1. Love yourself – first
I’m a huge believer in being happy by yourself before you can be happy with someone else. Finding a partner isn’t the answer to all of your problems; a relationship should compliment your life, not fix it. If you aren’t comfortable either physically or emotionally or whatever it may be, such unresolved issues could curtail a prospective romance before it’s even begun. Throughout my 20’s I spent far too many wasted years in pointless relationships that stunted everything from my personal growth to my career development and only after a valuable period of being single, was I able to commit and most importantly be happy in a relationship.
2. Be Picky
I don’t care what anyone says it’s okay to be picky and it’s certainly okay to have standards. If you’re looking to spend your life with someone then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t look for or wait for the perfect person – so long as you’re realistic of course. I’ve come across so many people who have ‘settled’ purely because of that initial buzz of meeting someone, anyone, but that happiness rarely lasts when you just settle. I’ve long said that I’d rather be by myself than be with the wrong person, don’t go chasing (or marrying) the first person that asks. Patience as they say, can be an incredible virtue.
3. Don’t be scared of online dating
lf you haven’t accepted that times have changed by now then you may well be single for a very long time. The stigma of dating sites is well and truly gone and for a number of years now it has proven to be both the simplest and most effective way to meet someone and no, simplicity doesn’t have to come with compromises over quality. We’re all in the same boat, we’re all human, we all want the same thing (well most of us do). Who’s to say the absolute perfect person for you isn’t sitting wishing they could find YOU! Online dating could very well be your route to an introduction, why delay?
4. Do it right!
I hear from so many people asking “what am I doing wrong?” Sometimes it’s just bad luck but other times it’s about using a little bit of common sense. The dating sites market is flooded with niche sites that cater for people who love beards or cats or cereal, you name a it, then chances are I’ve reviewed the site. But take it from someone who knows, this industry is tough and if a site has been around for a long time then they’re definitely doing something right. That’s why I stick to the big guns, like Match.com, there’s an element of trust there that you simply don’t get with the newbies.
5. Invest in you
I would never argue that dating is all about how you look, but it’s definitely a lot about how you feel. Investing in yourself could be the start of exciting changes; a happier, healthier and potentially ‘loved up’ you. Do something with your hair, change up your wardrobe a little bit, go for a run, eat just that little bit healthier. You don’t have to spend a fortune or become annoyingly self-obsessed, just remember that sometimes the smallest changes can ignite the biggest results. Feel good about yourself, be confident (not arrogant) and positive about who you are, this doesn’t mean you’ll find love instantly but you’ll definitely be moving in the right direction.
6. Remember, a date is just a date
What do I mean by this? I come across a lot of people who build up one simple date to be their one and only opportunity to find love – this simply isn’t the case. Enjoy a date for what it is, a nice night out. If it goes well, fantastic, and if it doesn’t, it really isn’t the end of the world. Whichever way a date goes, treat it as life experience, enjoy the good and learn from the bad.
7. Treat people with respect
When it comes to finding love it’s easy to be selfish, we’re all looking for something for ourselves after all, so of course it’s completely natural. But without sounding too philosophical, finding love is one hell of a journey on which you’ll encounter many people along the way; treat them how you would like to be treated and make it easy on yourself to move forward with no regrets. If you go on a date and within five minutes (or even five seconds) you know that you’re not attracted to them, that’s no excuse to be rude or cut the date short. Enjoy the company of a stranger, get to know them, listen to their stories, and make the effort just like they did. Sometimes it’s nice just to be nice and enjoy the good karma that comes with it – just don’t lead them on of course.
8. Keep an open mind
No one ever said finding love was easy, you will experience many twists and turns along the dating sites road before you find the one. People say there’s someone for everyone, what a load of rubbish, there’s hundreds of people for everyone all just as wonderful and loving as the next. Be patient and don’t ever let the process get you down, I guarantee you someone will be worth the wait.
Darren is the editor at dating review site Whichdate.co.uk, where he gathers honest reviews and offers free advice to make the most of your time searching for love online.