Is the Sofa Theory for Dating the Key to Finding Love?

Ask anyone who's single and they'll tell you: The dating world can be tough. Between choosing the right Hinge prompts and picking the right outfit—and that's all before the 'so...any siblings?' conversation— finding a partner is no easy task. That's why therapist Elinor Greenberg, PhD, developed the 'Sofa Theory of Dating.' Basically, the theory states that you should approach finding someone to date in the same way you'd approach shopping for a sofa.

In an article for Psychology Today, Greenberg reveals that the theory has five basic rules:

1. To Find a Sofa, Go to Places Where They Sell Sofas

Greenberg explains, "If you needed a sofa, you would not sit home and expect a sofa to find you. Why would you be passive and hope that somehow a perfect mate finds you? Similarly, you would not just hope that you run into the right sofa while walking down the street. You would expect to have to put some effort into finding one." In dating, this means deliberately going places where you're likely to meet a potential partner, rather than waiting to run into the love of your life on the street.

2. If You Didn't Find a Sofa at the First Place You Looked, Go to Other Places

If at first you don't succeed—in sofa shopping and in dating—try and try again. Just because you don't immediately meet someone you want to start a relationship with doesn't mean you should end the search; if you want to be with someone, keep looking until you find someone.

3. Don’t Worry About Looking Desperate

"When you go into a sofa store, you are unlikely to feel ashamed that you do not already have a sofa," Greenberg notes. "Why should you feel ashamed to admit you do not have a mate?" Don't let your fear of embarrassment or rejection stop you from pursuing a relationship.

4. Choose Appropriate People to Ask Out

Per Greenberg, you wouldn't go shopping for a sofa at a store your can't afford, or a place that carry sofas you would not want. This point is about being realistic about who you're hoping to date. For example, if you're sober, you might not want to primarily look for a partner in a bar.

5. Play to Your Strengths

Greenberg advises singles to look for potential partners who fit with your lifestyle. She gives the example of a man who said that his strengths were that he was religious, respectful and had a strong moral code. "I advised him to look in places where the women he was likely to meet valued those qualities," she explains. "He stopped looking in bars and online dating sites and found his mate through his church’s singles’ group."

Makes sense, right? So get out there and find your perfect sofa mate.

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