Go to gun shops... handle as many as you can.
Look for a range that rents guns.
My wife took a year to find her first... and another year to find her second.
Her first was a Ruger GP100, her second was a 1911 compact.
We got rid of the .357, not enough thump for her... and replaced it with a .44 snubby.
She is VERY specific on what she likes and doesnt like.
Most people wouldnt like to gun shop with her... she will wrap her fingers around a pistol and know in an instant if it will be considered.
I am less particular about what I shoot, it comes from shooting friends guns when growing up.
I have known I loved 1911s since the first one I layed my hands on.