Do you sometimes feel that true love only happens to other people? Here’s match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor’s guide to making this the year that it happens to YOU.
Was your New Year’s Resolution to find a partner in 2014? If it was, you’re in good company – match.com had its busiest week EVER this January, with millions of members logging in to find love through dating online.
If you’ve had dating disasters or relationships fail in the past, it’s easy to start seeing yourself as someone who’s just not meant to be in a couple. Perhaps partners have criticised you, perhaps your friends tell you that you’re just great by yourself, perhaps even your family have given up on your chances of finding The One. If you’ve lost your self-confidence for whatever reason, read on! Here’s how to improve your chances.
1. Re-set your clock
Many of us feel we’ve left it too late to find love, if we find ourselves single over the age of 45 – sometimes even 35, sometimes even 30! This expectation is often caused by feeling you should be following your parents’ example. If you grew up with parents who met and married in their twenties, being single when you’re over 30 can feel slightly scary, as if you’ve wandered away from your “script”. If that’s true for you, take a fresh look at your situation. You might be looking for love later in life, but that simply means you’ve spent your time doing other things aside from dating – focussing on your career, travelling, socialising, looking after others – that will boost your value to a new partner. Think of the experiences you will bring to a relationship! Most of us want a partner who can be supportive and understanding, and that’s often only gained through past experience. Also, people in your age group will have similar backgrounds and will love that you have this in common.
2. Improve your Connections
Be honest – are you making an effort to interact with new people? Many of us get into the habit of being slightly closed-off from new people after a period of being alone. We are reluctant to start conversations with strangers, we avoid eye-contact – subconsciously we “go about our business” in a solitary manner. Even when we go shopping we put our heads down and get it done as fast as possible. If that rings a bell with you, begin to move out of your comfort zone by being more open with new people. Chat to your supermarket cashier, smile at people on the train, start conversations in the pub. It’s not just that it will boost your confidence – research has shown that our interaction with strangers is FAR more positive than how we interact with old friends. Reluctant to burden people with problems, we minimise our negativity and make an effort to be light-hearted. This is flirting at its most basic level. Try it! You’ll be surprised how it changes your image of yourself.
3. Have a plan
At match.com we believe in the power of “making love happen”. When you take a proactive approach to finding a new relationship, magic begins. Before you write your online-dating profile, REALLY think about what you have to offer a partner. Don’t think about material assets, think about your heart. Are you thoughtful, able to anticipate things that’d make someone smile? Are you in great shape? Are you physically demonstrative, a wonderful kisser, great at dancing? Do you simply just make a perfect cup of tea? Don’t laugh! (In a recent study, we found that a cup of tea in the morning was the most desirable “thoughtful gesture” most single people could think of!) You have a lot to give, believe that. And keep believing it as you begin dating again. Don’t give up! You may have to go on 20 first dates before you experience your very own “match moment” – when your eyes meet and you know you’ve found something special – or it might just take one, but it WILL happen. We hear about it every day! And when it does happen, please write and tell us. We can’t wait to hear from you.