Beth Cook is a dating coach and writer. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people sit around waiting for their dreamboat boyfriend or girlfriend to fall right out of the sky. This isn’t a movie, people. This is life—the place where you have to work hard for what you want.

Have you ever scored an awesome job while sitting around on your ass? I don’t think so. You were  probably been awarded a good gig after weeks or months of tweaking your resume, submitting job applications, and networking your butt off.

Finding miss or mister right is no different. If you really want to fall in love, and I know you do, you’re gonna have to put some blood, sweat and tears into it. But don’t worry, it’s more fun than it sounds. All you have to do is treat the dating process like a job search.

1. Tell everyone you know you’re on the market. Let your friends and acquaintances know that you are on the prowl. Go through your email contacts, your phone contacts, and your Facebook friends and send a note. You don’t have to be creepy about it. Write a simple “Hello, how are you” note to each friend and add something like, “Btw, I’m dating right now and am really excited about it. If you know anyone that I should meet, let me know!”

2. Say "yes" to invitations. You know all those Facebook invites for art/music events, birthday parties, happy hours, etc. that you usually ignore? Perhaps you get the occasional Evite for a housewarming party or Eventbrite email about an industry event. Now it’s time to hit the town. RSVP ‘yes’ to everything and throw on a snazzy outfit.

3. Host something. If your Facebook events calendar is dry, try hosting something yourself! A cocktail party at your place, a record swap, a hiking Meetup, a St. Patty’s Day bar hop... And tell your friends to spread the word!

4. Ask people out (or have your friends do it for you). This may sound stalker-ish, but you’d do it for a job, right? Browse LinkedIn and ask interesting and attractive people in your field out for a coffee or drink. You have a lot of leeway here, as the site is ostensibly for professional networking. Plus there’s less pressure on your meeting. You can also comb Facebook for friends of friends who are cute and interesting. Ask your common friend for an introduction.

5. Follow every lead. Send emails to people you’ve met at events, to the great friends who have promised to introduce you to singletons, and to the random Mr. Handsome who just connected with you on LinkedIn. Follow every lead until it runs dry.

By following the above guidelines, I guarantee there is no way you won’t eventually get what you want. Not only will you expand your social networks and meet a lot of new people (one of whom might be your soulmate, or who might be friends with your soulmate), you will also learn a hell of a lot about yourself, and what you want, in the process.

May you find the job (wo)man of your dreams.

Photo by deanmeyersnet