Dating by referral can be a useful way to find a life partner. This is especially useful if you’ve put the time and effort into a process of self-discovery so you know yourself well, know your values and have a clear vision for your life and your desired relationship.
Friends and acquaintances can be great resources when you’re serious about finding a life partner.
Pick a few people carefully who you like and trust, and who you know like and appreciate you.
Then look for an opportunity to talk with them privately. This might be a few minutes during a conversation over lunch or coffee.
Your goal is to tell them you are seriously seeking a relationship and give them a concise summary of the type of relationship and type of person you’re looking for. Then ask them to introduce you to people who might seem like a good match.
I’m at a time in my life when I’m seriously looking for a long term partner for a monogamous relationship (or open or polyamorous relationship as may apply to you). I’m looking for a thoughtful, middle aged professional man/woman who loves animals, hiking and the ocean and doesn’t want children. If you know of or run across anyone who seems like they could be a match and who is looking for a life partner, I’d be grateful if you introduce them to me.
Of course to succeed with dating by referral, you’ll need to customize that to your own situation.
If you’re brave, make this a little more explicit and formal, asking your trusted friends to introduce you specifically for the purpose of possible dating. If you’re financially able, offer to pay your friend’s tab for the lunch or dinner where the introduction takes place.
If you’re not comfortable being so direct, you can still ask trusted friends to introduce you to likely candidates. Just make the request and the process more casual and informal.
It’s best to follow up with them from time to time. You don’t want to be pushy, but you don’t want them to forget your request, either. Also while businesses can keep taking referrals, if you’re monogamous then you’ll need to let your referral partners know when you start or stop dating someone exclusively.
New friends and acquaintances can also be good sources for referrals. When you have a chance early in the friendship to have a private one on one conversation, let a small part of that conversation be your sharing your search for a life partner and asking them to be on the lookout for you. Most people who like you will be flattered you’ve asked.
If you go through a friendly breakup, you could even suggest being on the lookout for better matches for each other.
Having a “let’s not date anymore” conversation often reveals more about what you each want. If you are still on friendly terms, it could be a great opportunity to talk about introducing better matches to each other as you run across them.
In past times most marriages were arranged. It might not exactly look like a modern version of dating by referral, but it operates by the same basic principle. While there are horror stories of arranged marriages between people who didn’t like each other, many arranged marriages work well. There is wisdom in the process of letting your friends and loved ones help you find a match. Those who know you well, are often well suited to suggesting good potential partners.
In our modern, Western thinking, English speaking countries, arranged marriages are rare these days. But you could leverage some of the wisdom of it by getting trusted friends and acquaintances to refer people to you.
Since most people aren’t used to this and don’t want to be nosy, you’ll need to take initiative to make this work.
To succeed with dating by referral, develop a clear and concise statement of what you’re looking for. Share that with people who can refer potential dates and soulmates to you. Referrals work well in business, and they could help you in dating too.