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We asked relationship expert Susan Page, the author of If I'm So Wonderful Why Am I Still Single? (Three Rivers Press, 2002), to provide some insight into the common mistakes single women make and how to find a partner once and for all. So before you resign yourself to singledom, consider these simple strategies for improving your luck when it comes to love.
1. Break free of bad relationships
People tend to stay in relationships that are not right for them for far too long. Page refers to these as BTN (better than nothing) relationships and suggests avoiding them.
"People stay because it's convenient and hard to break up," she explains. "Don't stay in a relationship you know is going to be short term -- get out of it," she insists. Freeing yourself from relationships that aren't right will ensure you won't miss out on someone you're much better suited to.
2. Increase your effort
Singles often say they want a relationship but then aren't willing to try online dating or insist they're too busy with work to go out or that they're sick of meeting people who they don't click with. But by making excuses, you're hindering your chances at finding love.
Page suggests looking closely at your attitude and adjusting it if necessary. "People don't realize they sabotage themselves by having this attitude," she explains. "If you want to find a relationship, the secret is to recognize your ambivalence and act as if you are not ambivalent," she says.
Commit to caring about finding a match, and believe that you will. Create an online dating profile and go to networking events -- and do so with the attitude that something will come of it.
Page 1 of 2 -- Are you willing to initiate conversation with someone new? Discover great ways to be more approachable on page 2.
3. Let go of typecasting
You have to be willing to meet new people -- even if you don't think they're your type. "If you line up 100 women who are married, 90 of them will tell you the one they ended up with wasn't their type," says Page. "You don't know what will really make you compatible until you meet a person," she says.
You might think you'll hit it off with someone because you both like a certain type of music or a specific hobby, but similar interests only count for so much. Making a love match is more about chemistry and the connection you have than hobbies and interests, says Page. Stop hindering yourself with a set idea of what traits a potential partner must have in order for you to agree to go on a date with him.
4. Be approachable
It's hard for a man to approach a woman who doesn't appear to be interested in meeting anyone. Work on looking more approachable by practising a friendly, open smile, suggests Page. Something as simple as looking up and making eye contact -- or smiling and looking away -- can make a big difference when it comes to how approachable you seem.
"Men often view women as closed off," says Page. "You have to be open and make it easy for men to approach you." By smiling you give off a more open demeanour, she explains.
5. Initiate a conversation
It doesn't matter what you say to start a conversation, you just need to start it. Get the conversation going and you'll be doing the other person a favour, says Page.
You can always start a conversation by saying something about the situation that brought you together, such as "How do you know the host of this party?" If you're at a restaurant, you can talk about the food or the atmosphere. "Give up on the idea that you have to be clever and just get the conversation started," Page advises.
6. Break the traditional rules of dating
Anyone who sets out a bunch of rules to follow when it comes to dating or meeting men is not going to have a lot of luck, says Page. This means you shouldn't second-guess yourself about approaching someone, sending them a message or initiating contact on a dating site. We often hold back because certain dating rules suggest that we won't be successful in making a connection if we do x, y or z -- but this is a myth. Page recommends consulting your intuition in every situation.
"If a person rejects you because you texted too soon, he wasn't right for you," she says. If the connection was meant to be there, it would be there no matter when you texted or called.
Making a love connection can be easier than you think as long as you make yourself available to one. Examine how you may be holding yourself back and use this newfound awareness to put yourself in a position where you can meet someone right for you.
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