Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I'm pretty tired of being single. I am in my late 20s, I have a good job, I'm in decent (average) shape, and I like enjoying Alaska life and having fun. I want 2013 to be the year I meet my man. Or at least I want to meet someone who is around for more than a few dates. Any advice on how to make this happen? I'll try just about anything. Alaska is supposed to be full of available guys. Where are they??
Single and Ready to Mingle
Wanda: With New Year's Eve upon us, it's an ideal time to take stock of relationships, assess and look ahead to 2013. What do we want that we don't have, and how do we get it? You want a partner, and kudos to you for putting yourself out there.
In my experience, we are most likely to meet people when we aren't looking. Sucks, I know. But there's something about the easy-going and natural energy we emit when we let down our guard and drop the urgency and intensity, which can be overwhelming and off-putting. So first piece of advice: relax, as much as possible. That's the best way to truly let the world see you.
Next wisdom kernel: don't settle. Yes, you want a relationship. Remember always that you don't just want a relationship. You want the right relationship, with the right person. Don't date some guy just because he wants to date you. Think about what it is you want and need. Make a list. What are your deal breakers? Share it with your best fiends so they'll help hold you accountable and ensure you aren't lowering your standards. As I wrote recently, every moment we spend with the wrong person is time we are missing with someone who will make us really happy.
As for how to actually find someone -- Wayne, I turn it over to you!
Wayne: Why yes, Wanda, I'm right here -- also single and ready to mingle! Oh, you meant for advice ...
Seriously, though, there are available men and women everywhere in Alaska. Your odds are good, and contrary to the popular belief, the goods aren't all odd.
Wanda is correct in that timing and showing your genuine self are important elements to landing a keeper, but there's also something to be said about making your own breaks in life. If you're serious about finding someone, make it happen. Register on an online dating site that fits your lifestyle and partner requirements. Expand your social circle beyond your usual go-to friends. Check out the potential within your hobbies -- look, there's a studly skier, a cute quilter or a fine First Tap-goer standing right next to you!
When you approach life with this view, suddenly you'll see dating opportunities everywhere. Sure, you'll get ignored, rejected or shot down in epic fashion in some of your attempts. That's all part of the game. But in a society that is more focused on smartphones and status updates than the world in real time, fewer things are more charming than someone who looks a nearby fellow human in the eye, smiles and says, "Hi." Give it a shot.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at email@example.com.