How to find true love tip #1: Get out of your comfort zone

In order to avoid repeating the same meet-date-delete relationship pattern, you’re going to need to shake up your dating formula. Grab a drink in a bar on the opppsite side of the city, sign up for Spanish lessons, or take up a team sport. If you change up your environment, you’re bound to cross paths with some new faces.

How to find true love tip #2: Free up your schedule

Think about it: between overtime hours at the office and Pilates classes, does your schedule even allow for you to meet and spend time getting to know someone? Keeping a varied and jam-packed calendar can be exciting, but doesn’t bode well for accepting last-minute date invites. Maybe you’ll meet your significant other at a pottery class, the gym or farmer’s market. But if you’re consistently struggling to pencil in one-on-one time, perhaps it’s time economize your schedule—like shopping for a perfect sweater instead of trying to knit one yourself.

How to find true love tip #3: Reduce your criteria list

Non-smoker, vegetarian, strong yet sensitive, hot yoga enthusiast, call mom every Sunday—not to mention tall, dark and handsome. Unfortunately Mr. Right is not a series of attributes that can be quantified and crossed off like a must-have checklist. From your Prince Charming lookbook, select three non-negotiables, and then let time and their individual personality guide your perception of him. Maybe he prefers cats to dogs, but cooks up a mean veggie chili.

How to find true love tip #4: Be straight up

Knowing what you want in a romantic partner
conversely implies that you’re also aware of what you don’t want. And if you’re not into one of your guy pals who repeatedly suggests date nights on a more-than-friends basis, let him down gently. Fast. The fallout is infinitely more difficult (and awkward) after you’ve been stringing someone along for months. Set them free while simultaneously opening yourself up to actual romantic possibilities.

How to find true love tip #5: Keep a little mystery

Resist the urge to divulge your entire life story on the first date. If you wouldn’t share a personal anecdote at a party, it’s probably safe to assume it won’t make for a good first-date icebreaker. Introduce yourself, keeping the flow of the conversation lighthearted and fluid. Beware of recounting your entire resume-as-monologue before the bread basket arrives—or rest assured that your chances making it to dessert will be significantly reduced.

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