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... Loveandfriends poster saying when love hurts you dare to love again The importance of being a social butterfly in your hunt for love

Actually your true love doesn’t exist.

Or rather it doesn’t exist out there, waiting to be discovered. There is no destiny of love. It is chance, coincidence or enterprise that brings you together. There could be more than one ‘true love’. Like other choices you make throughout your life, love can go, or could have gone, in different directions. There are parallel lives in the imagination, spinning out different scenarios.

The art of real as opposed to true love is in the making.

At the beginning, there is often a smile, a twinkle, a resemblance, or simply lust at first sight. The rest is exploration, accommodation, building life together, the ties of offspring, the universe of shared space, the accumulation of memories. That is real love. All the rest is fiction.

So how do you go about creating opportunities?

It’s amazing how important being happy in yourself is. Anxiety, stress, lack of social confidence or an underlying unhappiness all affect the signals you are giving out. You can’t change overnight. Associating with happy people helps a lot.  Focus on things that make you happy – a song, a joke, a friendship – you can make a lot of difference to how you come across.  Then there is the more practical side of the enterprise. Checking out with friends the way you look, putting yourself into situations where you meet people you might get on with. Matchmakers, introduction agencies, apps and internet dating sites are useful shortcuts. But you also need to get your friends to act as discreet ambassadors. You could also follow up that mutual sidelong glance with a subtle approach, a prosaic conversation in the lift, on the tube, in an art gallery, in a café. Real love often develops out of banal situations.



Written by our guest blogger of the week: Emeritus Professor Sebastian Balfour.