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Jumpstart your love life

Jumpstart your love life

By Lisa Lombardi Ready to take control of your love future? We polled a bunch of dating experts and asked each for his or her number-one way to get your dating life in high gear this year. Here’s what they had to say—and be warned: Try these tips and, by Valentine’s Day, you may be fighting off prospective suitors!

1. Give good sense
“Have a romance with life! Tap into your senses, and you’ll come alive with positive energy. Really taste your food and savor your wine; enjoy your music and the sounds of nature; feel the sun or the breeze on your skin and smell the aromas around you. When you get in the habit of living life like this, others are drawn to your passion and enthusiasm.”
– Debbie Mandel, Author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul

2. Dare to have spares
“Dating is a numbers game, so skip the old rules of ‘a nice person only dates one at a time.’ The more you date, the better the odds of finding someone wonderful worth weeding out from the pack. Plus, a full social calendar and lack of instant availability brings out the hard-to-get reaction in the opposite sex without actually having to play a game!”
– Dennie Hughes, author of Dateworthy

4. Roll up the rugs
“Throw a ‘widening your net of possibilities’ party. Love matches often come from your network of friends, colleagues and family. Invite everyone you know and ask them to bring at least one single person, or even a couple. The love of your life — or at least his or her cousin — just might walk through your door.”
– Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., author of Opening Love’s Door

3. Be captivated
“I often tell my patients (not to mention family and friends) that finding and sustaining love is like acquiring a piece of art. We should wait to be struck and captivated. But all too often we walk around with our pre-crafted ‘frame’ — or idea of whom we belong with — desperately trying to fit someone into it. So in 2007, throw away your mental checklist of what you’re looking for and keep a truly open mind—you might be surprised at who truly clicks with you.”
– Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of DSI: Date Scene Investigation

6. Get a planner
“Set dating goals. Writing things down helps you to achieve your goals. Think short- and long-term. Maybe it’s one date a week or meeting three new people a month. Either way, write it down and make it happen.”
– Lissa Coffey, author of What’s Your Dosha, Baby?

6. Risk embarrassment
“Don’t be afraid of going out on a limb. You don’t want to appear desperate, but at some point one of you has to give up waiting three days to call the other person back and pretending you’re too aloof to fall in love. Why not you? A corny gesture — writing a note telling how happy you are when you see him or cooking a meal — can make him think it’s time to take things beyond the stage of dates you aren’t sure are actually dates.”
– Gregory Gilderman, author of She’s the One: The Surprising Truth of What Makes a Woman a Keeper

7. Play the odds
“The quickest way to meet prospective dates is to hang out in places where the odds are in your favor. For women, that means sports bars or the driving range. For guys, try DSW (or any other gigantic shoe warehouse). These places are crawling with women, especially on early Friday evenings and Saturdays. Just ask the nearest unattached female to help you pick out a new pair of shoes. See where it goes from there. Also consider book clubs: Women love to read, and there are usually very few men in attendance. It’s a great pick if you’re interested in dating someone brainy.”
– Lisa Daily, author of Stop Getting Dumped!

8. Listen up
“One of the most engaging ways to get people to feel close to you is by being a good listener. Why do you think people love to go to their hairdresser? Good listening requires paying close attention, asking for details, and then echoing back the important points of the conversation. If you take the time to listen to someone, he or she will feel like you really care. Also, it gives you the chance to see what kind of person he or she is without having to worry about what to say back!”
– Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men

9. Get some class
“Sign up for one thing you’re interested in that involves a group meeting on a regular basis. I recommend ones that focus on your own interests: Yoga, cooking or kayaking class, a gardening group, a political campaign, or a co-ed sports league or team. In no time, you’ll have a wider circle of friends, and when you meet a prospect, you’ll already have some idea of that person’s character and personality. This will prevent you from wasting a lot of time on a loser.”
– Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

Lisa Lombardi is a writer and editor in New York who has written for Maxim, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and other magazines.