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Q: “I’ve been broken up with my ex-boyfriend for a year now and I still liked him until a few weeks ago. Now I’m ready to move on and find a new guy, but don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?”
– Single Seeking Sister

A: “Congratulations, Sister! Knowing you’re ready to move on is the first step to finding new and exciting connections. First and foremost: BE YOU! Do you want a fake guy who acts like he’s all that and in reality, is not? Lady Gaga would call that boy a “paper gangsta” and if he can’t be himself, he’s not worth your time. So if you know you wouldn’t want that, why would a guy want that from you? The saying “Learn to love yourself” rings true in scenarios like these, because if you can’t find it in yourself to give your best, you won’t receive the best in return.

Second, flirting and the game of “cat and mouse” can be fun, but you have to be able to distinguish the differences between that and cruel intentions — know that if you invest emotionally, it will lead to both good and bad kinds of hurt. Long- term relationships are painful to end because of the time, effort and emotional stake invested by both parties, but if you’re just starting over in the dating world and are already wearing your heart on your sleeve, the only person risking anything is yourself.

Know when to limit your emotions and enjoy the fleeting moments of single-hood. Don’t rush yourself into anything serious until you and the potential mate know it’s a good time. Besides, as a recovering self-proclaimed serial dater, and knowing others that have gone through the dating cycles, if you don’t look for it, love finds you.

Finally, with these two pieces of advice in mind, the best place to start your search is ANYWHERE. Keep yourself open to different possibilities — the local hangouts, events and gatherings — even online dating sites are catching on with great results. Readers know from a previous issue that I met my significant other through Craigslist. Even relationships that don’t work out may still become friendships. If you’re still in school, join a club or mingle with the organizations that associate with our sorority. Meeting new people through friends or sisters can also help you expand your social network.

The key is to learn and grow from the experiences — don’t make the search your number one priority. Don’t force the connection(s) either — it may cause heartache, miscommunication or even dangerous situations.
Whether you’re at the club for a girls’ night out, helping raise awareness for important issues or meeting a budding interest from the internet, remember the importance of 1) being yourself,  2) being safe and 3) having fun!”