These days, dating can be hard. It can feel as though finding your person or soulmate is an impossible task—almost like finding a needle in a Haystack. For author Jameliah Gooden, she lived this sentiment in real life, before she met her husband.

"I met my husband through my older sister, who set us up on a blind date. They were friends for years. He was going through a divorce, I was divorced, and she felt it was a perfect fit," Gooden shares. "He and my sister had been best friends for years. I think there was an appointed time for us to meet. A lot of times people overlook blind dating because of experiences that were not so great, but don’t let that stop you from allowing other people to help you find your perfect match."

The A Needle in a Haystack author admits that her key to finding love in today's culture, was letting go of the traditional meaning of dating, and instead adopting a mindset of fellowshipping.

A Needle in a Haystack: How to Find Love in the Rubble
Jameliah Gooden (Warren Publishing)

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"A lot of people feel stressed when they hear the word dating. So, try saying “fellowshipping” instead. Because what you’re doing is allowing your guard down to enjoy dinner, a movie, and fun––in fellowship.," she shares. "Of course, you don’t want to overlook that maybe this person could be a potential relationship, but don’t stress yourself out with dating."

Other tips for getting out there, according to Gooden, include: joining travel groups, getting out of your comfort zone and checking out spots you normally don't go to—and even shooting your shot with someone that piques your interest.

Below, Gooden divulges 3 ways that those looking for love can find their "needle in a haystack."

Take away the expectations

Sometimes people go out with an expectation that they will find someone by a specific time in their life. That is not reality, and people should be open-minded. Expectations give you a false sense of hope, because if it doesn’t work out, you will walk around bitter, angry and upset.

"If your goal doesn’t materialize, you’ll be disappointed, and maybe miss a wonderful, unexpected opportunity that comes your way during that low point," says the author.

Don’t let your past dictate your future

"A lot of times people don’t want to date because of negative experiences. Don’t allow brokenness to hold you hostage––it’s okay, go to therapy! Do the work to heal yourself before you get involved with somebody else," Gooden explains. "Go to counseling and fix your issues in the tissues, because broken people break people. Never get involved with someone with the understanding that they are here to fix you. Go to therapy and become a better whole so that, eventually, you can be a better half."

The best way to find someone is with a smile

"You’ll be surprised how many people miss opportunities by being too serious. I believe people should learn to enjoy themselves and allow fun and laughter to be their glue at times," says Gooden. "Have fun! You will find that connection eventually, but if you’re too serious, you may miss it because you’re trying too hard."