1. Know what you want.
Firstly, list all the features and characteristics that you require in a single man or single woman. Once you have a list, it is much easier to recognise him/her when they find you. Here are a few guidelines:
(a) Appearance: How important is appearance? If it is, add it to your list. Remember, however, that looks don't last forever. Do you divorce when his/her looks fade?
(b) Presentation: Is grooming important? Grooming can be learned. You can teach someone to present well and be well groomed. It is usually a "fixable" and women are especially good at this!
(c ) Personality: Is personality more important than looks?
(d) Values: It is vitally important to have a partner with similar values and who is heading in the same direction. What are your values? What do you want out of life? What is your life plan? Know these things so that you will recognise them in your partner.
(e) Characteristics: Are you seeking a partner who is compassionate, kind, caring, loyal, honest, trustworthy, respectful, egalitarian, a good communicator, easy going, with a good sense of humour and good fun? They are the main characteristics that my clients ask for. Create your own list.
(f) Age, education level, religion, political leanings, family background: If any of these are important add them to your list. Remember it is important to be flexible.
Now your list is complete:-
(i.) Highlight those features that are important to you with a yellow highlighter and keeping in mind that you must be flexible
(ii.) Highlight the ultra important features with an orange highlighter.
(iii.) Imagine it is December 2009 and you are still single. Highlight in blue those already highlighted features which are still so important to you that you would prefer to be alone than live without them. Memorise only the blue features.
2. Now that you know what you want in a partner, you also know what a partner seeks in you!
If they are stunning looking, they will probably expect the same of you.
If they are in perfect shape, they will probably expect the same from you.
If they dress well, they will most likely be expecting the same in a partner
If they are compassionate, they will probably be expecting a compassionate partner
Style yourself on what you are seeking in a partner to be able to attract the single man or single woman of your dreams. If you want a partner who is tertiary educated and you are not, remember he/she will probably want a partner with whom they can intellectualise. Keep yourself abreast of world affairs, read extensively.
3. You have to be out there. The single man or single woman you want won't come knocking on your door
If your wish is to find a partner in the year 2009, you will have to go where you can be found. Write up a plan of how you intend to be in all the places that a single men and single women will be looking for other singles and even in places they do not look but where you can find them. What about the local tennis or golf club or maybe a cycling or bushwalking club? They are great places to begin looking. If you want a partner with a social conscious, join at least one charity club because that is where you will find people of like minds. Join a Rotary Club near you, Rotarians have a social conscious.
4. It's not a case of selecting - it's a case of being. Being appealing and popular.
A common mistake made by single women and single men is to think that finding a partner is part of a "selection process". It is not, it is a matter of "being popular" and evidence shows that it is how a man makes a woman feel that wins her for the long term, so speedy "selection" is an unlikely option because it takes time to develop feelings. Besides, a relationship is a giving, loving entity; a man is seeking a giving, loving woman. The single woman who thinks that finding a man is a part of a process of elimination misses out because when she finds a man of interest, she usually finds that he will not be interested in her! His inner voice will tell him, that she is only out for herself. He will go for the woman who is nice to everyone, who allows all men into her sphere on a friendship basis. At Entre Nous dating service we have never had a man ask for "a very choosey woman".
5. Be prepared – always. To attract other singles you must look single. Like attracts like and single people attract other singles. Single woman never wear daggy clothes to the market. They never go out without make-up or with their hair not done. Only married women can get away with that. Single women and single men belong to a gym or exercise so that they look trim and healthy. Single women and single men don't look mumsie or dadsie; they regularly visit a good hairdresser. Single women have regular make-ups so that they are aware of the latest techniques. Single women and single men use an image consultant or are naturally good at fashion and styling. Single women behave in a feminine, ladylike manner always. Most men have a sister, female friend or relative who can help them keep up to date in terms of their presentation.
Single men and single women remember their manners and never swear. They also work hard at controlling their temper. You only get one opportunity to create a good first impression; once it’s gone it’s gone because life is not a dress rehearsal.
6. Don't waste single friends - they are a valuable commodity. If a single man or single woman does not interest you, do not discard them, after all, they could be just right for your best friend. Also, his/her best friend could be your Mr/Ms Right and you will never know unless you befriend him/her. Do not eliminate potential partners, rather "collect" them. As your collection grows so will your popularity. When you do meet the type of single man or single woman for you, they will inevitably be impressed by your popularity.
7. Don't rely on your instant judgment, give him/her time. A person who wears their heart on their sleeve, or tries to impress you with their wonderful character on the first meeting, has probably shown you all their cards. This is probably all there is to him/her. A single man or single woman of good character, does not have to boast and you may have to dig deep to find their good points. Beware of the person who tries too hard to impress. If you are you meet someone who does not try to impress you at first, give them time. If you find an initial fault, bear in mind that it may be their only fault for which their good points would more than compensate. You won't know, however, unless you are prepared to give them time. Maybe this is why you are still single, because you let good single men or single women slip through your fingers too easily? Maybe you are just too quick to judge?
8. Trial a friendship before a relationship. A common error with single people is to judge every person they meet as a prospective Mr or Ms Right. By doing this they are too quick to judge and rule out most of the pool. If on the other hand, one does not worry about whether this is "the one" and one just trials a friendship, you will not only increase the selection pool but will also become popular! If you are popular with the opposite sex, "Mr or Ms Right" is more likely to want to know what it is about you that attracts admirers. Single men and indeed many single women, love a challenge, and if you are popular, you are presenting him/her with just that – an interesting challenge. You can only do this by making friends with all the single men/single women you meet.
9. Ladies: allow for the horrendous gaffs men sometimes make that we would never make. When a man is nervous or shy, he can make huge gaffs. There is a physiological reason for this. Women rarely make these mistakes in the company of men, so we find it hard to understand how men could apparently be "so stupid". There is a good side to these "gaffs". A man is probably making mistakes because of you – he is probably nervous because he is interested in you - what a compliment! There is no reason to dismiss him just because of his mistakes or for your lack of interest. Remember he could be just right for your girlfriend or his best friend may be your Mr Right. Adding him to your list of friends will increase your popularity. Learn to be more tolerant of men's mistakes so that you will be practised at being naturally tolerant when your Mr Right appears.
10. If you seek a friend, be one. Do and be unto others as you wish them to do and be to you. Look at yourself in the mirror - honestly. What you see is what you can expect from a partner. Being less discriminating does not mean you will end up with what you don't want in a partner. What it does mean, however, is that you open the doors to give you a wider selection and the chance to find a hidden "gem".
You can open doors for yourself by making a habit of speaking to everyone. If you do this, you may surprise yourself with your boldness when you meet an attractive single man or single woman. Opening the doors wider is self-generating – it increases your opportunities. Single people attract single people. Be in the race. Host dinner parties, Sunday soirees, organize picnics, have an open house for your friends. Single men or women don't rely on others to host parties - they do it themselves!
So, what's holding you up? How about finding the highlighters and putting pen to paper to start you list?
Rosalind Baker is the founder and principle at Entre Nous Relationship Consultants and Educators and author of Dial A Woman, Dial A Man and Dial A Personality.