Turn Dates into Mates

couple holding hands smallStuck on the dating hamster wheel and looking for a little long-term love instead?

From embracing the right mental outlook to letting your passions and posse do some of the work for you, it’s possible to turn dates into mates.

Make it a Priority

Sounds simple, huh? But really, we treat dating so casually. Imagine if you looked for a job the way you look for a long-term relationship? “Oh, I’m just waiting for the right job to come along and sweep me off my feet.” You have to be focused and persistent to find the right person.

If you crave enduring love, dating should be as much a priority as the other important things in your life, like going to the gym, seeing your friends or spending time with your kids.

Believe in Yourself

Dating is a mental game. Just like athletes who employ expensive coaches to work on their psychological game, you need to put efforts into perfecting your mental outlook. If you don’t feel good about yourself, no one will be enticed to chase after you.

Start with a thought journal. Write down all of the successes you experience during the day — even the little ones.

Choose things that make you feel good about yourself. When negative thoughts rear their ugly heads, write them down and then read from your list of successes to debunk them. Pretty soon, you’ll feel so good about yourself that you’ll be positively glowing. And there’s nothing sexier than confidence.

Don’t Be Prematurely Picky

Many people who bemoan their lack of dating successes say things like, “Oh, he didn’t have a Masters in Russian Literature and that’s really a deal-breaker for me” or “I just can’t date a woman who doesn’t love This is Spinal Tap.” Don’t sweat the small stuff. Instead of poo-pooing potential mates before they even have a chance to impress you, go on a date — or two.

Sometimes you’ll know right away that something isn’t going to work out but if there’s a possibility for something long-term, take the risk. You never know what might happen.

Know What You Want

It may seem contradictory with the advice above but you also need to know what’s truly important to you for a long-term fix. Yes, you should put yourself out there and date, but make sure you have a master list of things that really matter to you.

Concentrate on the big issues. Do you want children? How many? Love to travel? How do you want to spend your weekends, now and through retirement? Are religious practices part of your life?

Having this kind of list provides a superstructure for your search so that you’ll quickly know if they have potential or not, letting you pull the trigger before wasting too much time.

Spread the Word

If no one knows about your burning desire for coupled joy, they really can’t help you. Maybe they figure you’re content with the way things are. So tell everyone you know — family, friends, co-workers, your fitness instructor or the guy at the local fruit market. Post a message on your Facebook page. That new boyfriend or girlfriend could come from anywhere.

Borrowing from the job metaphor, you wouldn’t send out one resume and then wait for the jobs to pour in.

Hit the Right Spots

Nightclubs aren’t the only place where singles hook up. People meet each other at chess clubs, work, Laundromats, marathon races, libraries, health clubs, cafes, charitable organizations… you get the picture. And meeting someone who shares your passion rather than just your level of inebriation generally makes for a stronger long-term connection.

Basically, use your hobbies and your passions to find your love.

Don’t Worry Be Happy

Don’t wear desperation like a dirty shirt. People spot it a mile away. Instead, embrace your single lifestyle. Spend time with friends, go out and do the things you love, celebrate the freedom that every day brings you.

You’ll be happier while you wait for Mr. or Ms. Perfect… and your full, quirky and interesting life will make you more attractive to them.

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By Kelly Jones

Lavalife About Lavalife
Lavalife.com is one of the original players in the online dating game. Committed to helping its members find fun dates and relationships, Lavalife is a prime source for online dating, dating and relationship advice.

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