By Sarah Foster Special to Published Jun 12, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Everywhere I look, I see couples.

It's a lot easier to deal with when one is attached, but of course then you are too involved with your own relationship to notice.

There is nothing more annoying than being recently single and spending a long, cold winter driving through Downtown and seeing that couple on the street corner exchanging a sweet kiss not caring that its 15-below, going to dinner with that couple that really couldn't care less that you're seated across from them because all they want is to get home and ravage each other. What about the couple in the grocery store trying to pick out a frozen pizza for movie night with the same childish whining as teenagers fighting over who should hang up first? "No you pick, I don't care, really, whatever you want, I picked last time." All the while, you're in the next aisle, rolling your eyes and daydreaming about shoving that frozen pizza down their throats.

Then it happens. You fall back into a relationship when you least expect to and, suddenly, you understand again. You get back to that weird, happy place where the lightest, accidental brushes of skin are enough to give you goose bumps and make your stomach turn.

New love is a great feeling. You have so much to learn about each other, things you'd experienced alone seemed lackluster until you had this person to share them with and going even a few days without sex is equivalent to one of you coming back from a year at sea.

It's great, but you have to find it first.

If you aren't attached, how do you escape the sea of couples and venture out to find someone of your own? Or just find someone who loves sitting in the corner of the bar and commiserating about how much you hate couples in love?

I've almost always dated friends of friends. It's relatively safe and easy -- like middle school. You tell your friend that you think "that guy is really cute." She tells her boyfriend, who tells his friend to ask you out. You already have a pretty good feel for what the person is like. If you run in the same crowds, you obviously have somewhat similar taste in friends.

This route isn't sure-fire, though, and can create tension as lines are drawn and friends are picked, as if you are about to play a game of dodgeball in the schoolyard.

You will run into this ex- again, and you will hear through the grapevine about the skinny bitch he's with now.

If you're going it alone, you should think about a few things first.

What is attractive about me?

Do I make myself available to people outside of work?

Most important, am I approachable?

You can do a million different things to make yourself more attractive physically, from working out to getting regular spa treatments (not just for the ladies), haircuts, updating your wardrobe. But none of that will matter if your attitude and personality scream, "I'm shy!" Or, "I'm a total jerk!" Or, worst of all, "I have no self confidence!"

If you are just looking to get laid, follow Steps 1-4 to physical attractiveness and pick up some protection on your way to Water Street. If you want something more than that, then you need to think a little harder.

Have a dog? The dog park, like your circle of friends, is a group of people you already have something in common with, only this time they are locked in an enclosed area. Use it to your advantage! If you've seen the same chick walking her yellow lab three weeks in a row, put some Snausages in your pocket and get up wind of Fido. Ever seen Lady and the Tramp? Same concept. But you might want to keep those treats in your cargo pocket, nothing says awkward moment like her dog going after the front of your pants like there's a dead gopher buried in there.

Shopping. Ladies, you aren't likely to find many single, straight guys hanging out in the women's department. If someone catches your eye, march into the men's department, pick out a shirt that you actually like, study it for a minute, give him a smile, walk over and say, "Hi, do you mind if I hold this up to you for a second? I'm trying to find a birthday present for my brother and you look like you're about the same size." Sounds a little cheesy, I know, but I've seen it done. Try it.

A former co-worker. Shoot an e-mail or call and say you heard of a job opening he or she might be interested in, suggest meeting for drinks to discuss details. Ask tons of questions about their current work, life, etc., but actually listen to the answers, don't interrupt and be interested in what's going on with him or her. If they want to see you anyway and you are genuinely curious about his or her life, they won't care about some fake job you made up as an excuse. However you may want a backup just in case.

Most important, people say it happens when you least expect it and that's definitely been my experience. When you aren't trying too hard, you tend to be yourself and that is what will actually attract real people to you. Trying to be someone or something you're not may get you laid, but it won't get you further than that for long. If you want more, maybe the key is to stop looking. Good Luck!


Sarah Foster Special to

No, the sex columnist's real name is not Sarah Foster. (Foster is the model/actress that played an ex-lover of Vincent Chase in the first season of "Entourage.") In reality, our sex columnist is a Wisconsin native with a degree in journalism and a knack for getting people to talk to her.

Sarah never considered herself an "above average" listener. Others, however, seem to think differently. Perhaps she has a sympathetic tone or expression that compels people to share their lives and secrets with her despite how little they know her. Everyone from the girl that does her hair to people in line at the grocery store routinely spill the details of their lives and relationships to Sarah, unprompted but typically not unwanted. It’s strange to her that people would do this, but she doesn’t mind. Sarah likes that she can give advice even if it is to complete strangers.

So why the pseudonym? Simple. People tell Sarah these things because for some reason they trust her. They believe she cares and therefore will keep their secrets in a locked vault the same way a best friend or therapist would. Sarah won't name names, but that vault is now unlocked.