Opposites attract. Put yourself out there and stop being so picky. If you’re single, you have most likely heard that piece of advice at least once before. But, sometimes, we really do sabotage ourselves when we’re looking for love. It’s easy to get frustrated with a string of boring first dates or when a long-term relationship ends for reasons beyond either person’s control. But all hope is not lost, and you can be proactive when searching for The One. Check out five things you need to change in order to attract love, and you just might find yourself staring into the eyes of your soulmate.
See also: The Science of Love
1. Accept Your Past
It’s difficult to attract someone new when we’re still stuck in the past, remembering our ex-partner or wondering yet again why things went wrong. Instead of comparing your new partner to your previous one, which is of course easy to do, simply accept that your past relationships happened for a reason. They taught you something important about the nature of love and about yourself. Think about the reasons why things went south: was it something you did, or a way that you acted without meaning to? Allow yourself to move on and accept the new relationship while being aware of how to do things differently this time.
2. Wait Before Jumping Into Bed
When the 2008 Relationship Development Study studied 400 people who were newly married, they discovered that if a relationship began with sex, the couple would be less happy once they got hitched. If your previous relationships have always begun this way, maybe delay getting physical the next time around, and that might make all the difference, allowing your bond to form on an emotional and intellectual level. After all, looks don’t last forever, but a true friendship and connection will.
3. Ask Yourself What You Want
What is more important to you: that your partner is financially stable or that they truly love what they do? Do you want someone who loves to travel and has an adventurous spirit, or someone who is a homebody and would prefer to order take-out and watch movies on a Friday evening? These are all good questions to ask before that all-important first date. And if you’re online dating, which has become increasingly popular these days – the typical person on Tinder uses the dating app for 77 minutes daily – it can be easier to work those questions out before meeting in person, whether by reading the person’s dating profile or by chatting online. To truly find love, you need to understand what you want in a romantic partner and what your goals and deal breakers are. If you’re not honest with yourself, you’re setting yourself up for future failure.
4. Stop the Serial Dating
It may sound silly to suggest taking a break from dating when you’re looking for love, but it just might be the thing that finds you your soulmate in the end. If you’re a serial dater – meaning that you go on several dates every week and accept any date invitation that comes your way – you will likely become frustrated with the dating process. It’s normal to feel that way – who wouldn’t feel some dating fatigue? Stop going on so many dates and only accept them from people that you truly think you would connect with.
5. Stop the Cycle of Self-Deprecation
Anyone’s self-confidence would be affected after romantic rejection. If that applies to you, then simply accept that breakups and rejection happen, and take steps to get your mojo back. Don’t make self-deprecating comments or jokes, either to friends or family or especially on a date, because you will start to believe that you don’t deserve love. And, besides, research shows that falling in love is not a choice but something that our brains do – it only takes a fifth of a second to fall for someone.
The quest to find true love is never easy, but there is hope. Change your relationship and dating habits and you just might find yourself as part of a twosome sooner than you think. As the Harvard Grant study found after researching love for a period of 75 years, love really is the way to be happy and it is important to learn to deal with the less than sunny moments in life in order to grow as a person. Change your ways and find lasting love.