Dear Melisa: As far as resolutions go, it’s the same every year: To find that elusive, does-she-really-exist significant other — that final piece of the puzzle.I’ve accomplished just about everything that I’ve set out to do,but finding the right

person who would be my best friend, lover and companion seems like searching for the Holy Grail. How are you supposed to find someone you’re attracted to, has a matching or complimentary personality,
be able to live with, is mentally and physically available (single), and also happens to like you?”

I read this e-mail over and over. It so beautifully described what I have felt for years. Businesses are run on this instinctual quest, Internet sites are dedicated to it and now prime-time TV shows such as “The Bachelor” are using it to entice viewers because they know we’re all searching for the same thing: a soul mate.

Some cultures still have arranged marriages, but in those that don’t, people grow up looking for that Prince Charming or queen to rule our domain. Does “The One” exist, and if so, what are the odds of finding that person? There are more than 6 billion people on this planet. So why does finding a special someone to share our lives with feel like an impossible quest?

Very simply, we’re too picky. Back in the day, we married our high-school or college sweethearts. We were supposed to stick it out through thick and thin. But with rising divorce rates, the cost of divorce, the acceptance and ease of it and the effects on the children caught in the middle, we’re now taught to hold off. “Don’t settle until we know he/she’s ‘The One.’” That thinking has left us with is an entire generation that’s guarded and waiting for a nearly flawless human being to marry. How can we be open to meeting our potential soul mate when we have our defenses up and a list of requirements longer than medical school applications?

Here’s what I say: Throw out the lists. Let down your guard. Be open to the possibility that this person can appear in any shape and size, at any time. Pay attention to the people you meet by coincidence; the person you lock eyes with for just a brief moment in the elevator, or the woman you keep running into at the gas station, the man you see twice in a week in two different locations or the person who gives you goose bumps as you pass near them.

Take these moments of seemingly random coincidences and notice if there’s a pattern. Say “Hi.” What have you got to lose? Most importantly, be open to all possibilities. Because when love strikes, it usually catches you off-guard and blindsides you.

And never give up. “Love like you’ve never been hurt.” A tall order, but with some mental effort, it can be done. Believe that she’s out there. Beckon her and she will come.

KHNL News 8’s evening newscaster Melisa Uchida is a Boston University graduate.