“The moment you stop looking, it’ll come to you.” Or “take the time to work on yourself.”

It’s not the kind of advice you get when you’re looking for a job or when the landlord has just slipped a 30-day notice to vacate under the door.

That’s because few people really believe they’re going to run into a high-paying career while absent-mindedly squeezing tomatoes at the grocery store. And apartment rentals aren’t drawn to upbeat people in bars simply because they radiate “good vibes.”

But when it comes to meeting the right fellow, single women are often advised to “take time to really get to know yourself” and hope serendipity tosses Mr. Right at your feet when you’re otherwise distracted.

It’s frustrating advice, especially coming from a recently married BFF who had the good fortune of meeting her gem of a husband through mutual friends. Why, her single pals have to wonder, hasn’t she paid it forward yet?

A little setting up can sometimes go a long way. But instead, unattached women are often told to wait it out. Let singlehood run its course like a raucous summer flu.

“It’s making women feel powerless,” said Rachel Greenwald, a professional matchmaker. “They have nothing to do but sit around.”

Greenwald has been making long-term pairs out of perpetual singles for more than 10 years. She runs a matchmaking business based in Colorado, and has authored two singles-centric books, “Find a Husband After 35: Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School” and “Have Him at Hello.”

Much of her insight comes from interviewing 1,000 single men to find out why they fell in love or fell off the planet.

She’s also learned that dating these days is nothing like when your folks got together.

“The online dating explosion has created this horrible situation. Both men and women believe a more perfect match is just a mouse click away,” she said. “It’s an illusion of so many choices.”

Greenwald’s clients often spend upwards of $10,000 for her services. But singles can glean some dating wisdom from her for a fraction of that during her visit to One Longfellow Square on Thursday night.

The evening will start with a cocktail hour at 7 p.m., when women can tip back a glass and socialize with Greenwald and each other. The cocktail hour will help loosen up attendees, making it easier for them to ask questions, but there’s a method behind the mingling.

“Everybody in that room knows single men who aren’t right for them but might be right for someone else,” said Greenwald.

Those matchmakers. Where we see chit-chat, they see opportunity.

During the 8 p.m. seminar, Greenwald will reveal her seven best secrets to meeting single men right here in Maine — tips that Greenwald says most women have never tried.

Ever asked a girlfriend if she knows any single men who might be a good fit for you? Of course you have. And of course she responded in the negative.

“Whenever you phrase it as a yes or no question, it’s always a ‘no,’ ” said Greenwald. She’ll offer a better way to approach your friends to get them on your date-spotting team.

Struggled with dating online? Greenwald has some pointers. “I’ll talk about how to make online dating effective. Most people hate it because they’re doing it wrong.”

And attendees shouldn’t expect the usual parade of dating generalities. Greenwald isn’t a fan of the ambiguous to-do lists (as wonderful as it is to “love yourself first”) and knows that single women are tired of them, too.

Tonight’s seminar is no love guarantee, but as Greenwald noted, “There are things you can do to increase your chances.”

Unless, of course, you think all that waiting around is working for you.

 

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at: [email protected]