You’re a smart cookie, with a whole lot to offer some lucky individual. But, if you’re dating like an amateur your love life just isn’t going to meet your expectations. Get yourself a dating MOT by following these Top 13 tips to date smarter.
1. Update your online dating photo
Re-evaluate your chosen picture. Is it accurate? Flattering? What image is it projecting to others? Your photo’s all people have to go on; get a considered and professional portrait done.
2. Update your dating profile
Think like a marketing consultant – it’s time for a re-brand. As you write, try to be objective by imagining you’re describing the positive attributes of a friend. Inject levity, display your personality, be persuasive – but honest. Also, consider changing a potentially off-putting username.
3. Detox your love life
Cut the maybes, the sexting and the toxic friends-with-benefits from your life. Sever apron strings to your ex, and forget the guy/girl you’re secretly waiting for, hoping will change their mind. It’s time for a clean slate.
4. Cognitive re-evaluation
Jettison emotional thinking and sentimental rationale: embrace a pragmatic attitude. Consider your priorities honestly; have they changed? Are they realistic? Your needs and your wants are often at odds with one another. What you believe you want is often quite misleading and detrimental.
5. Be proactive
Don’t wait for love to find you. Resolve to take control of the steering wheel and initiate contact with people you like.
6. Don’t judge on photo alone
Always read entire dating profiles.
7. Don’t take it personally
Practise a healthy sense of perspective and distance. Dating is a numbers game, a random lottery; it’s not a personal rejection if your numbers don’t come up. Make persistence, patience and a sense of humour allies.
You don’t have to put on an act to impress your date; you just have to be interested, engaged and responsive.
9. Be guided by actions and not words
Use your date’s behaviour as an indicator of their feelings towards you and not what they say.
10. Improve bad dating etiquette (courtesy of Dr Phil)
Don’t talk about your ex. Leave your baggage at the door. Don’t base everything on chemistry. Don’t over-share.
11. Invest in you
Work on self-esteem. To be accepted for yourself you have to know – and like – yourself first. Otherwise, all you’re bringing to the relationship is an unhealthy desire for validation and the deeply unfair expectation that the other person can compensate for your (perceived) shortcomings. This will result in a vicious circle of self-loathing and disappointment.
12. Be open to love and life: expand your search criteria
Discount no one – you may surprise yourself. Remain observant and practise gratitude.
13. Break out of your routine
Shake thing up a little and step out of your comfort zone. Explore new places and hobbies; embrace a new attitude. Small changes can have hugely positive effects in all aspects of your life.