I went out to breakfast today, or brunch rather, at a favorite local spot. While I was eating, the owner/chef's son was talking to his family about how he's having a hard time finding the right woman. His parents' advice was to seriously 'network', especially at their church. His mom was very convinced that he would meet a lovely young lady at church, and he wouold be extraordinarily happy as a result.
Now, not to say that there's anything wrong with what she said, but my experience has been very different. I've always been left with an impression that when you're not looking, things will work out better in the end. Creating the ideal candidate in your head is okay to a point, but then, when you meet people, you try to shape them into your ideal. The result is that you never really get to know the person, but rather the person you want them to be. To me, this means that you don't get to know that person for real. The whole idea of having a partner and being really happy is that you like that person exactly the way he/she is.
Not to say it's bad to have standards, either, but honestly, if someone did not meet some of you 'qualifications,' would you really like that person? At least you could say you got to know the person. Qualifications for partners is different from friends, so that's also important to keep in mind.
Of course, I say all this, and I'm single. This could be why, but I have my doubts.