Beck once crooned “True Love Will Find You,” but those longing for love may need to take a more proactive role. With a little research, you can get ahead of the curve. Choose a favorable setting, and follow the advice of Drake instead: “better find your lovin.”

A bit of strategy might be required: the odds aren’t universally favorable. A recent survey administered by the Pew Research Center found Jacksonville to be among the 10 worst cities for single women looking for an employed single man: the metropolitan area was shown to have only 62 employed single men for every 100 single women. This is bad news for women, but single men looking for a sugar mama might appreciate this statistic.

Other, less scientific studies have shown that the chances of finding love sitting at home on your sofa are pretty low. Get out of the house and pursue more romantic locations that will help you set the mood for love.

Many relationship experts say that happy couples often have shared interests. Consider your own hobbies, and then go to places where you are likely to find others who share the same passions. Is music your thing? You might find your perfect match at a concert or club. Enjoy a good book? Join a book club, visit a local bookstore, or attend a book signing with your favorite author. Love to cook? Take a cooking class. You might meet someone there, and soon you’ll be cooking for two.

Art Museum

If you appreciate fine art, join one of the local groups of young professionals at the Cummer or the Museum of Contemporary Art. MOCA sponsors a group of members between the ages of 21 and 40 who call themselves “The Contemporaries.” At the Cummer Museum, a group of art aficionados in the same age bracket are referred to as the “Up & Cummers.” If you should happen to find a mate there, just imagine your future enjoyment in telling people where you met.  Both groups host monthly gatherings, happy hours and cultural events. See www.cummermuseum.org or www.mocajacksonville.org  for more information.

Special Interest Gathering

Perhaps you have a special interest that is popular enough to warrant a convention. If you enjoy Sci-Fi, you could attend Comic Con or DragonCon. Locally, a group called GAAM (Games, Art and Music) holds an annual event in Jacksonville for fans of gaming and cosplay called The GAAM Show. If you have always fantasized about Lara Croft, this could be the place to meet her look-alike. GAAM also holds gaming nights around town where you can meet someone who shares your passion for Super Smash Bros. See their website at www.gamesartandmusic.com for a schedule.

Volunteer

If you are seeking a selfless soul mate, volunteer through a local charity or philanthropic event.  Special events also look for volunteers, and often reward them with free entry and snazzy t-shirts. For example, it takes hundreds of volunteers with a variety of talents to make One Spark happen in downtown Jacksonville. You could volunteer as a guide, a creator liaison, a “media mogul” or a stage crew member. In addition to meeting fellow volunteers, you will have the opportunity to meet the thousands of festival attendees. In addition, you get to attend the exclusive One Spark Volunteer Recognition Party when the festival is over. See www.onespark.com for more information.

Religious Groups

If you dream of settling down with a wholesome family man or woman, a local church or religious group would be an excellent place to find such a specimen. Jacksonville is solidly fixed in the Bible Belt, and there are many churches to choose from. Many of them have singles groups geared toward specific age brackets. These groups plan frequent events inside and outside the church. A quick Google search will provide many options.

Evening classes

LEARN Jax is the continuing education program at the University of North Florida. They offer evening and weekend classes to suit any interest. Learn a new language, develop your creative writing skills, finally figure out how to use all the functions of your digital camera…the possibilities are endless. Take a look at the Winter brochure to find a class starting soon.

A Place of Beauty

If you enjoy photography, take a class to improve your aperture aptitude, and you might meet a fellow photo-phile in the process. For a less-structured approach, Jacksonville has no shortage of photogenic spots. Seek out beauty with a camera slung around your neck. It might provide a conversation opener. And if you bump into another seeker of beauty with a camera around his neck, it could be fate. Some popular local spots include Big Talbot Island, the Cummer Museum & Gardens, and any of our beautiful beaches.

Fitness Fun

If you love working out, your perfect partner should be physically fit as well. The obvious place to meet fitness-minded people is at the gym, but there are other settings you might not have thought about. Sign up for a beach run like the Never Quit in June. Join a running group to get in shape for a race like the Gate River Run. Be vigilant and look for single runners at the post-race parties. Those endorphins will boost your bubbly personality (and the free beer that often comes with your race entry won’t hurt either.)

Passion for Pets

If “must love dogs” is on your list of requirements, start looking for single dog lovers at Dog Wood Park (www.jaxdogs.com). This is one of the nations largest completely fenced dog parks, and you are sure to find many dog lovers there. Alternately, taking your dog for a walk on the beach will always provide conversation opportunities. You might chat with other dog walkers, or meet new people who like dogs, but don’t have one or their own.  If all else fails, sic him on a pretty girl, then rescue her. Offer to buy her dinner to make up for it.

Good luck on your quest, and keep in mind a few last words from Beck:

Don’t give up until

True love finds you in the end