Satine: Besides, I can’t fall in love with anyone
Christian: Can’t… fall… in love? But, a life without love, that’s… terrible…
Satine: No, being on the street, that’s terrible.
Christian: No! Love is like oxygen!
Satine: What?
Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!

Moulin Rouge

It seems at first glance that this goal would be a difficult goal to achieve. How, exactly, do you make yourself fall in love with someone? It’s not like human beings come with a love switch that can be flipped on like a light (if you do find such a switch, do let me know). What does it mean to “fall in love” anyway? I imagine that falling in love isn’t quite the same thing as falling out of a tree (which would be a very bad thing) or falling blissfully into bed after a long day (which is pretty nice). It’s one of those weird “you know it when you feel it” feelings.

I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment, but I’ve experienced that strange feeling at the tender age of 12 when I sat next to this cute boy named Eric in my 5th-grade elementary class. We spend a lot of time talking and hanging out on the playground. We even went on “dates” when we went on class field trips. Things didn’t work out and we went our separate ways after elementary school, but I remember him as the first guy that I fell in love with.

Looking back at it, it was more then just feelings that attracted me to Eric. We had a lot in common- we were in the same school and in the same class. We were sitting next to each other in class all year. We both shared a disability in that we were both hearing-impaired. Unfortunately, the hearing impairment caused many of our classmates at the time to scorn us and ignore us which only pushed us together more.

Later on in college and after graduation, I’ve found myself attracted to guys who also happen to be engineers- not a coincidence since my dad is an engineer and I respect him. It also makes it easier for me to relate to engineers after living with one for most of my life.

I’m also attracted to guys that have a lot of similar qualities to my dad- they possess a sense of humor and have an easy-going nature. This doesn’t surprise me- there are many studies out there that show that women are attracted to men that are like their father if they had a positive relationship to him. But I’m also looking for some qualities my dad doesn’t have- like a love for travel. Spirituality is also important to me and I would want a guy to have similar beliefs that I do. Having a good idea of the qualities that I’m looking for makes it easier to put myself in a situation where I’m more likely to fall in love.

So if you want to fall in love, think about the qualities that your ideal man/woman would have. Then think about where people with those kinds of qualities might be. For example, if you like women that really loves kids, then try to find ways to make connections to women who work in daycare centers or schools, since they probably picked those careers partly out of a love for kids. If you like guys with tattoos and can do a mean 360, then hanging out at the local skate park will increase your odds of finding that inked skateboarder of your dreams. Knowing what qualities you like also helps in finding a good match on dating websites.

But love is a two-way street. Developing qualities in yourself that would attract the kind of person you’re looking for will help tremendously in your search.

The one thing though that I don’t like about the phrase “falling in love” is that it implies that you have about as much control over love as you do over gravity. But in reality, you have a lot of control- not only in putting yourself in situations where you’re more likely to meet the person of your dreams, but also in not pursuing a relationship with a person that happens to stir up feelings of love in you but doesn’t possess the qualities you’re looking for.

The search for that special someone may take a while, but in the end it is worth it. As Christine from Moulin Rouge wrote “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”