were swinging with singles. Lucky for New Jerseyans, the most single of all cities is right here in the Garden State. Hoboken topped the Bloomberg list, with fifty-three percent of residents (ages 15 to 64) reporting as single. Other cities to check out include Jersey City, Morristown, Princeton and Red Bank.
Sometimes a shared passion can bring on a love connection. Many online groups dedicated to hobbies, such as hiking, skiing or wine tasting, host regular meet-ups, says Cantarella. Think about joining a club that meets in person and be smart about your choices. Meetup is a great place to start–the site provides a list of groups for NJ singles dedicated to all sorts of activities.
Take a Class
People never stop learning and classrooms are a hot spot for meeting singles with similar interests. Try out a painting, cooking or music class at a school in your area. In the Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield hosts an array of classes for all different skill levels. Choose from “Flavors of India,” “Taco Truck Favorites” and “Bistro Cooking,” among other options. Around the Corner Art Center in Freehold offers adult painting classes and open studio drawing. Cantarella reminds love-seekers to be cognizant of who will join them in class. For example, women looking to meet men might want to avoid a knitting workshop.
Attend Events for Singles
Seek and ye shall find. Search online, check out the bulletin boards at your local community center and ask neighbors about events for singles happening in your area. Jasbina Ahluwalia, founder and president of Intersections Match, recommends the Valentine’s Day Masked Ball at Lambert Castle. Guests are asked to “don a mask” and semi-formal attire for an evening of light refreshments and dancing. Grab a few friends for a fun night out and maybe you’ll find your soulmate under the mask.
Choosing to get involved in activities that best represent the stamp you’d like to leave on the world is a great way to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right. “Pick something near and dear to your heart, so you’re more inclined to meet someone aligned with your values,” says Cantarella. VolunteerMatch.org and Jersey Cares are useful resources for tracking down opportunities to make a difference locally.
What’s most important for singles to do on Valentine’s Day is to give themselves a fresh start and new outlook. All the experts agree that keeping a positive attitude and having faith that love will come your way are the keys to success. But you also have to make the search a priority. “People think meeting someone and falling in love will happen organically,” says Cantarella. “Take control of your love life…Love is not going to miraculously fall on your doorstep.”
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