5 Tips to Find a Date Before Valentine's Day

You've just finished spending the holidays alone and now Valentine's Day is sneaking up on you. It's almost not fair. Sure, spending time with your girlfriends on Valentine's Day can be satisfying, but perhaps you would secretly prefer to spend the evening with a member of the opposite sex? Here are five proactive things you can do to increase the chance that cupid's arrow will pierce your heart before Valentine's Day:

Volunteer - If you have the time, volunteering can be a great way to meet someone kind, giving and selfless. If you don't want to get dirty raking leaves or picking up trash, you can use your education to mentor teenagers, to promote literacy or to organize charity events. Even if you don't meet someone, volunteering is a great way to network, make new friends and, of course, help your community.

Join your College Alumni Association - Even if you move to another city or another state after graduation, your college more than likely has an alumni group in your vicinity. Just check your college alumni website or call your college alumni office and they will put you in touch with your local chapter. From there you can participate in game watches, fund-raising events, ski trips and more. You'll make a lot of connections with people with whom you already have a lot in common, and you may just make a love connection.

Speed Date - What can be better than scoping out single men that are there specifically to scope you out too? If you're curious about the caliber of men available in the speed-dating world, you can do some re-con. Most events are held at bars during normal business hours, usually during happy hour. Check online or in your local paper to find an event near you, then drag a friend to the bar and see who shows up. And when you're ready, sign up for a future event and see what happens!

Put Yourself Online - They say it's free to look, so why not start today? Browse the online personals to see who is available in your area. If you see anyone promising, sign up. If you're not sure about locking in to a one month membership, you can get a free trial. Then point, click and start communicating. You may just meet the man of your dreams. If you're looking for a FREE dating site, try www.okcupid.com or www.plentyoffish.com.

Use Your Connections - With the popularity of sites like Facebook, MySpace and Linked In, you have a window into which you can instantly view your friends' friends. And you can do it all from the comfort of your couch. Find a cute, single guy and ask your friends to hook you up.

There's no shame in the fact that you don't want to spend Valentine's Day alone. But if you stand idly by, you may do just that. Use the tips, cast your net wide and you may just catch the dream date you've been waiting for.

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