Guide to Finding Love

Have you “had it” with looking for “the right person” to spend the rest “of” your life with? Are you tired of watching “American Idol” alone while your roommate goes to her boyfriend’s house to watch him play video games? Do you feel the sudden, inexplicable urge to buy a cat, or cats?

Then we’ve got the solution for you.

Welcome to the “First Annual Spring Guide to Finding Love for People Who Don’t Want to Die Alone.” Consider this handy article your first step to a life filled with the permanent enjoyment of temporary fulfillment.

(Cue the sad piano.)

It’s a fact of life. Every day in this country thousands of people die alone.

Let’s face it. Most of them deserve to.

If they were better people, they would have found someone. Clearly there was something massively wrong with them.

So say a team of scientists in silky pink smocks at the University of Romance in Loveland, Colo., who recently determined that most singles suffer from the same flaw that’s keeping our space shuttle grounded _ high standards.

The solution?

(Cue the “Deep Thoughts” music from “Saturday Night Live.”)

Guideline No. 1: Lower your standards

If modern intellectuals have taught us anything _ and they haven’t _ it’s that compromising your values is a surefire path to happiness. Remember how you wanted to be a baseball player as a kid? And now you work for a PR firm that does work with a minor league team? That worked out great. You’re as happy as Derek Jeter, right?

Take our advice. Don’t look for someone smarter than you _ look for someone who’s not stupid. Don’t look for someone ambitious _ look for someone who’s gunning straight for the middle and intends to stay there. Don’t look for your lifelong best friend _ look for someone you don’t mind seeing a movie with.

Marriages are built on such compromises. And even though I haven’t checked the statistics for the last 40 years, I’m pretty darn sure most marriages still turn out all right.

And that leads us to our next rule.

(Cue “Here Comes the Bride.”)

Guideline No. 2: Set an arbitrary age to get married by (and stick to it)

This guideline only SEEMS insane. Ignore the little voice in your head that says, “But what if you haven’t met the right person by then?” That little voice wants you to be single because that little voice eats the part of your brain that tries to think of pickup lines at bars. We hate that little voice.

Tell yourself, “I’m going to be married by the time I’m 30.” If you’re dating someone when you’re 29, that person is your spouse!

Don’t let little things like lack of communication, arguments over money or rampant infidelity get in the way of your goal. Ignore friends who think you’re making a mistake. They’re not proactive like you are. Keep your eyes on the prize.

And there’s only one way to land the kind of psychopath who will gladly go along with such a plan.

(Cue the porno music.)

Guideline No. 3: Sleep with everyone

We can’t stress this enough. Casual sex is a great way to meet new people. Don’t be fooled by people who tell you this is a mistake. Try and sleep with those people. It’s the right thing to do.

(Cue “Amazing Grace.”)

Think about it. Do you really want to die alone? Wouldn’t you much rather leave a grief-stricken spouse behind, someone who’s so overwrought with pain that his or her life without you is a living hell? Come on, the choice is obvious.

(Originally published 4/21/04.)

Click here to read the previous column “Halt the Spread of Time Banditry.”

If you have a comment, e-mail me at

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles

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