Dating Advice: Lessons of Love

Take the guesswork out of finding a mate

The Bon Vivant?

Know your way around a wine list? Love to try the latest gourmet restaurant as soon as it opens? You deserve someone who appreciates the good life as much as you do. Seeking out classes and groups that will satisfy your indulgent side.

The esteemed Chicago Wine School hosts one-night seminars or extensive five-week courses that explore the enjoyment of wine. These are non-intimidating, convivial gatherings, where, of course, you’ll be sampling the fruits of your labor.

It’s a perfect opportunity to get a conversation flowing with the cute connoisseur sitting next to you.

If you’re more of a budding gourmet, look into the array of cooking classes available in Chicago.  The Chopping Block has two Chicago locations with a bounty of classes held daily, from basic knife skills to in-depth culinary instruction.

You’ll get to eat what you make, so invite that attractive novice cook from the next table to sample your creations. Once you’ve met that special someone, keep in mind that The Chopping Block offers date night cooking courses.

The Athletic Type

If you like to work up a good sweat on the field as well as on the dance floor, consider joining the Chicago Sport and Social Club. From recreational sports leagues to social events and networking, the club makes no bones about its goal to get people together.

Coed sports teams, such as football, soccer and softball leagues, raise temperatures all year long. Members can also take part in fun networking parties at hot spots around town. It’s a win-win situation if you’re looking to meet someone who is active and amiable.

Or if you’re a dedicated runner who’s searching for some companionship for your early morning runs down the lakefront path. The Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA Lincoln Park), which boasts more than 8,000 members, is a community that offers training, education, events and a connection to other CARA runners throughout the area, whether you’re an occasional runner or training for your fifth marathon.

The Culture Vulture

One of the city’s most diverse social scenes goes down the first Friday of every month at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The First Fridays parties offer access to the latest MCA exhibitions, including works by up-and-coming Chicago artists, plus a digital dating bar, live music, specialty cocktails and appetizers by Wolfgang Puck.

The crowd is notoriously eclectic, beautiful and friendly. Park yourself in front of a conversation-piece painting and watch the magic happen.

For something a bit more sedate, try Starbucks Saturdays, hosted by the Chicago Art Dealers Association. Each week, a different gallery owner or expert gathers a walking group at the River North Starbucks location and leads a tour to four prominent galleries, offering insight and answering questions along the way.

The tours start at 11 a.m., and end around 12:30 p.m., leaving plenty of time for an impromptu lunch to discuss the exhibitions with a fellow art lover afterward.

The Funny Guy

Most women claim that sense of humor is their number one priority when looking for a mate. Put your money where your mouth is, and take an improv class at Chicago’s renowned Second City. The Second City Training Center offers workshops and classes in acting, writing and improvisation (which is an especially handy tool when dating).

While Second City alumni include Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Halle Berry, you don’t have to have celebrity aspirations, but you might become a star in your acting partner’s eyes.

The World Traveler

Perhaps you enjoy exploring other cultures above all else and would like someone to join you on your journeys. One of Chicago’s most established cultural organizations, the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, could help lead you along in your various explorations of life and love.

Regularly hosting French language classes, as well as cultural events, such as lectures, festivals and musical and theatrical performances, the Alliance is a gathering place for Francophiles from around Chicago. Remember, the French just about invented l’amour.

The Overachiever

If you were voted “most likely to succeed” in your high school yearbook, you need a dynamic partner who will keep up with you in your various pursuits.

Some of Chicago’s most successful young business leaders belong to the Economic Club of Chicago, an organization devoted to furthering the discussion of economic, political and social issues through an active roster of dinners and seminars with A-list guest speakers.

You’re sure to meet plenty of Donald Trump types (with better hair, of course).

? December 2007